Antilock Brakes Don't Work In The Rain


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
96,432 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
1997 Pontiac Sunfire brakes problems

brakes problem

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1997 Pontiac Sunfire Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 072012

Sunfire SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,158 miles


This piece of crap pontiac has given me so many problems in the one year I've owned the car.

I can barely come to a nice gentle stop because barely tapping the break makes the abs go crazy, and it feels like the wheel overreacts and locks up.

- , Duluth, GA, US

problem #4

Jul 012005

Sunfire V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My 97 Sunfire did great until I got to about 120,000 miles, then the right rear wheel started locking up, rain or shine, didn't matter. I didn't bother with a dealer but did take it to a reputable 'brake shop'. we drove that car forever, drove like a brand new car and they kept telling me that UNTIL it actually happened while THEY drove it, they had no clues. fine. took it to another place where someone noticed that the wheel was locking up when we pulled it inside the shop. They turned the rotors, did a few other things, charged me about $80 and sent me on my way. That lasted a few months then it started again. took it to a different place. the guy knew right away what the problem was, fixed it, charged me $30. fine. that lasted for about 8 months, then, when I would use the brakes, they sounded like someone knocking on a wooden door. WTF??? that stopped, then a strange knock started from under the hood, that stopped after a day or 2. Finally, getting a bit leary of driving it, I traded it in on a 2007 Santa Fe. Do I miss my Sunfire with all of its little problems? OH HELL YES! (hindsight is 20-20) I would buy that car back in a heartbeat if I knew where they'd wholesaled it out to, but that was 3 weeks ago. I'm sure with the price of gas, it sold pretty fast. I'm in the process of looking for a good, CLEAN, Sunfire, not junk, nothing that stinks of cigarettes, but a used one that someone actually took care of, for around $1000 - $2000 tops. I'll put up with the brake issues if need be.

Update from May 27, 2009: To the person who asked me via email what my mechanic did to my brakes to stop the 'locking up' in wet or dry weather....... he never told me what he did to it but did say that it was a very common problem with the sunfire and cavelier's. Whatever he did to temporarily fix the problem, it was just that, temporary, as there is no permanent way to fix the problem. It is a flaw in the design of the car. He told me that I would be bringing the car back to him for this temporary fix about every 3-9 months and suggested that I just get rid of the car. I still miss that car everyday, great fun to drive and so easy on gas but too dangerous to drive. I'm kind of glad now that I the car was sold right after being wholesaled out so that I didnt buy back my problems. (I was able to track where they wholesaled it out to) I just hope that the new ower is safe driving it.

- , Valley Park, MO, USA

problem #3

Oct 302006

(reported on)

Sunfire Coupe

  • Manual transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I just had my car inspected and they said the brake were fine. But whenever it is wet out the brakes don't work! i have almost had several accidents! This car is junk.

- , Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #2

Mar 122004

(reported on)


  • 90,000 miles

This is my wife's car and the brakes are really bad. We slid through 4 stop signs this winter! If there is any moisture, the brakes lock up, even at low mph! We have had the rotors resurfaced on multiple occasions and new brakes put on, but nothing fixes it. The Sunfire and Chevy Cavalier have the same chassis, and I have heard the same complaint from owners of both vehicles. I would not recomend that anyone buy a Sunfire. THEY ARE NOT SAFE!

- , Kirksville, MO, USA

problem #1

Nov 242001

(reported on)


  • 37,000 miles

Went to the dealer and they told me I needed new brakes. The car only had 10,000 miles on it. I work at a Auto repair shop, had my boss look at them said my brakes were fine. Went back to the dealer and they said there was nothing they could do beacause it didnt do it when they had it which is what they always say no matter what. They never would fix them,and they still do it in the summer when it rains every day. I'm just going to get a new car. The problem is that means someone else is going to drive a car that is not safe in the rain. I contacted Pontiac by e-mail and asked them if there had been any problems reported and they never returned my call.

- , Naples, FL, USA

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