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Check the cellinoid (sp?). I just had the same problem on a 1995.

I have a 96 Sunfire with the exact same problem. First I changed the plugs, the plug wires, the distributer cap and the control module. Then I changed the fuel pump, fuel filter and the fuel pump regulator. My car is still in the shop and they are stumped ... and I am broke.

Make sure the cooling system is working properly, kinda sounds like its overheating real bad.

I went through these same issues with my 98 Sunfire and called the Better Business Bureau to complain and GM extended my bumper to bumper new car contract to 7 years (which is up now) and they continued to fix everything they could think of - all covered under the warranty. So far this summer it seems to be okay - but I am planning on getting rid of it soon for fear it will return since it is no longer under warranty!

Mis-timing. If you're off by a notch on the belt it can cause wacky things to happen.

Check your cam or crank sensor, if its bad it will start but run erraticly after a certain rpm kinda like as if your converter is pluged.

How about the cooling thing? It is overheating. I had the same problem with a 2001 Dodge Intrepid.

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Q: Why would a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire make a strange popping noise once in a while and will run rough or even stall as the engine gets hotter and hotter especially in the summer?
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