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2006 Solstice 2.4L
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Discussion Starter #41
No security light? It should have been lit up solid. If it was blinking I would be concerned with an issue with the anti theft system.

That could have been a connection issue, it's hard to say for sure tho. Get the new battery and lets go from there.
Went to the auto parts store where I got the battery from and they told me that they couldn't do an RMA/warranty replacement without charging and then testing the battery. They said they'd need a few hours, and after that time was up, I got a call and they said the battery tested totally working, so they wouldn't give me a replacement. I now have my battery from before all this, still at 12v, and the battery that was at 1.9v until today and is now at 12v, both in my possession.
 

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if they charged that battery from being that dead to 100% charged they cooked the battery. I would call and speak to the store manager or even the district manager about it. You CANNOT charge a battery up from that low a voltage like that. In fact any lead acid battery that drops below 10volts is going to have damage caused to it when charging it with a fast charger. The battery gets to damned hot and it buckles the plates.

Take a look at the battery and tell me if the sides are swollen at all. use a straight edge across all 4 sides and see if the straight edge wobbles at all from being high in the middle.

anything under 10 volts is really bad. Lead sulfate crystals form on the battery plates as the battery discharges. As the battery becomes more discharged the crystals go from being soft and fluffy to much harder. Recharged in time, the lead sulfate is converted back into sulfuric acid and lead.

Reversing a serious sulfation condition, even for high quality deep cycle batteries, requires special battery chargers which are able to charge at higher voltages (about 15 volts) than what most consumer-grade chargers produce (about 14.4 volts) and well above what trickle chargers produce (about 13.8 volts). These special battery chargers "over charge" the battery. Car batteries aren't deep cycle batteries, they are "Starter, Lights, Ignition" (SLI) batteries with thinner and more numerous plates, designed to provide very high current for very short periods of time. Attempting to perform the controlled over-charging needed to equalize an SLI battery can cause the plates to warp from the heat, or shed plate material and develop shorts.

The long and short of it is that your battery is pretty much ruined. You might be able to get it to appear to hold a charge, but sulfated batteries have significantly reduced capacity due to reduced active plate surface and material.
 

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Put the old battery back in the car and see if everything is working as it should. If you have an electrical problem in the car the same things are going to happen. I am not so concerned about the starting problems you were having, the latest round of problems is more important, the gauges and lights going nuts.
 

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Then, while casually driving, I watched the dreaded alternator/battery dash light come on, followed up later by a Christmas tree of random lights for systems I doubt were actually failing, rather not receiving enough logical voltage to operate.

The car started the next time I went out to it, but no electrical systems were working within 1 minute of starting, and seemed like it wanted to die

between these 2 events I am guessing that you didn't charge the battery at all. You said that you didn't own a charger. Everything was fine while driving and then all of a sudden everything was coo coo in the car... Let me explain when the alternator light comes on. When the car is running the alternator puts out somewhere around 13.8 volts. If your alternator goes bad then your car will run off the battery (for a while). That means that the voltage just dropped to 12ish volts. The cars ECM sees the drop in voltage and will set the alternator light. No other light will light up until the vehicle is no longer able to run off the battery. This will typically be between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the car. so for a minimum of 30 minutes that alternator light would have lit up. The other thing is while all the lights lit up you were still able to drive the car correct? I am assuming so because it sounds like you got home with it. If the battery was dead and the car was running off of it as soon as all of those lights lit up the car would have died and you would have been calling for a tow truck.


Now you stated that you started the car and then 1 minute later it went bananas again. If the battery was dead you would have never been able to start the car in the first place..

I am 100% certain that there is a short in the battery 100%. all of the behavior you have described points directly to the battery. If there is a short in the battery it is going to cause every single symptom you have recently had. all of them. draining a car battery from 12 volts down to 1.9 volts in < 1 minute you would have seen fireworks and you would have gone and grabbed some hot dogs to have a wienie roast over your car-b-que. There is no wiring in your vehicle that it going to be capable of carrying 1000+ amps because that is the kind of current draw we are talking about, your car would have lit on fire. The battery would probably explode as well.
 
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2006 Solstice 2.4L
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Discussion Starter #45
if they charged that battery from being that dead to 100% charged they cooked the battery. I would call and speak to the store manager or even the district manager about it. You CANNOT charge a battery up from that low a voltage like that. In fact any lead acid battery that drops below 10volts is going to have damage caused to it when charging it with a fast charger. The battery gets to damned hot and it buckles the plates.

