What to look for when purchasing - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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What to look for when purchasing

Going to look at an 07 GXP vert, stick with under 3k. When I read some posts on how hard parts are to get and where to even bring the car for service kinda scares me but I've always loved these roadsters. Anyway, what is quick list of things to look for when having them inspected for purchase? Also can we still bring these to GM? Is there any new age mechanics at the dealership that know how to fix these cars? Thanks for any info.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 07:44 AM
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You can also check out th Saturn Sky Forum,the Red Lines are Simular to the GXP's
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 08:52 AM
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this list is a gathering of information from other threads here on the forum.
This topic comes up so often.
Instead of pointing to the threads, I just cut&paste the items
into a file so that a question like yours can be answered reasonably.
( maybe pointing to other threads is better - who knows? )

Oh well... Here is what I have...

- - - - - - - - -

1) Run a CARFAX report to check for any issues on record

2) Go to the GM dealer with the VIN and pull a report from the GM maintenance database, it will provide a lot of useful info on maintenance, failures, mileage, and recalls applied or outstanding

3) Early 08s had the electric vacuum brake booster pump deleted. Some have had issues due to this. There are two fixes, one software one adds the pump back to the car as a "kit"

4) 09s had the center double cup holder deleted. Many find this a problem and some have had the dealer install one. See threads on this subject

5) 2010 MY has updated engine management software and is not compatible with the GMPP tune.

6) Check the front cup holder to see if it’s there and functional.

7) Visually inspect the differential for seeping / leaking and operation. Some 07s had noise issues and there was a recall to install a special additive to address issues.

8) Visually inspect the undercarriage. Look for damage due to lifting in the area of the front fenders and the front lift points. Put a torque wrench on the bolts that retain the wheels on the inside as there are a few cases of these coming loose. Check the shocks for leakage, there are a few instances of them failing prematurely.

9) Visually inspect the "chin" for damage, many have been run into curbs and need repair. It’s a place where you can easily get it fixed but could negotiate the fix into the purchase price.

10) Cycle the tops several times for proper operation and look for any wear on the sides where the trunk hold down feet contact the fabric. Some scuffing is ok but the unwary owner has often had the top holed in this area. Visually inspect the trunk lid to make sure the rubber portion of the hold down feet are intact and properly aligned. Check the top for proper deployment and any sticking as well as general alignment. Make sure the twin flaps move freely and smoothly. Verify that both buttresses release easily and completely. Check the condition of the trunk hinges and the torsion bars. If the trunk has popped open when in motion, the hinges can be damaged and the torsion bars are known to fail occasionally. The fix is to pull the rear bumper cover and while it’s not difficult, it can be a significant labor charge to get it done.

11) Visually inspect the center console. Many have failed due to their design. If the previous owner put any significant weight on the center console cover, it is most likely cracked. The cracking starts at the curved rear portion on the driver’s side and progresses up through the center of the console cover. Often you can press down on the cover and see it flexing abnormally in this area and determine that it is unsound. It’s an easy fix, but if out of the bumper to bumper warranty, it will cost about $100 for a new part. If in doubt, pull up on the rear of the console cover and it will pop up so you can visually inspect the underside.

12) Visually inspect the tire pump assembly in the trunk. It’s about $50 to replace and its all you have on the road.

13) Visually inspect the intercooler for damage or defects. Many have been run into curbs and damaged, they are subject to foreign object damage on the road and unless you give them a good look you may not discover it until you have a problem. In rare instances, GMPP equipped GXPs have experienced splitting of the IC can on the outlet side. It is hidden by the plastic shroud but you can infer damage if there are codes thrown regularly or on cold start you listen up front near the ground you can hear a sucking sound.

14) Manually inspect the hose clamps for tightness. Give the air cleaner a quick look. If its full of tons of junk, that may be an indicator of the attention that the car received from the current owner and be a subject for triggering a more detailed inspection of the car by a trusted tech.

15) Check the condition of the MAF sensor where it mates with the intake tubing up front. Some have been broken off and glued back on as an expedient repair. This is not necessarily bad but is another indicator of the level of attention the current owner gave to the car.

16) Check for heavy uneven wear in the tires. If they were rotated as required, they should be evenly worn. If they are not, then that is another indicator.

17) Pull up the passenger side carpet and give the BCM a quick look. Is the cover in place? Does it show signs of having been removed frequently? Are there any signs of modification or tampering?

18) Inspect the fuse / relay box on the left side of the engine bay at the firewall. Look for any signs of problems, excessive handling or modifications.

19) Visually inspect the turbo for any signs of external cracking, oil leaking, or “modifications” to the actuation rod. The locktite should be intact with no signs of the nut having been turned.

20) Check the coolant level and color. If there is any question or anomaly, have it tested for specific gravity.

21) Have a person sit in the passenger seat to verify the proper operation of the seat airbag sensor. Several have failed and its relatively expensive to have them repaired out of warranty.

