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Link to the one I got. I found it to work well...have used three times now on two cars. There is room for operator error. The overflow has to be capped off and it can be a bit tricky to get a good seal. I also used the compressed air technique last time, after I filled it, just to be as sure as possible that all the air was out.

Tool:

Compressed air method:
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
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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?
I just did this a couple weekends ago and did the vacuum coolant filling for the first time (wasn’t aware of it the last time I did one in 2013)
Assuming you have a compressor, you buy, borrow or rent the Venturi based connected for your sol, run the compressor across the valve system that sits in your coolant tank, get to -21–24 ish PSI. **** the system down with the valves locked, wait a minute or so to see if she is holding vacuum, then open the valve connected to your containers of dexacool and BAM, no bubbles!

I did run the vacuum a couple more times and squeezed the coolant lines to chase any bubbles but man when I was done, I was done! No lifting the coolant tank while it’s hot, none of it.

perfect fill!

and knowing what I know now (being that I screwed it up the first time with my ignorance) if you are not holding a vacuum you have a leak.

in my case it was the housing under the thermostat that the rubber gasket had dried out.

fortunately I was able to drain the fresh coolant out of the radiator back into the dexavool container and catch 90% of the coolant.

here is a pic of that gasket that got me. I don’t often see it mentioned in the thermostat discussions and was ignorant of its existence, until after I was finished and started the car…
I had to drop the cat and remove the heater hoses to get to it but it was a “relatively” easy job once those were out of the way…
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Link to the one I got. I found it to work well...have used three times now on two cars. There is room for operator error. The overflow has to be capped off and it can be a bit tricky to get a good seal. I also used the compressed air technique last time, after I filled it, just to be as sure as possible that all the air was out.

Tool:

Compressed air method:
+1 on the overflow line needing to be sealed.
They give you a little red rubber cap but it did not work for me (and why I assumed the system was fine and I was just leaking at the coolant drain line) so I just put my thumb over it and it sucked right to it and we were good.
round two with that rectangle rubber o-ring in place and my thumb on the coolant line and she held the vacuum…

oh and I should mention the Venturi pass through was pulling some fumes and foamed coolant so I stuck that line in an empty dexacool container with a paper towel over the hole while my buddy made sure the intake line was always below the dexacool feed so as not to suck any air in.
Definitely easier with an extra set of hands..
 

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@HHGadget

Good to see you used anti seize on those catalyst bolts. What flavor did you use? Gotta use the right stuff on exhaust parts. The Permatex Nickle has a high temp rating of 2400°F. I use the Permatex Copper for everything I have to use anti seize on temp rating is 1800°F. The copper is the best for electrical conductivity and it has a high enough temp rating to use on exhaust components.
 

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Tangential to the thread but Permatex nickel.
Sheesh that stuff gets ever single where though don’t it?
I took a shower that night and my upper arm looked like the tin man from wizard of oz and I swear I used it super sparingly :)
 

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Yeah it does manage to get everywhere and it sure doesn't come off easy either. I have a boars hair brush that I use to scrub. It makes it a whole lot easier to clean up. It does take a bit before the skin gets used to it.

A really neat trick I learned from an old timer to make cleanup a whole lot easier is vegetable or corn oil. wipe down your hands and arms with it until your skin doesn't absorb it anymore and wipe the excess off with paper towel. The grit and grease from a car won't stick to your skin and just about wipes off. I do forget to do this quite often but when I remember all I need is dawn and some warm water and everything comes right off.

Over the years my skin as gotten quite tough, fiberglass doesn't bother me at all.
 

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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.
New to my Sol and this forum. What are the warning signs to look for in a failing WP? Anything unique?
 

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Someone with way better knowledge and experience can speak into this. What I have gleaned from the Kappa forums are symptoms like constant low coolant, wild fluctuating temps (could be bubble in the system) and small puddles underneath the car below the WP.
 

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New to my Sol and this forum. What are the warning signs to look for in a failing WP? Anything unique?
Welcome to the forum.

Repeated loss of coolant without a visible leak is usually the earliest sign.
 
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New to my Sol and this forum. What are the warning signs to look for in a failing WP? Anything unique?
Also, because it is a sealed system this car should never have a “coolant smell” after a drive.

if you starting sniffing that coolant smell, start looking at your coolant level to make sure it is not dropping in the tank.

my car did not have a leak (this second one) and didn’t “need” a pump or thermostat but I had the exhaust and cat and turbo out and had to drain the oil and coolant to do so. I figured to do it now while I had all this stuff off the engine and access was especially easy.

that being said I am glad I did because the rectangular rubber gasket in the photo above was obviously past it’s prime and looking for a reason to fail me.
$9 part for that o ring. Again I haven’t heard of others having an issue with that but this car is 13 years old with low miles so logical that seals like that might start to dry out.

now that it’s done I feel confident I won’t have to mess with it for many years to come and can focus on more horsepower!!!
:)
 

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If there is an air bubble in the system that is working it's way out you can get a coolant smell from the overflow tube once the pressure hits 15psi in the coolant system. You can also get a smell if you are running the car hard on a hot day and the coolant temps are closer to the 230's area as this will open the pressure release in the cap of the coolant overflow bottle. The location of the overflow bottle is so close to the drivers door if the window is open you may get a wiff of coolant if the wind blows the right direction and the system is venting pressure. It is rare that it happens but it can if the planets align right and such.
 

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Again it’s rarity is a just a reminder to keep your eye on the coolant tank.
Also an excuse to show off and pop the hood :)
 

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Link to the one I got. I found it to work well...have used three times now on two cars. There is room for operator error. The overflow has to be capped off and it can be a bit tricky to get a good seal. I also used the compressed air technique last time, after I filled it, just to be as sure as possible that all the air was out.

Tool:

Compressed air method:
How does the Harbor Freight model compare? Anybody use this one??

MADDOX - Cooling System Test And Refill Kit
 

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The Amazon one I have had 3 valve shut offs hard to tell from the pics but that one has two?
 

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The Amazon one I have had 3 valve shut offs hard to tell from the pics but that one has two?
Yeah ... I think the OEMTOOLS model has an additional tube to direct the compressed air away. Whereas the Harbor freight model does not ...
 

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I certainly recommend that 3rd tube.
That’s the one I stuck in an empty dexacool container with a paper towel to help block the fine Atomized mist of dexacool that was coming out (and the occasional “glurg”, ended up being about 1/4 full when it was done so not an insignificant thing
 

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I’d go with the Amazon one recommended here as there are proven use cases and I think it’s the one in the how to video
 

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We have had good success with this tool

AmazonSmile: UView 550000 Airlift Cooling System Leak Checker and Airlock Purge Tool Kit : Automotive

you need shop air to use it but its what is referred to as a power coolant changer tool. It generates a significant vacuum on the coolant overflow tank, which will act to suck most of the coolant out of the system. Then when you are ready to refill, you pull the vacuum, then switch to the fill port which pulls the coolant from a bottle or bucket back into the system, ideally filling it without any trapped air. Works about 90% of the time for us the first try.
 

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which will act to suck most of the coolant out of the system
What actually happens is that as the ambient pressure in the system drops, the boiling point of the coolant drops, and it literally boils at room temp and is sucked out of the system as vapor. PV=nRT
 
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