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1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start


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BnB2013
New User

Jan 25, 2014, 7:40 PM

Post #1 of 11 (2184 views)
post icon 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

1998 Sunfire lost all power then died. Right before the car died, I heard a popping noise and when accerlated the noise was worse, but even accelerating still didn't have enough power to gain speed. And the temp however never reached 180°. I had been having an issue with the car losing water but the car never overheated. After getting the car home, we checked the oil and there is no sign of water being mixed with the oil. Added more water into the reservoir a few days later we watched water drip from underneath the motor on a warm December day.Did find the valve on the bottom of the radiator open, so we figured that was my water leak. Since bringing the car home we have found 3 of my head bolts extremely loose. I have been told that it jumped time, blown head gasket or cracked the head. We have tried several times to start the car and it tries to turn over but something is preventing it from starting. Which has completely stumped us, please help I do not want to scrap the car.
Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


(This post was edited by BnB2013 on Jan 25, 2014, 7:54 PM)


GC
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GC profile image

Jan 25, 2014, 8:05 PM

Post #2 of 11 (2170 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

Wow thats quite a list of issues...

" I have been told that it jumped time, blown head gasket or cracked the head"

Who told you this and what was this based on?

Have you been adding only water to replace the coolant? Running a vehicle with a coolant leak is bad news. Even though the gauge doesnt indicate overheating, the sensors do not work correctly with air in the system and it could have been overheating and doing serious damage.

"Since bringing the car home we have found 3 of my head bolts extremely loose."
Any recent repairs done? Have you noticed white smoke, excessive moisture, sweet smell from exhaust?

The car cranks but does not start correct?
Check out this thread
http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...LL_NOT_START_P75655/


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob

(This post was edited by GC on Jan 25, 2014, 8:11 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 25, 2014, 9:04 PM

Post #3 of 11 (2158 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In


Quote
Since bringing the car home we have found 3 of my head bolts extremely loose.


I don't know what is going on there but head bolts do not loosen up on there own. I have been in this business for nearly 50 years and never found a loose head bolt.

Your lack of temperature probably translates to lack of coolant and severe damage. You very likely could have a blown head gasket but you need a competent shop to run some tests to confirm that.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



BnB2013
New User

Jan 25, 2014, 9:08 PM

Post #4 of 11 (2157 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

Rob,

The jumping time, guess was because of the noise the car made right before it lost power & died. The guesses of cracked head or blown head gasket, were just ideas that were mentioned, before the car got home & checked the oil.

As far as recent repairs I haven't had to do anything mechanical to it, really. Only mechanical issue that I had was that the cooling fan wasn't working @ the time of purchase. That was an easy fix to do, bought the wires new & had a family member that is a mechanic wire it for me.

No, I also added coolant with water into the reservoir, since my radiator is sealed. But I never smelled anything sweet, and I never smelled the antifreeze either. That's a smell I am used too, I've owned several Pontiac's in my life and I was used to smelling antifreeze after awhile. No, white smoke from exhaust when first started, or going down the road. Haven't had time to smell the exhaust yet, but looking @ the exhaust there wasn't any excessive moisture.


Yes, you are correct the car cranks but won't start. Found the loose head bolts on the valve cover being loose only because there was water sitting underneath the bolts. So in some ways I'm fortunate that we found them loose, but on the other hand not so lucky at all..


BnB2013
New User

Jan 25, 2014, 9:18 PM

Post #5 of 11 (2152 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

Hammer Time


I know bolts of any type do not loosen up like these were. That's the part that has me worried the most. But I was taught that if you crack or blow your head gasket to check the oil, that it is a faster way of determining if that happened without tearing down the motor.


I know that there was coolant in the radiator, but like you said probably not enough.

Compression testing or another type of test?


Thanks for your suggestion.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 26, 2014, 4:38 AM

Post #6 of 11 (2139 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

It's leaking coolant so a lot of things are possible.
* Head gaskets don't always put coolant into oil or blow white smoke out exhaust. They could leak any which way they seal anything.
* The "popping" then problems does suggest valve timing is off and should at least be verified.
* Compression test would be useful info now.
* Head bolts were a problem on very few vehicles but none known on this one.


I'd do or have done plenty of testing now while engine is intact to zoom in on source problem. Extent of damage or problem may require taking the head off to know if this engine is worthy of fixing or replacement,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 26, 2014, 5:10 AM

Post #7 of 11 (2136 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In


Quote
Found the loose head bolts on the valve cover being loose only because there was water sitting underneath the bolts.



I think you may be confusing valve cover bolts with head bolts. They are quite different.

You need to get this to a competent shop so the real problem can be determined.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



GC
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Jan 26, 2014, 7:24 PM

Post #8 of 11 (2123 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

Ok, are you attempting to test and fix this yourself? If so, brings you back to this -
http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...LL_NOT_START_P75655/


Im assuming as HT said that the bolts you found loose were not head bolts. Can you take a picture of the bolts that were loose (use an image hosting site like photobucket as this websites image hosting is problematic) but thats a side point, as the testing suggested should find the problem.


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob

(This post was edited by GC on Jan 26, 2014, 7:38 PM)


nickwarner
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Jan 26, 2014, 7:49 PM

Post #9 of 11 (2119 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

GC, please don't think I'm stepping on your toes here.

The reason HT recommended this go to a shop is because there is obviously a lack of knowledge faced with what may be a diagnosis requiring extensive teardown. If the OP doesn't know the difference between head bolts and valve cover bolts, they certainly are neither tooled for nor have the knowledge for the teardown needed. To the OP (original poster) I do not mean to demean you, and if you feel demeaned I apologize but that is a fact. We know how in-depth this repair is and what I hate most is when people who try to save a buck get in WAYYYYY over their head and make our lives difficult. I want you to watch this vid first and think about that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATipV3jyx9g

This man is a pro and he speaks for all of us.


GC
User
GC profile image

Jan 26, 2014, 8:14 PM

Post #10 of 11 (2118 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

No I agree Nick, was just trying to help if that was the course desired. I definitely agree with HT and you that this is probably going to be a bit much, but if OP is able and wants to do those quick checks, Im willing to help, even though the outcome will probably be taking it to a shop anyway. Now Im going to watch your suggested vid.


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Jan 26, 2014, 10:00 PM

Post #11 of 11 (2113 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L. Will not start Sign In

The vid was spoken from a tech point of view and I'm sure you will agree with what is said. My point was to explain to a layman who is likely to think he can dive into things with the internet age of explaining things that anyone can do it that not always can they do it right. Sometimes they make a mountain out of a molehill. They would spend less on a professional like yourself actually looking at it at the first shot than googling what might be and throwing parts at it. Thats not diagnostics, its swaptronics. Couple that with the disinformation from parts stores and you have cultivated a breeding ground of people who think they are techs but really aren't. We see their failures in our bays. But the customer ultimately lumps us all in one category. The top techs like DS and HT, the Craigslist wannabees are all the same in the minds of the end consumer. We are all constantly called scammers and yet most of us are taking pride in what we do. The problem is we cannot explain to the customer why we charge for things the local hack gives away for dirt. Look at the Ranger you just looked at on trade. Is that what you would do? Of course not. But the average joe thinks because they saw a youtube vid that we are all scammers. They have no idea that we have spent a fortune learning how to fix their car for a pittance of what the shop gets.






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