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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Couple of things

Thankfully, the interior of Grace Jones is not the red and black, but all black. Why? I prefer the "normalness" of the all-black, but I thought redlines had the red and black seats. What gives?

After an uneventful trip home from the dealership, I moved my car back today to see if there had been any leaks, and it seems that there's been a small leak of what looks to be transmission fluid. How sick should I feel? I feel pretty nervous right now. Give me worst-case/best-case, and range of dollar amounts if possible. I drove it around then put it back after finding the leak. I haven't checked on it since - too scared/sick/sad.

Hope it's not too bad.

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 10:17 PM
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First off not all red lines came with red and black seats, in fact black leather was probably the most common seat in the Sky and the Solstice either as a turbo or a n\a. As for the leak the first question is where was the leak associated. Was it under the transmission or the power steering pump or steering rack or the cooling lines to the radiator? And if you just came from the dealer I would think a trip back would be my starting point, especially if you just purchased the car.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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I'd take it to the dealer, but it's 400 miles away (in as-is, where-is TX). I'll try to lift the car up to get under it to see where it's coming from. It will have to warm up before I even dream of attempting that! If I decide to take it to the mech before I get a chance to look, I should expect them to report that the leak is coming from one of those areas, no? I will be sure to tell them to lift the car properly, btw. I'm planning to get some pucks so it can be properly.

Thank you.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 07:41 AM
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Engine mounts are oil filled so you may poke around that area for signs of fluid
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 08:31 AM
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The color of the oil should also tell you a lot. Transmission is usually red in color and the power steering is some what clear like motor oil before it becomes used. Obviously used motor oil is somewhat clear but will be darker once used and the oil stungjoe speaks of is black in color. Again the location of the spot on the ground will tell you a lot as to where it is coming from. When you say "as is" I am assuming when you purchased it there is no warranty.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 11:00 AM
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On question is: Are you sure it's oil? The water pumps on our cars have a history of failure and one of the first signs is drops of coolant on the floor. The coolant is red and sticky-ish as it evaporates. Leaks come from under the passenger side front of the engine.

Far more common for this than any other leakage (AFAIK).

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier GXP View Post
First off not all red lines came with red and black seats, in fact black leather was probably the most common seat in the Sky and the Solstice either as a turbo or a n\a.
Hoosier is spot on. The Red/Black interior was an option on all Skys. Cloth was the standard for seating surfaces. Black leather was an option and the most common color of leather chosen. Red was also an option. If you had a tan top you also got black and tan leather interior but I believe the steering wheel in that option was still all black. Carbon Flash SE cars had a Gray and Black leather interior and on this option the steering wheel was Gray and Black too. Turbo or NA made no difference on interior options I don't believe.

Quote:
As for the leak the first question is where was the leak associated. Was it under the transmission or the power steering pump or steering rack or the cooling lines to the radiator? And if you just came from the dealer I would think a trip back would be my starting point, especially if you just purchased the car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier GXP View Post
The color of the oil should also tell you a lot. Transmission is usually red in color and the power steering is some what clear like motor oil before it becomes used. Obviously used motor oil is somewhat clear but will be darker once used and the oil stungjoe speaks of is black in color. Again the location of the spot on the ground will tell you a lot as to where it is coming from.
Like Hoosier mentions in these posts, where the puddle forms under the car will tell you a lot about where the leak is coming from. I had a horrible leak after my turbo install and just by looking under the car you'd have thought it was coming from anywhere but by studying the pattern on the floor it was easier to localize the issue.

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Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
On question is: Are you sure it's oil? The water pumps on our cars have a history of failure and one of the first signs is drops of coolant on the floor. The coolant is red and sticky-ish as it evaporates. Leaks come from under the passenger side front of the engine.

