8th Aug 2002, 03:44
As an independent mechanic, I service all kinds of cars, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Japanese, European; you name it, I probably pulled wrenches on it. As for the GM J-body cars (Cavalier, Sunfire, etc.) I can tell you from experience, they certainly keep mechanics in business; these are some of the more poorly engineered cars I have ever seen, in particular the engines, (head gaskets, pistons, cams etc.). Don't get me wrong, every manufacturer has its share of questionable vehicles (some more than others), and I am a pro- GM guy (I own a '69 Caprice & an '87 Monte Carlo) but GM should, as a corporation, be ashamed of these wheeled monstrosities. (As should any other manufacturer who has/is producing similar garbage). In short, if you want a Pontiac, stay away from the Sunbird/Sunfire (and other J-body cars) -- you'll get "burned"!
8th Aug 2002, 04:03
To the GM roadside assistance employee: Yes any car can, and probably will break down in its lifetime, but I believe the owner of this Sunfire is saying that if the car wasn't such a poorly designed and engineered excuse of a vehicle to begin with, they would not be as frustrated with General Motors as they are. I speak from experience as I used to own a 1997 Sunfire that was at least as bad as what I have read here. I don't believe mine was "just a lemon", the whole model series are lemons. How is it that I have accumulated over 200,000 trouble free KM on my '94 Corolla, and barely 50,000 aggravating KM on my '97 Sunfire, when both were similarly, religiously maintained??? Come on, GM, you can and have done better that this! I have a near-mint '77 Trans-Am that I got in part trade for the Sunfire; IT is the kind of (reliable) car that GM SHOULD be building (again)!!!
28th Oct 2002, 21:59
My 1995 Sunfire is a lemon too, and nobody cared to take time to find out why. I was told GM only allows minimal time for them to diagnose the problem under warranty. So, they write on the repair order: "Cannot duplicate problem" or "Seems Normal" or "No repair available at this time". They are more than happy to find the solution if you are willing to pay them out-of-pocket, even though you have bought their best NEW CAR extended warranty for over $1200!
Short List of Defects/problems from 1995 thru 2002:
1. Suspension noises and interior squeaks - not fixed.
2. Piston slap and valve noises - no repair available!
3. Steering pulls on accel - power steering rack replaced. 4. Noisy air conditioner - compressor replaced.
5. Failed emissions test - catalytic converter replaced.
6. Intermittent stalling after start - getting worse!
Just recently took my car in for a recall campaign, and asked if they could repair the intermittent stalling. I was told they can SCAN for codes for a fee, but that probably would not help diagnose an intermittent problem. The repair would be a hit and miss thing billed by the hour, and could be quite costly if I went ahead! At least the service department was honest about it.
This is the first GM car I have owned with the most problems. All my previous cars ran for years without all those visits to the shop. "They don't make them like they used to!" "Bottom line over quality"
23rd Dec 2002, 06:45
Another ripped off 1995 Pontiac Sunfire driver, or should I say part time driver. I had nothing but problems with this car heater only works on high, bad alternator two leaking fuel injectors, leaking valve cover, ABS stopped working, replaced muffler strap three times and leaking head gasket. Took car in to see about recall (#98054a) on head gasket dealer would not do work, this car only has 100000km on it.
20th Jan 2003, 18:43
We own a 1995 Sunfire and it was the very First car we bought. We bought it as a used car buy the dealers as a loner car. We were told it was never in any accidents, but we have found that the color on one of the fenders don't match. We have also had many recalls and concerns with this car. We have had to replace the alternator twice, starter, and the muffler mounts twice, and I could go on, but I won't. We also bought a second hand 1992 Sundance and it has not been in the shop as much has the Sunfire. We have only owned the Sundance for a Year, but I have all the paper work on it. The file on the Sunfire is twice as much paper work.
20th Jan 2003, 19:31
I own a 1995 sun fire. I thank God I had purchased a guarantee with the car, as I saved quite a lot of money.. Had frequently visited the garage for numerous reasons, all have been mentioned in earlier, reports.
Unfortunately my next vehicle will not be a sun fire... Hopefully in the future the Company will decide to invest in satisfying their clients by giving them a car that will last longer and spend less time in the garage.. Thanks...
5th Feb 2003, 23:47
I was considering the purchase of a '96 Sunfire because the comparable Honda/Toyota/Nissan used cars are about $1500 more. Now I see why. I won't even drive this guy. I don't need headaches.
10th Feb 2003, 16:42
Try owning a '98 Sunfire 1,800 miles away from "home" - my daughter has mine in AZ. $1,200 for a water pump, steering rack, brake and alignment problems, incredible tire wear, battery/electrical problems. It doesn't run at all right now... and how would I find an honest mechanic in Tempe? This car will be dumped ASAP!!! Never owned such an unreliable and expensive to repair vehicle in 35 years of driving.
21st Mar 2003, 10:19
My husband and I are now having the same problems as everyone on this list. We have a 95 Sun fire it only has 45,000 miles we have not driven it a lot. So far we have had the muffler fixed. We are now having a head gasket leak or crack they are not sure. It will cost us 500 to 1000 dollars.
2nd Apr 2003, 14:24
I bought my 1995 Sunfire new in July 1995. The day after I got it home, I went out and it wouldn't start. The dealer was great, however. I have spent thousands of dollars on the a/c system repairing a problem that was VERY similar to one I had with a 1991 Sunbird. We just found out that the head gasket needs to be replaced! Do yourselves a favor and NEVER buy a Pontiac. I chalked my first experience up too bad luck, but TWO TERRIBLE Pontiacs==a future Toyota owner!
4th Jun 2003, 19:12
I have a 95 sunfire, and I have had the same problems, such as Blown head gasket, catalytic converter, alternator, water pump, radiator, power steering pump, a/c compressor, the car has 153,000 miles, but hell this all happened sooner, does anyone know how far a pontiac sunfire will go.
11th Jun 2003, 00:45
Sunfire owners unite! I am sitting here shaking my head. I have a 1995 Pontiac Sunfire. I only had it two years when the transmission failed, thank god under warranty. I tried to call it a lemon and get a different car from the dealer, but they talked their way out of it. I was without a car for over a week and had to pay for most of the rental costs. They said I better be glad I got a free transmission. The head gasket had to be replaced. The transmission fluid leaks. My air conditioning compressor failed and the hoses leaked not long after. I change the serp. belt every year. Now my ABS light is on, but I am pretty sure it has everything to do with my alternator going out. My door lock on the pass. side just broke one day. Why am I telling my story? Hopefully someone who is doing their homework before they buy this car, decides against it because of me. Oh and be careful, there is a recall out for the starter catching on fire after a mis-start. I did keep good records on the maintenance I have done to my cars, but I will never sell this rotten thing to anyone so what is the point. Honda is starting to sound good.