Question about 2002 Pontiac Sunfire

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2002 pontiac sunfire

I have a 2002 pontiac sunfire. Lately my car has been stalling when im stuck in traffic and barely moving. First the traffic light will come on. If i give it a little gas it will keep rolling but **** when changing gears. If i have to stop the check engine light and the oil light will come on. The steering wheel then locks up and the car comes to a stop. When i turn the ignition it starts right back up. The check engine light stays on sometimes but it runs. Everyonce in awhile it repeats itself a couple of minutes later. Some people were telling me it could be the oxygen sensor. I just want to know what i need to get fixed or looked at so to avoid this problem in the future. Thanks in advance.

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The problem sounds like it is in the ignition switch and the detent that keeps the key turned on I would check with a locksmith first and Then the dealer

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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Is the gas pedal is sticking? The throttle body is likely pretty cruddy if it is. If it gets that \\\dirty it can completely block the air flow past the throttle blade. The idle air control system that controls the idle speed depends on a certain amount of "fixed" air to come past the throttle blade for the engine to idle. Then it adds a controlled amount of supplemental air via a separate passage to control the idle. The throttle body may be dirty enough that the idle air control cannot provide enough air to idle on, hence the stall.

Clean the throttle body thoroughly. You don't have to remove it, just hold the blade wide open and spray with carb cleaner and scrub with an old toothbrush. Do the perimeter of the throttle body bore where the blade is in close proximity at idle and the back side of the blade. I believe that there may be a small hole in the throttle blade on that application....if so, clean it out, if not, chalk it up to my poor memory. Don't worry about all the throttle body and the intake manifold or anything else.....crud there is normal and won't hurt anything.

Disconnect the negative battery terminal for 30 seconds after cleaning the throttle body to reset the idle learn offsets (probably pretty large with a dirty throttle body) so the idle system can start from the clean baseline. Drive the car in a closed area for a few minutes to let the idle speed control system react to the clean throttle body as there may be a surge or stall at first.

This should clear up the problem if it is indeed what I think, if it isn't then let me know and I can give you further options..

BTW....the stall occurs in drive because the engine is loaded more in drive and if there is a lack of airflow then it could stall there easier. In park, there is less load, so the available idle air is enough.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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You should check the oxygen sensors (there are 2) and another culprit may be the crankshaft sensor. But seriously your best bet would be to either buy a scan tool or have it diagnosed by a mechanic(cheaper route) . although they are both spendy, trying to guess what it is will cost alot more. the o2 sensors are $90 and $25 dollars and the crankshaft sensor will cost between $110-$200

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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Hi and welcome to FixYa,

Initially, the best approach that could be suggested would be to have it scanned for error. The error log wouold show the codes that could point to the most likely fault. Going this route would save you from the "guess work". Armed with the potential trouble, you could still proceed with a DIY (do-it-yourself).

Good luck and Thank you for using FixYa. Happy Holidays.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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