2003 Pontiac Sunfire Trac Off/Engine Light

Asked by Aug 15, 2011 at 11:50 AM about the 2003 Pontiac Sunfire Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

For the past week the trac off and engine light on my sunfire has constantly stayed lit upon starting the car and during driving. The car is running fine/driving fine, no strange sounds or anything like that. These lights came on a few days after I had new rear brakes installed. I don't know if that would have anything to do with it. Any idea on what could be the problem?

22 Answers


trac and check engine or trac off and abs. if trac off and abs light is on 99 times out of 100 its a wheel speed sensor. buy an abs brake scanner or take it to a shop. you can individually check to see if each sensor is producing voltage by removing each wheel and probing each sensor with a DVOM while spinning the hub to see if the sensor is producing voltage and yes its a huge pain. the auto traction control and abs system rely on a reading from each wheel speed sensor to know what it needs to do if you have an intermittent wheel speed sensor it will make your low trac light come on, and activate your abs. a dead sensor will turn on ur two lights. your vehicle also has a service light and a check engine light usually the service light comes on when an exterior light is burnt out so the service light would have nothing to do with your traction

7 people found this helpful.

Ok my Daughters Sunfire has the same issue and I replaced both front sensors and the Wires harnesses on both sides. The Wheel Bearings (Hubs) are fine with no movement for wear and no noise on the road. Could I have a bad sensor in back or the controls module is bad. The rear sensors are built into the hub. I tested the wires from rear to front and they are ok. Now the lights come on right away then some times they don't until you drive a little ways. Help

8 people found this helpful.

Could be the sensors in the rear, could be the wires, could be many other things. Get the codes pulled with an abs code scanner, auto parts stores sell them but don't use them for pulling codes. Either fork over the $200 for the scanner or go to a local repair shop and get the codes pulled and an estimate to fix it.


By the way if the trac off light is on but the abs and brake light are off then it's not a wheel speed sensor.

6 people found this helpful.

I have a Code Scanner and there are no codes? I have tested wires from back to front and they test ok? My only two options are the rear sensors or the Control Module ABS Unit. I have all three lights on ABS Track and Engine.

4 people found this helpful.

And no codes are popping up for the check engine or the ABS? You need a scanner designed specifically for scanning brake codes. An ordinary code scanner won't access the abs or brake codes.

1 people found this helpful.

My wife had the same issue with her sunfire, come to find out the fuse for the cooling fan was blown. I replace the fuse, the engine and traction lights turn off, then it would blow the fuse and the light came back on. I finally found that the cooling fan motor was bad which kept causing the fuse to blow. Replaced the motor, and never have had this issue again. It would never give me a code, I just happen to notice it was starting to run hot. I am still confused on why the cooling fan motor would prevent the traction control from working.

7 people found this helpful.

my 2001 sunfire has the same trac off light problem. the difference i am having is when the light comes on the car will not shift and runs over 3000 rpm. when this happens i pull over turn off the engine for about 10-15 seconds. then restart and the light is off. when i put it into gear it bangs like it is having trouble shifting into the gear. then when i get going it is fine. has just started doing this in the last 2 months. it happens about every other day. last week i had to pull over 3 times while driving to work. HELP PLEASE!!

32 people found this helpful.

my 20o1 Sunfire is doing the exact same thing as Steph S(^above post^) does anyone have the answer for us? Like StephS said...HELP PLEASE!!

8 people found this helpful.

Check engine light on?

2 people found this helpful.

Yes. What my boyfriend did was take off the wheels and clean the wheel speed sensors. I think that's what they are called. They were VERY dirty. After he put the wheels back on, no Trac off light. That was in the end of June early July I think. Since then the trac off light has not come on and the engine is running fine. Besides being in need of an oil change she runs like a top!

2 people found this helpful.

Rick, I just had to replace a wire to my shift 1-2 shift solonoid. I just had my wheel hub replaced and my trac light and abs light are on as well. I will try cleaning speed sensor and if that doesn't work I will replace it

1 people found this helpful.

My TC light stays lit, little throttle response, shifts early at WOT. What is fix?


Have you cleaned or replaced the wheel speed sensors? That was what needed done for my sunfire.

Was your check engine light on as well with the traction control light? I have not looked at the ABS sensors.


i think it was... but i'm not certain. It was 2 years ago.


i just looked above and the post from 2 years ago does say that the check engine light was on.

Do you recall the code from the engine light? I am getting P0122 (low voltage to TPS).


That sounds familiar. But I am not sure.

Well, the poor running, and poor idle, was caused by a broken wire, behind the radiator, that goes to the TPS. Go figure. 2 hrs. labor to find the problem, less than a buck to repair!

Does the trac off on a Pontiac Sunfire 2000 have anything to do with the oxygen sensor that's what it's saying I just put a new one on there


I have had these 2 lights come on a few times..car idles hard usually fast and shifts like it wants to break your neck..once was for a throttle position sensor..another time..air intake sensor..usually these lights come on when there is a problem with a sensor somewhere..and a lot of times scanners won't pick it up... especially if you disconnect the battery to try and remedy the problem..if you haven't tried resetting the computer by disconnecting the battery..it should give you a code to get ya in the general area. When my throttle sensor started acting up..my car would shift all the time when driving..rpms fluctuated constantly...trac and engine light came on car would do break neck shifting and sometimes would stall at a light. But it never threw a code..found the problem by scouring the internet for similar conditions.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Sunfire in your area?

CarGurus has 203 nationwide Sunfire listings starting at $1,000.


Pontiac Sunfire Experts

  • #1
    John Saffrahn
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Cavalier
589 listings starting at $2,900
Used Pontiac Firebird
7 Great Deals out of 674 listings starting at $3,695
Used Honda Civic
333 Great Deals out of 52,980 listings starting at $1,200
Used Pontiac Grand Am
723 listings starting at $1,700
Used Ford Mustang
270 Great Deals out of 37,082 listings starting at $2,150
Used Pontiac Grand Prix
4 Great Deals out of 1,805 listings starting at $2,008
Used Pontiac GTO
359 listings starting at $2,950
Used Chevrolet Camaro
224 Great Deals out of 28,923 listings starting at $3,900

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.