Take a look at the battery and tell me if the sides are swollen at all. use a straight edge across all 4 sides and see if the straight edge wobbles at all from being high in the middle.

anything under 10 volts is really bad. Lead sulfate crystals form on the battery plates as the battery discharges. As the battery becomes more discharged the crystals go from being soft and fluffy to much harder. Recharged in time, the lead sulfate is converted back into sulfuric acid and lead.

Reversing a serious sulfation condition, even for high quality deep cycle batteries, requires special battery chargers which are able to charge at higher voltages (about 15 volts) than what most consumer-grade chargers produce (about 14.4 volts) and well above what trickle chargers produce (about 13.8 volts). These special battery chargers "over charge" the battery. Car batteries aren't deep cycle batteries, they are "Starter, Lights, Ignition" (SLI) batteries with thinner and more numerous plates, designed to provide very high current for very short periods of time. Attempting to perform the controlled over-charging needed to equalize an SLI battery can cause the plates to warp from the heat, or shed plate material and develop shorts.

The long and short of it is that your battery is pretty much ruined. You might be able to get it to appear to hold a charge, but sulfated batteries have significantly reduced capacity due to reduced active plate surface and material.
Gotcha. I was figuring going off of what you said a few posts ago that it might be an issue, but they insisted and wouldn't give me another battery without doing that. I can give Advance a call and see if they can make amends to the situation.

It's ridiculously hard to show on camera, but one side of the 1.9 -> 12.5v "recharged & working" battery has a little bit of an outwards bow on one of its sides. It doesn't strike me as out of the ordinary on other batteries I've seen, and not noticeable without the straight edge, but could totally be jacked up and I wouldn't even know.

111984


I currently have January 2020's battery in there, that has been sitting in my garage since removal of my car. Never read less than 12v, and was tested good before. A test I tried to do back in September 2020 was monitoring the ECU voltage from the OBD port while driving. The graph showed it never going below 13v, always being somewhere around high 13s or low 14s, but unfortunately I wasn't able to recreate the gremlins while my scanner was connected, despite driving around for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Went ahead and started it up using that battery. Interestingly enough, even though it started fine (battery was at a little over 12v) it dropped to 11v while the engine was running. Reading directly from the battery posts here, not anywhere else. I read 11.37 initially and in 5 minutes of idling it went down to 11.33, though I'd imagine this is normal fluctuation. What I immediately notice isn't normal is the battery not putting out 13-14v while the engine is running.
 

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The battery is not going to put out 13-14 that's that alternator that does that.

There are 2 reasons why the voltage would be that low when the car is running... bad alternator... or bad battery. LOL... But I am going to once again tell you that the battery is no good, the battery dropping 1 volt after cranking it a single time... how long was it cranking for?? 3 seconds maybe??? so after the second time you might get a 3rd but maybe not because you will be riding that 10 volt area and that is right about where it's not gonna start. You are supposed to be able to get 30 seconds of cranking at -40°F that is what the cold cranking amps rating means.

The swollen side is not typical on a new battery. The battery I pulled out of my Solstice at 14 years old has about the same swelling as your new one. So that has got to tell you something. When you see that a car battery has sides that are bowed out that is an indicator that you should replace the battery pretty soon.

This is what I want you to do next. With the car turned off loosen the negative battery terminal. Start the car, then take the negative terminal off. make sure it does not come into contact with the positive terminal at all.... Use your meter and check the voltage between the terminals. This removes the battery from the car, so if the battery is causing an excessive current draw on the vehicle the voltage at the terminals will pop up to 14 volts because the battery has been removed.

If you find that is the case then we know the cause is the battery. If not then we will have to do some more testing...

Do me a favor check the swelling on your original battery, I bet it's not that far off from the swelling on your new one. let me know what you find.

I can get you a replacement battery I can probably get you an upgraded one at no cost to you. I have done a lot of business with Advance in the past, I would call their corporate and complain.... You can even do it yourself, use the information in my previous post, the one about the sulfation. if you read that verbatim to them they aren't going to argue with you about it. Do your own research about "lead acid" batteries and "sulfation", you will find what I am saying is 100% correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
The battery is not going to put out 13-14 that's that alternator that does that.

