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Pontiac Repair/Car didn't wanna drive and now won't start


QUESTION: I just bought a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2 engine and it started making a loud noise on startup, like a metal knocking, then it started making a sort of whining noise. We took it out for a drive and it didn't want to move. When we shut it off it wouldn't start back. Someone said it was the torque converter. Please help.

ANSWER: Hi patty:

well it may be 2 issues. with out seeing it I can't tell you for sure what happened to this. but I can tell you that the 2.2 liter engine was noted for timing chain failure. if the chain jumped or broke that is why it would not run right. the fact that it wasn't running right may be why it would not drive right. did the engine noise sound like a spray paint can getting shook up if so it's a timing chain issue. if it was louder it was deeper in the engine. right now when it will not start does it crank over real easy or does it "kick back" when you try to start it meaning back fire or popping noise? if so it's a timing chain issue and that is why will not start because the engine is out of time.
good luck :-)

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QUESTION: No this was like a knocking noise when we started it up and a whining noise when it was engaged in any gear other than neutral. The starter doesn't sound like the teeth are engaging and no, it doesn't make a sound like popping or backfire. The noise I was hearing was coming from like where the torque converter is. Also I am wondering if it could be the flexplate. Is it possible that it's stuck in a gear and that's why it won't start?

ANSWER: if it's an automatic it's not stuck in gear. If the flex plate broke (flywheel) when it's cranking it would make a grind noise and or a high pitched squeak. again with out hearing and or seeing this I'm just guessing at the issue here. when this happened did you have an service engine soon light come on or flashing? are there any fluid leaks under the car that it could be low on transmission fluid? that could account for a noise in the trnasmission but not case it to not start. you will not find a connection between it not starting and the trnamission that is why when I answered this at first I was thinking maybe 2 separate issue here on engine one transmission.

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QUESTION: Yes it was a grind noise and a high pitched squeak. No lights on and transmission fluid is full and does not smell burnt. May be 2 different problems.

it could be a broken flex plate and if it actually sheared off it will just turn the flywheel but not turn the engine over. It's odd that it would break like that usually when they break it a jagged fracture and the plate breaks off but it will still turn the engine over just make a lot of noise.

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Todd Puccio


General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way. If your happy with the answer I gave you please feel free to Donate. This is a free service to you and I am not compensated at all by this web site. I have 22 years of experience to share with you and my knowledge wasn't free to me. I had to pay for my education.


Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system. I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership. Organizations: ASE master technician


Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree 2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician

Awards and Honors
Master GMC truck technician Master ASE technician in 9 categories

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