Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I decided it’s time to share some information about the single cup holder that GM in its infinite wisdom provided to us in our cars.

The cup holder mechanism is identical in model years 06 through 08. For MY 2009 a single retention screw was added. This was to address the issue of people pushing their cup holder assembly into the forward console and it becoming unserviceable.

The exterior trim on the cup holder assembly is removable and is available in colors that match the forward console, gray, black and sand I believe.

The cup holder, while it functions quite well when properly operated, does have some issues:
1) You must open and close the cup holder from the front edge of the trim only. It has a ratchet type latch. When you push it once, it releases. When you push it a second time it locks closed. The first failure mode is people attempt to open the cup holder by pushing on the trim in any place other than the front edge. When you do this, the ratchet latch will not cycle open. Thinking this is an problem, people will push harder in the wrong location until they either give up, or they push the cup holder cartridge inside the forward console where the trim piece will stick against the forward console and fail to open.
2) The design calls for pushing on the forward edge of the trim to close the cup holder. When you push inward on the forward edge of the trim the rear slotted portion of the mechanism is supposed to slide forward over the curved retracting portion of the holder. This curved retracting part slides into the rear pivoting slot AND it also slides along a grove inside the cartridge, first traveling inward about ½ inch, then traveling diagonally inward and forward at about a 45 degree angle further into and forward inside the cup holder cartridge. So the rear portion pivots forward, partially taking into it the curved retracting part, while the curved retracting part is traveling inside the pivoting portion AND while the left end is traveling inward and then forward into the cartridge. The design problem is that the curved portion “over travels” out of the pivoting slot enough that when you press on the forward edge of the trim to close the device, the curved part hands up in the slot and does not slide into the slot as it needs to do in order to close. When this happens, the force is transferred along the curved retracting part to the pins inside the slots in the cartridge. And the pins pop out of the guide slots, leaving the forward curved part no longer adequately constrained mechanically and it either falls out on the floor or it just sticks the mechanism in the partially open position.
3) Most cup holders fail to pop open properly when the ratchet closure mechanism is activated. They may pop open a very small amount and require that the user try to grab them and pull to overcome the frictional forces. This can happen with poor lubrication, bad fit or as a result of the cup holder cartridge being pushed far enough into the forward console such that the trim is being trapped by the edges of the opening slot in the forward console. Thus the addition of the screw retainer in the 09 cars.
If you have an 06 through 08 car, and you have a less than well performing cup holder here are suggestions for making it work correctly.
a) First, remove the cup holder cartridge from the forward console. It’s a friction / tab fit. You can get it out by simply pulling on it outward. You can use a non-scuff panel tool (plastic pry bar) or something as simple as a plastic putty knife from Home Depot.
b) Next turn the cartridge over and deploy the cup holder. Using a file of your choice, remove material from the bottom of the curved sliding part. The part is plastic encased metal. You want to remove a bit of the plastic to increase the clearance for the mechanism. While you are there, lubricate it with some graphite lubricant.
c) Cycle the cup holder several times to distribute the lubricant and verify that it pops open when activated.
d) Reinsert the cartridge into the slot and make sure it is properly seated.
If you have an 09 car, you need to access the mounting screw that is below the front right edge of the shift boot opening. You can access the screw without removing the forward console if you get the shift boot lifted away from the forward console.

My cup holder has “disassembled” its self at least 5 times over the years. Every time I spend the 10 seconds necessary to reinsert it and it’s good to go for a long time. Since doing the material removal and lubrication it has been very reliable.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Some additional pictures. You can see where I ground some of the plastic off the bottom of the curved articulating part.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts
Mine broke 5 1/2 years ago when I had about 100 miles on the car. Haven't touched it since.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Mine broke 5 1/2 years ago when I had about 100 miles on the car. Haven't touched it since.
Did it actually break, or come apart? I have never seen one actually break. The pieces are quite robust, the weak point is the sliding hinge. When it fails, you can reinsert the articulating curved part back into the rear folding slot and press the pins back into the sliding slot. Good as new
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I removed enough to allow free motion. Not very much. But you can't really hurt functionality if you remove most of the plastic on the bottom. Its plastic cast over metal and has a very good bond.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,422 Posts
Rob - I'd suspect there may have been a raised area at the round markings on the back, was that the case?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
686 Posts
Cupholder suckage - why I love my cupholder

Mine broke a couple years ago. I will say it was my fault, but took it to the dealer and had it replaced under warranty. Took an hour. Test drove a Camaro while I was waiting, didn't like it. :)

I am very cautious with it now. The key that I find is making sure all the bits are tucked under it before pushing all the way in to ensure good closing.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Rob - I'd suspect there may have been a raised area at the round markings on the back, was that the case?
You are correct. While I was there, I just removed material from the entire back of the part and leveled it out. It really pops to attention now:thumbs:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Rob – are you saying that you can "remove the unit" without first taking the console off? (all but 09)
Yes.