There are 2 reasons why the voltage would be that low when the car is running... bad alternator... or bad battery. LOL... But I am going to once again tell you that the battery is no good, the battery dropping 1 volt after cranking it a single time... how long was it cranking for?? 3 seconds maybe??? so after the second time you might get a 3rd but maybe not because you will be riding that 10 volt area and that is right about where it's not gonna start. You are supposed to be able to get 30 seconds of cranking at -40°F that is what the cold cranking amps rating means.

The swollen side is not typical on a new battery. The battery I pulled out of my Solstice at 14 years old has about the same swelling as your new one. So that has got to tell you something. When you see that a car battery has sides that are bowed out that is an indicator that you should replace the battery pretty soon.

This is what I want you to do next. With the car turned off loosen the negative battery terminal. Start the car, then take the negative terminal off. make sure it does not come into contact with the positive terminal at all.... Use your meter and check the voltage between the terminals. This removes the battery from the car, so if the battery is causing an excessive current draw on the vehicle the voltage at the terminals will pop up to 14 volts because the battery has been removed.

If you find that is the case then we know the cause is the battery. If not then we will have to do some more testing...

Do me a favor check the swelling on your original battery, I bet it's not that far off from the swelling on your new one. let me know what you find.

I can get you a replacement battery I can probably get you an upgraded one at no cost to you. I have done a lot of business with Advance in the past, I would call their corporate and complain.... You can even do it yourself, use the information in my previous post, the one about the sulfation. if you read that verbatim to them they aren't going to argue with you about it. Do your own research about "lead acid" batteries and "sulfation", you will find what I am saying is 100% correct.
Thanks for all this info! I'll get around to it as soon as I'm off work tomorrow. It wasn't taking excessively long to crank, it turned over and started instantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
The battery is not going to put out 13-14 that's that alternator that does that.

There are 2 reasons why the voltage would be that low when the car is running... bad alternator... or bad battery. LOL... But I am going to once again tell you that the battery is no good, the battery dropping 1 volt after cranking it a single time... how long was it cranking for?? 3 seconds maybe??? so after the second time you might get a 3rd but maybe not because you will be riding that 10 volt area and that is right about where it's not gonna start. You are supposed to be able to get 30 seconds of cranking at -40°F that is what the cold cranking amps rating means.

The swollen side is not typical on a new battery. The battery I pulled out of my Solstice at 14 years old has about the same swelling as your new one. So that has got to tell you something. When you see that a car battery has sides that are bowed out that is an indicator that you should replace the battery pretty soon.

This is what I want you to do next. With the car turned off loosen the negative battery terminal. Start the car, then take the negative terminal off. make sure it does not come into contact with the positive terminal at all.... Use your meter and check the voltage between the terminals. This removes the battery from the car, so if the battery is causing an excessive current draw on the vehicle the voltage at the terminals will pop up to 14 volts because the battery has been removed.

If you find that is the case then we know the cause is the battery. If not then we will have to do some more testing...

Do me a favor check the swelling on your original battery, I bet it's not that far off from the swelling on your new one. let me know what you find.

I can get you a replacement battery I can probably get you an upgraded one at no cost to you. I have done a lot of business with Advance in the past, I would call their corporate and complain.... You can even do it yourself, use the information in my previous post, the one about the sulfation. if you read that verbatim to them they aren't going to argue with you about it. Do your own research about "lead acid" batteries and "sulfation", you will find what I am saying is 100% correct.
Removed the negative battery cable while running and the engine immediately sputtered out. Does this give any more information as to what's happening? My first guess is what I thought earlier where the alternator wasn't able to provide power to the rest of the car/battery, but I don't even know what I know anymore :ROFLMAO:
 

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Did you replace the alternator at all??? If so it should be under warranty. If you did replace it check all of the connections. there should be a large power wire and a clip that plugs into it. Make sure all of the pins are pushed all the way in on the clip you do this by pushing each wire into the back of the clip.

I want you to test the wiring to the alternator. Put your negative test lead on the housing for the alternator and touch the post where the large wire is attached. Do this while the car is running, be careful not to slip or get anything tangled up in the belt.

The last test you will need 2 people for. Start the car and one person pres the accelerator and bring the RPM's up to 2500 and the other check the voltage at the battery. The voltage should be between 12.6 volts and 15.0 volts.

if you have the same low voltage at the post on the back of the alternator then do the last test. If the voltage is higher at the post then there is a connection issue. I have to double check the routing of the power wire but it typically duns from the battery to the starter and then from the starter to the alternator. so the bad connection could be at either the alternator or the starter.

