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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello. I'm new to the forum but I have visited on many occasions seeking answers to our fuel system delivery problems over the course of the last year or so. We bought a 2007 Solstice GXP 5 speed stick with only 13K miles in Sept 2011. We are the third owner and thought we might be getting a good deal. The warranty was expired when we bought the car and there were no indications of any problems from the Car Fax. We've been burnt before on a bumper to bumper warranty on a different GM car when the clutch went out two weeks later and was told that it was a wearable part and not covered. Long story short, the car is not a daily driver and now has only 19K miles and has become a money pit. The average down time in the shop has been two weeks at a time and repair costs totaling nearly $1900. I'm wondering if there is any remedy from GM for the repair costs we've shelled out so far? And we may not be done yet. Here's a brief history.

The first time the car got close to Empty on the gage, the low fuel alarm sounded and the car died a few seconds later. Out of gas? I added a couple of gallons to get me to a gas station. The car restarted then lit the CEL and threw out a code P0087: Fuel Rail/Fuel Pressure Too Low. This code and the CEL came and went over the course of the next several months. I was advised to keep driving it and see what happens. I noticed that the engine would stumble on occasions after making sharp turns which sometimes would set off the CEL and this code again. Other times it was unclear what was causing it. We usually refueled and played with the gas cap. Eventually the car started stalling at 45mph and threw out two new codes in addition. P0088 & P0089 (Fuel Rail/Fuel Pressure Too High, Fuel Rail/Fuel Pressure Regulator, Performance 1). A wire pin was found to be backed out of the fuel pressure sensor connecting plug. The high pressure fuel pump/regulator was replaced after showing readings near 1600psi. A very expensive repair. I picked the car up after this repair and it died only five minutes down the road at 45mph, would not restart, and had to be towed back - P00087 again. A dirty or intermittent ground located near the left rear wheel for the fuel pump was thought to be causing the fuel pump relay to overheat and cutoff fuel flow. That seemed to have corrected the problem. This all happened last summer, June & July 2013. The car has had a few instances since of hard bucking without setting off any codes. The car was driven very little during the winter.

Fast forward to early May 2014. After a short ride the car dies in our driveway upon making a hard left turn and would not restart. I swapped relays for the fuel pump with another in the fuse box. No dice. The fuel gage read 1/4 Full and was towed back to the shop. The intake cam sensor was found to be out of correlation and replaced in order to get the car restarted. But it wouldn't stay running in the shop. They added a few gallons of fuel and replaced the fuel level sensor in the tank. I picked the car up but did not refuel it to make sure this did not happen again. The car died the next time it hit the 1/4 Full mark and threw out the P0087 code. At this point I'm thinking the tank is Empty and this code is starting to make sense. Instead of calling the tow truck, I had my wife bring me some gas from home and the car restarted and got me back home. The low fuel warning never came on since the gage was not getting anywhere close to Empty anymore. The DIC indicated that the car had a fuel range of 230 miles after adding only a couple of gallons to get home. Hmmm. Something doesn't add up.

I filled the tank to the brim and returned to the shop and suggested that the gage was out of calibration and that the car didn't know how much fuel was in the tank. The shop wanted to check for a hole in the fuel pump syphon hose first. The fuel system was found to be OK. When they tried reprogramming the fuel gage, the gage was found to be faulty and would not take the software update. The instrument cluster was sent out for a new gage with the latest software. I picked the car up and got two miles down the road and the low fuel warning sounds and lights up the dash icon and the new fuel gage went from Full to completely Empty in an instant. We made an immediate 180 back to the shop and a plug was found to have come unplugged. Either in the tank or during the course of programming? (Not clear on which). I haven't driven it enough yet to get to the 1/4 Full mark to see if anything happens then. I'm hopeful that this saga is behind us.

Your forum has been a big help in understanding the various related issues. We love this car but haven't really got to enjoy it much for the number of times it has stranded us. I would have expected better from a car with so few miles on it. To say that I'm extremely displeased might be an understatement. I'm not so sure that the gage becoming defective hasn't been the main culprit of the P0087 code all along? And yes, the gage has been in this range during most shop visits to the best of my recollection. If there is any kind of remedy available for the repair expenses, I'm all ears. But I realize that it is what it is and I should have known better. Thanks for reading and any assistance or solutions. Keep up the good work that you do.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Wow
Some fun.
First, you never want to run out of fuel in this car. The high pressure fuel pump and the fuel rail can be damaged and like a diesel if you get air into the fuel rail its best to bleed it properly to avoid issues.

