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Old 02-21-2013, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Should I Purchase One?

Hi,
I am new here. There is a 2007 Solstice (deep blue color)in beautiful shape at a local dealership. It has that 3M paint protection, upgraded wheels/tires, auto tranny, low mileage, immmaculate interior. The previous owner traded it in for a truck. My concern is that after looking aroung on this forum it appears that a Solstice seems to have many and varied problems, therefore I am afraid to buy it. I have to say however that they do look sharp. The previous owner must have really taken care of it. It would be a toy for me to be babied but I do not want to buy a money pit...any thoughts?
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I say if you want it, get it! I'm not sure how old you are and I'm not sure what your situation is and I'm not here to school anyone as I am not by any means the smartest guy around, but one thing I can say is that it does not matter what car you buy, new or used, it's always a gamble.The new Porsche or new vette or new mazda you buy can be the biggest lemon or Headache until you get rid of it, same goes with any used vehicle. This is a forum and all the associated problems with this specific car are going to be displayed here more frequently as a lot of owners come to this site only when they have an issue. Personally for me I have not as of yet had any major issues with our solstice,low mileage but don't forget these cars are already getting old, last production models are already 4 years old, mine is 6 yo.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Agree, it's a loaded question. Question you should be first asking is what do you want? Solstice, SKY, Auto, manual, 2.4, 2.0 (turbo)? Most folks buy these cars as 3rd cars and primary reason they end up selling is because they want a new toy or realize it doesn't make sense to keep paying insurance for something that's not being enjoyed.

Also, driving style generally plays a part in expected maintenance costs. If you're a cruiser than maintenance costs should be minimal. However, balls to the walls types eventually always end breaking something.

In addition, one thing you have to remember about any auto forum; lot of folks only post when they have a problem. This tends to tends to make some cars appear to be more problematic than they actually are.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The 3B above (boboborino) makes some good points. A lot of people show up post questions to their problems, get a resolution and move on and that's okay - part of the function of the forum.

And while it's true that any car can and will have it's issue, the Solstice does have it's quirks and can be a finicky ride. Water pump, clogged catalytic converter, rear differential seal, passengers side air bag sensor and a few others are known and common issues. So it's apparent that your eyes are wide open going into this.

I think it comes down to your level of DIY versus tolerance for paying for repairs versus the joy of ownership and driving fun. Big word of caution here, if you take it for a test drive, the above equation will become instantly muddled!

If you're buying from a dealership, see if he'll throw in extended coverage after you explain to him what you've learned about the car.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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All great points above. Just remember, you're looking at an '07. That's 6 years old (7 in production years). Any car you purchase is going to have issues at 7 years old. Some minor, some major, but its ALWAYS a crap shoot with used cars. I've been in the car business for over 15 years....I've seen all kinds....bad cars, great cars....you name it. I have a buddy that worked with that bought an '04 Lincoln LS with over 265,000 miles on it, he's put 40k on it with NO problems.....It comes down to how the car you're looking at was maintained. See if they can pull all of the vehicle maintanence history for you. I know for a fact they have at least the ability to pull all warranty work! Generally with these cars, the owners will maintain them....they are for lack of a better word...."their babies".

If you are looking for a precision machine, the Solstice/Sky is it. These vehicles are INCREDIBLE! If you are a "driver", you will not find a funner (I know, not a word) car to drive. Depending on your "go-fast" need, you will need to decide, 2.4L or 2.0L turbo, 5spd vs. auto. I'm a huge horsepower fan, so I went the 2.0L turbo (GXP) and a 5spd.... I have NEVER been more in love with a car!
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My comment was based on the fact that there is now 9 years of discussion and data on this forum including many very technical inputs from GM engineers. If the OP has actually read even a small part of that information then the OP should already have the information needed to make a decision on wether the platform is for them or not.

But maybe they are too new to the online community to interpret or even find the useful information. So here goes.

Most people who take the effort to go find a forum like this one are either very social or have a problem with their car or like you are considering buying one and want to have more information to support their decision making process.

Many forums like this one that are focused on a piece of equipment have a disporportionate concentration on failures and problems. This is because people who dont have problems dont post "I dont have any problems". The people motivated to make posts are those who do have problems. Thus there are a lot more posts about problems than the converse.

The vast majority of the deployed fleet of Kappas have had little or no issues at all. The owners take them home, have the dealers do maintenance, put gas into them and drive them until they want something new or the car is damaged beyond economic repair.

A tiny minority of cars have issues. And a much smaller minority of that subset have serious problems. To my knowledge, there have been on the order of 12 owners with major issues, like engine failures or differential failures.

NA cars - that is the 2.4 L normally aspirated cars - are going for 100k, 200k and approaching 300kl miles with few problems. The problems are "normal" failures like water pumps, clogged catalytic converters etc. Some of the early cars had issues with the differential. Several were replaced under warranty. There was a recall for all 06 and 07 MY cars that addressed the rear end. Some cars have rear end wine and some have a "clunk" when making significant throttle changes. I have yet to see a failure resulting from these symptoms. The only failures I am aware of were loss of lubrication or just a mechanical failure . Again we are talking less than 10?

