Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

3.7

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,559 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Pontiac Sunfire electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Pontiac Sunfire:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Pontiac Sunfire Owner Comments

problem #16

Jul 032014

Sunfire

  • 180,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Every time I let my car sit for 2 hours or more, I start it up and the belt on the tensioner squeak for 15 seconds. Also the battery light comes on and the rim fluctuate between 1,000 and 2,000. When I drive it the battery light will continue to stay on but every time the air bag light turns on and I'm accelerating the engine will not shift, the rpms will rev up to red line if pushed that far, eventually the light for airbag and battery will shut off and it will shift. Sometimes when I hit the gas pedal while this is doing this at night, my dashboard as well as radio lights will shut off until rpms go down to 2,000.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #15

Jul 032014

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • 12,760 miles
I was driving home from vernon down's casino and was making a right and was about to switch into third gear the RPM's where 3000 and the engine just died........ maugeri''s auto on albany and bleeker St. Towed my car to his shop fixed the steering column as a result of the engine dieing the window's wont roll up and the interior just got soaked in wet in the rain after on the date of 7/714 paid almost a grand for towing and steering column in the vehicle. I am a recipient of the traumatic brain injury program and use the vehicle to and from my structured day as well as my neurologist as well as my hematologist who's offices are 57 miles away from my house it is going to be very uncomfortable to drive to my dr. Appt. In the morning... I am on social security disability and a fixed income receiver less then 700 dollars a month... updated 2/6/2015

- Frankfort, NY, USA

problem #14

Sep 082012

Sunfire

  • 100,000 miles
I have been driving a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire since 2008. My family bought it brand new with only 27 miles on it. Every winter when it is really cold, the temperature gauge would not always reset itself after the car was turned off. This would result in the fuel gauge going all over the place but eventually it would reset itself. However, in September of 2012, all of my gauges on my dash went all over the place. My temperature gauge has since spun completely around and is stuck on the plastic from the dash. Also, my speedometer is now not resetting itself. It has said that I was at 40 mph while sitting at a stop light. I do know that the temperature has dropped which could be effecting things but this issue is just plain annoying anymore. I can deal with the fuel gauge not working, I can use my mileage to figure that out. But the speedometer not working is a real issue for me.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #13

Jan 012010

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Failure to the headlight harness, with time, corrosion attack the headlight harness. Which will cause the headlight intensity to lower or worst, total headlight failure. That mean that you can be driving at night and totally lose your headlight. This defect has been repaired 4 times now, and I need to have it repaired a 5th time April 2004.

- Deschambault-Grondine, 00, USA

problem #12

Feb 282009

Sunfire

  • miles
2003 Pontiac Sunfire. Headlamps do not work. Found out thru internet search this is a common problem on this vehicle. There are multiple wiring problems with this vehicle that GM should fix (fog lamps as well). The lamps already went out a couple of times before. It is a safety hazard because if this happens at night you have no lights. GM keeps skirting around the issue until your warranty runs out then it costs you more money than you have to get it fixed. Very, very, very frustrating. Just do a internet search for Sunfire headlight problems/do not work/ etc. And you'll see.

- Anytown, MI, USA

problem #11

Jan 102009

Sunfire

  • miles
I have had alot of shortages on my 2003 Pontiac Sunfire. I have been researching on line and there have been alot of similar issues. Such as power window shortages, high beam and low beam shortages, the locks, and issues with the dashboard gauges not working. I feel that this is to many issues with shortages and it is a safety issue.

- Three Rirvers, MI, USA

problem #10

Jul 152003

Sunfire

  • 1,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The 2003 Pontiac Sunfire is an inferior car. Mine currently has approx 57,000 miles on the odometer. The day after I purchased it brand new, it would not start. The dealer came out and replaced the battery. The car had white paint overspray on it. The dealer repainted it. The sunroof malfunctioned and the dealer fixed it. The turn signals kept going out & it was fixed due to the recall. The dash had to be taken out due to the fact that the air was not coming out of the vents properly. The power window driver's side failed completely around 38,000 miles & passenger intermittently would not work. This was fixed at my expense. The car has been in the shop for brake problems numerous times. I had the dealer check them several times while still under warranty and they finally replaced them at their cost because they said it should not be necessary given the mileage on the car. I've had brakes replaced two other times at my expense and they are still squeaking and creaking very loudly and I'm told the brake pads are "cracked" but that it won't hurt anything. Now, the new problem is, the radio quit playing for 15 minutes after the car is turned off and you're in it. When I come to a complete stop, my dome light and map lights come on and stay on until I let off the brake and accelerate. Also, the horn no longer honks when I lock the car with the remote. I've had it up to here with this car but cannot afford to get rid of it since I just paid it off in July 2008. I will never buy another Pontiac!

- New Whiteland, IN, USA

problem #9

Jul 222008

Sunfire

  • 18,000 miles
2005 headlights went out when driving at night - Pontiac dealer wrapped harness with electrical tape. Stated it was from washer fluid leaking. Approx 12 months later incident occur again. Taken to another dealer on request of Pontiac. Re-wrap harness different area. Service light on 2 weeks ago. Dealer wrapped entire harness. Pontiac service notified several times complaint numbers obtained. Safety issue as lights go out. Wiring harness deteriorated. Bandaided 3X. Concern re: Lights going out again at night. Feel this is a dangerous situation.