The in tank hardware is known to have an issue with corrousion with modern fuel blends. It is so well known that we tell everyone to use the recommended fuel treatment twice a year.

If I had to guess, you have more than one issue and are getting different indications based on that. Treat the fuel per the instructions to reduce the probability that the in tank hardware is the problem. The same treatment will help clean out the fuel system right through to the injectors. If the problem persists, have them look at the vent system in the gas tank which has been known to cause problems, and at the HPFP to verify the flow rate and pressure is within tolerances.

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f12/gas-tank-sensor-always-giving-different-readings-48583/

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f11/fuel-gauge-glitchy-62640/

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f12/gas-gauge-issues-66650/

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f12/gas-gauge-problem-74173/

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f12/fuel-gauge-problem-73500/#post1100885
 

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Unfortunately these issues are not the fault of GM. You purchased a used car and until you're sure of every little quirk in your "new" car, you should always watch everything like a hawk for the first couple hundred miles. NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES should you run this car below 1/4 tank. You already learned an unfortunate lesson with this car. I always watch my fuel gauge. I never allow it to get below 1/4 tank. I know that I get about 30mpg on the highway and after about 210-240 miles on the highway, I get gas. An empty tank on this car creates all sorts of problems. Always use premium and ALWAYS use 100% synthetic motor oil at oil changes, or you will learn an even more expensive lesson.

I believe what happened in your first experience when you ran it out of gas was that you damaged both the fuel pump and the regulator. This gave the reading of high fuel pressure and the low performance from the regulator.

I would take the car back to the dealer as a P0087 usually means a bad High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice on never running below a 1/4 tank. May I suggest "Never Run Below 1/4 Full" be posted as a Sticky for all owners to be given the heads up warning? I'm new to having any vehicle I've owned having these kinds of issues within this fuel range. And it seems to be a really important but unknown KEY to owning this car and the risk of damaging the fuel system components.
In hindsight, a warning sticker issued after this knowledge became known would have been nice. I had a truck once upon a time that was known to slip out of Park into Reverse if left running. The company issued warnings and a sticker to be applied by the owners inside the cab for future reference to ALL drivers of this vehicle. Even at that, my wife had it happen to her and chased the truck down and got it stopped. Thank God she didn't get run over. She always shut it off after that,... as stated on the warning sticker.

While looking for my repair receipts this afternoon I happened across the previous owner's service receipts in the glove box and a bit more history. The high pressure fuel pump and control circuit was replaced by a previous owner at 8,100 miles,... had more problems of hesitation and almost stalling at stops around 10,100 miles and terminals were replaced at the high pressure fuel pump. We replaced the HPFP (again) at 16,700 miles.

Ghost - One of the P0087 Low Fuel Pressure codes happened immediately five minutes out of the shop after the high pressure fuel pump was replaced. Are you suggesting that it was a bad replacement part?

Rob - I believe you may be right about having two issues. The car still stumbles at times. A few nights ago it fell on its face coming off of a stop and accelerating normally. Tonight, at 55mph. It came out of it both times. But a little embarrassing when you're trying to look cool.
 

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In seven years of ownership I've rarely kept the gxp above a 1/2 tank. Never used fuel treatment, other than fuel stabilizer for winter storage. And I AX at around a 1/4 tank. I tend to refill to a 1/2 tank or so when I get to a 1/4 because it takes a fast dive on the gauge after that. Still, I've had it go below a 1/4 tank more than a few times. Never had any problems. But I've never run out of gas.

There is nothing wrong with going below a 1/4 tank. The problem is don't run the car out of gas, as mentioned before. The majority of owners from my research haven't had any HPFP problems, but people don't usually run out of gas.

It sounds like one issue (bad gas gauge) caused a bunch of other issues due to running out of gas, then there was running out of gas multiple times. And add in those associated problems that sound like they were induced by the work on the car. What a combo.

Hopefully the issues are fixed and you can trust your gas gauge so it doesn't happen again. If the problem comes back then it has yet to be properly diagnosed and fixed. Not a common problem either. Pretty disappointing and not fun. Get to another dealer and have them try. Worst case if the merry go round doesn't stop is that you may want to sell and get another gxp. The GXP is reliable for most people.

Also, there are the GXP customer service reps here. They may be able to help.


EDIT: clarified my post above
 

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There are multiple potential sources for issues. This is a result of the basic design needs for a direct injection engine and as a result of government regulations.

The in tank hardware is known to be susceptible to issues if not treated and as a result of long term exposure to certain fuel blends.

