check engine light

Asked by Jan 09, 2012 at 05:40 PM about the 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr GT Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I took my 1998 Pontiac Sunfire in to have a tune-up and to see why the check engine light had just come on over the week-end.  Upon review, I was told that there was a problem with the "flow" of fluids between the engine and the radiator.  They also told me that there was a major problem with the temperature of the fluid coming from the engine and the fluid going into the radiator.  They also informed me that the sensor had gone out and therefore couldn't tell the car how hot or cold it was running.  Then the bad news.....not counting the tune-up which was originally why I took the car in, it would cost approximmately $400+.  Does this sound correct?  The car is 14 years old with 187,000+ miles; I paid a $1000 for the car 4 years ago.  I feel like I'm being taken advantage of.  Does any of this sound right?  

3 Answers


Sounds like they are saying it might have a bad thermostat and a failed coolant temp sensor. If you know the error codes it could help verify their diagnosis. I would definitely get a second opinion because that sounds pricey for non-dealer repairs.


1st of all the check engine light has nothing to do with having the car tuned up, that usually indicates a bad sensor,they should have told you which one.the flow of coolant from the engine to the radiator,how did they determin that? it sounds like they're trying to sucker you into a waterpump job,thats what pushes the anti freeze through the system,is you are not overheating or leaking antifreeze i wouldnt worry about it. do you have a tempeture guage ?,is it working? a temp sensor is about 16.00 at auto take no more than 10 minutes to install if your blind & have one arm,lol j/k.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I agree with Rucko. Coolant flow and temperature problem are likely to be water pump or thermostat failure and, typically, not related to a check engine lamp. Get another opinion or at least a determination of what your service center believes is the cause of the problem they told you about.

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