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
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.