Treating the fuel on a regular basis can prevent this issue, however if you HAVE the corrousion then additional remediation is called for before you can totally eliminate this as a contributing problem. One needs to make sure that corrousion is not a factor.

The vent system in the tank and between the tank and the engine has caused running problems. GS Stage-1 has a well documented write up on this in his monumental thread on the Sky roadster forum "should GM buy back my car" this is worth investigation to see if it is contributing to inconsistent running.

I have had cars in the past, early fuel injection cars, that came with a bold warning in the owners manual DO NOT RUN OUT OF FUEL. If you ran out of fuel, it potentially could damage the components but just as important, until you bled the injectors and feed lines you could not get the correct fuel / air mixture.

There is evidence that at least one motor experienced a burned piston as a result of lean burn resulting from running out of fuel while at high throttle settings.

Having experienced a HPFP failure, I noted that while the pump was failing but was still functioning, the motor experienced considerable knocking. I shut it down but after consulting with my tech, he agreed that driving the car with a failing HPFP is likely to result in lean burn and knocking. Knocking can easily be the death of these motors. NEVER run with a failing HPFP unless you are prepared to do major mechanical repairs. They picked up the car with a flatbed and hauled it to the tech who did the repair.

The poor running conditions you experienced are clearly not normal.

Diagnosing specifically the cause can be frustrating but following the keep it simple rule, start by eliminating causes until you get to a solution.

Treat the fuel

Make sure the fuel rail is seeing the correct pressure consistently

Verify that the injectors are working as designed.

keep at it till you solve the problem(s) and then have fun.:thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rob - Thanks for your insight and advice. I've got a new fuel gauge and I filled up today at the 1/2 Full mark, although I was very tempted to drive it to the 1/4 Full mark where my problems seem to be happening. The car took 10.1 gallons which gives me the nagging suspicion that the problem continues. Or does this sound normal? (I have read every post on the gauge issues).
As for the hesitation issues, my mechanic told me to go thrash the car to clean out the injectors which seems to be helping. I did go get the GM fuel treatment yesterday and will run it through this tank full to see if the gauge issue clears up. But this sure is getting old. I'm hanging in there.
 

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I bought mine used with about 20k on the clock. It had sat at the dealer for about a year after being traded in and I had the hpfp fail within a few months of owning it. Thankfully it was still under warranty and replaced free of charge to me, but the way it acted right before it failed sounds very familiar to what mine did. Come to find out while it was in the shop that a coil pack was going to so I lucked out and got that replaced at the same time. Been a few years now and not a single problem since. *knock on wood*
 

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Has the ignition switch recall been completed?My 07 GXP had a raft of problems.Anything and everything would shut down at any given time.I just parked the car until the recall parts became available.Once the recall was completed I haven't had a single problem.It even fixed the passenger airbag issue.
 

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I run after market injector pumps on other cars and they are cooled by the flow of fuel. Mine are external, but the internal type operate similarly. I understand that if you run some HP pumps without any cooling fuel going through it, some of them have lives of about a minute or so. Don't know how vulnerable the Kappa pump might be.
 

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Rob, you mentioned treating the fuel to assist in the prevention of corrosion. Is there a link or instruction on recommended additives? I only use BP 93 White Gas due to my fear of the potential threat of residues in other fuels. Your comments would be appreciated.
 

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has the ignition switch recall been completed?my 07 gxp had a raft of problems.anything and everything would shut down at any given time.i just parked the car until the recall parts became available.once the recall was completed i haven't had a single problem.[i]it even fixed the passenger airbag issue.
[/i]

huh???????
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Buffy. I'm hoping to cross over to the no problem zone soon.

soltopic - I'm in line for the ignition switch. Soon. Very soon. A coil pack was also replaced under warranty by the previous owner.


So,... Any guesses how much fuel one should have at 1/2 Full?

Mine,... 1/2 Full = 3.5gals before and after the new fuel gauge. I'm assuming too that
1/4 Full = Empty still.
 

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Thanks Buffy. I'm hoping to cross over to the no problem zone soon.

soltopic - I'm in line for the ignition switch. Soon. Very soon. A coil pack was also replaced under warranty by the previous owner.


So,... Any guesses how much fuel one should have at 1/2 Full?

Mine,... 1/2 Full = 3.5gals before and after the new fuel gauge. I'm assuming too that
1/4 Full = Empty still.
im going to go way out on a limb and say 6 gallons is 1/2 tank...
 