22) Check for proper operation of the driver’s seat lift motor. Many are never used and need to be lubricated to free them up properly.

23) Road test the car. Make sure all systems are functional. Check the DIC for all displays and the presence of any codes or warnings.

24) Visually inspect all the rubber seals – they are hard to find and some are very expensive.

25) Visually inspect the condition of the headlight and tail light assemblies. They are expensive and difficult to find. Some light pitting can be polished out but cracks are a problem.

26) For automatic cars, drive the car in low speed conditions an check for smooth upshifts and downshifts. Some cars are experiencing very hard 3-2 and 2-1 downshifts apparently due to undiagnosed camshaft position sensor failures.

--


I think now would be a good time to start a checklist of possible problem areas on the Solstice for future used car buyers. Since the car is new now would be when the first problems will appear and we should make a record of them:

1) Leaking shocks
2) Push button for top doesn't work in glovebox consistently
3) #20 Connector in ECU harness contracts in cold breaking connection immobolizes the car
4) Leaky trim seals in trunk area
5) Power window problem some were built with the wiring harness to the main switch on the driver door not pushed in all the way and they worked their way out.
6) Passenger-side buttress sometimes won't close in cold weather.
7) Passenger and driver side buttress sometimes wont open in cold weather also.
8) Check the rear diff for leaking from a possibly not set correctly reliefe valve.
9) Leaking differential seal


https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...rst-gxp-69158/

https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...solstice-9513/

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sir William's Fleet
Mean 2007 NA 2007 Solstice ordered on 8/24/06 - Picked up on 12/12/06 - Totaled on 6/12/10
Mean 2008 GXP Acquired 6/21/10 with 1275 miles on it - Summer Solstice !
Deep 2009 NA Coupe Acquired 11/2/13 with 1040 miles on it
Mean 2009 GXP Coupe Acquired 8/27/16 with 9100 miles on it
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 08:55 AM
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When I need a dealer to work on my cars, I take the cars to the local GMC/Buick dealer. ... works for me...

Sir William's Fleet
Mean 2007 NA 2007 Solstice ordered on 8/24/06 - Picked up on 12/12/06 - Totaled on 6/12/10
Mean 2008 GXP Acquired 6/21/10 with 1275 miles on it - Summer Solstice !
Deep 2009 NA Coupe Acquired 11/2/13 with 1040 miles on it
Mean 2009 GXP Coupe Acquired 8/27/16 with 9100 miles on it
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwm View Post
this list is a gathering of information from other threads here on the forum.
This topic comes up so often.
Instead of pointing to the threads, I just cut&paste the items
into a file so that a question like yours can be answered reasonably.
( maybe pointing to other threads is better - who knows? )
I was just about to start a forum search for this, thanks for saving me the effort. Now stored for future reference (if I can find it again on my hard drive).



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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 11:26 AM
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Known failure are;
1. Waterpumps, generally around 30-40000, affects both the 2.4 and 2.0, though some believe the hotter turbo contribute to the issue. Some think adding Water Wetter to the coolant help, other think flushing the coolant every several years helps.

2. Exterior door handles are know to fail, but are relatively easy to replace.

3. Differential failure on earlier cars, many were replaced under warranty.

4. Differential clunks on earlier cars, GM added a differential brace to later cars to help resolved the issues. However, it cannot be added to the earlier cars without considerable costs.

5. Check to see that all recalls have been performed; https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls?gclid=...EaAk-HEALw_wcB

6. Current passenger seat sensor recall, generally caused when someone places a knee in the center of the cushion or step on the seat cushion. There is still no know remedy, though GM will replace it free of charge with the same part that failed. Basically it's a bad design.

7. Cam postion sensor and cam actuator sensor failures, relatively cheap and easy to replace.

8. Loose rear hub bolts, recommended to check on a periodic basic, though it may affect those who drive aggressively or autocross their cars.

9. Closing the hood while the doors are fully open may damage the hood, along with not shutting the rear decklid using the humps, as this may cause dents in the humps.

10. Rear trunk lid cable plastic ends breaking, preventing the rear buttresses from releasing or locking in place.

11. Interior door handles breaking, a hassle but relatively easy to fix.

12. Passenger cub holder breaking, again a hassle but 3D printed parts are not available to repair it. Buy a complete new OEM replacement can cost over $100, and will simply fail again.

13. Plastic headlight hazing, replace with new OEM, or pay or DIY to bring back to new condition.

14. GXP lower fascia damage, cause by pulling up too close to parking lot or strip malls high sidewalks.

15. Take the VIN to any GM dealership and ask to have the service history printed out, just note this report only reports service performed at a GM dealership.

16. Only fill the tank up until the fuel shutoff handle stops, overfilling can damage the evaporation canister effectiveness that sits on top of the gas tank and helps contribute to the gas tank in the trunk also referred to as the mayan temple.

17. Also, just so you are aware, 1266 fastback coupes (targa tops) were made in 2009, though a recent post indicates the number may be 1280.
easyryderca and stevebot39 like this.

