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Hey guys,

Been an avid reader on here past few weeks learning the quirks of GXP's prior to purchasing one. Would love any sage advice in regards to what seems to be an overheating situation on the one I brought home.

08' GXP, 90k miles, well taken care of, mostly highway miles from previous owner. The classic water pump replacement seems to have been taken care of in 2017 judging from the service records. The dealer I bought it from in Los Angeles agreed to address/replace a few things after I took it off the lot for an inspection prior to sale: new intercooler replacement (previous one was likely bent from a shopping divider), addressing a seal on rear gasket that had small leak, and a few smaller cosmetic things.

After bringing it home for a few days with no issues whatsoever, the check engine light came on tonight and stays on. Earlier in the day, I noticed the interior felt a little warm after it had sat in the shade in the garage for a few hours entirely off (almost like the heater had been on low or something while the car was off and no one was in it). When turning the car on, the interior vents started blowing slightly warm air (with the AC unit in the off position). Car temps seemed to hover around 190-205 while driving in city/highway. Intercooler had been staying on a few minutes after previous drives on days prior, but I figured that was normal for these cars.

Planning on stopping by an autozone tomorrow to see if there are any helpful codes to consider. I noticed the gas cap seems a bit loose even after three turns and it doesn't seem that new of a cap, but I'm not getting a check gas cap light at all.

The AC does blow ice cold and works on all the settings - it's just when it's in the off position, slightly warm air flows through them as if it was on the low setting. It definitely didn't do that three days ago.

I want to get eyeballs on it from another mechanic in town before having the original dealer take a look simply due to if it's maybe related to a piss-poor intercooler install, or the gasket leak, or some other corner they cut while doing the repairs before purchase.

Hoping it's just a thermostat on its last legs, and not something huge. I've got 30 days/1000 miles on the warranty.

If anybody has any large prospect issues that tend to come up I should pay attention to regarding these kind of symptoms, or similar stories, I'd be grateful for any thoughts.

Thanks for all the great insight on these boards.
 

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yes, get the codes. They will help to get the problems solved.
By a cheap $30 code reader while you are at it.

Could be that there are air bubbles in the coolant lines...

Check that the coolant is filled to the proper level too.
 
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Welcome to the forum.

From my experience, 190-205 is not an abnormal temperature, mine runs in that range all of the time. I see nothing to make me think that you have a thermostat problem or bubbles in the coolant.

When you say that the intercooler stays on I assume you mean fan, and yes that is normal.

You do need to find out what the code is before you can do much of anything.

The warm air from the vents is definitely nothing to do with the intercooler. The most likely cause, unless it is just residual heat in the airbox, is the air temperature blend door. The heater coil has hot coolant flowing through it constantly, and cabin air temperature is regulated by blending air from the hot coil and the cool outside. If the door is leaking or out of position you could get warm air at the coolest setting. If you have full incremental control of the air temperature it is probably normal.
 

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Yeah like John said, all sounds normal by your description. An intercooler is a small radiator that sits at the front of the car. It cools the charge air from the turbo and it looks like this. (Taken from another post here on the forum)
The radiator fan often stays on after the car is turned off but your temps sound normal.
You need to get that code read before jumping to conclusions.

 
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My car temp. usually runs 187 when moving and up to 212 at a stoplight. Yours doesn't seem to be abnormal.
 

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Baroque, please post the code that was found when it was read and what the resulting fix was. It will likely be helpful in the future to others.
 
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There is no "check gas cap " light if it is bad you will get a PO455 or PO457 code which relates to the Evap system. As mentioned above all good posts invest in a code reader if you have a Harbor Freight near you they sell a decent one for around 35 dollars
 

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Welcome to the forum.
 

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I picked up an oem gas cap this morning before turning the car on so I could check the coolant while the car was cool, and to my surprise the light was gone after replacing the cap. I thought the existing cap was kind of old.. but the seal didn't feel that loose. Drove the car all day and couldn't get the light to come back on. I'm still surprised. Coolant was sitting right at the designated line when I checked, and didn't see any residue anywhere to offer a clue to a leak. The only two things I did before turning on the car was install the new cap, and open the coolant reservoir to take a peek. Would just opening the coolant tank be enough to let out any potential bubbles? Figured you'd have to bleed it to remove those.

Still going to have a mechanic inspect the work the dealer did to make sure they didn't cut any corners and will report back if any other issues/lights come about.

yes, get the codes. They will help to get the problems solved.
By a cheap $30 code reader while you are at it.

Could be that there are air bubbles in the coolant lines...

Check that the coolant is filled to the proper level too.
Will do. I'm sure it will pay for itself. Thanks for the recommendation. Got some dexacool handy now in the trunk should the coolant level drop.

Like sirwm says. A cheap code reader (30 or 40 bucks) will pay for itself many times over.
Appreciate it - stoked to have one handy now for things in the future

Welcome to the forum.

