2002 Pontiac Sunfire SL 4-Door from North America - Comments

17th Oct 2007, 20:26

Just bought a 2002 Sun-fire 4-Doors, 5-speeds, 80,000KM, no rust, for 2,700$.

Tried it, and it ran OK.

My wife tried it, and she complaints that : "She was unable at all, to shift into the reverse gear".

I tried it again, and I had no problem to shift it into the reverse.

So, I told her : "It's a (CODE-18) problem"!

(CODE-18) = The problem is located 18 inches from the stearing wheel, i.e. driver.

My wife then said : "Please, show me how you do it!"

I tried to do it again, but I was unable to shift the car into his reverse gear.

The shifter/transmission then has to be repaired.

So, I had then a quick search on the Internet to see if it's a well know problem, and then, on your site "carsurvey.org", I suddently saw this POST :

-"A friend of mine had a similar complaint when his father bought a Sunfire in 2001 - his problem was that he was "unaware" of the lockout. I don't know how he got it into reverse at all without breaking anything! I just found it a bit amusing (and I don't let him drive MY car!)."

That was our answer, we were "unaware" of the lockout.

I don't know how I got it into reverse at all without breaking anything!

We just found it more than a bit amusing.

Please, don't let any of us to drive YOUR car!

So, it was't a (CODE-18) problem, it was a double (CODE-18) problem.

Thanks to "carsurvey.org", for having our shame to remain in our house!

2nd Mar 2008, 09:12

Another yearly update to the review. Current mileage is at 209,000km.

Fortunately, the remainder of the past year was quite uneventful. I only had to replace a wiper blade, and last week, I lost my lowest fan speed once again (blower motor resistor #3). I'll see about replacing it when the weather gets nicer.

I believe that my front strut mounts are in need of replacement - occasional "popping" noises when turning at low speeds (such as when parking). Everything else in the front end is still good and tight.

The winter tires I purchased last year are still wearing well. After 15,000km of driving last winter they only were showing 1/32" of wear from new. I've put another 10,000km on them so far this year, and they still look virtually new. This car seems to be VERY easy on tires compared to any I've owned in the past.

The car is however starting to show signs of aging now. Since it's always parked outside, the sun has begun to deteriorate some of the outside plastic parts. There are a few more creaks and noises around the car, and I think that the motor mounts are getting a bit sloppier than they used to be. Compared to my brother's Sunfire which has the newer Ecotec engine, mine sounds rather noisy and raspy, especially when cold.

Generally speaking though, I feel it's done rather well so far. With the exception of the exhaust valve last year, I really haven't had to do anything major, and very few minor issues. Gas mileage is still the same as ever, and still no oil or coolant consumption. I've noticed that the point where the clutch begins to grab seems to have slowly been moving up higher in the travel of the pedal, so I'm sure that eventually I'll have to change the clutch. Not unexpected though - considering that I still use the car to pull my boat in the summer, and am often stuck in stop-and-go traffic on my daily commute.

I think that I am getting a little "bored" of the car now - it's the longest I've owned a vehicle to date. I would like something with some more versatility for carrying cargo, and perhaps even a little better on gas if possible. I really like the new 2009 Pontiac Vibe - but I'm not ready to give up the Sunfire just yet. I'd really like to make it to the 10 year mark - I just hope that the Vibe is still around by then. At least now that the Sunfire is paid for, it's less tempting to change.

We'll have to see what the next year brings now...

22nd Feb 2009, 20:18

Another annual update. Current mileage: 241,800km.

Another pretty decent year. I replaced the blower motor resistor that was dead at the previous review, with no more issues to date. I had to replace a couple of more "routine" items this year - although it hadn't totally "died", I changed the battery in December, and just today I replaced the original headlight bulbs. I've noticed that the area on the engine under the rear main seal appears to be getting "damp" - but I wouldn't call it a leak just yet - more of a "weep".

The front strut mounts are still going - although their noise is more regular than intermittent now. It's only noticeable when parking, so until the struts require replacement, I'm going to continue to live with it. It doesn't seem to have any impact yet other than noise.

Tire wear is still excellent with this car. After 2 full winter seasons, the Kelly tires still measured over 10/32" - and that was after close to 30,000km of driving.

A couple of months ago I was rather bored one day, and decided to figure out what the car had cost me to own to date (maintenance and fuel). Prior to the battery, I had spent a total of about $3600 since new on ALL maintenance - including every oil change, light bulb, tires, brakes, and the head rebuild. For fuel I had used a little shy of $15,000 worth since new - with an overall average fuel consumption of about 7.4 L/100km. Although they sound like scary totals, I'd like to see how many other vehicles can be owned for so little over 7 years. It has certainly raised the bar for what I expect from a car from now on - at least for reliability and maintenance needs.

Although I still like the new Vibe (and my brother bought one), with my family growing, and maybe my tastes changing slightly, I think I'd like something a little more "upscale" down the road. Hopefully I can get the Sunfire to the 10 year mark like I had planned.

Anyway, fortunately there wasn't too much to report different this year. We'll see what another year brings.

7th Jul 2010, 21:59

You should consider buying a Voltswagen TDI once your finished with your Sunfire. Apparently they get great mileage at 6.7 city and 4.7 highway.. a little pricey, but you can get a long life out of those engines.

10th Mar 2011, 17:02

Hi, I am the owner of a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Auto. I have been having fuel pump problems. We just replaced the fuel pump in it about 6 months ago, and it seems to have gone out again. The car turns over and tries to start, but simply won't. I was wondering if there is a fuel shut off switch? And if there is, where is it?

I was also wondering if you had any ideas what else could be wrong with it. Please get back to me ASAP. Thanks.