2002 Pontiac Sunfire - Cranks, Won't Start, No Electrics

Asked by Feb 03, 2016 at 02:12 PM about the 2002 Pontiac Sunfire SL Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello. I have a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L 4DR. It was given to me by my cousin who was going to
junk it. I topped up all the fluids and drove it home, only about 5 minutes away. It actually worked
really well aside from the Power Steering and Coolant leaking. Anyway, I put it away for a couple
months and I've just gone out to run it and clear some cobwebs, but I can't get it to start. The
battery had gone flat in that time it was parked, so I charged it up. Now something seems to have
gone seriously wrong with the  electrics.

Here's what doesn't work:
- Starting engine (it'll crank fine)
- Headlights
- Console lights
- Console gauges
- UNLOCK on driver door (all other doors will lock/unlock when the button is pressed, but the driver
side will not unlock, weird)
- Radio (radio is stock, no activity from TheftLock light)
- All inside lights

I got it to start once by pushing the door lock button to LOCK (really) and everything kicked in and
the engine started, but it sounded a little rough. Everything came to life (lights, gauges, etc...) but
that was the only time it started.
Otherwise the only light I see is the check  engine light which flickers slightly when ON. It does crank
but the engine won't start.

I visually inspected all the fuses (waiting for my multi-meter to be returned) and they looked fine. My
battery charger (some MotoMaster smart charger with a de-sulphication feature, ooh) says it
charges at about ~12.5v.

Turning the ignition to ON I can hear a slight hum which I believe is the fuel pump turning on.

Today I went to troubleshoot again but now the check engine light doesn't come at all, and the only
lights working on the console are the left/right turn signals/hazards.

I hooked up my dad's OBD Reader but it's not communicating with that car. It works on our 2 trucks
so it has to be the fault of the Sunfire. I also found a black wire with a 2-pin connector on it hanging
freely under the dash but I can't see where it might connect so I have no idea what that is for.

It worked perfectly fine when I parked it a few months ago, so I don't know what went wrong in that
time. The battery was also brand new.

I'd really appreciate some ideas on what to do. I'm pretty green when it comes to cars. My dad can
fix most things though, but he's stumped as well.

4 Answers


Make sure battery and battery connections all good, no voltage drops. Sometimes you could have too much battery drain with everything off? You'd have to check for amp draw. Any circuit that is fuse controlled, check for voltage on the fuse circuit. Some fuse circuits are hot all the time, some go hot with the key on. Use a testlight to check for voltage. Even if the fuse is good, if no voltage on the fuse circuit, the circuit is still dead. If it cranks good but won't start, have a helper crank it, while you check for spark at the spark plugs. If spark everywhere, use a gage and check proper fuel pressure and fuel injector pulse. I realize some makes and models it can be a pain to check spark. Some there is no Schrader valve on the fuel line, you use proper fittings to tee into fuel supply line. Your obd2 datalink connector, pin 16 is voltage, that circuit is usually fuse protected. If no voltage the code reader won't work. Pins 4 and 5 are grounds. I know I been talking about voltage but grounds are important, also.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

OK, I will go through those when I get my multi-meter back. Another odd thing I just remembered is when I did have the check engine light on, pushing in the cigarette lighter by the steering wheel made the light stop, removing it turned it back on. Thanks for the info.

Maybe some one tried to hot wire it??????

Haha I doubt it. We're out in the country and it's been locked all winter. It doesn't look like it's been tampered with. Either way they wouldn't have gotten far it didn't have any coolant or power steering fluid in the reservoirs. Nothing looks out of the ordinary so that's why it's odd but I haven't had a chance to go back and work on it.

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