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Wow. Sorry to hear about your problems. Do you have any updates on how it's going? Definitely run some fuel system cleaner at least once a year. I don't know what the gm cleaner cost but it is the same as chevron techron concentrate that the auto parts store sell for BOGO free. It will help with corrosion prevention, won't do anything for injectors or valves in a DI car. Also, running the crap out of your car to clean the injectors is old school. Doesn't do anything but waste gas nowadays but it is fun to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The latest is, there is no change after running the GM Fuel System Treatment Plus three tanks ago. During the initial treated tank full the car went into a fit of hard bucking followed by going into limp mode. I pulled over, shut the car off, and it restarted and ran just fine. It threw the HPFP code - pressure too high, which I hadn't seen since last summer when the HPFP was replaced. (Here we go again!). I cleared the code and it hasn't returned. Going by the cars history, I'm starting to believe that the HPFP wiring is suspect and is intermittent. I've been tracking Live Data since and watching Fuel Trim % values. All good. For now, this is a non issue.

The car has been running exceptionally well since thrashing it a few times and before the gas treatment. If we could get this gauge reading correctly again, we'd be dangerous. That begs the question,... does anybody know what's inside the tank? Does it use a jet pump to recirculate fuel from one side of the tank to the other? Otherwise, it sounds like the sending unit is the problem.

My ignition switch gets replaced next week. We'll see if that makes any difference before returning to the shop. (To be continued).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got my ignition switch changed out a few days ago. No change on the gauge issue.

This was my first trip to a dealer and I talked with the service manager about my cars history having two HPFP changed out in it's first 16,000 miles of life. He said that it was rare for these to fail and that when they did fail that the car would diesel after shutting the ignition off. As for the sulfur contaminants in fuel, they had not seen any problems with it in our local. They had also not seen any vehicle running out of gas at 1/4 full. Overall they had not seen much problems coming from Solstice owners in general.

I do have a question for anyone with a code reader/scan tool who might be willing to help. What does the fuel pressure do when you shut your GXP off? You might be surprised, or maybe not. Watch it for several minutes and see what you get.

The car lit the CEL yesterday and threw out the P0088 for high fuel pressure at 12 mph while I was driving in town with my scan tool monitoring fuel trims. The STFT % and LTFT % stayed near zero as they have been for many previous rides. The car never hinted at a problem when the CEL lit. Freeze frame data captured the STFT % at -25.8; LTFT % at 2.3; and fuel pressure at 1694psi in that instant that it was captured. But everything looked normal on the live data seconds later. The CEL reset on it's own later in the day. And this is the kind of gremlins this car seems to have. I'm almost done worrying about it until it breaks. But it would be nice to have some comparisons as to what the fuel pressure is doing after the car is shutoff. Thanks for any help.
 

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Wow....1694psi is high for only 12mph..... Unless you were running at 3krpm. But that's still high. Mine would run around 1200psi at that point. As far as dieseling, I don't know if that's possible as the HPFP is run off the cam...hmmmmm..... That's very interesting. I will do some research and consult with my friends on that!
 

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Got my ignition switch changed out a few days ago. No change on the gauge issue.

This was my first trip to a dealer and I talked with the service manager about my cars history having two HPFP changed out in it's first 16,000 miles of life. He said that it was rare for these to fail and that when they did fail that the car would diesel after shutting the ignition off. As for the sulfur contaminants in fuel, they had not seen any problems with it in our local. They had also not seen any vehicle running out of gas at 1/4 full. Overall they had not seen much problems coming from Solstice owners in general.

I do have a question for anyone with a code reader/scan tool who might be willing to help. What does the fuel pressure do when you shut your GXP off? You might be surprised, or maybe not. Watch it for several minutes and see what you get.

The car lit the CEL yesterday and threw out the P0088 for high fuel pressure at 12 mph while I was driving in town with my scan tool monitoring fuel trims. The STFT % and LTFT % stayed near zero as they have been for many previous rides. The car never hinted at a problem when the CEL lit. Freeze frame data captured the STFT % at -25.8; LTFT % at 2.3; and fuel pressure at 1694psi in that instant that it was captured. But everything looked normal on the live data seconds later. The CEL reset on it's own later in the day. And this is the kind of gremlins this car seems to have. I'm almost done worrying about it until it breaks. But it would be nice to have some comparisons as to what the fuel pressure is doing after the car is shutoff. Thanks for any help.
That is a crazy high fuel trim, typically it should be +/- 10% total or less. Are there any aftermarket intakes or other mods on the car?
 
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