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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and sorry in advance for the long post, but I have been troubleshooting all week and am now stuck. I have a 2007 Solstice GXP Manual with less than 10,000 miles on it that is cranking but won’t start. I have done a lot of work on old 60’s/70’s cars, but this is my first time working on a new car, so I am trying to learn as I go thanks to this forum. The car hasn’t been started in about 4-5 years. Yes, I know this is terrible, but my dad (who owned it) was sick for a long time and couldn’t drive it. He never recovered and passed away a couple years ago. I haven’t touched it until now. It was kept in a garage in Vegas the entire time where it is warm most of the year. The gas had been drained and battery removed for storage. I filled the tank up halfway and bought a new battery and it cranked but wouldn’t run. To be fair, I would have been shocked if it did start. Here is what I have done so far:
  1. Checked the warning lights. The yellow check engine is on, but I believe that is normal until it fires up. Other than that, it is just the brake and seatbelt warnings. No security icon that would indicate that I’m locked out.
  2. All the rubber hoses still look and feel like new. Despite sitting so long, there isn’t a single stain on the floor, so nothing has been leaking. No rodents have ever been in the garage.
  3. I can hear the fuel pump every time I turn the key on.
  4. I disconnected the fuel line under the car (by the rear tire) and turned the key. Gas shot out onto the floor, so it is making its way out of the tank.
  5. After an embarrassing amount of time, I finally found the spark plugs and checked them. All 4 were badly fouled so I replaced them. No improvement.
  6. I went to the store and bought a code reader. Zero codes! Wasn’t the point of these overly complicated computer cars is that they would tell you what was wrong with them, lol. Is it possible that I need a better reader? I bought the cheapest one they had for $60 since I would only use it one time (Innova 3020rs)
  7. I looked over the entire engine and found the PCV was busted off. Not sure if it was like that the entire time or if I broke it while changing the spark plugs. I researched online and found no evidence that this would cause a failure to start. Just some oil leaking and emissions issues while driving. I will replace it, I just don’t think that is the problem.
  8. Engine ground had a weird gooey residue all over it that came out of the cable. It looked like honey that had hardened. I scraped it all off, but no change. Not sure if that has affected the whole cable inside.
  9. I checked the Schrader valve and had no fuel came out. Turned the key a few times and still nothing. This can be a few things apparently, so I don’t want to rip the HPFP out unless I know that is the trouble since I hear it working. If I have low fuel pressure, shouldn’t I have gotten a code? Is it possible I have fuel problems AND a bad computer?
  10. I noticed the RPM needle doesn’t move while cranking. Possible crankshaft sensor failure? It seems some cars are supposed to show movement and some don’t, but I don’t know about the Solstice. Is there any way to test the crankshaft sensor?
Its a mess. How do I narrow down from here and what should I start with? I have a bad feeling it is multiple issues. Should I try getting a new ECM first and see if I can get codes? Also, is it OK to use starting fluid on these cars?
 

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The Schrader valve is going to be on the low pressure side of the HPFP. if you have no fuel at the Schrader valve then the fuel lines may not have primed all the way. sometimes it takes several cycles of the key from off to on before the system primes. Once you have the key in the on position you should hear the pump in the tank and then the pump will shut off. when it does turn the key off for 1 minute and then turn it back on. you should hear the pump run again and then shut off. Do that several times and then see if the car will start.

The other thing is make sure your battery has no less then 12 volts on it. If it has less then 12 volts you will need to charge it. The kappas electronics will act all goofy if the battery voltage is low and you could end up with a crank no start condition. I do not think this is the case because of the lack of fuel at the Schrader valve.

Codes will only get set after specific criteria has been met. The vehicle running is one of the criteria for a low fuel pressure DTC being set. Innova makes a decent code scanner, but chances are it is only going to provide you with emissions related information. In most cases an emissions related DTC is not going to cause the vehicle to not start. They will cause it to run like crap but it will usually start. In order for you to get more detailed diagnostic information for the vehicle you would need something like a VCX Nano which would allow you to use a laptop computer and run Tech2 which is the software that GM dealerships use to diagnose our cars. The VCX Nano is about 100.00 USD on Amazon.
 

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DO NOT use any kind of a starting fluid.
DO NOT buy any parts at this point. Lets diagnose the vehicle and find out what the problem is.
 