If you do the last test and the voltage is still low then you have a bad alternator.

I would not use that battery. It could have caused the alternator to go bad. The reason why I say this is because you started the car and 1 minute later it went to hell and when you checked the battery there was only 1.9 volts. This is impossible to have happen unless there is a problem internally in the battery. I would use the old battery until you find out if the alternator is no good. If it is no good then you will need to remove it and bring both the alternator and the battery into the parts store and ask to speak with the manager.

Explain to him the exact thing that happened with you starting the car and 1 minute later all the lights lighting up so you turned off the car and checked the battery voltage and it was at 1.9 volts. have them check the alternator. Also show him the warped side from them fast charging the battery.

N/A alternator Valeo TG13, 125 amp - test load 87.5 amps
GXP alternator Valeo TG15 140 amp - test load 98 amps
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Did you replace the alternator at all??? If so it should be under warranty. If you did replace it check all of the connections. there should be a large power wire and a clip that plugs into it. Make sure all of the pins are pushed all the way in on the clip you do this by pushing each wire into the back of the clip.

I want you to test the wiring to the alternator. Put your negative test lead on the housing for the alternator and touch the post where the large wire is attached. Do this while the car is running, be careful not to slip or get anything tangled up in the belt.

The last test you will need 2 people for. Start the car and one person pres the accelerator and bring the RPM's up to 2500 and the other check the voltage at the battery. The voltage should be between 12.6 volts and 15.0 volts.

if you have the same low voltage at the post on the back of the alternator then do the last test. If the voltage is higher at the post then there is a connection issue. I have to double check the routing of the power wire but it typically duns from the battery to the starter and then from the starter to the alternator. so the bad connection could be at either the alternator or the starter.

If you do the last test and the voltage is still low then you have a bad alternator.

I would not use that battery. It could have caused the alternator to go bad. The reason why I say this is because you started the car and 1 minute later it went to hell and when you checked the battery there was only 1.9 volts. This is impossible to have happen unless there is a problem internally in the battery. I would use the old battery until you find out if the alternator is no good. If it is no good then you will need to remove it and bring both the alternator and the battery into the parts store and ask to speak with the manager.

Explain to him the exact thing that happened with you starting the car and 1 minute later all the lights lighting up so you turned off the car and checked the battery voltage and it was at 1.9 volts. have them check the alternator. Also show him the warped side from them fast charging the battery.

N/A alternator Valeo TG13, 125 amp - test load 87.5 amps
GXP alternator Valeo TG15 140 amp - test load 98 amps
I purchased a new Delco/Valeo alternator sometime last summer because I thought it was the issue. The parts stores in my area are unable to test Solstice alternators as they say they can't mount it since it uses nonstandard mount hole positioning and direction, so I just had to figure that was the problem causing the batt/alt light so I tried that. Installed it myself, thoroughly cleaned the positive contact on it, the positive lead going to it, and the surface on the engine block where it mounted to have the best ground possible. The belt is intact and tensioned so that I get somewhere around 90 degrees of play on the longest run - so not too loose, not too tight.

The alternator I replaced was the original one from 2006, so I figured even if it wasn't broken, it couldn't hurt to put a new one in there.

I can conduct these tests tomorrow after work. Hoping that the car will start on that battery since it's been used to start the car twice a few times and doesn't seem to be recharging at all.
 

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Check your battery voltage. Even if it starts you don't want it dying on ya as you drive down the road. Also if you have to use it get a trickle charger (2amp) and put it on the battery over night so you know the battery is going to have a charge. If you are anywhere near 10.5 volts on the battery it will start but I am not sure how far you will be able to drive it before it conks out. Turn off the DRL's but turning off the auto lamps, turn off the heat, and try not to use your turn signals, better to do hand signals out the window if needs be. Turn the radio off as well. anything and everything you can think of turn it off. This will extend the battery life.

I will get a meter onto my car tomorrow and test the field duty cycle wire and the generator turn on wire to se what the voltage is so you can test those as well. I would still test the post. I am correct in how the wiring is, that large wore coming off the alternator connects to the starter. So the bad connection point can be at the starter. There is also a fusible link on the wire running from the starter to the alternator. You can actually test that post on the alternator without the car running, It should show close to the same voltage, If there is more then a 0.2 volt difference between the 2 then there is a bad connection at the starter. If you get no volts at the alternator then the fusible link has popped.. And then the question becomes what is drawing that much current from the alternator to blow that fusible link. There is only one thing capable of doing that and that's the battery.

