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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've inherited my wife's 2007 Sol GXP. And the day she hands it off to me is the day the heat isn't working.

Symptoms:

I first noticed it on a road trip when I tried to turn on just a little heat. It was either full on or full off. When I got home I found the stuff on the actuator motor. So I bought one and replaced it. After replacement, there was no heat at all. I did confirm that the motor is running and the shaft is rotating.

I then decided to see if there was air. It has had a water pump replaced but the heat did work after that repair. I did the procedure of removing the overflow tank and raising it up per the DDM video. While I was doing this I also installed the 2 check valves per the TSB. The first time I had a tiny amount of air. I let it set overnight and repeated. The second time, I immediately had coolant shooting up as I raised the tank.

After doing that I was still not getting heat until I turned the controller all the way to cold and then back to warm. When I did I could actually hear more than the motor running, like the diverter door was actually moving. And I had heat. I was able to adjust it. I could hear the door again as I moved it up and down.

I let it set overnight and tried it again tonight. No heat. And I could hear the actuator motor run but not that sound like I heard when the heat worked.

What am I missing?
 

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The heat on/off/hi/lo is controlled ONLY by the actuator motors and doors in the cabin unit - provided, that is, that you don't have an air bubble in the heat exchanger.

Given that you've eliminated coolant bubbles, you obviously still have issues with the actuators or doors. Maybe the actuator is not installed correctly, or the door is broken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So the switches only control the actuator motors, correct? There's not any kind of logic board/circuit other than those? Here's why I'm asking.

I drove the car to work today. Ambient temps in the 40s. I watched coolant temps all the way. It came up to 185 and stayed there most of the way, unless stuck in traffic. I have one spot on my commute where I have to sit in stop and go traffic for at least 10 minutes and it got as high as 198 there. Is that OK?

As for the heat. I had no heat for the first 10 minutes. I have a darkroom thermometer in the center vent and we didn't budge off 40 degrees no matter where I set the temperature switch. Like in the past, I kept fiddling with it and suddenly the heat came on. I was able to adjust it down and the temps dropped on my thermometer. Then I turned it to complete cold (all the way left) and we dropped back to 40 again. I tried turning the temp back up and nothing. Still 40 degrees. Turned it back down to full cold, left it for a bit and then cranked it back up to full hot. Bingo, heat again, and I was able to adjust it with a corresponding change on my Themometer. I never turned it back to full cold and I had heat the rest of the way in that I was able to adjust.

So for me this indicates an intermittent problem with the diverter door. I keep coming back to the fact that when it works I seem to hear a whirring sound as I adjust the temperature switch. I know that actuator motor is working all the time because I can hear it buzz and I've been under that dash while the wife turned the dial and watched it move. But if it just makes that buzzing sound, no heat. I hear that whirring sound, I have heat. Does any of this make sense?
 

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You're slipping soup.

Did you try the recalibration procedure?

Now that I've given TS some grief, I think you're on the right trail re: the actuators. It sounds almost like the actuator door is binding. That may be why you hear a different noise when it moves versus when it binds.

Anybody know if there is a history of these binding? From my recollection it's always been an "either / or" situation. Either they work or they're broken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did try the recalibration. A few times actually.

The inconsistency is what's driving me mad. Hard to diagnose when it won't do the same thing twice.
 

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Tried looking (briefly) for a parts diagram. How is the actuator connected to the diverter door?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried as well. And not briefly. Darned if I could find it either.

The actuator has a shaft that fits a socket on that box. That's all I can tell you. That motor is moving and the shaft is turning. I can see that. After that, I'm at a loss to determine what's going on internally.
 

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So the switches only control the actuator motors, correct? There's not any kind of logic board/circuit other than those? Here's why I'm asking.

I know that actuator motor is working all the time because I can hear it buzz and I've been under that dash while the wife turned the dial and watched it move. But if it just makes that buzzing sound, no heat. I hear that whirring sound, I have heat. Does any of this make sense?
The switches do NOT activate the actuators directly, the IS a circuit board in the controller. But you hear movement of some kind, so I doubt it's the controller PCB that's the problem.

One more question. I see multiple actuator motors under there. I replaced the one that is controlled by the temperature switch. Could one of the other motors be my problem. I see something here:

[...]

It shows a "Left" and "Right" motor. What's up with that?
One actuator is for hot/cold, the other is for the vent/footwell/defrost flow position. I don't know which is which - the left/right in your link, is just describing the relative physical position (I assume).

I'm thinking that the variation in sound is probably/possibly caused by a stripped gear inside the actuator. Either you replaced the wrong one, or the new one is bad.

I would suggest taking the actuator out again (but leave it connected) and have someone adjust the temp knob while you watch to see the rod turning. You may want to hold the rod while it turns and see if it slips. If it all works well, then you eliminate that (and the controller) and it points to an issue with the blend door/flap itself :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The switches do NOT activate the actuators directly, the IS a circuit board in the controller. But you hear movement of some kind, so I doubt it's the controller PCB that's the problem.


I would suggest taking the actuator out again (but leave it connected) and have someone adjust the temp knob while you watch to see the rod turning. You may want to hold the rod while it turns and see if it slips. If it all works well, then you eliminate that (and the controller) and it points to an issue with the blend door/flap itself :(
Unfortunately, I've already done the latter. It turns just like it should, even with me holding it.

The sound I'm hearing sounds like the actual door moving. Which makes me wonder how it can be jammed if it works sometimes and doesn't others. If it's a true mechanical connection between the actuator and the blend door, it rules out the controller as the actuator motor is working as advertised.

I could try swapping the old actuator back on to see if I get a different behavior. (Either full on or full off) I may try that next.
 

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No Heat

Try making the temperature adjustments at different blower settings and different modes (where the air exits the dash/floor/defrost). Try all combinations of speed vs mode. Sometimes if a diverter door gets warped, has a bind, the pivot is worn, or has flash or debris the additional force of air at high blower can hinder movement, or the wind force can help to move it depending on the situation. The same can be true of the airflow through the unit.

This wouldn't be a true fix, but may get you operational consistency at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good idea. I'll give it a try tomorrow. Temps got too cold for me so I'm driving my truck until I figure this out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just an update to let you know that it went from no heat, to a clicking noise and the heat would work. Then it went to a clicking noise that wouldn't stop and no heat. Now we have another noise and no heat. I'm taking it to someone with more experience than me to diagnose. Probably a dealer, as much as I hate those folks. Unless someone can reccomend a quality shop in central Arkansas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
After a week of consistent heat I thought I should update. I took it to a local shop (that I will use again) and they tracked it down to "left hand, actuator door" per their tester. There are 2 actuator motors on that side. Best I can tell, I replaced the one that was working. So bad on me. $200 later we're working.

Also stuck a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ on the car to replace the worn out B.F. Goodrich tires on there and it drives like a new car. All is good.
 

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Glad you got it fixed, I am jealous of all of you who can drive your cars this time of year.
 

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Critter -

Can you be any more specific about whether they fixed/replaced the 'actuator motor' or the 'actuator door'? And, if the former, its relative position under the dash?

Thanks - I have the 'no heat/no airflow redirect' issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was told it was the actuator motor. There are 2 under there. Laying on my back, looking under the dash, I replaced the one on the bottom, left. That didn't fix it. So I have to assume it was the one on the upper right that fixed it. Hope that helps.
 
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