I have had mine out several times from my Sol. I have replaced one for a club member on an 08 Sky and it was identical. No screw. If you can get it open, you can use the rear rotating part as a handle. The part that has the exterior trim mounted to it. There are four locking tabs on the cart that you can release with any thin pointed tool and then by pulling outward and rocking slightly the locking tabs will release.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,422 Posts
Figured it would be those areas. They are ejector pins that push the molded part out when it's completed. The others are "cores" that would be used to hold the metal insert in place for the plastic to be molded over it. See it all the time in my line of work. Car companies want the suppliers to pay for the tooling, car companies want the suppliers to reduce their prices, suppliers have to cut their costs and they build cheap tooling.

Cheap tooling means the ejector pins are either not right to begin with or they wear fast leaving flash or "pads" standing from the molded part. Since it's on the "non-show" side it's considered acceptable. Until, that is, your cupholder no longer functions correctly. So the cost savings are lost with warranty claims.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Rob – are you saying that you can "remove the unit" without first taking the console off? (all but 09)
Here are some pics of the cart going back into the forward console
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Figured it would be those areas. They are ejector pins that push the molded part out when it's completed. The others are "cores" that would be used to hold the metal insert in place for the plastic to be molded over it. See it all the time in my line of work. Car companies want the suppliers to pay for the tooling, car companies want the suppliers to reduce their prices, suppliers have to cut their costs and they build cheap tooling.

Cheap tooling means the ejector pins are either not right to begin with or they wear fast leaving flash or "pads" standing from the molded part. Since it's on the "non-show" side it's considered acceptable. Until, that is, your cupholder no longer functions correctly. So the cost savings are lost with warranty claims.
Yes,
Which is why when I trimmed the bottom of the articulated curved part, the operation of the cup holder was greatly improved. It now litterally snaps all the way open when activated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,212 Posts
when I first got mine ( last month ) it didn't seem to open all the way but since I've been using it, it seems to be working fine. I use mine all the time although I'm still not that confident that it won't break, especially when there's a semi full 16oz beer in there. it does sit in there better with a thin koozie though. It's nice that the thing is out of the way but when those cops in their SUV's drive by, I have to hurry up and put it between my legs and cover it with my shirt. what I need now is tinted windows:)

Charlie
 

·
Registered
2009 Mysterious GXP Coupe #100
Joined
·
2,733 Posts
So here's my problem... I actually pushed mine into the hole. I haven't been able to get it back thru so I got fed up and ordered a Santana... How do I get this thing out though? Can I undo the screw and rotate it out thru the shifter hole?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
So here's my problem... I actually pushed mine into the hole. I haven't been able to get it back thru so I got fed up and ordered a Santana... How do I get this thing out though? Can I undo the screw and rotate it out thru the shifter hole?
If you have other than an 09, you just pull it out. Reach in with a thin tool of your choice, pull the edge out where you can get a hold on it and pull. It will come out.

If you have an 09, then you need to take the screw out first. But theoretically with the 09 version with the anchor screw it should not have pushed into the forward console. If it did, then either the screw is missing or it has actually rotated on the screw so the rear edge is at or near the surface of the forward console and the forward edge is actually inside the console. If this is the case, you should be able to grab onto the forward edge with the proper hooked tool and pull it out to get it back where it belongs. Let us know how it turns out.:yesnod:
 

·
Registered
2009 Mysterious GXP Coupe #100
Joined
·
2,733 Posts
If you have other than an 09, you just pull it out. Reach in with a thin tool of your choice, pull the edge out where you can get a hold on it and pull. It will come out.

If you have an 09, then you need to take the screw out first. But theoretically with the 09 version with the anchor screw it should not have pushed into the forward console. If it did, then either the screw is missing or it has actually rotated on the screw so the rear edge is at or near the surface of the forward console and the forward edge is actually inside the console. If this is the case, you should be able to grab onto the forward edge with the proper hooked tool and pull it out to get it back where it belongs. Let us know how it turns out.:yesnod:
It's an 09. The screw is NOW out in trying to get this thing fixed... I didn't EXACTLY give the whole story. I actually pulled the console away from the cupholder while running some new wires. So ya, the whole thing is inside the lip, and I can't figure out how to get it back out over the lip.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I think you could pull the center console to get access to the forward console screws. Once you remove the rear screws you might be able to lift the edge of the forward console enough to get at the cup holder
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top