Question about 1991 Pontiac Sunbird

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91 Sunbird oil leak and gauge problems

I just bought this car for basic transportation. It's got 125k, manual tranny, and prior owner did all of his own maintenance. Got myself the Haynes repair manual and plan on trying to maintain the car myself and learn as I go (I'm what you would call a n00b as it goes for auto repair). The guy I bought it from said at one point oil was leaking from the pan. Oil pan gasket was replaced and the guy told me it was fixed. I notice that now after I drive the car that it will slowly leak small amounts of oil and it looks as though it's coming from the pan but I can't be sure.

The other thing that's off with this bird is that nearly every gauge is messed up...the speedo is off by 10-20 mph depending on how hard the motor is working, the oil pressure, temp, fuel, and battery gauges all seem to jump up and down (especially when shifting from gears 1-3). RPM is the only gauge that remotely works the way it should. Any idea what might be causing this? The guy I bought it from said it's been like that for over a year. He pulled apart the dash and said he couldn't figure out what the deal was.

More to come...don't want to bite off more then I can chew right away (that is if I haven't already....we'll see...). Any feedback is apprecaited. Thanks, Ryan

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  • Pontiac Master
  • 3,197 Answers

PAN GASKET.. "fused"...

That IS interesting ... I guess you should count yourself
lucky IF the previous owner was NOT into EPOXY...
(your challenge will be cleaning or REPLACING those anomalies... back into a useable/serviceable state)

I'm a pure AMATEUR mechanic ... As far as N00-b

Asking questions is a GREAT START...

Haynes is okay... but if you plan on keeping this
I highly recommend you attempt to find FACTORY
workshop... or "professional" grade MANUALS...

Even sets... Like MOTORS Repair Manuals
will give excellent detail...

For you... the really GREAT news is: "Grand Am' GAUGES share in the same VINTAGE ("91 & '92)...

FREE TSBs (& wiring diagrams) ,
That I found in a brief look... number up to 28 on your

(twenty eight...
( "Fluctuations" are specifically mentioned))...
You won't "SEE" anything because there are mass-storage device software updates involved...

Contact references are given inside for DEALER TECHNICIANS to contact Harco Industries, attention Bob Early... and gives both a 513 prefix number
(Englewood, OH) and a toll-free 800-523-0203..

Estimated Update time was 0.2 hours in 1992

Free TSBs & drawings at BBB Industries (below)
Registration is required (BECAUSE these are
Real PROPRIEARY documents.

I hope this information at least encourages your interest..

On-Board-Diagnostic (standards)
Keep in mind that STANDARDIZED OBD... had not yet been achieved in 1992... Which will pretty much assures there are COMMUNITIES of INTEREST out there
that have ALREADY (I would think) come together... to share information.

If not... you have that OPTION...!

(I've always admired those Sunbirds)....

As far as N00B... Just be aware you should use tubing wrenches... on tubes, anti-seize compounds on dissimilar metal fasteners... Liquid Wrench on all dirty and old bolts.. Six point sockets ruin less bolts...

(fusing things is not a GREAT IDEA... Especially when you are the mechanic who you will be following... My
'66 Austin (big) Healey came out to California from Illinois in 1970... but not before SOMEBODY used pliers on a couple of obvious spots... Since then it has been pampered pretty well (including DOT 5 Castrol Brake Fluid).

Summary... use the right tool for the job...
(pliers & vise-grips are generally ALWAYS NOT the ""RIGHT-TOOLS")...

The very first things you want to check are the coolant and brakes... IMMEDIATE FLUID Change-out..

The only exotic tool you need to flush the brakes is a couple of cans of FRESH FLUID... and a friends foot to press & release on command.

Good luck with your new treasures
(I still have 4 out of production cars...
(three roadsters))... endless hours of entertainment!!)

Use AMAZON & eBay when looking for those SPECIAL parts... and get yourself some EXTRA gauge clusters... (soon

BBB Industries Premium Alternators Starters Power Steering Products

Posted on Mar 03, 2017


6 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

toyo Man
  • 6 Answers

SOURCE: 1969 pontiac firebird oil pan.

you can take the oil pan off by just undoing the bolts just lift the car up then since it is just pin holes you can probly just spot weld them or maybe use a high streangth solder

Posted on Jun 25, 2008

  • 83 Answers

SOURCE: Temperature gauge shows hot

head gasket does the overflow bootle have bubbles in it when idleing warm if does most likey rear head gasket.

Posted on Jan 06, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: temp gauge and gas gauge not working

I had the same problem with my 2001 Pontiac Montana and the intake manifold gasket. This is a major problem with these 3.4L engines, if you are in the states I'm pretty sure there is a class action law suite against GM for this. I had my manifold gasket replaced and it was about $1000 CAD. You need to get your vehicle looked at right away as this could cause major engine damage, coolant will leak into the engine and soon enough you will be replacing that too. Good Luck

Posted on Feb 01, 2009

  • 1118 Answers

SOURCE: gearbox oil leaking

Dip stick tube has a rubber boot it slips thru, that seals it to trans. If its got a kick down cable there is a rubber o ring on that too, or front pump seal on trans is leaking.

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

  • 3854 Answers

SOURCE: I have a code p1189 come up on a computer when the

P1189 Engine Oil Pressure Switch Circuit

The problem is the car does not have the Catalytic converter. You should have a check engine light for the lack of Catalytic converter since there should be a O2 sensor back there monitoring the exhaust system. The leak of Catalytic converter will also drop your back pressure which the new engines need to run 100%. Without the proper back pressure, it throws off the MAP sensor readings and is causing a conflict in your engine's management parameters. You can get an aftermarket Cat for under $80.00. Good luck and keep me posted.

Posted on Jan 12, 2010

Testimonial: "Very helpful. Thanks so much. I will let you know when I put one on if it helped it. Scary many mechanics say it wont make a difference. Thanks!"

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