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2006 Solstice 2.4L
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been having quite a few issues with my car over the past few months - when I first received the car, it still had the original battery, so I had that replaced back in March of this year. A day later I got a low battery light on my gauge cluster (I am sure it was the low battery light, not coolant as recommended by others with similar problems). It came on and off sporadically. I figured I was probably due for an alternator since the car started needing to be jumped to get it to turn on. I purchase a brand new alternator, installed it, jumped it once to get the battery up to CCA, and all was good for several months of driving, during which the only problem I was having was an O2 sensor CEL that I fixed by replacing that.

I got my car inspected a couple days ago, passed with no problems whatsoever. As I'm driving home from the shop, the ABS light comes on - I've never seen it before. Goes off almost immediately. I figured it might just be from some test they ran. Later that night I'm driving to a friends house that I have to take the interstate to get to, and suddenly the battery light comes back on for the first time in months. A minute later, the stereo starts flickering and then looses power. At this point I decided I'm heading home. It then gets even worse - the ABS light comes back on, shortly followed by the service airbag light. All those lights take turns showing themselves on the gauge cluster, only to be trumped by the entire gauge cluster shutting off - I'm driving down the interstate home and can't see my speedo or tach. The drive by wire system is somehow still working fine, and I'm able to get the car safely home without any information as to what I'm doing. When I arrived, I thought surely the battery wouldn't have an ounce of energy left after all the encounters I just experienced. But to test, I turned the car off once parked in my garage, turned it back on, and the engine started with no problem whatsoever.

This all comes after a once every other week / weekly complete failure to start that I have been experiencing since December - before any batt/alt problems were had whatsoever. I'll turn the key to crank and it will just be complete silence. Lights come on fine, clutch safety switch works fine, and yet nothing. No solenoid click, no crank.

TL;DR: brand new battery, alternator, oxygen sensors, exhaust manifold (just because the old was cracked), car runs and drives perfectly & smoothly with no warning lights, got it inspected, passed, then all of a sudden just about every electrical system stops getting power + battery light comes on. Get home and power cycle it, starts just fine.

Any information or troubleshooting advice as to what is going on would be incredibly appreciated!
 

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Something done during the inspection could be the trigger, or that could be a total coincidence. I am not a fan of coincidence. Do you know what, specifically, was done during the inspection?

There is the possibility that the battery, even new, is bad.

A more likely occurence is a ground that is corroded or loose. A key ground is on the right side of the frame, just below the hood hinge, behind the right headlamp. Another is on the transmission tunnel under the armrest, next to the handbrake lever.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As far as what was done, this is the best record I have, showing what tests were done:
109340

I saw them connect something to the OBD port, power cycle the car a couple times, and that's all I saw. Whole process took about 10 minutes.

Checked the ground locations you mentioned and everything seemed secure. The ones under the hood by the hinge are just slightly rusty from being up in Michigan for most of its life til recently. I can try to remove them and clean, hopefully they don't break on me :)

As a final thought, I had a composite video wired to the head unit that terminated beneath the armrest since I had a Raspberry Pi running in there for a minute - I guess there's a chance that it got knocked while driving, hit the ground rail somehow, and took down the entire car with it? I'll remove that FWIW. Thanks for the advice!
 

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The grounds can be secure and bad. Pull them and imspect the mating surfaces. Clean them and apply dielectric grease. Also inspect the ground on the top of the engine. Load test the battery to eliminate that as a problem
 

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Plus 5 on the ground strap. A lot of gremlins pop up when a computer doesn't have a good ground and you have a few computers on these cars!
 

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Sounds very much like a grounding problem to me, as others have stated. Since it appears to be affecting many different systems, I would start with a battery load test and work my way back from the battery terminals and clean the major grounds. The smaller grounding points usually only affect the systems they are grounding.
 

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...... The smaller grounding points usually only affect the systems they are grounding.
True to a point. The one on the frame rail under the hood hinge grounds the right headlight and the relays in the Underhood Fuse Block, so a problem there can cause the car to shut down completely if the Run/Crank relay drops out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Took a multimeter to it - positive to positive on battery, and checked numerous ground connections around the engine bay. Negative on (-) battery terminal was 12.03v with the car off. The engine block itself, exhaust manifold, etc., were all measuring in at ~11v. I found that the connection above the exhaust manifold where two ground wires are bolted to the block was much lower voltage too. Took it off, lightly sanded the connectors and cleaned them with the best thing I had (isopropyl alcohol). Bolted everything back in and re-measured voltages. Was now seeing identical voltage on those connectors to the battery itself. Checked the block, manifold, etc., and they as well had been restored to 100% the battery's origin voltage. Car started up without a problem. Stopped and started it twice because I was testing a few things in the mean time. Took it on a test drive and all was good. Hopefully that was it but when I have a minute I'll thoroughly clean every ground connection I can sanely get to.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Plus 5 on the ground strap. A lot of gremlins pop up when a computer doesn't have a good ground and you have a few computers on these cars!
What do you mean "Plus 5 on the ground strap"? Sorry I'm a little unfamiliar with the lingo :0-
 

