15th Jun 2003, 22:20

I have a 95 sunfire and a college student as well. The only two things that have pissed me off about it is my head gasket blew at 110 000 km and my serpentine belt needs replacing once a year. you know why? because I race it! 3/4 of your problems seem to be the drivers fault. Sunfires will never be meant to drive like an F1 car. If you respect your car and don't drive it like an idiot you won't have these problems. sunfires are really efficient cars.

18th Sep 2003, 09:10

I unfortunately have nothing good to say about GM or the dealership (Roy Foss - Thornhill) I leased my 97 and 2000 Sunfire's from either. Less than two weeks before my lease was up the engine had to be replaced - I had to pay for it as the engine was not under warranty. Thousands of dollars went into a car I was only going to drive a couple more times. That's nothing however. My 2000 Sunfire never worked properly from the day I got it. It wouldn't start ever. I had to get it boosted every single morning and after work for 3 years. I took it into the shop on a weekly basis and they kept telling me that they couldn't find anything wrong or, they would tell me that they found the problem and it was fixed (the problem was never fixed). All this to say that no one did anything about it, not the dealership, not GM - my credit rating was actually threatened by both parties when I told them that I didn't feel that I should pay for a car that literally does not work. For most of my 3 year lease the car sat in my parking garage while I paid $500 a month for it to do so. Never ever will I buy a GM again!

7th Oct 2003, 06:55

Well hello everyone,

I was tempted to copy and paste some of the letters above, but I figured that I would at least type it myself. Here goes:

My 1996 Pontiac Sunfire was recalled and brought in after 4 years to replace the head gasket, finding out that it spilled coolant into the engine, causing it to over heat. I figured the best course of action was to listen to the recall notice. I was having no problems with it, but I brought it in to get the recall fixed. It has been 2 or 3 years since the head gasket was replaced, and now I find myself outside of the warranty with a repair bill for a head gasket. This is a part that was supposedly meant to fix the previous problem, yet it lasted just over half as long as the original "faulty" part. I am currently phoning GM back and forth trying to explain what is going on, and why they won't stand behind the part that supposedly fixed the problem.

It really makes me wonder if the problem was ever really fixed, or if it was just patched. Well since I have to pay for the new head gasket, it looks like you can cure a gushing wound with a little bandage... until it is outside of warranty.

Ben Walmsley.

11th Dec 2003, 14:26

I am 16 years old and I own a 1995 Pontiac Sunfire. And I just found out that I have to pay $1000 for a new head gasket. I have 91,000 miles on my car. And this sounds like this is a common problem. I'm not very impressed.

5th Mar 2004, 12:06

I own a '97 Sunfire. I bought it in 2000 with 48000 k on it.

I was told when I purchased it that the rack was replaced. I now need a rack and boots...

My valve cover is leaking.

My muffler bracket went more than once.

The fuel injectors have been replaced twice and they are leaking again.

I could go on, but you get the idea...

I'm buying a Toyota next :- (

2nd Jun 2004, 08:36

First, let me say that this NC boy feels for all of you. Sounds like you've had some bad times. I've owned two 1996 Sunfires, the first a 2.2, and currently I drive a 2.4 GT. 125k miles and still going strong. Aside from the normal up keep and wear and tear I haven't had to make any majors repairs. I've got no complaints, probably because even though I'm by no means a qualified mechanic I have taken the time to gain a general knowledge of cars. That way I don't have to crawl to the dealership with every little thing and shell out 300 bucks for a tune up/ 500 bucks to fix a muffler clamp? News flash: machines with moving parts break occasionally. Anyway, I have to run. Gotta pick up my friend from work. The transmission on her 2002 Honda Prelude wasted the other day. She's looking at three grand for a new one, and no the dealer warranty won't cover a dime. Things are tough all over people.

12th Aug 2004, 01:55

The head gasket problem isn't just the car's fault. A lot goes into replacing one. You don't just pull the head, slap a new one on and then throw the head back on. If the head is warped, it will mess up the new head gasket. If the head is not torqued properly, it will ruin the new gasket. Many other things will shorten the gasket life. How can you blame the car for the replacement head gaskets when you don't know they were replaced right? In turn, how do you blame an entire company for one bad line of cars or one bad dealership? The J body probably isn't GM's shining body style, but they are still decent cars. The engines/drive train are probably the high point. The transmissions are WAY better than anything Chrysler could come up with. Likewise, blown head gaskets are rarer than in similar Chrysler (and even Ford) engines. Yes, all companies have some bad models/lines. But it could be worse.

31st May 2006, 05:13

I'll make this short and sweet:

If a car (Sunfire) is low priced, (~$11990) but costs you half again as much to keep repairing it, (~$5400) is it not better to just buy a slightly more expensive car (Tercel) (~$13920) and not have nearly the aggravation, (~$40) (I kid you not) and still be ahead? I did.

31st May 2006, 05:19

And 2 other points:

1: If the head design and gasket assembly was correctly executed at the factory in first place, you would not have to keep replacing a part that should normally last a cars' lifetime.

2: The "new" 1995 Sunfire / Cavalier is not really an all - new car, almost all the mechanical and chassis parts are carried over from the '82 - '94 series. The difference is in the appearance of the body and interior for the most part.

2nd Jan 2007, 02:28

I'm sorry to hear about all of you that have trouble with your Sunfires. I have recently thought about buying one with higher miles on it, but now not too sure.

About the locks not working in the winter, you can buy a tiny can of lock deicer, you stick it in the key hole and that should take care of that. I had the same problem with my 96 Chevy Beretta.

Try putting in a new fuse for the car horn.

You could have cut off the catalytic converter and bypassed it.

Sorry the people were rude to you at the dealer, you can run into that anywhere.