- Warren, MA, USA

problem #8

Sep 292007

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driving to the store one night I realized halfway there, my dash light behind the fuel gage was almost out and then realized everything illuminated by my headlights looked very dim, like they weren't on, just my fog lights. I pulled over to find that it was just my fog lights, I had no low beams yet the switch showed my lights to be on. Thankfully no police were around, I've been told driving without your lights on is a red flag to the police that you may be driving drunk or driving recklessly, which neither was the case. Luckily a friend was driving behind me and pulled over at the same time. We both looked at it and then he had to help me get back home, didn't know I had high beams still. I've tried everything to figure out what's wrong and still working on it 6 months later. I'm now on a disability income and can't just bring it to the dealer/mechanic to see if they may or may not be able to fix it and end up with an outrageous bill, especially if I have to keep going back. I was doing research to see if I missed a recall or an article stating the problem & fix with this issue when I found this website and see that it has an awful lot of the same complaints as mine. Kind of a relief. After reading most of them, I still haven't found a comment/complaint that says exactly what the issue is and if it's expensive. If I'm not the only Pontiac owner with this issue and at a loss, what should I do next besides the obvious" is there an actual fix for this problem that I haven't read/found yet or when there is one, will I/we be notified"

- Johnston, RI, USA

problem #7

Mar 012006

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
I purchased the car in October 2003 and the car was great. In March 2006 I started having problems where the car when attempted to start would take a few seconds extra and then start, then 6 months later I was driving down the street and the car just cut off in the middle of an intersection. The car restarted about 10 minutes later. Then in November this started happening more an more frequently. One night in December the car cut off and would not restart at all. I was able to pull of the road. I waited an hour and still the car would not start. I came back the next day and the car would not start. I got the car towed to a mechanic who said that he thought it was the fuel pump so I replaced that and the car worked for 2 days and then the same problem again. He then tested the car and saw there was no power going to the fuel pump. I had him do a temporary fix and run a line from the battery to the fuel pump so the car would still start. Then everything else slowly started to fail. The air bag light would come on intermittently and now stays on. One low beam headlight went out and then the other followed by my high beam totally. My front left turn signal went then the rear right followed by the front right. My horn no longer works. I don't know if my airbags would deploy if I was in an accident. The windshield wiper recently stopped working as well.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #6

Apr 192007

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Failure is in the left and right dim headlights. The left went out 1 week ago. The service light came on and there was a constant clicking noise until the lights were turned on (similar sound when turn signal lamps go out). The bulb was replaced and the service light went off. The light still did not work and the clicking noise was the same. The old bulb did not have the filament burnt out. Today the right bulb has done the same thing. Both bulbs have been replaced and still the same results. No headlights. Bright headlights still work. Luckily this happened during the day else my wife would have had a heck of a time getting around and avoiding an accident due to loss of visibility. Currently this condition still exists and we are swapping vehicles to play the drive during daylight game. From the research I have found this is fairly common to the Pontiac Sunfire. Poor electrical wiring harness.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #5

Apr 162005

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Was driving on the freeway, traveling at 70 mph and all of the lights both dash and exterior went out and the engine stopped. Pulled to the side of the highway and tried to restart the car, no luck. Waited for 30 minutes and tried to restart it and it started up, but when I got up to 40mph, it repeated what it did before, pulled to the side of the road and waited another 15 minutes and it started again, and it did it again. Again I pulled to the side of the road and waited, then it started, and I finally got it to an exit off of the highway. It would only run at 25mph, anything above that it would repeat the same symptoms as above. The next day after leaving the car sit overnight, it started just fine, ran just fine, except the engine light came on. Took it to the dealership, and they reset the computer, the code read that it was running to lean, they checked, but could not find any problems. The car will not run above 70mph, this has happened three times since the first incident. The only repairs that were done, were the recalls already on file for this vehicle.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #4

Feb 162004

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,178 miles
Bought a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire in Oct 2003. From Feb of 2004 to Feb 2005 it has been in the service dept of franklin motor co in jasper al a total of five times for the same problem. The car dies in the middle of the hwy. For no reason. Almost got rear ended at one point, was turning across traffic on a four lane hwy and it dies across 2 lanes. Can not make the car mimic the problem at any time but dealership will not take responsibility because it has not done it with them while being driven by them. Have gone thru arbitration which was a joke, was told because our complaint letter reached GM company in Nov of 2004 that our year according to the lemon law was up. It didn't matter that we had tried to get them to do something about it for the last year.lawyer for GM company said the car was not a hazard because there had not been an accident. They have replaced resonator and pipe assembly, compressor assembly, & module, PCM/vcm all on 4/5/04.upped idle from 725rpm to 925-950 RPM on 5/28/04. Replace valve, idle air control on 3/23/2004

- Winfield, AL, USA

problem #3

Jun 042004

(reported on)

Sunfire

  • miles
While driving 55 mph all lights from the vehicle turned off. The consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle and pulled over. The consumer turned off the vehicle and was unable to start it up again. Vehicle was taken to the dealer the next day for inspection and the mechanic could not duplicate the problem. The problem recurred.

- Sullivan, OH, USA

problem #2

May 172003

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Rear seat is broken runk latch is broken. Warranty was not honored.

- Chadron, NE, USA

problem #1

Jul 032003

(reported on)

Sunfire

  • miles
The vehicle experienced problem with the turn signal on six occasions. The turn signals and brake lights were inoperative.

- Washington, DC, USA

Not what you are looking for?