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Pedal To The Metal But Car Won't Accelerate


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
121,167 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. problem is not on the transmission or coolant,its the brake! (1 reports)
2003 Pontiac Sunfire transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Pontiac Sunfire Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 162014

Sunfire 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,886 miles


Driving my Sunfire down the highway like every other morning, went to pass a car at about 110 km/h and the tranny slipped, lost power and revolutions over 2500. I slowed down to 50 km/h, threw on the hazards and drop to the nearest gas station. I recently did a tranny fluid and filter change. I've heard that the brakes can cause this some how (???) no idea how that works. I'm throwing it up on my hoist tonight to investigate. Help?

- , Bethany, ON, canada

problem #1

Jun 152014

Sunfire Coupe 2.2L Inline4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,448 miles

click to see larger images

pedal to the metal but car won't accelerate

This car is a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire. I bought it on 2012 from Craigslist and had a mechanic check it. I had never experienced problems with it when I used it for my daily driving until now, it's June of 2014.

I was cruising on a highway, I don't usually drive on highways/freeways (normal use of this car is everyday less than 15km on 60-70km/hr max speeds) but it was a weekend so I tried to take my car for a spin. So I went driving and while I was driving at the highway/freeway, I pushed the car to 100km/hr for about 2-5 minutes. When I slowed down to make an exit and join another highway, I noticed that the car won't speed up anymore. It is still moving though. I have already merged to a new highway and I am still freakin doing 60km/hr. I barely reached 70km/hr and that was a 80km/hr highway. So I was wondering "what the heck", so I pushed the gas all the way down but still the car won't get any faster. I was already building a "convoy" at my back because I'm so slow. I stayed on the right lane of course. So I was a bit panicked and I was lucky the car didn't stall on the highway.

I reached my exit and joined my local road and as I approached the stoplight.... I stop, I noticed a burnt smell and a bit of steam (not too much) coming out of my hood and I was like, oh come on baby, don't give up on me. First instinct is to check my temperature, its 95 degrees, this is normal, it's only half the readings. Engine is not overheating, I got enough coolant. I talked to my car, ala Nicholas Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds, "car take me home, take me home." Anyway, so the car still moved at a slow pace and I was able to reach my house. I opened the hood and man, I do smell something is burnt here. I check the oil level, its OK. I checked brake fluid, its OK. I checked coolant (it's OK) so everything is OK. By the way, for some reason, GM made it that you can't check the level of the ATF (automatic transmission fluid) on this car. and that's the only theory left for me that was burnt. I went to buy ATF and pour some, then drove the car in my parking place, revved it up, drove forward and backward, tried reverse, forward and sort of everything. It looks OK now but I won't be driving this to the highway/freeway again until my mechanic checks on it. Scary.

Update from Aug 11, 2014: changed the whole front brakes (brake pads, calipers, the rotors) and now car is okay.

- , Richmond, British Columbia, canada

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