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Mr & Mrs ChopTop's 09 Fastback & 06 Vert Mods thread:https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...session-75468/ Original join date; Oct 2005 under LowLife handle.

Last edited by ChopTop; 01-21-2018 at 11:46 AM.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 02:04 PM
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Since the car only has 3k on it. I would replace all the fluids (oil, trans, diff, brake, coolant and PS), battery and tires and call it good. Oh...and don't forget the blinker fluid!!

____________________________________________

Solo Street Race exhaust
Fujita CAI
ASAP T2 stripes and badging
Windrestrictor V2 lighted in white
Windrestrictor lighted door sills lighted in white
DDM Works IC Piping
Undercar LEDs in white to match Windrestrictor

ZZPerformance dyno tuned - 286HP, 317ft/lbs of torque at 23psi of boost.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 03:08 PM
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Be prepared to replace the front and rear main seal, various hoses, etc. Cars don't like to sit for a decade without being driven. Stuff falls apart.

Update

Why on earth did this pop up on the home page if it is eight months old?

Blue-ish 2006 2.4, Werks stage 1 turbo, Borla cat-back, DDM braces, Spec aluminum flywheel, Spec stage 2 clutch, Werks aluminum radiator, some gauges, RKSport hood, Morimoto FX-Rs, GReddy Profec, Norm's fenders

'07 GXP, Werks Big Wheel K04 and tune, Solo catless downpipe, TCE Wilwood 6 piston front brakes, 4-piston rears , stainless brake lines, slotted/drilled rotors, BC Racing BR coilovers, Performance Autowerks intercooler, DDMWorks CAI, charge pipes and braces, RPM rollbar
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 09:03 AM
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So glad I found this thread. I am about to buy my first Solstice and was looking for info on what to look for. Seems like a solid car and only has 40k on it, but I will certainly use this list as my guide before signing.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raygun View Post
Be prepared to replace the front and rear main seal, various hoses, etc. Cars don't like to sit for a decade without being driven. Stuff falls apart.

...
I've been shopping for a Solstice or Sky and I wish these cars had an hour meter like the diesels. Many of the low mile cars (<40k) look like they have been through a lot. Most have a lot of cosmetic damage. They might have low miles but my guess is they were driven on slow pleasure cruises and actually have a lot of hours. I looked at a 20k mile car and couldn't figure out how it could have so many cosmetic issues.

Many have top issues (clips broken, rear window seal, doors chipped from the top issues), front fenders bent from lifting it wrong, etc. Most differentials appear to have some seepage. Engine and trans (I am looking for an auto) all seem to run fine.

Private party cars are either the best or the worst. Dealer cars are bad to average. I do expect to replace a lot of seals due to the age and sitting.

In talking with the dealers, more often than not the cars aren't coming from auction but are trade-ins at major dealers and past off to their secondary used car lots (<100k miles.) The really rough cars are usually out of auction.

But since I've owned several Fiero's (and even with 330k built) I am aware that parts are getting harder to find but it's part of the game. But 100k is still a pretty huge number.

The right one will come along. Out west here there are many to choose from so there is no rush.

Last edited by AWATS; 10-10-2018 at 05:56 PM.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 11:46 AM
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But since I've owned several Fiero's (and even with 330k built) I am aware that parts are getting harder to find but it's part of the game. But 100k is still a pretty huge number.
100K of what? 66K of Solstices, 34K of Skys, 7.5K of Opel GTs and 180 Daewoo G2Xs, less 12 years of attrition.



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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
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100K of what? 66K of Solstices, 34K of Skys, 7.5K of Opel GTs and 180 Daewoo G2Xs, less 12 years of attrition.



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Of Kappas. In the Americas alone. Close enough. They will continue to flow into the junk yards for several years. I've seen speculation about how many are left but with any out of production cars that you plan on keeping, you buy used parts when they come up for the future. Fenders, tops, interior parts, etc.

2008 HHR SS 5spd
Looking for an auto/cloth Kappa.

Last edited by AWATS; 10-10-2018 at 05:20 PM.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 07:24 PM
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Car Fax is BAD bought a car with frame damage and car reported no crash no nothing thing was torn up guy hid problems real well. Well thank you a dealer is not allowed to sell a car with frame damage without letting me know. So had 2 choices sue and get paid pain in the butt or return car and get my money back. And as I am talking with CarFax the never asked me for vin number to report everything. They gave to craps. They say they have a disclaimer that not everything is accurate. So CarFax NOT SO GOOD. LIERS AND CHEATS FOR DEALERS TO SELL CARS QUICKER AND USING MISLEADING INFORMATION.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 04:31 AM
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CarFax can only know what is reported to it. If you wreck a car, don't make an insurance claim, and fix it yourself, there is no way for CarFax to have that information. How could it? There isn't some magic "eye in the sky" watching over everything.

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Sky RL 2008 Carbon Flash - Naked
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 11:03 AM
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car fax is a selling scam... pure and simple selling tool .
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