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Discussion Starter #1
I will search, so please don't chastise me - this post goes a couple of directions.

First "major" road trip with the Solstice this past weekend. 5 days. Went very well, except for the fact that I had a CEL as soon as I started it up to back out of the garage. Averaged about 29 mpg (2.4 l N/A) for the first 350 mile leg.

BUT - noticed that anything past 1/2 throttle the engine chugged and hesitated. (Shut up GXP owners but I missed the usual "thrust" of this mighty engine!) Like I said, it performed well but didn't have the giddyup - so bad that my wife (who usually cringes when I wind it out) noticed it.

I also noticed when I started out the next morning after our arrival that between shifts I heard a helluva racket - like a throw-out bearing buzzing. 2 or 3 minutes and 4 or 5 shifts later, no noise.

Okay, so all that being said, and despite me feeling somewhat circumcised by the lack of top-end torque, I took my brother-in-law for a ride. (He used to race moto-cross and snowmobiles.) The terrain is pretty flat and the roads are all grids there, so I asked him if there was anything "twisty". He said "Well, I don't know how twisty it is, but there's something we can try."

Big-assed housing development in the middle of nowhere. About 1/3 of it had homes built on it, the other 2/3 was paved roads with NOTHING around it but curbs! Rolled through the neighborhood at the posted 15 mph and told my BIL that I think we can get a good 10-15 minutes of hell raising in and then should probably get out before any "authorities" show up because the neighbors called.

Picture your typical subdivision/housing development - some curves and twists to keep it from being a "grid" and then the perpindicular intersections. I started revving up to about 40-50 and my BIL cautions me with "Now - I don't know where these roads end, okay?" Took a lap around the perimeter, the two "cross roads" and then started to wind it out (as best as I could, with the issue on the engine.)

Friggin' HOOT! Even the brother-in-law was laughing and said "Kinda got our own Watkins Glen here, huh?" Ripped it up for about 15, shot outta there, headed the opposite direction for a mile, looped about 4 miles away, came back around to his place and glided into the garage.

He tops it off by popping out of the Sol and telling my sister and wife "Just close the garage door, okay? Do it now!"
 

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Definitely sounds like a good time!! :thumbs: I imagine hearing the Mission Impossible theme playing as you pulled in the garage. :cool:
 

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The symptoms you describe could be the cat problem. Several NAs have experienced premature failure of the cat which exhibits itself by lack of power at higher RPMs and gets worse. The cat is covered under the emission warranty so get it checked out.
 

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If it is the cat get it taken care of quickly. A clogged cat can destroy an engine.

As an aside, I would never start out on a trip with an unknown CEL, especially if there are obvious symptoms of a problem.
 

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despite me feeling somewhat circumcised by the lack of top-end torque
Huh? I'm afraid to ask exactly what you thought you were saying with this!

BTW, 'top end torque' is sort of a contradiction in terms. At high RPM you get power, but your torque is decreasing. If you want more torque, you need to shift into the next higher gear.

I'd be interested to hear if you find out what was sapping your urge - that rattling/buzzing is a bit disquieting!

Good you are enjoying the car, though!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Had a CEL with cod P0452 (I believe that was it) which was an Evap system error. It cleared itself, as did the CEL at the start of our trip. I intend on having the code pulled tomorrow (at which time I'm going to end up buying my own reader after researching here.)

ws - I understand my description "top end" wasn't really correct. I meant "peak". It just never got to that point like it had before.

I appreciate the insight on the cat problem. Since this is my last day of "vacation" I'm going to enjoy it. Then tonight I'll do some research and tomorrow set something up with the local dealer that used to sell Pontiacs.
 

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wspohn : Huh? I'm afraid to ask exactly what you thought you were saying with this!
Castrated, aka Neutered, aka Impotent ?
BTW, 'top end torque' is sort of a contradiction in terms. At high RPM you get power, but your torque is decreasing. If you want more torque, you need to shift into the next higher gear.
Not really. Technically speaking (and splitting hairs of course) the engine actually creates torque, and the power is derived from that and the RPM at which it is created. So a "lack of top end torque" would mean less torque than there should be at a given RPM regarless of how that torque compares to torque at any other RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
'K. Here is the simplest of my interpretation of the torque v/ H/P discussion. I wasn't able to throw my brother-in-laws head back against the seat. Hence, I felt.....well less than adequate.

I remain unflustered and steadfast in my manliness.

At least for now.