I have attached the wiring diagram for the charging system. My money is on the fusible link being blown and the alternator is actually fine. This is why you are not getting a battery light on the dash at all. I bet the first alternator was no good and you replaced it, and the new battery you put in turned out to have some kind of an issue and it blew that fusible link. Again all you have to do is use your multi meter while the car is off and the battery is connected to test the post on the alternator. see if there is voltage there. if there isn't then it's the fusible link. If there is but it is different from the battery by more then 0.2 volts then there is a connection issue at the starter.


Here is the documentation on replacing the fusible link if it is no good. You have either an 8 gauge (GXP) or a 10 gauge (Base) wire so an FL-12 (GXP) or FL-14 (Base)

112009
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Check your battery voltage. Even if it starts you don't want it dying on ya as you drive down the road. Also if you have to use it get a trickle charger (2amp) and put it on the battery over night so you know the battery is going to have a charge. If you are anywhere near 10.5 volts on the battery it will start but I am not sure how far you will be able to drive it before it conks out. Turn off the DRL's but turning off the auto lamps, turn off the heat, and try not to use your turn signals, better to do hand signals out the window if needs be. Turn the radio off as well. anything and everything you can think of turn it off. This will extend the battery life.

I will get a meter onto my car tomorrow and test the field duty cycle wire and the generator turn on wire to se what the voltage is so you can test those as well. I would still test the post. I am correct in how the wiring is, that large wore coming off the alternator connects to the starter. So the bad connection point can be at the starter. There is also a fusible link on the wire running from the starter to the alternator. You can actually test that post on the alternator without the car running, It should show close to the same voltage, If there is more then a 0.2 volt difference between the 2 then there is a bad connection at the starter. If you get no volts at the alternator then the fusible link has popped.. And then the question becomes what is drawing that much current from the alternator to blow that fusible link. There is only one thing capable of doing that and that's the battery.

I have attached the wiring diagram for the charging system. My money is on the fusible link being blown and the alternator is actually fine. This is why you are not getting a battery light on the dash at all. I bet the first alternator was no good and you replaced it, and the new battery you put in turned out to have some kind of an issue and it blew that fusible link. Again all you have to do is use your multi meter while the car is off and the battery is connected to test the post on the alternator. see if there is voltage there. if there isn't then it's the fusible link. If there is but it is different from the battery by more then 0.2 volts then there is a connection issue at the starter.


Here is the documentation on replacing the fusible link if it is no good. You have either an 8 gauge (GXP) or a 10 gauge (Base) wire so an FL-12 (GXP) or FL-14 (Base)

View attachment 112009
On my way to test these things. One question I have is it's virtually impossible for me to reach the positive contact on the alternator with the airbox/PCV hose in place. If I ran the car without that the throttle body would be exposed directly to open air without any filtration which I'm guessing is a no no since any foreign gunk inside the engine is bad... how would you suggest measuring from this contact - or even the body of the alternator for negative - with this physical limitation?
 

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Discussion Starter #55 (Edited)
Again all you have to do is use your multi meter while the car is off and the battery is connected to test the post on the alternator. see if there is voltage there. if there isn't then it's the fusible link. If there is but it is different from the battery by more then 0.2 volts then there is a connection issue at the starter.
With the engine off, when I put the multimeter on the alternator's housing and its positive terminal (the one that leads to starter) I read anywhere from 10.97-11.9, depending entirely on where on the positive bolt I touch the multimeter lead. It fluctuates a lot, even when holding it in the same place sometimes. Reading 12.05v on the battery which is more than I was getting while the engine was running on this same battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I should mention the following: when installing my new clutch, learning how to work on these cars, I figured I'd need to remove the starter per most cars and the Chilton docs. This ended up not being true, as the starter stayed in place when we dropped the transmission. That said, we prepared for removal of it by disconnecting its electrical connections. We were very glad when we found out we didn't have to remove the entire thing because it looked way harder than it had to be to remove (pulling the whole intake manifold).