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Took a multimeter to it - positive to positive on battery, and checked numerous ground connections around the engine bay. Negative on (-) battery terminal was 12.03v with the car off. The engine block itself, exhaust manifold, etc., were all measuring in at ~11v. I found that the connection above the exhaust manifold where two ground wires are bolted to the block was much lower voltage too. Took it off, lightly sanded the connectors and cleaned them with the best thing I had (isopropyl alcohol). Bolted everything back in and re-measured voltages. Was now seeing identical voltage on those connectors to the battery itself. Checked the block, manifold, etc., and they as well had been restored to 100% the battery's origin voltage. Car started up without a problem. Stopped and started it twice because I was testing a few things in the mean time. Took it on a test drive and all was good. Hopefully that was it but when I have a minute I'll thoroughly clean every ground connection I can sanely get to.
sounds like you found the problem. Don't forget the dielectric grease. It will keep the connections corrosion free.
 

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I've been having quite a few issues with my car over the past few months - when I first received the car, it still had the original battery, so I had that replaced back in March of this year. A day later I got a low battery light on my gauge cluster (I am sure it was the low battery light, not coolant as recommended by others with similar problems). It came on and off sporadically. I figured I was probably due for an alternator since the car started needing to be jumped to get it to turn on. I purchase a brand new alternator, installed it, jumped it once to get the battery up to CCA, and all was good for several months of driving, during which the only problem I was having was an O2 sensor CEL that I fixed by replacing that.

I got my car inspected a couple days ago, passed with no problems whatsoever. As I'm driving home from the shop, the ABS light comes on - I've never seen it before. Goes off almost immediately. I figured it might just be from some test they ran. Later that night I'm driving to a friends house that I have to take the interstate to get to, and suddenly the battery light comes back on for the first time in months. A minute later, the stereo starts flickering and then looses power. At this point I decided I'm heading home. It then gets even worse - the ABS light comes back on, shortly followed by the service airbag light. All those lights take turns showing themselves on the gauge cluster, only to be trumped by the entire gauge cluster shutting off - I'm driving down the interstate home and can't see my speedo or tach. The drive by wire system is somehow still working fine, and I'm able to get the car safely home without any information as to what I'm doing. When I arrived, I thought surely the battery wouldn't have an ounce of energy left after all the encounters I just experienced. But to test, I turned the car off once parked in my garage, turned it back on, and the engine started with no problem whatsoever.

This all comes after a once over other week / weekly complete failure to start that I have been experiencing since December - before any batt/alt problems were had whatsoever. I'll turn the key to crank and it will just be complete silence. Lights come on fine, clutch safety switch works fine, and yet nothing. No solenoid click, no crank.

TL;DR: brand new battery, alternator, oxygen sensors, exhaust manifold (just because the old was cracked), car runs and drives perfectly & smoothly with no warning lights, got it inspected, passed, then all of a sudden just about every electrical system stops getting power + battery light comes on. Get home and power cycle it, starts just fine.

Any information or troubleshooting advice as to what is going on would be incredibly appreciated!
I had the same think happen to me and it was the grounds I cleaned all 3 grounds really good one on driver side front engine,2 nd one is on the frame holding the hood bracket on the passenger side and driver side and it cleared up
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cleaned ground on the passenger side of the engine itself, two on the drivers side hood mount, and one on the passenger side hood mount. For good measure I also cleaned the one beneath the the arm rest inside. Got a battery light on the dash today again.

Went under the hood to look for any visible electrical connections and saw the "positive" terminal mounted beside the relay/fuse box was reasonably rusty and corroded. Put my multimeter in resistance mode and measured resistance between this and the positive battery connector. I saw a value fluctuating between 20-55 MΩ, which to me sounds like quite a bit considering when following the wire back, there's only about a 6 inch run between it and the battery terminal. Could this potentially be causing a problem? I cleaned it in addition to both battery terminals very thoroughly, but can see some potential corrosion deeper in the positive battery connector that I can't get to without removing the heat shrink tubing. I suppose something like this could be a culprit as well? Any advice is much appreciated, or if anyone can measure the resistance between their fuse/relay positive terminal and their battery positive terminal so I have a baseline and can rule that out (or not) as being something to replace...

