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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks, I'm a newby here after buying a 2008 Solstice GXP a couple of weeks ago. It has a little over 84,000 miles on it but is in reasonably good condition. My wife and I plan to use it as our 'fun' car.

I was driving it this past Sunday on a back road a short distance from home when the steering got very stiff, like the power steering had gone out, and I noticed the oil light was on as was the battery light. I wrestled it over into a side road and in just a minute or two the battery and oil lights went out and the steering came back to normal operation. It has now done the same thing a couple more times. I'm a little afraid to drive thinking this could happen while rounding a curve, which wouldn't be a good thing!

Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Was the engine still running?
 

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You need to check all your electrical connections.
Start with the ECM, then alternator, battery and grounds.
Also the BCM in the foot well of the passenger side.
Check your ignition key and see if you can pull the key out, or if you put a little down pressure on it if the key will switch to acc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Was the engine still running?
Yes, the engine was still running. Like I said the steering got very stiff like the ps had gone out; the oil light came on; and the battery light came on. In a couple of minutes, steering came back; lights went out.

Weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You need to check all your electrical connections.
Start with the ECM, then alternator, battery and grounds.
Also the BCM in the foot well of the passenger side.
Check your ignition key and see if you can pull the key out, or if you put a little down pressure on it if the key will switch to acc.
Thanks! Will check asap.
 

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If the engine was still running I'd not "skip" the ignition key check as latin recommended, but I wouldn't put as much emphasis on it. (Always best to be safe.) The electrical connections would definitely be where I'd focus on first, especially the ground strap as there have been reports of funky behavior when that sucker isn't good and clean.

Also - check to be sure what you think was the "oil light" wasn't something else - those little pictures can be misleading. (At least they have been for me.)

And welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...........Also - check to be sure what you think was the "oil light" wasn't something else - those little pictures can be misleading. (At least they have been for me.)
I checked the owner's manual the see which icon matched up with what was displayed and the lights that came on were the "LOW OIL PRESSURE" and the "CHARGING SYSTEM" lights.

I can understand how an electrical problem (ground strap, connection, etc) would cause the lights to come on but since the power steering is a mechanical system why would the problem be affecting it? I don't see a common denominator here.

Thanks again for your help.
 

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The 08 GXP, depending on build date, has a power assist brake issue and at low vacuum it will lose some of the assist. I've had mine do the steering thing a couple times but it was at takeoff in a parking lot. sounds like it's battery power / low idle related. I'd check the condition of the plugs and check all of your charge tube clamps and make sure your battery is fully charged and alt working.
 

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I'm not an expert, but I know once the battery starts to go on our cars, it causes problems you would not normally associate with a battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the input but I think I've figured out what's going on. I started the car this afternoon and immediately the PS failed; the charging system and oil pressure lights came on. Before it had only happened when I was driving so this time I was able to pop the hood and try to figure out what was going on. There was some noise this time that I had not heard before. I started trying to locate the source of the noise which seemed to be coming from the front of the engine near the serpentine belt. The closer I looked I could tell that even though the engine was running the serpentine belt was not moving. Looks like I've got a pulley issue that won't let the belt turn; hope it's just an idler pulley!
However that doesn't explain why the oil pressure light came on. Does this engine have an external oil pump?
 

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Man - I was just thinking "loose belt?" when I started reading back through this!

Again, no expert here, but is it possible the low voltage caused by the slipping belt was causing the erroneous low oil pressure light?

Let us know what you find out to be the cause of the belt not turning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Between finishing up a construction project today and a family cookout this evening I popped the hood on the Solstice. I stuck my hand in the front of the engine and the belts all seemed tight but I noticed something strange. I can turn both belts and all pulleys by hand!
All pulleys and belt tensionrs turned freely including the crankshaft pulley. I immediately knew it had to be loose so I put my hand on the crank pulley nut and it was so loose I could turn it by hand and the pulley moved freely on the shaft. I think my problem can be fixed by tightening the crank bolt but is there a key way I need to be concerned about where the pulley mounts to the crank?
 

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Between finishing up a construction project today and a family cookout this evening I popped the hood on the Solstice. I stuck my hand in the front of the engine and the belts all seemed tight but I noticed something strange. I can turn both belts and all pulleys by hand!
All pulleys and belt tensionrs turned freely including the crankshaft pulley. I immediately knew it had to be loose so I put my hand on the crank pulley nut and it was so loose I could turn it by hand and the pulley moved freely on the shaft. I think my problem can be fixed by tightening the crank bolt but is there a key way I need to be concerned about where the pulley mounts to the crank?
I don't see a key or key way in this drawing, but I don't have direct experience either.



ENGINE ASM-2.0L L4 PART 3 TIMING CHAIN & TENSIONER. Fits: 2008 Pontiac Solstice TURBO 2 DR CONVERTIBLE | Nalley Buick GMC Brunswick
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
OK-here's a follow-up to my last post and the problem.
After tightening the crankshaft bolt that hold the crank puller in place I did a short test drive. After about ten miles, the power steering went out, the same idiot lights came back on as before. I made a mistake and tried to limp it back home, driving slowly and easily, but the engine died after about three miles. I had the car towed to my mechanic the next morning and he told me the crank bolt hole was wallowed out badly so that the crank bolt would not stay tightened. I hate to think it, but the mechanic seemed to think the previous owner (Remember-I've only had the car a short time) shafted me. The previous owner had told me that he had to replace the water pump and I think whomever did that work may have left the crank bolt loose.


My mechanic did the junkyard network search and found an engine with 103k miles on it. However, a new crate engine was only a couple of thousand more bucks, so I've ordered the new engine (3yr, 100k warranty) and am having it installed.

I'm looking at this as an opportunity, be it an expensive one! Are there any modifications I should consider while installing the new engine?
 

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Too bad - there are other ways of dealing with worn threads - Helicoils etc. and threadlockers that fill voids, that might have been worth trying first.

As for the new engine, just leave it as it comes and stick it in - there is nothing you can do to it without going inside and changing parts to suit bigger turbos etc. It is all set to go the way it comes. GM did a good job with this engine (something I wish we could say about all their engines).
 

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Sorry to hear about the motor, but happy to hear you are not giving up on the car. I am not talking about you, but I feel like too many people give up on these cars too fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Too bad - there are other ways of dealing with worn threads - Helicoils etc. and threadlockers that fill voids, that might have been worth trying first.

QUOTE]

The slipping crank pulley caused major engine damage-warped valves, etc. I wish it would have been so easy as to fix with helicoils, etc but the internal damage was already done.
 
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