From my experience, 190-205 is not an abnormal temperature, mine runs in that range all of the time. I see nothing to make me think that you have a thermostat problem or bubbles in the coolant.

When you say that the intercooler stays on I assume you mean fan, and yes that is normal.

You do need to find out what the code is before you can do much of anything.

The warm air from the vents is definitely nothing to do with the intercooler. The most likely cause, unless it is just residual heat in the airbox, is the air temperature blend door. The heater coil has hot coolant flowing through it constantly, and cabin air temperature is regulated by blending air from the hot coil and the cool outside. If the door is leaking or out of position you could get warm air at the coolest setting. If you have full incremental control of the air temperature it is probably normal.
Hey John, appreciate all of this. Figured the temps seemed about right. Was 95ish today in LA and he stayed right around 198-210 even with the AC on. And yep, I meant fan - I forget that's also tucked up in the front as well.

I'm really curious about the residual heat aspect you mentioned. Since the light was off today, there was only one of the drives where if I had the AC off, luke warm air still came through as if the unit was on a low setting. The other drives, nadda - vents open and only air IF i turned on a fan speed setting. So I'm guessing that it's normal, and happens in the moments the car is really trying to maintain temperature? Seems like if the blend door was faulty it wouldnt be intermittent right? Thanks again for the note

Yeah like John said, all sounds normal by your description. An intercooler is a small radiator that sits at the front of the car. It cools the charge air from the turbo and it looks like this. (Taken from another post here on the forum)
The radiator fan often stays on after the car is turned off but your temps sound normal.
You need to get that code read before jumping to conclusions.

Thanks for clarifying - I forgot the fan is actually the one that hangs on after sometimes to keep things cool. Random question for you regarding the intercooler. The dealer that installed a new one for me prior to sale - whomever they used to touch up some of the body work for me got residual spray on the botton right corner/pipe/ and grille. I'm assuming since it probably dried with the car off, I shouldn't fret about a little bit of paint inside the damn intercooler right? Figured it's not an issue - annoying it happened nonetheless.

My car temp. usually runs 187 when moving and up to 212 at a stoplight. Yours doesn't seem to be abnormal.
Appreciate it - Glad to know the temps have been hanging pretty normal. Was 95 today in in parts of the city and I never got over 209 or so in city stop & go.

Baroque, please post the code that was found when it was read and what the resulting fix was. It will likely be helpful in the future to others.
Will be sure to! It helps being able to find folks with similar issues. Seems the new gas cap turned the light right off (cross fingers). Couldn't get it to turn back on all day under hot city driving, so I'm hoping I'm in the clear.

There is no "check gas cap " light if it is bad you will get a PO455 or PO457 code which relates to the Evap system. As mentioned above all good posts invest in a code reader if you have a Harbor Freight near you they sell a decent one for around 35 dollars
Thanks for clarifying - For some reason I thought one of the actual service lights on the solstices dash was actually "check gas cap" - Didn't know it was actually just a code that alerted that issue not an actual specific light

Welcome to the forum.
Thank you. Lots of wisdom in here. I'm grateful everyone chimed in. Glad to be on the journey with this car. Food for the soul.
 

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You were wondering if overspray on the intercooler would affect it's performance and the answer is no it does not. Some makers of aftermarket intercoolers paint their logos on the front as seen in the picture below.

 

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I picked up an oem gas cap this morning before turning the car on so I could check the coolant while the car was cool, and to my surprise the light was gone after replacing the cap. I thought the existing cap was kind of old.. but the seal didn't feel that loose. Drove the car all day and couldn't get the light to come back on. I'm still surprised. Coolant was sitting right at the designated line when I checked, and didn't see any residue anywhere to offer a clue to a leak. The only two things I did before turning on the car was install the new cap, and open the coolant reservoir to take a peek. Would just opening the coolant tank be enough to let out any potential bubbles? Figured you'd have to bleed it to remove those.

Still going to have a mechanic inspect the work the dealer did to make sure they didn't cut any corners and will report back if any other issues/lights come about.
Even though the light has gone off you should read the codes. Whatever caused the light to be on will be listed as an "Historic Code", and will tell you if you solved the problem with the new gas cap (you probably did) or if it is an intermittent problem that may come back.

You didn't have abnormal temperatures, so you didn't have a bubble and no, opening the cap will not purge the bubbles if there are any. Remember, you should never open that cap with the engine hot.

Will do. I'm sure it will pay for itself. Thanks for the recommendation. Got some dexacool handy now in the trunk should the coolant level drop.


Appreciate it - stoked to have one handy now for things in the future


Hey John, appreciate all of this. Figured the temps seemed about right. Was 95ish today in LA and he stayed right around 198-210 even with the AC on. And yep, I meant fan - I forget that's also tucked up in the front as well.

