2005 Pontiac Sunfire Please help Pontiac Sunfire issues

Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 PONTIAC SUNFIRE
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 100,000 MILES
I would really appreciate some help finding out whats wrong with my car without spending a lot of money. I have already with in the last year or so had to have my timing chain replaced. The whole clutch replaced. A new fuel pump. I bought the car used a couple years ago and it actually runs great most of the time and I unfortunately do not have money to buy something better or I would. First off the car has been running perfect for the last 6 months no problems good gas mileage. I drove it to work yesterday like I said running great no issues no engine lights or anything came on to give me any clue it was having an problem. I parked it over night like normal woke up to go to work and it wouldn't start right away after a few minutes it started but wasn't running right I thought maybe it was cold so I let it run 10 mins it was still not sounding right I drove it just down my street and it was hesitating and loosing power and then the check engine light came on so I drove back and parked it not wanting to cause more damage. I live far out from the stores so it's kind of hard to get a tow around here without it costing a lot. I checked my antifreeze it was full and looked normal the plugs and wires are new. I figured I would try starting it again later it started no problem but I noticed the cooling fan came on immediately and it was cold outside and so was the engine the car still running bad so I turned it off. A neighbor came over and said maybe the thermostat and the ect sensor could be bad so I let him replace those. No change check engine light is on car runs poorly and the cooling fan comes on unless you pull out the relay. I have no idea where to go from here and what happened just overnight to make the car go from running great to crap. I'm still hoping maybe it is an easy fix but with my luck it's probably not. So if you have any advice please help!
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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 10:55 AM

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Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Have you checked fuel pump pressure (even though the pump was replaced)? Have you checked for vacuum leaks? Have you checked to make sure the catalytic converter isn't plugged?
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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 11:07 AM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
I took it to a shop down the road they put it on the computer and trouble code p0300 random misfire came up and the fuel pressure was around 20 so they replaced the fuel filter and went ahead and changed spark plugs. They called me and said the car was running good and ok to drive over the phone. When I went to pick it up they were closed and the car started but fan came on right away with engine stone cold and the a/c and defrost were off the car ran worse after they worked on it I didn't think I was going to make it the 2 miles home. I called them in the morning and told them it was still running bad and had no power. They said bring it back maybe they needed to reset the code again I told them I didn't now if it was safe to drive but they said it was ok the mechanic drove it before I picked it up and said it's fine. I m not even sure if they put it back on the comp but he came out and said I needed a new cat converter it was cherry red but they didn't have time to do it so they told me to go get a universal cat from advance auto and it would be good to go I'm a little unsure of why they didn't want to make the 600 dollars they said it would cost if they did it I would have waited until Monday I just want it fixed right. They said either punch the cat out or buy the universal one whichever I chose to do bring it back to them and they would reset the engine light. So my neighbor put the new one on he can do small repairs but he is not a mechanic but he put on the new cat which gave the car a little more power but that's it still running bad - cooling fan coming on right away and lacking power I'm not going back to those half ass mechanic down the road. I don't know what there issue is but I borrowed money to fix the car so I had the money to do it right but half has been spent screwing around with those jokers. I don't know what to do I'm afraid if I bring it somewhere else they won't be able to figure out the problem either and it will cost a lot more to narrow it down and I'll still have a broken car. I do appreciate your help answering my questions and I put my trust in the mechanic the fix my car I'm a single mom and I don't know crap about cars or how to fix them.
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Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 AT 7:36 AM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
Do you think someone could have put something in my gas tank to cause this the mechanic said the fuel filter was black and sticky?
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Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 AT 7:40 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
One of my concerns was a plugged catalytic converter, but that didn't help. I'm surprised that they said to punch it out. That is against federal laws. So, I'm not sure I would recommend going back to them.

Can you explain what the car is doing now? Was the coolant temp sensor replaced?
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 5:10 PM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
Yes the coolant sensor was the first thing replaced. Since my last post I also replaced the coil packs. Here is a list of all the parts replaced.
Engine coolant sensor
Coil packs
Cat converter
Spark plugs
Fuel filter
Thermostat
I replaced the spark plugs before the coil packs so when I went to replace coil pack I checked the new plugs again I noticed that the two middle spark plugs were perfectly clean and the two outside plugs were black. Does that mean the ones that were clean are not getting spark? These are the syptoms of the car again. First off the cooling fan cuts on as soon as I start the car even though it's winter and the engine is stone cold. The idle is rough and the engine is lacking power it's just running terrible I can't drive it. I just don't understand it was running perfect and I parked it over night and woke up to all these problems. I appreciate your help and if you have questions I will try to answer back right away I just don't know what to do and I've dumped a lot of money into it the last few days and no change. I could give u my e-mail or my phone number if it would be easier for you to contact but I understand if that's not aloud or to personal. Thanks again
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 AT 5:41 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Has anyone checked fuel pump pressure? Has anyone checked the crank sensor?