109421
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't know if adding to pre-existing discussions acts as a "bump" on here, pushing it to the top of a board somewhere - but I have an update that raises more questions.

After cleaning every ground I could find in the engine bay (except for a supposedly existent "drivers side, front of engine block ground" that I can't seem to locate unless it's buried beneath my intake manifold), everything seemed to be fine on a 30 minute test drive I took. The next morning I was driving down the highway again when several dash lights (always seems to be ABS followed by airbag) came on, then the gauges powered down. No fun while driving down the highway and not know how fast you're going, so I exited when I could. As I'm driving down a neighborhood street, just trying to get home ASAP, things get worse. I stop at a traffic light for no more than 10 seconds, and when I let off on the clutch and start giving it gas, the engine almost stalls. It starts bucking like crazy, so I pull over on the side of the road, thankfully just clearing the intersection. Shift in to neutral, and the car is idling, but barely so. No tach, so just going off sound here, but it sounded like the engine was idling at 500-1200 RPM, up, down, up, down, and fluctuating like crazy. I figured it wasn't good to let it run like this, so I shut it off. Car obviously wouldn't start afterwards. Someone who saw me from their house was kind enough to come out and ask if I needed any assistance. Got a jump, and the car started up just fine. Luckily got me home.

Today (after not doing anything to it since the mishap) I tried to turn it on - just a click. Waited a minute - just a click. Third time, car turned over totally fine. No weak start whatsoever. Idled just fine. Turned it off and on again 2 more times, no problems whatsoever. I measured the battery with a multimeter. ~12.2 when engine is not running. With engine running it goes up to about 13.5-13.9 or so at idle. Giving it revs it goes up to 14.2 or so and doesn't exceed that past ~3k rpm, as expected. I installed a new alternator and battery in March, thinking those were the problem (alternator was original with 114k and battery was several years old), but the problems persisted. Both old parts were tested at auto parts shop and ended up being in working order.

I started reading other folks who were having similar problems recommendations. I heard the G103 ground behind the drivers seat could cause the gauge cluster going dark problems, so I pulled off the seat back and cleaned that up real well. While I was at it I cleaned all the grounds back there, FWIW. Started twice in a row, but the problem seems to only show itself when I go out on a drive, and sometimes it doesn't show itself at all, or only 30 mins in. Somewhat nervous to go back out, not wanting it to stall and not be able to restart in the middle of a busy road.

Do any of these new developments mean anything to anybody here? Particularly where the engine nearly died in at idle after I got tons of unrelated dash lights shortly before... makes me think the battery was so low it couldn't power the sparkplugs or something.
 

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To me it is starting to sound like a battery cable issue, worse when it gets warm. Its not that easy to do but I would measure the resistance of the cables. But they do have to be disconected at both ends to check.

I would start with the ground cable. It could be as simple as a cable chaffed sometimes making a short.

Just a suggestion.
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
To me it is starting to sound like a battery cable issue, worse when it gets warm. Its not that easy to do but I would measure the resistance of the cables. But they do have to be disconected at both ends to check.

I would start with the ground cable. It could be as simple as a cable chaffed sometimes making a short.

Just a suggestion.
Will do tonight and report back. Thank you for your suggestion! How many ohms should it be, healthily?

Last week I measured from the positive battery cable to the positive terminal under the red cover on fuse/relay block and got a fluctuating value between 20-55 MΩ on my multimeter, which sounded high to my untrained ear.
 

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Will do tonight and report back. Thank you for your suggestion! How many ohms should it be, healthily?

Last week I measured from the positive battery cable to the positive terminal under the red cover on fuse/relay block and got a fluctuating value between 20-55 MΩ on my multimeter, which sounded high to the untrained ear.
Meg-ohms (big M) or milli-ohms (small m)?

Little m would be OK, but big M would be very bad.
 

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There is a TSB for this problem. I am not at home so I can't pull up the information about it. But the skinny is there are 2 clips under the fuse box. These 2 clips can get some kind of a corrosion on them. You may have to use a magnifying glass to see it. You need to use dielectric grease on those connections. This is the only place where the ABS selonoid block gets connected to the BCM on the passenger side of the car. Most wires that have to go into the inside of the vehicle run through these clips.
 
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There is one other thing. It could be your battery is no good. It could have an intermittent internal short. If you can, disconnect the battery while the car is acting up. If it stops acting up when you disconnect then you know where the problem is.
 
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Meg-ohms (big M) or milli-ohms (small m)?

Little m would be OK, but big M would be very bad.
Since the multimeter is only capable of showing one case of "M", I didn't know if the case was following the standard you were talking about, but after checking the owner's manual, I found that M does indeed refer to megohms.

109543
 
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