Pontiac Solstice Forum banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
looking to get a solstice, but i cant seem to find any with less than 50k miles near me. ive heard that the water pump is one of the first things to go; so, how much does it cost to fix it? I really would love to get one but i dont want to have to spend a ton of money within a few thousand miles of getting it. thanks!
 

·
Registered
2006
Joined
·
194 Posts
How about getting over the low-mileage requirement? These cars are old, so don't expect too may low-mileage cars out there as time goes by. Plus, low-mileage cars stored improperly bring issues of their own; reports of seals drying out, premature water pump failures, etc. I bought a pristine '06 2 years ago, with 87k km. Just look for one that has obviously been taken care of and operated fairly, regardless of the mileage. Research the car so you can make a sound decision. But do get one...these cars are a blast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How about getting over the low-mileage requirement? These cars are old, so don't expect too may low-mileage cars out there as time goes by. Plus, low-mileage cars stored improperly bring issues of their own; reports of seals drying out, premature water pump failures, etc. I bought a pristine '06 2 years ago, with 87k km. Just look for one that has obviously been taken care of and operated fairly, regardless of the mileage. Research the car so you can make a sound decision. But do get one...these cars are a blast.
sorry i guess i worded that a little weird, I meant that since they all have some miles on them, i might have to have some extra funds piled up in case of something going wrong. one near me has about 45K miles and was babied for almost its whole lifespan in a warmer state. Its about $10K and i'm really hoping I can get my hands on it :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,961 Posts
sorry i guess i worded that a little weird, I meant that since they all have some miles on them, i might have to have some extra funds piled up in case of something going wrong. one near me has about 45K miles and was babied for almost its whole lifespan in a warmer state. Its about $10K and i'm really hoping I can get my hands on it :)
My Sky RL has 92k miles and has not had a water pump failure, so early failure is not a given.

To answer your original question, the replacement cost varies with your location and the labor rates. I would call whichever shop you trust and ask for the cost.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sting Ya

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Or find one with the WP already replaced. There's no guarantee longevity either. I heard it's about $1000. There will be tell tale signs of WP failing. It shouldn't just pop on you unexpectedly unless you are oblivious to the car's health.

I think any cars with this age require care and attention.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,198 Posts
I'm always looking at for sale ads and subscribe to Hemmings for years there are a lot of low mileage (under 50000 mile ) cars out there .Depending on what part of the country you are in will have a bearing on the mileage here in Ohio most of these cars are put away for 6 months out of the year so naturally they won't have the mileage of say a Florida car . As long as the car is driven a few times a year you should be fine especially given that most are owned by enthusiasts who tend to to take care of them . The water pump issues seem to be more common in GXPs as is the high pressure fuel pump failures . If you're looking for a nice driver and not concerned about overall performance an NA (base) should be on your list .
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,961 Posts
I'm always looking at for sale ads and subscribe to Hemmings for years there are a lot of low mileage (under 50000 mile ) cars out there .Depending on what part of the country you are in will have a bearing on the mileage here in Ohio most of these cars are put away for 6 months out of the year so naturally they won't have the mileage of say a Florida car . As long as the car is driven a few times a year you should be fine especially given that most are owned by enthusiasts who tend to to take care of them . The water pump issues seem to be more common in GXPs as is the high pressure fuel pump failures . If you're looking for a nice driver and not concerned about overall performance an NA (base) should be on your list .
Good points, although with the exception of horsepower, the performance of the NA is on par with the GXP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
looking to get a solstice, but i cant seem to find any with less than 50k miles near me. ive heard that the water pump is one of the first things to go; so, how much does it cost to fix it? I really would love to get one but i dont want to have to spend a ton of money within a few thousand miles of getting it. thanks!
About $1,100 done at a local shop a few months ago. They noticed the leak while replacing clutch so it's possible the labor was shortened since they were already in there...

