Stalling Sunfire

Tiny
SUNFIRE_OWNER
  • MEMBER
  • PONTIAC SUNFIRE
Car: 2001 Pontiac Sunfire SLX 4 door automatic with 100500 KM's with the 2.2L ecotec inline 4. The car has had regular service over the entire span.

I had service done (power steering flush, fuel system flush and replace fuel filter and lower control arm bushining replaced) on a thursday. Driving on the high to work the next day (average speed 115km/h) the car just died. There was power for lights etc, but no engine. THere was no warning either, just a sudden and complete loss of power, there were no warning lights. It happened 4 times on the 45 minute commute. The car would restart after it was brought to a stop.

Brought it to a garage where they couldn't repeat the problem but did notice the stored code for a failing O2 Sensor which was replaced. The drive home that friday was fine.

little to no driving on the weekend. Went to work on the tuesday and the car did the same thing, but there was a minute flutter before it stalled, however it would no longer remain on afterwards. On half the trip it stalled out 8 times when I finally got it towed.

the garage found a new code for "lean fuel". THe only similarties were the -20C weather on both morning commutes. I had a full tank on both days as well from 2 different stations.

Looking for suggestions! Thanks in advance.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 6:24 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
The lean code means too much air or not enough fuel. Since they just did some work to the fuel system, there are a couple thoughts I have.
Did changing the fuel filter have any effect on the pump has it been clogged? So did they check the fuel pressure?

PArt of the "fuel system flush" (not sure what they mean?) May be removing the air snorkel to access the thottle body. I would want to check for anything not tight or not connected to the air snorkel or manifold. This would cause a vacuum leak and allow too much air.
There may have been an intake cleaner used that is directed the a vacuum line, often the brake booster, check that line as well.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 6:41 PM
Tiny
SUNFIRE_OWNER
  • MEMBER
Thanks paul

the garage still has the car so I am trying to see what they say and go from there. They were at a loss to explain the problem and were thinking fuel pump but wanted to exhaust all options before replacing it.

The fuel system flush as it was described to me was cleaning the nozzles of the fuel injector, replacing the fuel filter etc. When I had the 02 sensor replaced that garage figured the stalling was caused by loose carbon floating around and that it should "work itself out". Both garages that it has been to have been GM dealerships.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 8:27 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Seems like they took the same intital jump I did, fuel pressure will reveal that if they check it when the problem is happening. Still possible on the other sources yet.

Post the fix.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 8:33 PM
Tiny
SUNFIRE_OWNER
  • MEMBER
Sadly the garage had the car for 3 full days and couldn't recreate the problem. They had the lead mechanic on the job and re-traced and exhausted most of the testing options.

The garage instructed me to keep checking the fuel pump with the pre-ignition listen test. They advised against having the fuel pump replaced since the stalling couldn't be recreated during several road tests nor through diagostic work and the shear cost of the replacement job.

The car spent 3 full days in the shop and they provided a loaner, all at no cost to me.

Sadly though since I commute I do not trust the car any more! I realize it may be a coincidence about the stall and the timing of the maintence, but I find it hard not to see a cause and effect relationship.

It is too bad since I really liked the car!

Thanks to Paul who responded and the mechanics who worked on the car.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 2nd, 2007 AT 3:45 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Here is a thought. Is there a family member or someone that is in a postion that a no start won't be the end of the world for them?
Perhaps you can swap for a short period until the problem occurs. Then it can be diagnosed. This stuff happens.

Picture this: You change cars, you get half way to work and the "new" car quits. Now what? Get another car?

I have seen this EXACT scenario I described happen. The old car was replaced with a BRAND NEW one.

Maybe, when it happens the garage can send a guy to test it on the spot, we don't want to this at our shop, but will under these circumstances.

I really urge you to not give up.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 2nd, 2007 AT 5:06 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides