Problems With Pontiac Sunfire Transmission

by Anthony Faccenda
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The Pontiac Sunfire was a compact car originally available in coupe, sedan and convertible; it was manufactured form 1995 to 2005. In its final model year, the Sunfire was only available in a two-door model. The Sunfire offered limited options, and was available in both automatic and manual transmission. Both models experienced frequent problems.

Automatic Transmission

Pontiac technical service bulletins indicate that Sunfire automatic transmissions frequently experience leakage due to a faulty pass-thru connector. The automatic transmission sometimes experienced acceleration problems, due to torque-converter clutch failure. The 2000 and 2001 models exhibited the most problems.

Manual Transmission

Technical service bulletins indicated several manual transmission problems. Sunfire owners reported hearing "grinding" noises from the transmission while shifting gears. Grinding noises are commonly resolved by repairing or replacing the clutch. Transmission noise was especially prevalent on the 2001 model.


The cost of a torque-converter clutch -- in 2011 prices - is estimated at $326 for parts and labor. The cost to replace the pass-thru connector is approximately $62 for parts and labor. The cost to replace a clutch master-cylinder averages $195 to $228 for parts and labor.The estimated cost to install a new clutch in s Sunfire is $989 to $1489 for parts and labor.

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