I bought the car with 95k miles and now it's at 130k miles. My carfax says it was last replaced at 90k miles in 2014. So, mine got 40k miles and 7 years.
Font Paper Paper product Document Number
 

·
Registered
08 Sky Redline, 5M
Joined
·
208 Posts
Water pump from Rock Auto, like $65 without cover, or maybe $120 with cover and bolts. Is it do-able by yourself for sure if you're mechanically inclined. But it's not a job to take on lightly, even for me (done it 2x now and lots of other work) I will still call it a "pain in the rear" ... but not "friggin impossible". Most things are easy enough access, nothing is "insane to access".
Required removal of, in rough order, from memory:
drain coolant, spills everywhere from the pump drain bolt
unbolt exhaust at cat
remove cat/downpipe
remove turbo coolant and oil lines
remove turbo (possibly unbolt motor mount to jack motor a bit)
take off thermostat bolts
take off thermostat/heater diverter housing
install water pump pulley tool
remove WP, replace
reverse^
fill coolant, 100x easier with vacuum tool.

I estimate it took me ~12 hours, I didn't rush, but it was not my first time taking the engine apart. So I got it done in about 2 days.
Some ppl said you can do it without removing the turbo, but I think that's far riskier and actually harder work than access from the top.
 
  • Like
Reactions: showtime

·
Premium Member
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
Joined
·
978 Posts
I just did this one myself last weekend (and posted about my experience) for the second time on my Solstice. (First time was on my first Sol and man did I go about that one the wrong way)
This second time was preventative as I had the turbo out and the wheel well liner and wheel out and no better time to do it kinda thing.

my GXP is low miles-ish at 23k when I bought it earlier this year.
unfortunately (As mentioned previously) one of the caveats is the rubber gaskets, o-rings and the like can and will dry out if the car is left to sit too long.

I ended up getting lucky and finding the rubber gasket part on Labor Day (the auto gods were smiling on me) but proves the point that at 13 years old, low miles is likely to mean low hours and that means longer periods of time without oil and coolant coursing through her veins.

absolutey not a fun experience for a moderate diy wrencher like myself but now that I have done it the second time from the side of the motor, I could totally blow through doing another one.

$1000 sound more than fair given that there aren’t going to be a lot of mechanics doing the work these days that have previous experience and a lot of the job (at least for me) was trial and error the first time in working in such a tight space.

good news is that if you were to have to do it (and to John’s point that is not a given) there are plenty of people here more than happy to help and the parts themselves are really cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I am new to the community and I have a 2006 Base Model with 134,000 on it and I have zero leaks and car runs amazing, I think at times that low miles cars are more of a problem as they sit and seals dry out etc. But on the other hand you don't want a high mileage car that has been beat to death. Each car is different and it all comes down to look over the car carefully
 

·
Premium Member
2007 Sol NA (work in progress)
Joined
·
184 Posts
one near me has about 45K miles and was babied for almost its whole lifespan in a warmer state. Its about $10K and i'm really hoping I can get my hands on it :)
Well, keep in mind that there seem to be A LOT of people in the colder states that evidently don't want to winterize their cars as it gets older. More competition for buyers = lower prices from sellers. Keep in mind the basic rule of negotiation: Start high, wind up HIGH. Start LOW, wind up low. But check out your darling very well. As noted above, low mileage cars don't always store well, and higher mileage cars may have had more reliable ROUTINE maintenance done. GLWP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I would add that one thing is a given, all of the cars are used, some will be in great shape some will not. No matter what you buy, you will be wrenching on it to keep it on the road and regardless if you do the work or have it done you will pay and certain parts are impossible or very hard to come by. I am hoping that at some point aftermarket suppliers start offering parts such as weatherstriping
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
3,118 Posts
if you know how to operate a wrench then you can do the water pump.
 
  • Like
Reactions: showtime

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,154 Posts
I have done the water pump and did not remove anything to do the job. The pump comes in two halves and each half will fit into the right location where they get assembled together.

The book time for a water pump change at the dealer is something like 9 hours. Its not difficult as others have stated but tedious. The one caveat is you MUST have the timing chain tension tool and use it CORRECTLY else you will be in for removing the front of the car, pulling the radiator, then doing a timing chain replacement. The issue (risk) is if you do not ensure the tension on the timing chain - which drives the water pump - then you will likely eat the timing chain and be in for a lot of work. To make it more interesting, when I installed the timing chain retention tool I had to do it by feel because you cant see what you are doing due to space limitations. But if I can do it, then anyone can. :)
It took me and John 10 hours to do the job. We did not remove anything but the water pipe and worked from top and bottom (on the lift) and it came out well. He is still driving the car daily over a year later.