When we put the trans back in, I reconnected the wires to the same places they came from and tightened them well. The car started great the first time after taking it off the stands, but the second start failed. This was the first time I encountered a failure to start (other than once when I first got it, before I could drive manual, stalled it a few times and it didn't start back up for a minute, then worked again, but I figured that had to do with me at the time). Waited a few seconds and it was fine again. It got more common as time went on and eventually I got the battery light - but I mention this all because it could be a coincidence, but I didn't encounter any starting/battery/alternator/DIC/CEL/dead gauge issues until AFTER the swap. It's got 115,000 miles on it so maybe it is coincidental, but maybe it helps.

I just visually inspected the starter contacts the best I could and they look kind of dirty. IIRC we cleaned them when we were under there in 2019. They're both firmly in place still to the best I can feel.
 

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there should be a total of 3 wires gong to the starter 2 of them are attached to the same post. are you 100% certain that you hooked up the wires correctly?? You have to be100% on this as others have hooked up these wires incorrectly and ended up with starting problems.

I do not think that you having starter problems after doing the clutch is a coincidence. I believe that the starter is what is probably causing your intermittent starting problems. This we will confirm once we get the battery an alternator issue sorted out. Part of the alternator issue is going to require the verification of those wires being attached in the right places. Your car will not run without the air pipe being attached to the throttle body. If the post can be seen it can be gotten to by using a long screwdriver that you electrical tape to cover the exposed metal leaving only the very tip exposed and also a small section next to the handle that you can touch with the test lead. This is easier to do if you have alligator clip test leads but you can also do it if you have a 3rd hand available.

We have confirmed that the fusible link is not blow, this is a good thing. Now we need to confirm that there is not a connection problem between the alternator and the battery. This can only be done with the car running and there being a significant load on the alternator. If there is a connection issue then you will see 13.8+ volts at the alternator and a lower voltage at the battery. Having a load is the key to checking a connection. To much voltage drop means bad connection or improper wire diameter. In this case we know the wire diameter is going to be correct.

The starter sits between the alternator and the battery in terms of it's logical position in the power distribution in the vehicle. The current doesn't pass through the starter but there is the connection point on it.

the starter has two cylindrical components, a large one and a small one. The large one is the start motor, the small one is the starter solenoid. It is easier to think of the starter solenoid as a giant relay.. This is the component we have interest in.

there are 3 threaded posts on the end of it 2 of them are the same size and the 3rd is smaller in diameter. one large post is at the 12:00 position and the other is at the 6:00 position, the small one is at the 3:00 position. This is from the view of looking at the end of the starter.
The post at the 6:00 position has only a single wire attached to it, that wire heads into the side of the starter motor.. The one at the 12:00 position should have a large diameter wire coming off of it. it will be about the size of your pinky finger if you have a GXP and a little smaller if you have the base model. Now this is where it is going to get tricky because there are 2 more wires left and it is going to be hard to see in there and things are going to be dirty on top of it. The purple wire is the one that gets connected to the smaller post and the other wire (red = GXP, black = Base) is what gets connected to the large post at the 12:00 position.




Code:
                   *** ### ### ***
               *##                 ##*
           *##         ,gPPRg,         ##*
        *##           dP'   `Yb   <<<< ============ 2 wires one larger and one smaller, GXP: Red wires, Base: Black wires
      *##             Yb     dP             ##*
    *##                "8ggg8"                ##*
   *##                                         ##*
  *##                                           ##*
 *##                                             ##*
 *##                                    .-.      ##*
 *##                                   (   ) <<<< ========== PURPLE
 *##                                    '-'      ##*
 *##                                             ##*
  *##                                           ##*
   *##                                         ##*
    *##                ,gPPRg,                ##*
      *##             dP'   `Yb             ##*
        *#            Yb     dP  <<<< =========== Large wire to starter motor
           *##         "8ggg8"         ##*
               *##                 ##*
                   *** ### ### ***
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
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1,457 Posts
If it is easier for you to disconnect the wires from the 12:00 post and the 3:00 post and pull them so you can get a wire brush on the terminal rings on the end of the wire to clean them instead of checking the voltage at the post on the alternator, then do that. make sure they are super clean and in the right position.

the nut on the 12:00 post should be tightened to 89 lb in (7.5 lb ft) of torque
and the one at the 3:00 position is 27 lb in (2.25 lb ft) of torque

snug them up, no need to crank them down. I have not had the privilege of messing with a solstice starter yet so i cannot tell you if the posts could possibly spin. I know that on some starters this can happen and if you are not careful it can yank the wire off the post on the inside of the starter.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
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Oh.. If you cannot get a good line of sight on the wiring use your phone. turn it on video, turn on the light and stick the phone up in there. then review the video to check the wire colors if they can be seen.
 