: )
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Local former Pontiac dealer checked it out. It is the cat. Even kind enough to consult another GM dealer 11 miles away that will do the warranty work!

What is even more cool than that is the dealer doing the warranty work told him to tell me to arrange for a couple of days for the car to be there. I'm thinking he's thinking that I'm thinking that if I'm at the tail end of the 5 year warranty I'm going to want every damn thing checked out on it.

And he's thinking correctly!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
5 year warranty is 10 months expired. 8 year/100k emissions is still in play. Cat is still covered. Dropped the car off Tuesday and dealer called back to say he should have the cat on Wednesday. Called dealer Wed (seriously, why the hell does a service department never call you, you have to call THEM at the end of the day?) and they said the cat was backordered. Picked up a loaner so I didn't have to rely on co-workers or friends for a ride to pick it up (was borrowing a company vehicle.)

Friday's phone call to the dealer reveals the cat still wasn't delivered. Guy stumbles to try and explain he tried to put a "rush" on it. Whatever.

On our way back home from "town" yesterday in the pickup, my wife hmmms and hahs and finally says...

"I miss the car!"
 

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I had a similar experience with BellaV on our trip to DisneyWorld. Cat was replaced in Kissimee. Great to have the "peak" back on the way home...just had to put up with a Chevy Aveo for two days of the getaway. I did not have the rattle though. Maybe some of the ceramic matrix has broken off?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Okay, apparently I'm going to follow up on this thread while still in this thread. Car has been at the dealer for a week now. He thought he had the part coming in the next day, then said it was back ordered and he wouldn't see it until Friday. (Last Friday.) Heard nothing from him Monday (yesterday.)

Wife calls me today and says "I hope you don't mind, but I called the dealer." He basically had no answers. She gets the Pontiac customer number and calls it. Speaks with someone in the Phillipines? This person gets her the number to the Detroit office. Detroit office says they need to speak to the dealer to get some info. Put her on hold, calls the dealer, service manager is "not available".

Wife calls service manager and informs him she's becoming a cranky person. She doesn't like to be a cranky person. Service manager says he'll call the Detroit office immediately. Detroit calls wife back and says that GM is in "contract negotiations" with the supplier of the catalytic converter and they won't have any answers until July 30th.

Couple questions.

1. Has anybody heard of supplier negotiations going on with GM? I searched and didn't find anything. Then again, that's the kind of thing that generally is kept confidential.

2. Don't you think someone in the dealer chain would have one of these on the shelf? Since there are no Pontiac dealers anymore I can see that being the case.

3. Is the converter specific to the Solstice? Would seem that if it's across a couple of platforms there would definitely be one out there.
 

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OK, that sucks in a big way. Seems to me you have 3 choices
1. Wait this out, whatever this is. Contract negotiations could be bull.
2. Get a high flow cat, but you pay out of pocket, and no warantee.
3. get a used cat, but same prob as num2

None of these are great, but I'd wait it out. They are giving you amloaner, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Atomic - yes, my bag is most assuredly bitten on this. The "negotiation" might be that they're trying to get the damned things out of China now - nothing more, nothing less. As a matter of principle, I'm inclined to wait it out.

Solnut - I'd be inclined to offer you a fair price for it, but I'm thinking the warranty work (and less hassle for me - well, besides not being able to drive the damn thing) is the way I'll go.

Wife says she wants me to pick up the car (though I have a loaner. The loaner actually costs me money because I have a company vehicle through my employer - I buy the gas for the loaner. I would just use the company vehicle but took the loaner so I could just return it and pick up the Sol shen it was done instead of getting a ride.) I asked why pick up the Sol, since we're not going to drive it. She says "Well, you can continue working on painting the rotors and calipers like you started and do other stuff on it while it's in the garage, right?"

Huh. She's good at keeping me working isn't she?:lol:

What's even funnier, but in a good way, is how she kept saying that it was "your car" to me because of the detailing and research I've done on it. Turns out she's the one that seems to miss seeing it in the garage, misses driving it, misses adding details and "tweaks" to it! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, we're closing in on a month with a catlytic converter problem. The promised "follow up call" on Monday occurred from GM customer service. That was basically saying that they're going to "move up" on the ladder on our issue. That was followed by a phone call from a "regional" whatever person named Desirae whom my wife said she was very impressed by.

I told her "I'll be impressed with Desirae when there's a cat on the car and we're driving down the road in it."
 

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Discussion Starter #20
But I did get to try out the paint on the caliper last night. Looks like the color we were after.

 
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