If you take it to a dealer you will pay for 9 hours at their rate this can mean anywhere from a low of $900 to a high above $1300. But you get a warranty on the work and if they screw up the timing chain, they get to fix it for free.
 

·
Premium Member
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
Joined
·
978 Posts
I have done the water pump and did not remove anything to do the job. The pump comes in two halves and each half will fit into the right location where they get assembled together.

The book time for a water pump change at the dealer is something like 9 hours. Its not difficult as others have stated but tedious. The one caveat is you MUST have the timing chain tension tool and use it CORRECTLY else you will be in for removing the front of the car, pulling the radiator, then doing a timing chain replacement. The issue (risk) is if you do not ensure the tension on the timing chain - which drives the water pump - then you will likely eat the timing chain and be in for a lot of work. To make it more interesting, when I installed the timing chain retention tool I had to do it by feel because you cant see what you are doing due to space limitations. But if I can do it, then anyone can. :)
It took me and John 10 hours to do the job. We did not remove anything but the water pipe and worked from top and bottom (on the lift) and it came out well. He is still driving the car daily over a year later.

If you take it to a dealer you will pay for 9 hours at their rate this can mean anywhere from a low of $900 to a high above $1300. But you get a warranty on the work and if they screw up the timing chain, they get to fix it for free.
Tedious, time consuming, body contorting, tight spaces and the need for a decent amount of various depth sockets and wrenches, the possibility of messing up and having to redo the timing chain are exactly why I called this one “difficult”.
Being as I have seen at least one post where a dealer messed up the timing chain part speaks to it as well.
:)
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
3,118 Posts
get the full circle tool not the one that is a half circle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
+1 for the full-circle tool.
I did it myself earlier this year. It was not a fun project. You choose between decent access and lots of disassembly (remove turbo and down-pipe), or difficult access and less disassembly (split the pump in the car). I chose the latter.
Parts:
  • Water pump
  • Thermostat
  • Gaskets (came with water pump)
  • Some people recommend lubricating the gaskets with vasoline. I choice to use some Dexcool.
  • Dexcool

Tools:
  • Water pump sprocket tool, full circle
  • Vacuum coolant refill tool
  • Many and various sockets, extensions, magnetic ends, etc.
  • Patience. Much of the project is just the hassle of trying to get sockets onto bolts. Plus the origami moves to rotate the pump in the car to disassembly/reassemble it there. The hardest fasteners were the two on the thermostat cap.

I already had the coolant vacuum tool. But even including it, I was in less than $200 in parts and supplies.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
29 Posts
Tools:
  • Water pump sprocket tool, full circle
  • Vacuum coolant refill tool
  • Many and various sockets, extensions, magnetic ends, etc.
  • Patience. Much of the project is just the hassle of trying to get sockets onto bolts. Plus the origami moves to rotate the pump in the car to disassembly/reassemble it there. The hardest fasteners were the two on the thermostat cap.

I already had the coolant vacuum tool. But even including it, I was in less than $200 in parts and supplies.
Y'all school me on the "Vacuum coolant refill tool" ... I've never used one. Why is it beneficial w/ the Solstice 2.0L? Which brand/model tool?
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
3,118 Posts
the way the coolant system is designed on the Kappas air gets trapped in the system when you fill it. It is a headache to get the air out because it can pressurize and get stuck and not move. What the tool does is it uses air pressure from a compressor to create suction using a venturi design. This causes a vacuum in the coolant system and when the coolant gets let into the system it gets sucked into the system and this helps to fill all of the space leaving no air pockets.

It's not a perfect way of doing it but it does work. It can be a bit fickle and you can opt to use something like a vacuum pump for filling an AC system instead. This would be more expensive and it could pull too much of a vacuum and collapse the rubber lines if not carefully monitored.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KappaOx
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top