31st Mar 2008, 22:25

Sunfires are great cars.I drove 400,000 KM (320,00 miles) in a 1996 Sunfire and only replaced the brakes and a fuel pump.I now have a 2003 Sunfire with 190,000 KM (150,00 miles) and have also only replaced the brakes and fuel pump.

22nd Apr 2008, 13:53

I think the author is perhaps experiencing all those problems probably because he/she is rodding the crap out of it. If you don't do regular maintenance and drive it like its stolen then of course you are going to have problems. Most people have an excellent experience with the Sunfire, and it wouldn't be a top selling car if it was crap. Maybe the driver is the problem.

27th Aug 2008, 06:41

In regard to Sunfire and Cavalier fuel pump problems.

In my daughter's 99 Sunfire we changed out a like new looking fuel pump just after purchasing this car used. The car quit again shortly after with a used pump. My brother, a mechanic, said it's got to be something else. He traced the wiring from the pump to the dash where a plug-like connection had a melted contact that would occasionally lose continuity, and the pump would quit until the connection cooled. He installed a jumper wire around it and no more problems.

How many pumps have been changed out needlessly and bad connections repaired without revealing the real problem?

Mike Moir mmoir@health.nb.ca

14th Sep 2008, 18:20

I have a 2002 Sunfire I just bought, and it keeps feeling like it is going to stall when I put the A/C on. Also when I put the defrosters on, it does that because the A/C comes on with it when it shouldn't. My engine also overheats. Anybody have these similar problems?

27th Sep 2008, 19:10

I bought my 1999 Sunfire GT used in 2001 with 67,000Km on it. The only real work done to it has been regular maintenance and wear items such as tires, a clutch, brakes. I now have 260,000Km on it and it's in need of rear struts, but overall, doing quite well.

To everyone complaining about fuel pumps, talk to a mechanic about who they fail for.. you will find that on ANY fuel injected car, they are in the tank and they fail for younger drivers... why? They have so much money tied up into a car payment and big stereo that they cannot afford fuel and run the tanks low all the time. The fuel actually cools the pump and when you are below 1/4 tank, they are not sufficiently cooled.

Lastly, I think it comes down to how you own it.. I agree with the person that says if you drive it like you stole it, it will cost you. Now I don't totally baby my car, but I don't beat it to death either. At 260,000Km, it's not showing any sign of dropping anytime soon. I intend to buy a new car in 2011, yes, just over two years from now, and my daughter can drive the Sunfire. I'm confident it will still be running.

3rd Nov 2008, 14:13

I have a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire and the rear window defroster stopped working 2 years ago. I changed the fuse, no change. Is there anything else I can do? I love the car but I really need the rear defroster in order to drive it.

J Hall.

5th Feb 2009, 02:46

Well I have a 2004 Sunfire, and I bought it new. I have never had a problem out of it.

I change the oil every 3,000 miles, I've changed the brakes, fuel filter and tires. It has been the best car I've ever owned.

At 150,000 miles I did a tune up on it. Now it has 190,000 miles and I have ran into a problem; it is leaking oil from the rear main seal. It's a cheap part, but the labor on it isn't cheap at all. But I'm not complaining because it does have 190'000 miles and something is bound to go wrong at this point, so I'm going to fix it, keep it and drive it another 100,000 miles, cause I'm confident that it will hold up. It's a great car.

28th Jun 2009, 14:38

HI, I own a 1999 Sunfire GT with 22300 km on it. It runs great. The only thing I need to change is the fuel filter, but it's being a pain to remove. The quick release clip doesn't want to let go, but other than that it's been a good car. Oh 1 minor other thing, the trip meter won't work; push the button, nothing happens.

12th Jul 2009, 04:07

I've been the owner of a 99 Sunfire SE since new, and I've been pretty surprised at how mechanically reliable it's been. For a cheap car that sees nothing but city driving (most of it knee-deep in snow), the most serious things I've had to replace are a leaky oil pan and the passenger-side power window motor.

I will say though that I can see why a lot of people are having troubles. The car reeks of bad design and poor built quality. The fit and finish are dismal, leading to some mega squeaks and rattles on the highway. It's also a typical GM car with the nastiest, cheapest quality plastics possible. The ONE front cup holder is in the worst spot possible for anything taller than a soda can, and a lack of any rear air vents has left me with some very hot / cold friends in the back seat. I'm also pretty sure there is no anti-sway support built into the suspension, as you cannot take turns with any amount of speed. The fact the mechanics of the car have been beautiful for me may have been a fluke!


Overall for a cheap 10 year old car, its served pretty well. It's never really disappointed me, but it's also never managed to exactly wow me.

14th Oct 2009, 15:47

I have purchased a 2003 Sunfire GT about 3 months ago. The car has been no more reliable than any other car I have owned and gotten to know the history of.

My first, second, and fifth cars have been Fords. I would have to say that I would never buy a Ford again. I have since switched to GM and have found them to be more reliable, which is the main thing I look for in a car. Purchasing this recently and it's most expensive car I've purchased, I have put in a vast amount of time in researching the car, carcomplaints.com.

My 6th car was a 1988 Beretta GT and it was the most reliable car I have driven, for the exception of a fuel pump (my fault) and a thermostat.

My 7th was a 2002 SC1 Saturn Coupe and enjoyed the car except for the lack of power (will never buy a SOHC car again :). I got hit from the side and the plastic dent proof car shattered to pieces. Funny enough, the guy that hit me just bought his Ford Focus and was blaming the brakes and had no insurance.

This being my 8th vehicle, I have had many mechanics experiences and this car just seems like a solid buy. It was in an accident and the only thing I found wrong with the car so far was the cruise control did not work. Compared to the Saturn, it's a solid car, easy on gas, designed better, better motor, interior is well designed, paint is holding well with no rust or cracks, undercarriage is clean with no leaks, and overall I am very happy with the car and price I paid for it.

2003 Silver Sunfire GT, 2.2L Ecotec engine


108,000 Kms

Power everything, sunroof, 16 inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust, factory tinted windows.

Note: I have had the same 1000 watt (Max) system in my last 4 cars, and have to say that the electrical system in the Sunfire has held up the best with the draw on the battery and alternator. The acoustics also sound better than the Saturn, as well the factory speakers sound much cleaner.

24th Nov 2009, 16:37

I bought a 2001 SE 2.2l 5 speed. I bought the car for $350 put $250 worth of part for a safety and that's about it. It has 350,000kms on it and runs great, no problems. I will be buying another; for the price I paid I can't complain one bit.

31st Oct 2011, 15:29

I have a 1999 Sunfire 2.2, and love it. I bought it used, and put a good bit of money into it, but as long as you treat it right and don't have a lead foot, it will hold up. After I did all the work to it, I've put 10000kms on it with no problems. My car pretty well drives like a new car. Maybe you just need to properly maintain your car.