Pontiac Solstice. To Buy or Not to Buy

Tiny
STOLE
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 PONTIAC SOLSTICE
  • 4,000 MILES
Great Site. I'm thinking to buy a 2006 Pontiac Solstice. Looks awesome, in flawless condition, and i'm told that dealers still have plenty of parts for Pontiacs. My worry? It only has 4000 miles on it? Should I be concerned that it's not been broken in properly, or is this really not a problem? The car has been stored in a heated garage when not in use. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 AT 5:13 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Break-in procedures are a thing of the past. With better metal alloys and better machining procedures you basically hop in and go. The biggest thing you will need to look forward to is repeat generator failures. When it does fail, you will reduce the number of repeat failures by replacing the battery at the same time unless it is less than about two years old.

Pontiac may be gone but GM will always be around. The parts availability problem is related more to the age of the car, not the brand. New parts from the dealer are just as hard to find for a Chevy or GMC when they get to be the same age.
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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 AT 5:26 PM
Tiny
STOLE
  • MEMBER
Repeat generator failures? I'm not sure what this is. A big problem?
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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 AT 5:53 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The commonly-accepted term is "alternator", but that is technically a Chrysler term since they developed it and copyrighted it. That's nit-picking and when you call it an alternator everyone will know exactly what you mean.

Chrysler had by far the best alternator and charging system design from the early '70s to the late '90s. GM had, in my opinion, the second best design from '72 through 1986 models. They redesigned it for the '87 models and it is now one of the worst designs there is. For the average car owner who can only replace the assembly, that is no different between any car brand, but for those of us who like to repair them by testing and replacing just the defective parts, it is extremely difficult to disassemble, and the main parts can't be tested.

The problem with the design is they produce huge voltage spikes. Those can destroy the internal voltage regulator and the diodes, as well as interfere with computer sensor signals. The battery is the key to controlling those spikes but it loses its ability to dampen them as it ages and lead flakes off the plates. The older the battery gets, the more those spikes will have an affect. Elusive engine running problems can result when those spikes induce voltages into adjacent sensor wires. It is common to hear people have gone through four to six replacement generators in the life of the vehicle. Replacing the battery at the same time reduces that number.
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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 AT 10:32 PM

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