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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve had my Solstice since July 2006. It’s been my daily commuter year ‘round. Going on 217,000 miles. Car has treated me very well. Hoping it will last forever.

I’m curious to hear how other heavy drivers have been making out? I can’t be the only one who drives the heck out of my car, or am I?
 

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please share your maintenance experience...
 

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Hi Ziggy, bought my 2007 GXP with 125000 miles on it last April. Put 10000 miles on it during the summer as it is so much fun I drove it all the time. Plus up here in Maine, we suffer through long winters, so when warmer weather hits we try to enjoy it as much as possible. According to the previous owner( 2nd owner), he did not have to do anything besides normal maintenance, and original owner told him the same. I only have had to replace the (stock!) battery so far. I plan on driving it as much as possible without worrying about mileage.
 

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I probably don't qualify as a high miler with only 105k on my NA and 86k on my RL, but my maintenance has been totally routine except for can actuator solenoids on the NA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have the base model, 5-speed manual. The GXP wasn't announced when I ordered mine. I think I've had an above average maintenance experience so far. I'm on my 4th set of tires. I've stayed with the original Goodyear Eagles. I didn't need to replace my brakes until 174,000 miles. I am not kidding, and no, I don't downshift to slow down. I prefer to put the wear & tear on the brake pads and not my clutch/engine. I used to change my oil/filter every 5k miles but once I switched to synthetic oil I now go 10k miles.

I replaced my starter a few winters ago after an intermittent problem where the car just wouldn't start. After playing around with the ignition and waiting/retrying it would magically start again. Wasn't sure if it was the starter or the ignition, but I sure didn't like being stranded at my work parking lot alone at night. I figured I had 150,000 miles on the car at the time and the starter seemed the most likely culprit so I changed it and never had that problem again.

Last year I had a doozy of a weird problem. Had the car parked on my driveway, which has a very, very modest incline. I would set my gearshift to 2nd gear when I park (I've come to learn that reverse is the strongest gear for this purpose, so lesson learned). FYI: my e-brake didn't have much/any grip at the time, hence why I would leave the car in gear when parked. (I've sincnce learned how to correct the e-brake via this forum, btw). Anyhoot - later that night my son comes home and asks me why I left my car blocking the driveway? Turns out, it somehow slipped out of gear and slowly rolled until coming to rest against the stone wall at end of driveway. Not a scratch/dent on the car, so I was relieved. When I went to start the car, it started right up. The gearshift was already in the neutral position. With my clutch still depressed, I tried moving the gearshift into reverse, but it wouldn't go. Nor could I get it to move into any gear for that matter. It was stuck going left-right in neutral. I eased off the clutch, thinking I just needed to press/depress the pedal a couple of times to get the gears aligned, but when I did that the car started moving backwards. Turns out, even though my gearshift was in neutral, the transmission had reverse gear engaged. Nothing I tried could fix this. Folks on this forum told me to try a few things, but nothing worked. Wasn't the linkage. Wasn't the differential being spooled up. I was at a loss.

There's an AAMCO located 1/2 mile down the road I live on, so I drove it there at 1AM (in reverse). They had to drop the tranny to look inside. They said there was a minor part that came loose and it shouldn't be a big deal. Unfortunately, after several weeks of trying, they couldn't find the parts they needed. Instead, I had no choice but to replace the entire transmission. They found a used one from someone else's Solstice that had 93,000 miles on it. Beggers can't be choosers so I had no choice but to go for it. While it was open I figured I'd replace the clutch, since it was still original, even at 194,000 miles. Guy told me I still had 40% life left on it, but I figured it made sense to change it while everything was open. That was 12 months / 23,000 miles ago and knock-on-wood, everything is ok.

I've had to replace the sensors on the top of the camshaft - Intake 2 years ago and Exhaust just last month. As simple as changing a spark plug. Only ~$45. Thank you AutoZone for telling me what the error code meant!

The current item I'm dealing with is a coolant leak. Starting last June I could faintly smell coolant when I got out of the car. I couldn't find a leak, but obviously there is one somewhere. I would top the coolant off, only for it to slowly go down again and the low coolant light would come on. However, it doesn't all leak out so wherever the leak is, it's not at the low point. Car runs fine and temp gauge never rose higher than normal, even throughout the summer, so I lived with it. I had my mechanic look for it when I brought the car in last month for my annual inspection. He told me I need a new water pump and he sure as hell doesn't want to do it. Told me to bring it to the dealership. I've read that it's a 7 or so hour job at the dealership, and those guys have experience and the tools to do it right. Expecting it to run about $1,300! Yikes!!! But, just like swapping out the tranny, I figure this car has treated me right for a long time. The $3k I spent on the tranny/clutch has already lasted me a full year and 23k miles, and hopefully a lot more. A water pump is expected to fail anywhere after 50k miles, so in some respects I'm lucky as hell for still being on my first one.

Others might have a different opinion, but the way I see it, unless you're the type to always move into a brand new car every 5 years, cars require ongoing maintenance. It shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. Although my wife disagrees, I don't feel like I'm throwing good money after bad. I've gotten 14 years and 217k miles of the most fun driving I've ever had for a total cost of ~$32k (includes original cost of car, sales tax, all maintenance, parts, tires, etc...)

I wish all of you as good of luck as I've had. I love this little car. I simply can't imagine what else I would move into if/when its time is up? I joke that I'll just go out and buy someone else's used one for sub-$10k and roll the dice. Otherwise, what are my options? Do I go out and buy that 'vette I've always wanted since I was 5 and see if it can hold up to 20k+ miles per year? Prob not a good idea. But I sure don't want to be driving a Civic as my only car, not that there's anything wrong with it. My son has one and I take it sometimes in very bad/snowy weather. I'll admit, those heated seats sure feel good. I'll sign off with this funny tidbit: Most kids today are totally clueless about cars. So much so that my son's friends all think I drive a Porsche. Am I a bad person for not correcting them?

Ziggy
 

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I read that wrong. I thought it said "mile highers".
stop!! that hurts with my back and neck out of place the past 3 days!!! almost as bad as snot filled coffie in the keyboard. almost 57500 on mine....I may not be fast butt at least in half fast.well almost.
 

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I've had mine since December 2005 - and have loved every mile! In the first couple of years, I had a regular customer where I was making a daily +200 mile trip three to five times a week. All summer, I piled on the miles. She never sees road salt (that means at the first sign of ice, she goes into hibernation and doesn't come out until all the salt is washed away. I'm a bit over 130k right now, but haven't been putting up the miles like I did a few years ago.

Maintenance wise three things - the cam sensors (easy), the water pump (a pia, but certainly not worth paying someone else a grand or more to do it - and I jacked up the tensioner and had to tear the front of the engine off). The big one was a couple years ago - the clutch slave cylinder developed a leak. Had the dealership do it and the clutch (an extra $300, on top of $1,300 for the cylinder). Other than that, its just been tires (x3), a battery and oil. Oh, and a set of front brake pads (also had the e-brake issue, bought the rotating caliper compressor and its good as new).

I've used full synthetic oil from day one. For the last 10 years or so, I change it once at the beginning of the season and that's it. The oil looks so good coming out, I re-use it in everything else (tractor, mowers, topping off the truck).

With GMS pricing and limited options, I was out the door under $21k (under $20k before tax/destination...).

She was Sly from the factory, but after a nasty hail storm - I had her repainted white. Love this car!
 
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