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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On a hard right bend my battery light is coming on briefly, followed by engine missing, then a puff of smoke when it catches. First noticed at Nelson Ledges coming out of the Carousel, but had repeated itself on off ramps. The battery is firmly in place and the terminals are tight. All fuses and relays are seated. I will check other power and ground connections today. Any other theories to ideas?
 

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On a hard right bend my battery light is coming on briefly, followed by engine missing, then a puff of smoke when it catches. First noticed at Nelson Ledges coming out of the Carousel, but had repeated itself on off ramps. The battery is firmly in place and the terminals are tight. All fuses and relays are seated. I will check other power and ground connections today. Any other theories to ideas?
The engine and main chassis grounds are my first thought.

Is it a lead-acid battery? You could have a cracket plate inside it, although it is quite rare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The engine and main chassis grounds are my first thought.

Is it a lead-acid battery? You could have a cracket plate inside it, although it is quite rare.
My shop could not find a loose or corroded connection. They did change my plugs, which was the probable cause of another problem - misfiring. Now to find an off ramp.
 

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My shop could not find a loose or corroded connection. They did change my plugs, which was the probable cause of another problem - misfiring. Now to find an off ramp.
Another thing to look for is an unrestrained wire that is able to make contact with a chassis ground, maybe near a pulley or smething sharp or rough that could have damaged the insulation, and that only makes contact during a hard right turn.
 

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Your positive battery cable may have dropped and is rubbing on something. The cable runs down the passenger side of the car to the front of the engine then across the front of the engine above the pulleys then it drops down and heads down the drivers side of the car to the starter. I would disconnect the battery and pull the wire from the starter and remove the entire length of cable. Inspect the cable for any damage and repair as needed. I would route the cable differently so it goes up and over the top of the engine just under the windshield cowl. There are some metal brackets that the cowl screws down to that you can zip tie the cable to, this will keep it up and off the top of the engine. You will want to use a good fiberglass backed heat wrap over the cable where it goes over the exhaust manifold area of the engine.. Running it this way will probably make the cable to long and you will need to cut it to the proper length and crimp a new terminal ring on the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still no loose or shorting wires found, but a new piece of evidence - ESC Active comes on at the exact time as the BATT light. Does ESC take a lot of power? Or can it be sending power to a module that is shorted out or drawing too much power?
 

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Still no loose or shorting wires found, but a new piece of evidence - ESC Active comes on at the exact time as the BATT light. Does ESC take a lot of power? Or can it be sending power to a module that is shorted out or drawing too much power?
ESC is going to cut engine pwer and activate the ABS, but it could also be a gremlin caused by the power problem, not the other way around.

Find a slick surface somewhere and stand on the brakes hard enough to activate the ABS, to see what else happens.
 

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are you making a turn that would be tight enough and fast enough to cause the car to fishtail? It could be a symptom of a bad connection. the EBCM which controls the ESC and ABS does consume quite a bit of power when activated. It has to operate solenoids that have enough strength to apply the brakes without a vacuum assist. they are pretty beefy put it to you that way.

If it is a bad connection you can see if you can instigate it by starting the car and turning on the HVAC blower to high, windshield wipers to high. rear defrost, headlights, high beams, hazards and stepping on the brakes. Check the voltage at the battery with as many accessories turned on as possible it shouldn't be below 13.5 or so. If it is then you could be having a voltage drop problem due to a bad connection.

If he above test does indicate a voltage drop I would inspect the battery connections first and then check the connections at the starter. The starter is where the alternator is attached and there have been people that have had corrosion on the posts causing an intermittent connection issue.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
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There is no way this has anything to do with the yaw sensor is there ?
 

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nope.
 

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There is no way this has anything to do with the yaw sensor is there ?
It would activate the ESC, and that could contribute to the misfire in conjunction with the bad plugs that were replaced. It would not light the battery light.

@stevebot39 : Are you sure it is the battery light? According to my fuzzy memory there has been some confusion in the past between the battery light and the coolant light, and a hard turn could trigger a low coolant warning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
are you making a turn that would be tight enough and fast enough to cause the car to fishtail?
YES.
We (meaning my mechanic) checked the battery and starter connections and found nothing. I will try the load and ABS tests when I get a chance. In the meanwhile, I am off on a 400-mile trip. On a wing and a prayer, as they say. No fast curves with the wife in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@stevebot39 : Are you sure it is the battery light? According to my fuzzy memory there has been some confusion in the past between the battery light and the coolant light, and a hard turn could trigger a low coolant warning.
DUH, it was the coolant light. Which would explain overheating that occurred later in the day.

Would that trigger ESC or cut back the throttle?

Are there any simple tricks to improve the cooling on a Solstice?
 

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DUH, it was the coolant light. Which would explain overheating that occurred later in the day.

Would that trigger ESC or cut back the throttle?

Are there any simple tricks to improve the cooling on a Solstice?
Oooh now there’s a loaded question..
 

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I should have mentioned the low coolant light versus battery early.

So, the misfiring could have been the result of the plugs and triggered by the ESC. I assume the ESC is being activated by the hard turn which, as others have stated, would cut engine power and activate the ABS.

Hard turn = coolant swashing in the reservoir triggering coolant light.

Hard turn = ESC activating, restricting engine power and activating ABS that is working as designed and unrelated to coolant level.

Pop and misfire = caused by ESC altering engine operation and probably exacerbated by the poorly performing plugs?

Like all good mechanical mysteries it's usually a combination of things.
 

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DUH, it was the coolant light. Which would explain overheating that occurred later in the day.

Would that trigger ESC or cut back the throttle?

Are there any simple tricks to improve the cooling on a Solstice?
Was your colant actually low? Low coolant could result in the system ingesting an air bubble and then overheating.
Engine cooling has generally proven to be adequate under most conditions. What were you doing when it overheated?

I think that @chickenwire summarized the probable scenario pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Was your coolant actually low? Low coolant could result in the system ingesting an air bubble and then overheating.
Engine cooling has generally proven to be adequate under most conditions. What were you doing when it overheated?

I think that @chickenwire summarized the probable scenario pretty well.
Yes, the coolant was low. We had been racing about 15 min when the temp hit 245 and the overtemp light came on. I guess I should burp the engine now. It looks like putting a tee in the line that runs along the valve cover is the best way?
 

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Yes, the coolant was low. We had been racing about 15 min when the temp hit 245 and the overtemp light came on. I guess I should burp the engine now. It looks like putting a tee in the line that runs along the valve cover is the best way?
Need to back up a bit. You did not get an "over temp" indicator, you had a low coolant indicator. You need to understand why your coolant was low. It's a closed loop system so it should never lose coolant unless it's leaking. This is most likely a wate rpump that is getting close to failing but could be a leak elsewhere.

You should NOT need to just bleed the system or take any other measures until you understand why your coolant was low.

Most water pumps that develop leaks in the seals do so but only under temperature. Many people state there are no puddles in their driveway, but eventually there are or they have a catastrophic failure. (Engine pukes everything out after the water pump seal fails completely.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Need to back up a bit. You did not get an "over temp" indicator, you had a low coolant indicator. You need to understand why your coolant was low. It's a closed-loop system so it should never lose coolant unless it's leaking. This is most likely a water pump that is getting close to failing but could be a leak elsewhere.
Thanks, I had not thought about the water pump - a known problem. Coolant was not very low - approximately at the seam. I have overfilled a 1/4 in. so I can see the level better. I'll keep an eye on the level.

I did eventually get a hi-temp warning, the big red thermometer, plus a reading of 245. The outdoor temp had reached 90 and I was getting faster and pushing the car harder.
 
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