why does my temperature gauge peg way past hot?

20

Asked by Mar 06, 2015 at 09:06 AM about the 1986 Pontiac Sunbird GT Turbo

Question type: General

I have a rare '86 non turbocharged Pontiac Sunbird GT. After the
engine warms up, the "check gauges" light lights up, and the
temperature gauge pegs way past hot even though the car is not
overheating.  I replaced the temperature sending unit, drove the car
about a dozen miles with a combination of surface streets and
freeway driving.  At about 160 degrees the fault occurred again.  The
next step is to replace the more expensive temperature switch. This
is not the fan switch.  In 1986 Pontiac saw fit to make all Sunbirds
turbocharged, as standard. This 1.8 (112 cu in) engine is in a non
turbocharged  77K mile survivor car. Pontiac produced 118,118
Sunbird two door coupes, including the LE and SE models. Of that
number, I don't know many were GT's and how many were ordered
without a turbocharger. A search across the US and Canada
produced zero '86 Pontiac Sunbirds for sale, anywhere.  So the pool
of people with same car is nil, much less the non turbocharged 1.8
engine.
I sort of chimed in here because I saw that someone was having the
same problem,  albeit with a much newer Pontiac. I have yet to see a
solution here. Has anyone an idea or two?

3 Answers

7,755

have you flushed the cooling system and replaced the thermostat

20

I believe I have solved the problem. I am pretty sure it's the temperature switch. Apparently, the computer freaks out when the cooling fan doesn't kick in when the computer thinks it should. I'll replace the temperature switch tomorrow and test it out. I had already replaced the temperature sending unit. I'll update the results. Thanks for the thoughtful input.

I have one of those 86 non turbo GT convertible and now having the same problem.... I have 2 both GT convertibles one a turbo and one is not.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • why does my temperature gauge peg way past hot? 3 answers

    I have a rare '86 non turbocharged Pontiac Sunbird GT. After the engine warms up, the "check gauges" light lights up, and the temperature gauge pegs way past hot even though the car is not overheat...

    1986 Pontiac Sunbird GT Turbo

    -

    General

  • I've given up on restoring my 93 Sunbird convertible.... 9 answers

    My wife wants me to send it to the junkyard, but I'm having a hard time doing that. Is there a market for used Sunbird parts?

    1993 Pontiac Sunbird 2 Dr SE Convertible

    -

    General

  • overheatednowwontstartturnsoverrealfast 1 answer

    driving on hyw. engine light come on look at temp all the to top stop to check water it was full drove a little longer to house and died in drive way now won't start turns over fast not like normal ...

    1994 Pontiac Sunbird

    -

    General

  • why does it seem like my car is making an overheating noise but thermostat gauge doesnt show hot 3 answers

    my car sounds like it is overheating by making a bubbling noise when i shut it off, but the thermostat guage does not show overheating

    1988 Pontiac Sunbird GT Turbo Convertible

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1989 idling too fast 1 answer

    I was driving when my car started increasing the idle. I can't get it to go back to a normal idle. I changed the fuel filter, could that have effected something.

    1989 Pontiac Sunbird

    -

    General

Sunbird

Looking for a Used Sunbird in your area?

CarGurus has 10 nationwide Sunbird listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

ZIP:

Search Pontiac Sunbird Questions

Pontiac Sunbird Experts

#1 skindesign
skindesign
Reputation 170
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 110
#3 bigant420
bigant420
Reputation 70
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Pontiac Firebird
4 Great Deals out of 768 listings starting at $1,791
Used Ford Mustang
543 Great Deals out of 45,845 listings starting at $1,999
Used Chevrolet Camaro
242 Great Deals out of 31,193 listings starting at $369
Used Chevrolet Cavalier
1,014 listings
Used Chevrolet Corvette
149 Great Deals out of 20,681 listings starting at $3,995
Used Pontiac Grand Prix
30 Great Deals out of 2,863 listings starting at $1,600
Used Toyota Corolla
860 Great Deals out of 70,584 listings starting at $1,874

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.