The GXP cars are also pretty much bullet proof. A small - very tiny minority have had significant electrical problems that have been traced back to manufacturing errors. One Sky - GS Stage1 on the Sky forum had major issues that resulted in over a year of problems. In the end he got taken care of by GM, new engine, partial remanufacturing of his car . ..
Should GM Buy Back My Car? - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum

One GXP coupe had a series of undiagnosed electrical problems that GM chose to not address but they bought the car back from the Oregon owner and made him good.

GXPs have had some water pump failures, beginning as early as 25k miles with a cluster in the 50k region. All were repaired under warranty. There are several threads that cover this information,
waterpump woes

Some automatic cars have had hard downshifting issues. It appears that these are related to cam position servo failures that cause the transmission control module to go into protection mode intermittently.
Auto transmission suckage

There have been issues with the tops early on due to improper adjustment of the top mechanism and / or the door windows. Some cars were built without the acoustic liner and are noisier. Some early cars were built with plastic ball end joints which failed in some cases are resulted in a redesign. Putting the top up without opening the doors or lowering the windows will cause issues over time. Failure to lubricate the side hinges over the windows can result in sticking.

top ripping/pinching fix

There are cables that actuate the trunk release and the buttress releases. The plastic retention balls on the ends can fail and make it impossible to open the trunk normally.

Trunk won't open


Get a GM record pulled to verify the in service date and warranty remaining. Any GM dealer can do this for you.

You want to start with the local car because the Sky and Sol are highly susceptible to damage when lifted improperly. The front fenders crack frequently due to road vibration and are easily crushed if lifted with a floor jack. If there is damage you want to identify it before sale and with a dealer you can push to get them to repair the damage as part of the sale. There are basically no available right side factory fenders anymore and few left side fenders. They are repairable and there are aftermarket replacements available from DDM but you need to know if the fenders are cracked as this can be up to a $1k swinger on the retail price.

You also want to take a good look at the bottom front. Because of the configuration of the car nearly every new owner rams them into curbs one to several times and they get damaged. At the very least there will be scrapes on the bottom of the bumper cover that you can use to get a lower price or commitment to repair from a dealer that you probably will not get from a private party seller.

You also want to take a hard look at the top. More than a few cars have had problems with the folding mechanism that has damaged the canvas where it folds over the windows and / or damage to the canvas when it rubs against an improperly adjusted side window. The top is also susceptible to damage from the hold down feet mounted on the trunk lid. The rubber feet come off, fail or even twist allowing direct contact between the mounting structure and the top canvas while the top is in the trunk. I have seen more than one car that has holes in the top due to this. The canvas is $1600 plus installation which at a dealer can run into several hundred dollars. And to the best of my knowledge while there are plenty of replacement canvas parts available, there are no more top assemblies in stock.

You want to visually inspect the cup holders. The front one is notorious for failing and they cost upwards of $100 for replacement parts plus installation labor. The rear one between the seats is much more robust however they can and do get so full of dust and dirt that they will no longer deploy. If treated well they are fine but you do not know till you try to pull the things out.

Another area that I recommend you inspect is the center console. If the previous drivers did like me and leaned on them hard while driving and used them as a support while getting in and out of the car, they all will crack right down the center. I have had mine replaced under the warranty but you are probably out of warranty. The cover is easy to replace but again is in the range of $100 for a replacement part from GM. There are several threads that cover reinforcing below the cover so it will not crack again and DDM has a replacement that is much stonger and includes two cup holders but again that is in the same cost plus shipping and you get to install it.

If you are by chance looking at a 2008 RL, one factor is the production run for the first 6 or 8 months deleted the electronic vacuum pump that provided motive force for the brakes immediately after start up. The issue presents itself on some cars as high brake pedal force required and / or pulsing of the brake pedal for the first few seconds to the first couple of minutes upon cold start after sitting for an extended period or at high altitude. The issue is that the turbo car does not generate much vacuum (its boosted) and as a result once the vacume accumulator leaks down, there is no vacuum for the power brakes when you start. And when you start the factory tune, it is set to heat up the catalytic converter and not optimized for creating vacuum. There was a big safety investigation made and a lot of people had problems with this about mid-way through 2008 calendar year. My wife's car falls in this group and about once or twice a year we get the symptoms but it works fine through it and within about 30 seconds there is normal brake feel. The factory has a software update that if asked they will install on cars with this complaint and in extreme cases there is a retro fit kit that adds back on the electronic vacuum pump. But again, you cannot tell if the car you are looking at falls into this group or not unless you physically check for the pumps presence on the left side of the engine block, and unless you drive the car from a cold start. If you are buying from a dealer you could make the software update part of the deal and get a promise to do the pump retro fit under warranty because GM normally pays for it.

You want to cycle the driverís seat up and down because a lot of cars have never had their electric adjusters cycled and they need to be freed up and lubricated before they work correctly. In fact, I did a test last year and out of 40 cars and 80 drivers only 5 knew that the driverís seat went up and down with the switch! Servicing the seat is no big deal but it will be half an hour of labor and some parts allowance so its in the $100 range. If you buy from a dealer you are much more likely to have this addressed as part of the deal than if you buy from a private party. And if you do not have access to the car its difficult to verify operation.