Far more common for this than any other leakage (AFAIK).
TS is right in that the Water Pump issue is perhaps the number 1 leak associated with these cars by a long shot. The coolant will feel slippery (it does have lubrication in it for the water pump after all) but the big differences between coolant and other potential fluids will be viscosity and smell. Coolant is going to feel thinner than power steering fluid, trans fluid, oil, or the fluid from the motor mount. However, coolant has a very sweet smell to it while oil smells...like, well...dirt and oil. To get an idea of what the coolant smells like you can open your overflow tank and take a whiff. If what you see on the floor smells like that, then it's coolant. While red, the coolant is closer to the orange or rust end of the spectrum while Trans fluid is closer to cherry red.

Good luck and let us know what you find out. If it IS the water pump, realize this can be an expensive repair. Hopefully the dealer you got it from will have some options for you but if not, sorry your new ride is already needing surgery.


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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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It was a cherry red variety. The weather isn't allowing me to move the car out to take a different/better look, as I didn't really have time when I moved it to look before.

Stungjoe warned that the water pump was likely to go, so I prepared myself to take that hit. If that's what it is, I'll bite the bullet and move forward. If it's not, I'll have the problem part fixed, and move forward. I took a risk, and I may get burnt, but I may not. I will update when the weather allows me to move the car out and look things over.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 09:41 AM
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Small leak leads to a bigger leak down the road. Could be a gasket, a hose clamp or pin hole leak in a hose. Clean everything that you can reach, engine bay, the under carriage. Stick it up on a real lift, and let the mechanic look around.

Red Fluid. Might be trans or power steering. Being the trans is a sealed unit, hard to tell with no dip stick to measure loss. The brake or pwr. steering fill tanks would indicate some loss of fluid.

Water Pump? The most hated words a Kappa owner never wants to hear said. IF it is this, part of the ownership. Go all out on this, replace everything now, I know BIG expense for you, but it will be off your mind in the future. You don't want an over heat problem with this car, leads to catastrophic results. Water pump cost now, or engine cost later. Big difference.

The dealer problem. Yeah can't get around that 400 miles, however I would be in contact with them right away. Get it documented that you do have a problem after purchase. Any warranty by them? 90 days 3,000 miles which ever comes first? You may not be able to get it back to " them " but if something can be worked out with who ever you do take it to fix it after the fact. They should be able to offer something to help fix this with that shop or sent you a rebate check for XXX $$$ dollars for repairs. Your not satisfied with the purchase, talk with the SM at the dealership and ask what did you look at or fix on this model when they had it in their shop, before it went on the lot or internet for sale? Dealers don't want to get a bad rep. from past buyers about the vehicles that they have for sale. Something can and should be done on their part, IF their honest about it.

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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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I plan to clean it up and take it in, and have it put up on a real lift.

Stungjoe warned me about the water pump, and I decided to take the chance, so if I get burnt, it's on me, and I don't mind too much. This purchase is for me, and if I have to dig out the wallet, I'll just have to do it. The weather is miserable, and I anticipate it being this way for awhile, so if I have to get it fixed before the weather gets right, I can live with it.

I have contacted the dealership - the salesman - and I haven't heard back. I have an email from the GM "welcoming me to the family", and if I don't hear from the salesman, or someone else from the dealership by Wednesday, I am going to reply to him with my problems. Should I have it looked over first, or should I shoot (the email) first, then have it looked at?

I'll look for updates from you guys, and I'll keep you guys updated.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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I was able to move the car out, and I'd have to say that the leak was on the driver's side, maybe at the "depth" of the front wheels. I don't know if I put the car back into the garage "spot on" where it was before, but according to the amount of room I have to the right of the car as well as forward, I'd have to say that I was pretty close. I cleaned up the spot, and kept the paper towel. I wiped the steering fluid dipstick off with a clean paper towel, and compared the 2. I also compared those 2 samples to the one I took from the coolant reservoir. My conclusion is that it is coolant. The level in the reservoir is STILL higher than the fill line. Maybe the "kindly folks" at the dealership grossly overfilled it and I was losing coolant all the way back, and it was the last little bit of overflow that I found on the floor?