I'm really curious about the residual heat aspect you mentioned. Since the light was off today, there was only one of the drives where if I had the AC off, luke warm air still came through as if the unit was on a low setting. The other drives, nadda - vents open and only air IF i turned on a fan speed setting. So I'm guessing that it's normal, and happens in the moments the car is really trying to maintain temperature? Seems like if the blend door was faulty it wouldnt be intermittent right? Thanks again for the note
Except for the fact that you need hot coolant to heat the air significantly, the temperature of the engine doesn't affect the temperature of the air. That is, the air will not be heated because the engine is overtemperature unless it was already being heated.

The air through the vents will always be somewhat warmer than ambient air if the engine has been running recently or if the car has been sitting in the sun because it is entering the car over the warm hood, and traveling through an airbox that is adjacent to the hot engine compartment.

The blend door can fail intermittently, although that seems to be rare.

Thanks for clarifying - I forgot the fan is actually the one that hangs on after sometimes to keep things cool. Random question for you regarding the intercooler. The dealer that installed a new one for me prior to sale - whomever they used to touch up some of the body work for me got residual spray on the botton right corner/pipe/ and grille. I'm assuming since it probably dried with the car off, I shouldn't fret about a little bit of paint inside the damn intercooler right? Figured it's not an issue - annoying it happened nonetheless.
I am going to disagree slightly with Bob on this one and say "maybe" and "it depends".

Paint on the front face will, as he said, have zero effect on the efficiency of the cooler, but paint between the fins might. It depends on how much there is, and what it is doing. If it is only a small area it isn't enough to worry about in any case, and anything on the plenums or pipes at each end can be ignored. A light coat on the surface of the fins isn't going to make a significant difference either, but if it has blocked the openings between them it starts to become an issue. Again, it is a matter of degree and, from your description Bob is correct and there is nothing to worry about.

If it really bothers you, paint is relatively easy to remove.

Appreciate it - Glad to know the temps have been hanging pretty normal. Was 95 today in in parts of the city and I never got over 209 or so in city stop & go.

Will be sure to! It helps being able to find folks with similar issues. Seems the new gas cap turned the light right off (cross fingers). Couldn't get it to turn back on all day under hot city driving, so I'm hoping I'm in the clear.

Thanks for clarifying - For some reason I thought one of the actual service lights on the solstices dash was actually "check gas cap" - Didn't know it was actually just a code that alerted that issue not an actual specific light

Thank you. Lots of wisdom in here. I'm grateful everyone chimed in. Glad to be on the journey with this car. Food for the soul.
Enjoy the car and, again, welcome.
 

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"I thought the existing cap was kind of old.. but the seal didn't feel that loose. Drove the car all day and couldn't get the light to come back on. I'm still surprised."

Gas caps have a one way air valve in them to let air in as you use up gas, but not let vapors out. If it sticks open, it's like not having a gas cap. The rim seal is irrelevant at that point.
 

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Glad you got it figured out and Welcome to the forum!

Just a FYI for those in The Peoples Republik of Kalifornia......the ASStute politicians of Sacramento will not allow AutoZone to read codes on vehicles.....unless they changed that stupid rule after I left in May of 2019, but I doubt it.
 

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I think it is don't allow clearing. In NC they can't clear the code but they will hand you the reader and show you which button you can push to clear it.
 

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Don't allow the reading or don't allow the "clearing" of codes?
I have read two different scenarios, both of which are plausible:
  • CA law considers code reading and diagnosis to be a form of repair, and parts stores are not licensed repair facilities.
  • An AutoZone in CA was successfully sued for diagnosing a problem incorrectly and selling a part that didn't solve it.
Either of these would be enough to make the stores adopt a blanket policy of no code reading, since that is the only way to definitively prove that you did not offer a diagnosis.
 
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So if they don't allow the code to be cleared and you don't have a code reader just get the car home remove the negative battery cable for a minute or two this will clear the code .
 

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If you need another voucher re: temp, both my original 07 GXP saw when brand new, and my current '08 GXP, see a max at 209*F indicated in the DIC.

When my '07 was a week old, with about 350 miles, I had a CEL. Took it to the dealer immediately. They checked it and said "it's fine, no problem" and I never had another CEL in the remainder of my four years and 55K miles of ownership. I'd bet good money it was the gas cap!

I have mentioned this before and some people have expressed wonder at why I mention it. I mention it because even when I was in an old car club with 1960s-1970s car owners.that swore they saw everything twice and did it all three times, this wasn't general knowledge and I read dozens of posts over the years by concerned owners who started worrying when their coolant temp approaches 212*F. Some of them went berserk trying to fix "problems" with their cars with overbores running at 215*F at stoplights and did insane things to try to "fix" their "overheat" issues, but that's a different story.

Our coolant does not boil at 212*F. Our cars have a 15psi system. That over pressure raises the boil over temp. 15psi is 247*F boil over according to my ancient Buick chassis and repair manuals.
 
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