2nd May 2011, 21:42
My car did the same thing. I put on a new water pump and 180 thermastat and that solved the problem. Later I put in the coolant, an additive called Royal Purple, which is keeping it a little cooler too (between 180 and 195 degrees).
5th Dec 2011, 15:57
I just got my brother's Sunfire, and it worked perfectly for at least a year till I got it, and after about 3 months of me having it, the car just turned to crap. The battery would die every day, and I'd have to jump it to get it started, and now it's over heating, but it only says the engine is at 190 degrees. The fan works and the radiator still works, but the car shuts off after driving 2 or 3 miles, and I have to let the engine cool down for about ten minutes before it's able to start again.
5th Feb 2015, 20:08
My son has a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire 2200. The engine was over heating and his Grandfather took it to a garage to get it fixed; he told me they replaced the head gasket, but they did not; I could tell the bolts were not even touched and never have been removed from the car. He said they charged him 60 dollars, I laughed, they put stop leak fluid in the car I told him. We changed the thermostat and pulled the water pump; it looked brand new still. Checked the radiator for flow from the upper to lower pipe; it's not clogged. So we start the engine back up and water was spewing out the front of the engine below the number 2 plug. Pulled the manifold off the engine and cranked the car again, and saw water coming out the head gasket about 4 inches. 6 hours later we pulled the head off the car and found no cracks and the head gasket was a little worn for the worse, but not completely broken anywhere.
When we were removing the head, I did notice the number 1, 3, and 5 head bolts were loose; you could say hand tight. But regardless at this point I had to replace the head gasket as we did not know its condition.
The problem here is someone else worked on the car and I don't know for sure if the issue is fixed. The cooling system seems to be clear; just worried about the smaller upper hoses being clogged.
5th Feb 2015, 20:12
Stop driving the car or you will have bigger problems. Check the water pump and thermostat first. Do you notice water or does your exhaust smell like antifreeze? You may have a cracked head or broken head gasket. One thing is for sure, if you keep driving it like my son did his, you will be paying someone 800 to 1000 to fix it if you can't do it yourself.
7th Feb 2015, 12:21
When the car over heats at idle, it means that the water pump impeller is going bad, signs that someone was putting water in the radiator and not coolant. I would suggest pulling the water pump and checking the impeller to make sure it's not rusted away. Sometimes it's half gone, and at high speeds will pump and at idle it won't.
Hope this helps.