NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Cooling System Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,333 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.

1998 Pontiac Sunfire cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1998 Pontiac Sunfire Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 142007

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


Coolant had been leaking for over 3 months off and on. Put in stop leak for a temp fix. However dexcool continued to eat away at my coolant system. Car has overheated on many occasions. Finally able to use jb weld to fix leak.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #5

Mar 122004

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
The temperature guage flutters from time to time. Then it will go all the way down to 0.when it starts to flutter again the engine seems to be racing. The tach. Guage will bounce about 200-300 prm. I also noticed that when the car is in park and you idle the engine up to about 3000 RPM, it acts like there is a rev limiter. It has never done that untill a few months ago. The check engin light has never come on until today. I changed plugs and plug wires and it didnt help at all.

- Wrightcity, OK, USA

problem #4

Aug 052003

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • miles
I've been having multiple problems with my 1998 Pontiac Sunfire GT. Last month I had a fuel injector and water hose go bad and need replaced. The suction hose pump for the ac was leaking and had to be replaced within the past 3 weeks. In the same time period, the compressor started leaking. I've had 2 different compressors put in, and both have leaked still. The 3rd compressor is being installed today, so we'll see whether it leaks too. A compressor should really last longer than 5 years, and I shouldn't have 3 compressors in a week trying to find one that doesn't leak. There's also a crack in the welding that needs to be fixed or it will start leaking. One of the fan parts went bad, so now level 1 on the fan adjustment doesn't work. This seems like alot of problems in a short timeframe, especially with 3 problems being for the air conditioning. I've contacted the Pontiac customer service department, and they contacted a dealership who said that problems should be expected after 5 years. Guess I thought they would build a better car. So far, I'm out $1900 and haven't had the fan or the welding crack fixed yet. I would appreciate any help that could be offered.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #3

Sep 071999


  • miles


I think you have a problem when you have a 2 year old car seems to be falling apart from the inside out. I originally owned my car for 3 months when the temp. Gauge zeroed out from a shorted out fuse. The next problem was odometer went blank and showed me symbols in 05/1999, and the electrical cluster was replaced. Later in 09/1999, my coolant system busted after a visit to the dealership, where I was told that cars are okay to reach the red line before it will overheat. Most of the coolant system was replaced and tests done. I did not trust the work, and took it to another GMC dealer, to find that the coolant temp. Sensor needed replaced, just 2 days later. Now in 08/2000, my odometer is showing the same old symbols, due to an electrical problem. My problem is electrical problems are right in front of me, and I am unaware of it. Also, some dealerships don't care to find the bad things, when it is warranty work. Wyatt johnson does not seem to be a people saving people establishment, if you cannot trust them to find their cars mistakes.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #2

Nov 291999


  • miles
When vehicle reached a normal temperature it caused hesitation. Vehicle has been in dealer's shop on two occasions, and had the clutch replaced between 1500-2000 miles. However, problem has reoccurred. Dealer wanted to replace the clutch again. Seeking help in NHTSA in this matter.

- Chapmanville, WV, USA

problem #1

Sep 231999


  • miles
The coolant light has continuously flashed for the past few days. The vehichle was returned to dealership in order to fix. The manual states that coolant should only be replaced at 155,000 miles or every 5 years. This is the third incident, which leads me to believe that the vehicle has a major malfunction. The previous incident, the oil was in the coolant and the coolant was in the oil. I am in the process of discussing this situation with the military legal services about my options. My vehichle should be ready this afternoon if the problem is fixed.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

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