Many, maybe most of the key fobs for 2006 through 2008 at least have a known manufacturing problem. The metal tab / connector that holds the battery in place has a cold solder joint. The fob starts to work intermittently and eventually stops working. If you are good with a solder iron you can easily fix it as many of us have done, but if not, then the dealer will charge you around $100 for a replacement fob and programming it with the car. Potentially times two. If you have access to the fobs, you can pop them open and inspect the condition of the at risk part and know if you are good to go or not. If not, again you are much more likely to get the fob replaced as part of the deal by a dealer.

The door sills have an aluminum insert that is glued to the plastic part. Unfortunately as a result of the attachment method and the difference in coefficient of thermal expansion between the aluminum trim insert and the plastic door sills, the aluminum part will almost always bow up around .25 inches in the middle during cold weather. In some instances drivers will drag their heels across the door sills and can catch the trim plate and bend the crap out of it. They are relatively cheap - around $25 plus labor to install, but if you find it after the fact then itís your $25 and not the sellers.

If you are getting a GXP, put an OBD2 reader on it and pull any codes. There can be codes that are not displayed but that can indicate incipient problems.

Have the selling dealer pull the outlet air tube from the turbo at the turbo and check for oil. A little oil is normal. If there is a lot of oil there then have the breather valve checked. When they fail, and if the car is driven moderately hard they pump oil out of the valve cover into the intake at the turbo. If there is a LOT of oil there, have them check the drain on the intercooler to verify that it is not holding pooled oil there.

Check the intake clamps for condition. The factory clamps are basically radiator screw clamps and have been known to fail and allow leakage which can cause tuning issues under boost.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunchtimer View Post
Hi,
I am new here. There is a 2007 Solstice (deep blue color)in beautiful shape at a local dealership. It has that 3M paint protection, upgraded wheels/tires, auto tranny, low mileage, immmaculate interior. The previous owner traded it in for a truck. My concern is that after looking aroung on this forum it appears that a Solstice seems to have many and varied problems, therefore I am afraid to buy it. I have to say however that they do look sharp. The previous owner must have really taken care of it. It would be a toy for me to be babied but I do not want to buy a money pit...any thoughts?
Regardless of which forums you visit, all you read about are problems. That is because it is human nature to talk about problems and how to solve them. When people are not having problems with their cars, they don't bother to post that their car is problem free.

Yes, I've had some minor problems with the Solstice, but they've all been taken care of during the car's warranty, and I've had 7 years of enjoyment out of the car. My opinion is that the trouble free cars way outnumber the ones with problems.

Buy it! . . . and join the fun!

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Old 02-22-2013, 09:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you're looking for a fun car to drive, buy it.
If you're looking for a boring car, but also has many problems, buy a Camry.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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If you're looking for a fun car to drive, buy it.
If you're looking for a boring car, but also has many problems, buy a Camry.
I resemble that remark, I have a 2010 TCH Camry now for 3 years, a hybrid to boot, NOT one mind ya, NOT 1 problem or failure to date..
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I will say my 2cents. Once again someone new on the forum asked a question and once again we pounce of them. We as a forum have got to be more social and welcoming to new members. Not to mention a possible new owner. I know that some of the older forum members get tired of newbies asking the same old questions. But remember more new members we get buying sols the longer our ride will remain the best convertible out there.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Since my previous comment is probably the only one that could be interpreted as negative, I have to say I was not trying to be negative. Just honest.

If they really have read the available information and have serious doubts then they ought to take that into consideration.

That was not in my opinion pouncing on them. It was truthful.

I then followed that up with a much more detailed response that basically provides in a condensed version 7+ years of experience with the cars. I dont think that is negative.

do you?
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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To the OP ~ Good Luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob the elder View Post
If they really have read the available information and have serious doubts
then they ought to take that into consideration.
If people have second thoughts about buying a Solstice,
they really shouldn't get one.

After all that folks here went through waiting for their cars a few years ago
it's most amusing seeing potential owners sitting on the fence.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I see you did that and all the new people will thank you for this. I only have 4 years here, but with out asking questions on this forum I would have a car with a lot of problems.
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Trifeca Tune
Sprint Booster Adjustable
DDMWorks Trunk & Hood Led Lights
DDMWorks Coated Valve Cover
DDMWorks Oil Catch Can
DDMWorks Coil Cover
DDMWorks Tubes
DDMWorks Inline fuel
K&N C.A.I.
Custom backup camera install
Kazera KZ-D Wheels
Falken 612+
Spoiler from The spoiler company
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I see absolutely no comment here as negative whatsoever, but in fact super helpful and with substantial knowledge. I will post back if I buy it. Thankyou.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I suspect many more people have not had any problems compared to the number of problems posted here. I had a air bag seat sensor fail, covered under warranty, and I had my clutch interlock fail ($10) out of warranty on my 2007 GXP with 58,000 miles now.
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