The engine is really clean as a whistle. I plan to get in to see if my mech can get it up on the rack so that we can get ahead of this deal or at least rule some of the things out. Good thing is that I live about 3 min away from my mech.

I also realized that one of my friends is a big Pontiac guy that worked at the dealership! He has the HP Tuner, the full software suite, and credits! I don't know what all it will do beside get me HP (that I don't want). He told me that I can unlock the speedo. What else can it do?

I'll keep posting what I find out. I thank all of you for the help and guidance that you give. You also serve up the dread, but in a way that's pretty palatable. Thank you for that too. Most forums don't operate like that.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 04:50 PM
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Take a look at the attached pic. The water pump is on the passenger side so if the leak is on the driver's side then it can be the res. or the hoses. Enlarge the fourth pic on this page.. The yellow hoses really stand out and you can see where each one is routed. There is also the black hose from the res. cap that would purposely leak the coolant under the driver's side should there be an overfill situation. there is also the rear radiator hose which runs behind the engine which ends close to the oil filter location. very hard to see and apparently harder to photograph since Google returned diddly squat in the pics dept. Maybe someone else can describe it better.

Seeing as how so said "at the depth of the front wheels" the overflow hose is the most likely suspect. Maybe see if you can reach the end of that hose and feel for moisture. Follow the black hose from the cap down.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 05:13 PM
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I agree with Stungjoe on this one. It wouldn't be power steering fluid unless you have a leak in the rack as all the lines, pump, and reservoir are on the passenger side. Also, if you had a leak, the fluid would get real low and the system would make some horrible sounds. LOL

Since you mention the location of the leak is driver's side, from where you describe it's coming from, and the fact that your coolant overflow is above the fill line I would guess it's coolant overflow as well. Keep an eye on it just in case but sounds like it isn't a problem.

As for HPTuners, he can do a lot with it. A simple MAF tune would get your fuel trims in line. He could disable all torque limiters which helps the 2.0 tremendously if you add any aftermarket parts in the future. The stock LNF programming has what we call a "learn down" feature. If you add a part and start making more power, the ECM sees the increased power and says "That's more power than what I'm expecting, I'm going to turn down the turbo until power returns to what I expect it to be." HP Tuners would allow you to disable that.

He can also raise boost levels, change timing, and do a lot of other stuff to get you more power. Basically, if he knows what he's doing, he could bring you up to the power levels of the Trifecta or GMPP tunes.

Quote:
I thank all of you for the help and guidance that you give. You also serve up the dread, but in a way that's pretty palatable. Thank you for that too. Most forums don't operate like that.
You have no idea how good it is to hear that from a member. Thank you.


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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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I will go check this stuff out. Thank you for the link Stungjoe. I looked at the pics. I did sort of look the overflow hose over, and it looked like there was "washout" or "blowout" of fluid there. I could almost get under the car if I had time to get on the floor right now. I will do it soon though.

I'll post back with my findings when I get a good chance to look.

It's not hard to have some decorum when it's exhibited and expected, so you're welcome for my thankfulness: so meta....

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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After I got back from the mechanic's and the body shop I jumped out and the car had already leaked onto the floor. It was a bigger puddle than before, and as I was monitoring my coolant temp the whole time, I can only say that it was erratic. It would go from 180ish to 226 to 213, etc. I turned on the heater when it was 226, and that's what dropped it to 213. I had great heat for about 30 seconds, then it was like I had turned on the AC.

The puddle is squarely on the driver-side. It doesn't even reach the mid-point of the car, meaning that NONE of the fluid is near where I believe the water pump is. Have a look at the photos (nope the middle one isn't a moonshot) and see what may be going on. The turn into my garage is a left, so if there was fluid pooling somewhere above, it would slosh to the right/toward the passenger side, but there is no trail: just a pool. I also have to make another maneuver to miss a vintage radio cabinet, which would actually place the pool right of where it is. So then, it might be that it is even farther toward the driver side.
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