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I noticed the RPM needle doesn’t move while cranking. Possible crankshaft sensor failure? It seems some cars are supposed to show movement and some don’t, but I don’t know about the Solstice. Is there any way to test the crankshaft sensor?
Do the gauges POST when you turn the key on? POST is when the needle go all the way up and then back down again. I have never specifically looked to see if the tack goes up when the vehicle is cranking. I have a suspiscion that it doesn't. The gauges in our vehicles are not directly connected to any sensors, all of the gauges are connected to a computer network and that network has a gateway in it and that gateway connects to another network that the ECM is on. the ECM sends out data on that network and the gateway (BCM) gets the data and then transmits it on the network the gauges are on. So there is quite a bit taking place for information to get from point a to point b. The ECM could also be busy handling the starting of the car and doesn't send out anything during that process. Our vehicles have computer controlled starting so if you literally just tap the key to start and let go of it the car is going to continue to crank even tho you are not holding the key in the start position.
 

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the "honey" on the ground that you scraped off was there to keep the connection sealed so no oxygen could get to it. Corrosion cannot form without oxygen.
 

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If you have a person that can lend you a hand you can have them crank the car while you are pushing the Schrader valve in. Cover the valve with several towels. I would put a but load of blue paper towels down under the valve. If fuel comes out it is going to have about 100PSI behind it so it is going to spray. Wear goggles, a full face shield would be even better. Also keep that valve covered with towels when you press it in.

The kappas do not have a return line for unused fuel so the only way to get the air out is to either keep on cranking it until it comes out through the injectors or to press that Schrader valve to give it a helping hand. Once the air in the line pressures to whatever pressure the pump is able to do the pump is going to shut off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for all your replies. I have cycled the key so many times the past week that I figured it would have primed by now. I only waited about 30 seconds in between though, so I will try again waiting the full minute.
I have checked the battery a few times and it hasn't gone below 12.7 volts.
I checked yesterday and the gauges did post.
I didn't scrape the "honey" out of the cable, but for some reason it had melted out all over in between the engine and the cable ends so there wasn't a clean connection between the two. I thought for sure that was my problem at the time, but no.
Yeah, I couldn't find a straight answer about the starting fluid, so I figured it was best not to. That is usually my go to and makes it so easy to tell if its only a fuel problem.
I will check out that other program, but will wait and see if I can make any progress over the next couple days.
One of my biggest issues is that I don't have anyone that can help me. So many of the troubleshooting steps I have found require another person. I don't even have any neighbors that would help.
How many times can I safely crank it to try and get the air out? I don't want to burn up my starter, so I only do it about three or four times in a row and give it a rest for part of the day. Several other people on the forum also mentioned that it is supposed to keep cranking on its own. Mine doesn't do that. As soon as I let go, it immediately stops. Is that a problem?
Thank you again for all this help, I really appreciate your time.
 

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Thank you for all your replies. I have cycled the key so many times the past week that I figured it would have primed by now. I only waited about 30 seconds in between though, so I will try again waiting the full minute.
I have checked the battery a few times and it hasn't gone below 12.7 volts.
I checked yesterday and the gauges did post.
I didn't scrape the "honey" out of the cable, but for some reason it had melted out all over in between the engine and the cable ends so there wasn't a clean connection between the two. I thought for sure that was my problem at the time, but no.
Yeah, I couldn't find a straight answer about the starting fluid, so I figured it was best not to. That is usually my go to and makes it so easy to tell if its only a fuel problem.
I will check out that other program, but will wait and see if I can make any progress over the next couple days.
One of my biggest issues is that I don't have anyone that can help me. So many of the troubleshooting steps I have found require another person. I don't even have any neighbors that would help.
How many times can I safely crank it to try and get the air out? I don't want to burn up my starter, so I only do it about three or four times in a row and give it a rest for part of the day. Several other people on the forum also mentioned that it is supposed to keep cranking on its own. Mine doesn't do that. As soon as I let go, it immediately stops. Is that a problem?
Thank you again for all this help, I really appreciate your time.
Didn't you just post another thread??
Did you drain the oil as folks said?
Did you put a little oil in each piston to lube the piston rings?
Did you hand crank the engine to make sure nothing is seized?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I haven't posted any other threads. This is my first and only one. Should I be doing all this stuff they are talking about? I take it the person is having the same problem as me?
 

