31st Aug 2007, 00:11

My girlfriend has a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire GT. She recently had a problem with her driver side lowbeam light going out. Simultaneously, that was when her DRL lights would flicker a few times, then shut off, every time she would start her car. Her Service Engine light also stayed on.

I've been working on cars for years, so I decided to fix it myself. Removed the headlamp, unplugged the bulb connector, ran to NAPA Autoparts and bought a new bulb. Replaced the bulb, hooked everything back up, tested it and now everything works just fine.

Folks, they have sensors in automobiles (not just American; Foreign as well) that make your vehicle(s) do odd things, as a warning sign of something being wrong. For example, if your turn signal light (Front OR Rear) goes out, you will notice that your turn signal will flash a LOT faster, on your dash. When the DRL lights flicker on and off upon startup, then stay off, along with your Service Engine light coming on, it's telling you that you have a Headlamp (or possibly tailight) bulb out.

Don't replace the entire headlamp; just the bulb. They only cost $9.00 (with tax) and it's a lot less expensive than taking it to a dealer, where they will tell you that they have to replace your entire wire harness, while all they do is replace your bulb, and make several hundred dollars profit from you. The headlamp bulb runs off a 3-wire connector. The bulb has 2 prongs inside it; one for the lowbeam and the other for your highbeam. So, if the lowbeam works, but not the highbeam... or vice versa, then it's because the respective prong has fried, and you need to replace that bulb.

Another possibility that could be a problem, one that I personally had with my '91 Thunderbird, was that my lights would just shut off. It turned out to be my headlamp switch itself. It only cost about 15 dollars. I replaced it myself and after that, everything worked just fine. Wire harnesses in vehicles, for everything, not just your headlamps, are water tight. If they weren't, you'd have a LOT of problems any time you drove through a rain or snow shower. It is very unlikely that a wire harness would corrode and go bad, especially on newer vehicles that are only 5 to 10 years old. So unless you're driving a '49 coupe, your mechanic is probably trying to make a quick (and very large) profit from you.

A lot of times as well, especially for people with fog light issues, where the bulbs are good, but both fog lights won't come on, it's going to be 1 of 2 things. Either your actual fog lamp switch itself is bad, OR you have a bad RELAY somewhere. The relay doesn't even have to be specificly for the fog lamps either, as the car might just be shutting them off purposely, as an indication that something else is amiss.

Just remember folks, for the people who complain about not buying American any more; most foreign cars are made right here in the U.S. as well. Most electronics in automobiles, both foreign and domestic, all come from overseas manufacturers, and some car makers use the same resources, so don't be hasty to blame American auto makers.

Anyone with any questions about problems, feel free to email me at: hiddukel1@hotmail.com

26th Sep 2007, 14:00

Just had a similar DRL problem (also right front highbeam out)fixed on a 2001 Sunfire 2.2L.

1. Replacing the headlamp bulbs did not fix the problem

2. Replacing the DRL relay did not fix the problem

Parts guy at a local GM dealership referred me to a local Auto Electric shop where they traced the problem to a cracked wire and junction. The repair bill was $90. The dealer quote was >$500.

12th Oct 2007, 01:31

Please note: everyone having electrial issues with Pontiac check, or have your mechanic check the grounds. The main ground to the body is very problematic and should be removed. The ground to the headlights, wipers should also be checked. Many of the problems that I have seen listed also, but after the grounds were fixed, and not by GM, but rather Auto Pro, all problems were resolved. For those having starting problems: Yes, there was a factory recall, whereby GM is responsible.

15th Oct 2007, 12:54

I have a '99 Sunfire. I've had to replace the wiring to the following: sunroof, day time running lights, brake lights, turn signals, and to the alternator. I currently don't have it, it's in the shop. Mechanic says that the wiring harness is shot. He also says that it will be at least $900 for a new one, and that the wiring fried my alternator and my battery. You'd think that GM would recall it if this many people were having problems. I'm this close to selling it as-is and buying a new car.

16th Nov 2007, 19:01

I've got a 2000 sunfire that was purchased brand new, 26 kms on it, and I have had very few problems with it over the years. In fact, I'd say I've enjoyed owning this vehicle.

Just recently though, (within the past two months), I've started to have electrical problems with it. First off, the lights on the automatic shift no longer work. And now the radio doesn't work! I've replaced the factory installed radio with a new one, and it doesn't work either!

I'm guessing some form of wiring issue, but have no idea where to start. The radio's fuse is shared with the dome light, and the light works, so I know it's not the fuse. I am getting some power to the radio (a small blinking red light that mimics a car alarm light flashes if the car is off or on), but the ignition power doesn't work. Any ideas?

24th Nov 2007, 13:49

I have a 2003 Sunfire 2 door SE with an automatic transmission. The tachometer was going up and down very slowly recently, but seemed to be reading the actual rpm's fine. Then today I was driving 45-50 mph when the tach went all the way around and is now stuck there. It's on the complete opposite side of where the zero rpm reading is. This car only has 29,000 miles on it. Does anyone know if it needs a new instrument cluster or what? Thanks.

2nd Dec 2007, 00:08

I own a 2001 Sunfire and have had only a few problems.

My light switch handle broke and was easily replaced. It fixed my light problem.

I also had to replace the A/C compressor.

I have just recently replaced the heated downstream O2 wire as well.

I was in the process of installing a new CD player, and my heat and A/C went out on me again.

The dash where the dials are no longer work, like the A/C and defroster buttons won't light up when pushed. Obviously. I have no idea what the problem could be. My only thought is some wiring issue?? Anyone else have this problem and/or know how to fix it before I have to take it to a dealer?? Let me know, it'd be greatly appreciated!!


7th Dec 2007, 19:00

I have a 1998 5sp Sunfire and I bought my son a 2000 Auto. Last week I took off for work in the 98 and all of a sudden all the warning lights come on and the RPM gauge stops working. I took it home and turned it off, and when I tried to restart it, it would start, but then die within a second. So, I've had to drive my son's 2000. Today, I'm cruising at 65mph and the car just dies. When I get it to the side of the road, it does the same thing as the 98. It starts, then dies. After 20 minutes or so, I finally got it to stay running and drove for another 10 miles. Any help? Please email me at stephenwhaley2000@yahoo.com. Thanks.