This is tough to do this one online. If you were here, I could put a scanner on the vehicle and see how everything is reacting to help limit where the problem is coming from. I doubt you have a real time scanner to do this.

As far as the phone, it would make things easier, but I'm not permitted to do it.
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 AT 8:42 AM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
Yes the fuel pressure was down when they put it on the scanner but after the fuel filter wAs changed it went up. They put it on the computer it got the trouble code p0300 which was random misfire. We have not checked the crank sensor. I was wondering if it could be the fuel injectors because we replaced spark plugs then decided to change the coil pack so we rechecked the spark plugs and the two plugs on the inside were still brand new but the two on the outside had black on them like maybe only two were getting spark.
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
I just don't know what else to check or replace because I've already replaced 5 or 6 things and I know it's difficult to help troubleshoot a vehicle problem over the internet
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 AT 1:05 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Since the problem happened all at once, I doubt the injectors are at fault. The random misfire tells me that sometimes the plugs are working and not other. I don't want to misguide you, but I have a feeling it has something to do with the crank or cam sensor. The only way to be sure is to check the vehicle with a scanner when it is running to see how the sensors are reacting.
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 AT 5:26 PM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
We replaced the crankshaft position sensor and it made no difference. My car does not use the camshaft sensor so that's one part I can check off the list. :)
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Friday, November 28th, 2014 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I don't want you to have to replace parts to see if they are bad. Is there anyway you could get your hands on a real time scanner? If you can, we can check to see how sensors are responding.

Also, have you noticed any coolant consumption or white smoke from the exhaust?
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Friday, November 28th, 2014 AT 6:05 PM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
I took the car to a friend who is a mechanic and he can't figure it out either. I don't understand how it could be this hard to figure it out. I'm not sure if he used a real time scanner but he hooked it up to some type of computer that said the car has a random misfire in going to check if he has a real time scanner. Since I wrote you last the guy cleaned the fuel injectors and put a fuel pressure regulator on it. The coolant seems to stay the same and I haven't noticed any white smoke. I have spent so much money and it's still not fixed. My friend/mechanic said they tested the cylinders and they all have even compression. I think he is about to give up on it to or put new parts on til he finds out what it is or I go broke. I do appreciate your help and I know you don't want me to go about it by buying a bunch of parts until I get the right one I'm just thinking which part will be the one that fixes it. Just a reminder so u don't have to go back and read old posts this is what has been replaced so far and in order of replacement.
Ect sensor
Thermostat
Fuel filter
Spark plugs
Cat converter
Coil packs
Crankshaft sensor
Fuel injectors
Fuel rail
Fuel pressure regulator
The car is lacking power and it's running to me like a sewing machine and the code from the obd is p0300 random misfire
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Sunday, November 30th, 2014 AT 10:01 AM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
I asked the guy working on car said it was a real time scanner and all it says is random misfire.
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Sunday, November 30th, 2014 AT 10:17 AM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
Oh by the way the radiator cooling fan comes on as soon as you start the car even on cold start and the a.C. And defrost are turned off.
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Sunday, November 30th, 2014 AT 10:26 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Ask your mechanic if he can check to see how the cam sensor is reacting using his scanner.
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Sunday, November 30th, 2014 AT 10:12 PM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
He put it on the real time scanner it still only said random misfire. We replaced the ignition coil module and it is running good no misfire and the check engine light went off. I drove it today and it ran great but the check engine light is back on so I will bring it back and get it on the scanner again.
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Monday, December 1st, 2014 AT 10:02 AM
Tiny
JAMIELYNN79
  • MEMBER
Oh by the way the car does not use a cam sensor
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Monday, December 1st, 2014 AT 10:05 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
When you use the scanner, you are watching how the different sensors react while the vehicle is running and not to read codes.
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 AT 5:15 AM

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