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Pontiac Sunfire Looses Power – Engine Bogs Down

Reader Question

Hello my name is Joseph I got a 1995 Pontiac Sunfire with 4 cylinder 2.2L engine with a 3 speed transmission… Here for about a couple of months there’s been some severe hesitation every time i tried to take off or accelerate .. (WORSE when the engine is at normal temp) and it seems like its getting worse. When the engine is cold it will run fine.

When the car get’s to normal temp and I try to accelerate the engine seems like its not getting enough power and acts like its gonna stall then once i get going it comes back and runs fine but every time i stop at a traffic light or stop sign and go to accelerate it does that its gonna stall type.. So for I’ve tested the TPS I’ve took a part the intake and cleaned it.

Checked all vacuum lines and no leaks, changed the fuel filter and ran a fuel pressure test (40 PSI it tested) unplugged the O2 sensor drove it and made no difference so i plunged it back in, and Changed out the EGR Valve, put sea foam into the gas and ran it threw my vacuum lines( to try to break up any carbon).. I’m outta options and I don’t know where else to look for this hesitation problem and I’m scared to drive it anywhere anymore cause i don’t know if its just gonna die and I’m not gonna be able to start it again… any ideas would be awesome… Thanks Joe

Hey there Joe,

I know you checked it BUT my gut tells me you probably have lack of fuel pressure when this happens. Fuel pump failure on these vehicles is pretty common. I would look harder at lack of fuel control for this problem.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

9 Comments on "Pontiac Sunfire Looses Power – Engine Bogs Down"

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  1. Mike says:

    Hello, I’m having the same problem as the first guy that started this with the same exact car. I have a 95 Pontiac Sunfire as well with the same engine. It idles fine in both park, drive, neutral, and reverse, but as soon as I give it gas, it wants to sputter and sound like its going to die out. Occasionally, it has died at stop signs and lights, but will fire back up. I’ve tried to floor it and it just sputters. I’ve eased my foot into it and it sputters till it hits 2K rpm in first gear and then drives like normal until i have to stop again. It seems like it wants to “bog” or Hang up in the first initial 2k rpm, but after that she runs fine until as I said, I have to stop. Then it repeats the same process. I can’t see it being fuel related since it runs fine after that 2000rpm, but I could be wrong. I’m thinking either a tranny problem or something to do with the acceleration process, like a throttle sensor or something. Any help would be awesome. About two years ago, I had the tranny rebuilt, about a year ago, I took the engine apart and replaced all the seals and gaskets if that’s any help. It’s ran fine till about 3 months ago and the problem seems to be getting worse.

    • By Austin Davis says:

      If you dont have a check engine light on, or any computer codes stored in memory OR any obvious engine missfiring going on (due to spark plugs or plug wires) then I would first start with checking the fuel pressure and volume with a manual pressure gauge on the fuel rail of the engine. From what you tell me, it kinda sounds like a weak fuel pump but it could be a fuel control issue….I.E. oxygen sensor, Throttle position sensor etc. but I would rule out the pump first.

      Sometimes you can bang on the bottom of the fuel tank with your fist or a block of wood AS the problem is happening. If the engine changes RPM, you have a problem with the pump. Of course be VERY careful doing this and I would not recommend doing it in gear 🙂

  2. shane says:

    also if u car only gose a certen speed and dose not like to go faster ur catalact converter mite be cloggd also cause for power loss and bogging out on the freeway

  3. Sam says:

    Hello. I have a 2006 range Rover HSE and the passenger seat stop working suddenly. I try all the seat controls and just hear a click but no movement at all. The driver seat works fine. I didn’t think it would be a fuse since the drivers seat still works? Not sure what it could be but I would like to fix it myself as the warranty is up.

    • Austin says:

      I would suspect you have a bad passenger seat motor….or there is something stuck under the seat not allowing the motor to move. each seat has a separate motor.

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