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yours is a 2007 so it might not crank on it's own, they changed the ECM in 2008 so the car cranking on it's own could be a function of the 2008 and newer ECM's

You definitely have a fuel issue if you are not getting any fuel out at the Schrader valve. the GXP doesn't have a high compression engine so it's not has hard to turn as say a built v8. it is also a 4 cylinder so less friction from moving parts. you can do several cranks that equal no more than 15 seconds or you can do a single 15 second crank. after the 15 seconds you should wait 3-5 minutes for the starter to cool down.

if the fuel line is 12' long at 100psi that would leave 21.168" of air at the end of the line. now you have to think about how many times the injectors would have to fire before using up that air. so at 300 RPM's that would mean that each cylinder has fired 150 times. 2 revolutions for each cylinder to fire one time; 4 strokes.. up, down, up, down = 2 revolutions. So how many time would all 4 injectors have to fire to use up almost 2' of air in the fuel line? I am thinking at least 150 revolutions. so that would be at least 1 minute of cranking.

I remember on the old school engines that had a 6psi mechanical pump and no return to the tank that it would take forever to get the fuel from the tank to the carburetor and it would kill the batter at least once trying to get the fuel up there. This is going to be similiar because there is no return, it is however different because the pump is not pulling it is pushing so the air in the line gets compressed shrinking the distance the fuel needs to travel.
 

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It is going to take a while to get the gas to the injectors. My best guess is closer to 2 minutes of cranking. If you have one of those infrared deals that reads temperature you should use that on the starter to see if it is getting to hot. all you need is line of sight to it with one of those infrared jobs. I think you can get one at Home Depot for < 20 bucks. Let me see if there is a procedure in the shop manual for priming the fuel system.
 

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Also.. There is a check valve so fuel cannot flow backwards. If you disconnect the fuel line near the tank drain the line and see how much fuel comes out. The check valve is apart of the pump assembly in the tank. The fuel may have gummied up in the line and is blocking it. If you do not get a lot of fuel out press the Schrader valve and see if more fuel comes out.

use an air compressor with the air pressure set to 10psi and see if you can blow the line out from the Schrader valve. If you get no air or fuel out of the line at the back where you disconnected it then you have a blockage in the line. You can increase the air pressure and try again, I would not go more then 40PSI of air pressure. You might get lucky and be able to blow the blockage out of the line.

To locate exactly where the block is you will need to feed a piece of wire up into the line. I would recommend disconnecting the line at the engine and feeding a piece of wire in from that end. you might be able to push the block out of the line. if not when you pull the wire back out you can place it against the pipe and get a ballpark of where the problem is and you can replace a smaller section of the fuel line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, great info. I have a lot to work on tomorrow. I think I have been taking it way too easy on the cranking. I am used to going all in on older cars until I can force them back to life (yes, they do take FOREVER to get the fuel up), but I came across so many danger posts the past week about all the ways I can damage this motor and all its electronics, that I got gun shy on it. I should add that the gas here in Vegas is notoriously brutal thanks to the heat. It has eaten up so many of my in tank pumps and completely disintegrated the woven filters. Even though fuel came out of the line underneath, I still can't discount damage to the pump or filter inside the tank from before it was drained.
 

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I haven't posted any other threads. This is my first and only one. Should I be doing all this stuff they are talking about? I take it the person is having the same problem as me?
My apologies! Your story is awfully similar to the other dudes, and was posted on the same day.
 

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@squilliam I was messin with ya. I do have to admit I thought the exact same thing and went to check as well to make sure.
amazing how 2 people have almost identical things happening with their car.
 

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Are you in Vegas trying to start this car? I don't have a lot of time and though pretty good with cars I'm not too familiar with the Kappa platform yet, but if you need a extra hand give me a shout. I live in Henderson and work in Boulder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just found the other post you are talking about. Dang, it is similar. I would have thought that was me too except mine has 9200 miles.
I am getting ready to go out now and have another go at it, so I will update later today with my results.
@07 Boss Yes, I am in Vegas, but all the way on the other side of town, just short of Summerlin.
 

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@rkg

Let me know what you come up with on the fuel situation. I have a sneaky suspicion either you have not cranked the car long enough or the line is plugged up.. you already ruled out the pump, check valve and regulator as being possible problems when you disconnected the line and had fuel coming out of the pump.

The vehicles is designed so if the ECM does not see an ignition pulse from the engine for 2 seconds it turns off the pump in the tank. so the only way to keep that bugger running is to crank the car or have the car start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quick update. I have been cranking off and on all morning and nothing so far. I moved on to disconnecting the fuel line underneath the car by the rear tire again and not a single drop of gas came out from either end. I wasn't expecting that with all the times I primed it. I turned the key on again to make sure gas was still coming out and it did. I decided to measure the amount and 3 cycles of the key only got me 1 1/2 tablespoons of gas. That can't be right?
 
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