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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey there! New guy here. Just joined. I bought a used 2007 Solstice about 4 weeks ago and immediately found this forum. Hi!

So, the car had 53k miles on it when I got it. Gorgeous looking. The previous single owner kept it in a garage, so it's nice and minty looking. I bought it from a place that was about 3 hours away from home, so I didn't have a chance to test drive it. I paid for it and drove off the lot before anyone could change their minds - I REALLY wanted this car. I'm stupid that way.

As soon as I started down the road I noticed a bunch of problems. If I were smart, I'd have driven back to the dealer and insisted that they fix them, but again - I'm stupid that way and was totally smitten with the car.

Most noticeable problem was a loud whine / gear noise coming from what sounded like under the parking brake. It got louder/worse under light throttle (later when I got home I found this forum and discovered it was most likely the rear diff - which it was). There was also a lot of vibration, the car pulled to the right, and the end of the shifter knob (not the shaft part, the knob on the end) was loose and would create one hell of a loud rattle when accelerating.

I took it to a local service shop and had the oil changed since it was down to less than 10% life, balanced the wheels (brand new tires but I don't think anyone ever balanced them because they were WAY off) and did the alignment (also way off). They didn't have time that day to look at the shifter or the diff. There was still some highway vibration even after the balance.

Then the holidays happened and all the snow so I didn't drive it for a couple weeks. Took it out the other night and the engine light popped on. Okay...

Dropped it off again at the service shop. They called me back about 2 hours later and said that the rear diff was shredded. They pulled the cover off and it was all metal shavings. That confirmed that. The engine light was a bad "intake cam actuator solenoid". And they needed to replace the shifter knob. Grand total for that was $3487.54. Basically almost a quarter of what I paid for the car (and add to that the cost of the alignment, oil change, and wheel balance I had done a couple weeks ago).

I tried calling the dealer but my salesman was out for the day, the manager was in a meeting, and I needed to tell the service shop what to do. The only help the secretary at the dealer could give me was "call the number on the warranty paperwork", which of course was sitting in the car at the service shop where I couldn't immediately get to it.

The kicker - because I authorized the repair ~before~ I called the warranty company, they wouldn't cover it. I had to pay for it. I do still have the chance to send them the paperwork and maybe they'll pay for some of it, maybe they won't. We'll see.

End result after all that calamity - the car is SMOOOOOOTH and quiet. Finally! I guess the vibration I was still getting at highway speed was actually the diff, cuz that's gone now. And I can actually hear the engine now! Before, the diff made so much noise that was all I could hear.

Got my fingers crossed that the warranty will cover some of this hugemungus bill, and that nothing else will break on the car until my finances can recover!

Only remaining weirdness is that cruising at about 30mph-40mph the car sort of starts "hopping" like I'm driving over closely-spaced bridge expansion joints. Not sure what that's about - I've seen it happen before in small cars so maybe it's normal.

I love my new baby, even with all the expensive doctor bills!

Anyway, maybe this will help someone in the future with similar problems.
 

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I hate to say this, but this shady dealer saw you coming. If it was happening right when you drove off the lot, then it was happening when they drove the vehicle themselves at the dealership. I'm guessing this was a mom and pop, because no respectable factory authorized dealer would sell a car in that condition.

Anyway, did you break in the diff? If not, first chance you get, go find an empty parking lot and drive in super-tight figure 8s for about 5 minutes. This will help get the diff oil into all the crannies and clutch packs. It may help with the hop you're getting at speed, not sure what that might be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hate to say this, but this shady dealer saw you coming. If it was happening right when you drove off the lot, then it was happening when they drove the vehicle themselves at the dealership. I'm guessing this was a mom and pop, because no respectable factory authorized dealer would sell a car in that condition.

Anyway, did you break in the diff? If not, first chance you get, go find an empty parking lot and drive in super-tight figure 8s for about 5 minutes. This will help get the diff oil into all the crannies and clutch packs. It may help with the hop you're getting at speed, not sure what that might be.
It was actually a fairly large Subaru dealer. Not sure if I should call them out or not. And yeah, I'm sure they noticed all these problems and said screw it. The warranty company isn't happy with them right now so they may catch hell for it still.

OOOoooooo...super good point about the breaking in the diff. I didn't even think about that. Will do that next trip out! Thanks for the tip!

The hop was happening before (and after) the new diff so probably not related.
 

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I hate to say this, but this shady dealer saw you coming. If it was happening right when you drove off the lot, then it was happening when they drove the vehicle themselves at the dealership. I'm guessing this was a mom and pop, because no respectable factory authorized dealer would sell a car in that condition.

Anyway, did you break in the diff? If not, first chance you get, go find an empty parking lot and drive in super-tight figure 8s for about 5 minutes. This will help get the diff oil into all the crannies and clutch packs. It may help with the hop you're getting at speed, not sure what that might be.
R U sure it is a POSI?
 

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If he looks in the glove box it will tell him if it is or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll take a look in the morning. Dark out already. :)

I don't know if this helps or not but the repair invoice lists "limited slip additive" as something they charged me for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm wondering if the "hop" is maybe the driveshaft out of balance or a shaft joint going bad. Maybe at 30-40mph it hits a resonant frequency? Wouldn't surprise me at this point.
 

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POST what ?

And which code should be in the glove box ?
Not POST. POSI... meaning a limited slip diff...

The glovebox has all the option codes and would tell you what diff is in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not POST. POSI... meaning a limited slip diff...

The glovebox has all the option codes and would tell you what diff is in the car.
I just looked at the original window sticker for the car with all the options. It does list a limited slip diff as one of the options on the car.
 

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I'd still be leery - extended warranty companies can be real dinks about " you did that without authorization" and may well try to weasel out of it. Dealer may or may not have had a clue about the issues. Might find yourself stuck in the middle of a prick waving match.

but on the upside - you've found out how much FUN these cars are!
 

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No offense but what the heck were you thinking?
Why would you not take the car back to the dealer you purchased it from when you found out about the problem?
Why would you pay for an after market warranty and not use it?

You're either the most forgiving guy walking the planet or you think a 3 hour drive (or tow) is an inconvenience worth almost $4,000 out of your own pocket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You're either the most forgiving guy walking the planet or you think a 3 hour drive (or tow) is an inconvenience worth almost $4,000 out of your own pocket.
I'm the most forgiving guy on the planet. I have the opposite of entitlement issues. I think everything is my fault. Like I said - I'm stupid like that. I can't help it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I assume the differential replacement was limited slip as well?
The repair invoice lists "limited slip additive" as something they charged me for so I'm assuming yes.
 

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well, you live and you learn. I didn't drive my 06 until paperwork was signed and discovered the rearend clunk on the way home. they didn't offer an extd warranty so I read up on it, made sure it was full and it's still the same. I did however get them to give me a new set of tires which would have been about 800 so I'm good. when I got the 08, they offered a GM extd warranty with $50 deductible and I jumped all over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just wanted to update everyone that the warranty company came through and covered the cost of the new diff + the bad sensor. Wooooo! I wouldn't recommend doing it the way I did - the hard way - but at least it worked out and I've got a shiny brand new diff on my car.
 
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