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2006 Solstice 2.4L
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter #60
there should be a total of 3 wires gong to the starter 2 of them are attached to the same post. are you 100% certain that you hooked up the wires correctly?? You have to be100% on this as others have hooked up these wires incorrectly and ended up with starting problems.

I do not think that you having starter problems after doing the clutch is a coincidence. I believe that the starter is what is probably causing your intermittent starting problems. This we will confirm once we get the battery an alternator issue sorted out. Part of the alternator issue is going to require the verification of those wires being attached in the right places. Your car will not run without the air pipe being attached to the throttle body. If the post can be seen it can be gotten to by using a long screwdriver that you electrical tape to cover the exposed metal leaving only the very tip exposed and also a small section next to the handle that you can touch with the test lead. This is easier to do if you have alligator clip test leads but you can also do it if you have a 3rd hand available.

We have confirmed that the fusible link is not blow, this is a good thing. Now we need to confirm that there is not a connection problem between the alternator and the battery. This can only be done with the car running and there being a significant load on the alternator. If there is a connection issue then you will see 13.8+ volts at the alternator and a lower voltage at the battery. Having a load is the key to checking a connection. To much voltage drop means bad connection or improper wire diameter. In this case we know the wire diameter is going to be correct.

The starter sits between the alternator and the battery in terms of it's logical position in the power distribution in the vehicle. The current doesn't pass through the starter but there is the connection point on it.

the starter has two cylindrical components, a large one and a small one. The large one is the start motor, the small one is the starter solenoid. It is easier to think of the starter solenoid as a giant relay.. This is the component we have interest in.

there are 3 threaded posts on the end of it 2 of them are the same size and the 3rd is smaller in diameter. one large post is at the 12:00 position and the other is at the 6:00 position, the small one is at the 3:00 position. This is from the view of looking at the end of the starter.
The post at the 6:00 position has only a single wire attached to it, that wire heads into the side of the starter motor.. The one at the 12:00 position should have a large diameter wire coming off of it. it will be about the size of your pinky finger if you have a GXP and a little smaller if you have the base model. Now this is where it is going to get tricky because there are 2 more wires left and it is going to be hard to see in there and things are going to be dirty on top of it. The purple wire is the one that gets connected to the smaller post and the other wire (red = GXP, black = Base) is what gets connected to the large post at the 12:00 position.




Code:
                   *** ### ### ***
               *##                 ##*
           *##         ,gPPRg,         ##*
        *##           dP'   `Yb   <<<< ============ 2 wires one larger and one smaller, GXP: Red wires, Base: Black wires
      *##             Yb     dP             ##*
    *##                "8ggg8"                ##*
   *##                                         ##*
  *##                                           ##*
*##                                             ##*
*##                                    .-.      ##*
*##                                   (   ) <<<< ========== PURPLE
*##                                    '-'      ##*
*##                                             ##*
  *##                                           ##*
   *##                                         ##*
    *##                ,gPPRg,                ##*
      *##             dP'   `Yb             ##*
        *#            Yb     dP  <<<< =========== Large wire to starter motor
           *##         "8ggg8"         ##*
               *##                 ##*
                   *** ### ### ***
Nice ASCII rendering of the solenoid contacts :D

So from top to bottom:
  • 2 wires one larger and one smaller, GXP: Red wires, Base: Black wire: I see one wire here thats end is in red heatshrink, then leads into a black wire conduit. If there's another cable, it's invisible to my eye because of how much of a PITA the starter is to get to.
  • PURPLE: While I wouldn't call it much of a purple anymore, I can tell at one point in its career it may have been. It's the wire that's much smaller than the others and I don't think it could mistake it for any other.
  • Large wire to starter motor: Is this the one that looks like exposed, braided wire? That's what I see there.
I'm trying to take a picture of it but my phone's focal length refuses to get it all in the frame because of the small window presented by wires and tubes swirling about. I'll post as soon as I can to clarify what I'm talking about here. I've got some alligator clip leads for the multimeter (albeit quite small, don't know if I'll be able to get it to stick on the alternator) that I can keep on while putting the air tubes back into place.
 
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