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HHR Engine Problems



  • i have the same problem now with a 2010 hhr came home from running to store and would not shut off had to pull fuel pump fuse how did you resolve your problem ? any information would be helpful . ty
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Didn't you receive a "recall letter" from G.M. at the beginning of this year explaining that the HHRs could have a faulty "ignition cylinder" resulting in exactly what yours did.
    Problems that could result from this issue...Key won't turn to start or stop engine or the key will get stucked in the ignition won't be able to get it out.
    Mine is also a 2010, didn't have any problem with that but I got the "ignition cylinder" changed (no charge) last march just in case.
    They say that we have till 2014 to get that "ignition cylinder" changed at no charge or else could be a 250$ job.
    I advise you to check with G.M. or go to any G.M. dealer for information.
  • Good morning fauncemil,

    If you would like for us to check into any warranty or recall information on your behalf please email us the last 8 digits of your VIN and inquiry to and we would be happy to help!

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I have a 2006 HHR. The last couple weeks, when approaching 3500/4000 rpm, the engine cuts out. My first thought is a fuel pump/fuel filter problem. The reason I am not sure is the way the engine cuts out. A "classic" fuel flow problem symptom is that the engine cuts out at higher rpms, and will not run as long as you floor the pedal, but will idle, or run ok at low rpms. This is different. When the engine gets to around 3500 rpm, it cuts out for about 1/2 second, then runs for 1/2 second, then cuts out, runs, cuts out, etc. Naturally, this causes the car to lurch, pause, lurch, someone just learning to drive with a clutch. I don't mind replacing the fuel pump/filter assy, if I am sure this is the problem.
    Anybody have any ideas?
  • Sounds like an ignition problem actually. You might scan the car's computer to see if there's a misfire code in there. But sure, you can do a fuel pressure test as well.
  • Good point. I will do that. Another "symptom" that I neglected to mention in the original posting is that this seems to start about the time the transmission should be shifting into high gear. At first I thought it was transmission related, but when the lurching starts, you can shift into neutral and the misfiring continues. Not sure if this will jog any other thoughts.
  • Good point. I will do that. Another "symptom" that I neglected to mention in the original posting is that this seems to start about the time the transmission should be shifting into high gear. At first I thought it was transmission related, but when the lurching starts, you can shift into neutral and the misfiring continues. Not sure if this will jog any other thoughts.
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Sounds like the engine is bumping the "rev" limiter.
    @ 3500/4000 a electronic device automatically shuts off the gas line before any damage occurs the the engine. It's totally normal.
    I rarely go over 3,000 rpm only when going up steep hills (3200 rpm once) and no problem with mine.
    Lots of cars do this at a "high" or "dangerous" rpm's.
    We have HHR's they aren't tuned as sport cars.
  • Is there a way to disable this "device" temporarily to see if it is truly what is causing the problem? I have owned this car for 5 plus years, and it has always shifted at a high I figured it was the nature of the beast, so to speak.
  • That could be tough, since you have, I believe, electronic throttle, so the rev limitations are built into the software. You'd probably have to install some kind of tuning chip to raise or eliminate the rev limiter...IF in fact that's your problem. I'd still get a scan and see if anything comes up to give you more of a clue.
  • Oh how I miss the good ol' days....points, rotor buttons, distributer caps....and that $15 mechanical fuel pump that bolted onto the side of the engine block......
  • I ran out of ways to fix my own cars with my own hands in about 1995. I'm way behind the curve myself now. :cry: Well I can change oil, plug in a scan tool, do brake pads, fuses, battery, light bulbs--but that's about the short list.
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Yes you can disable it with a "G.M. TECH2" (Diagnostic Scanner Tool).
    Oh! those good ol' days are gone forever...I remember when we could calibrate points we a match booklet cover and repair mostly anything ourselves. But now a days, electronics, computers...what's next?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,185
    I don't think its the rev limiter @4K on tach unless its a 2.2 AND it has much lower redline ( I believe redline on my 2.4 is 6200 or 6500). I have had my MT version close to redline a couple times without rev limiter kicking in (although if I stayed there a bit, the light would come on suggested an upshift might be in order ;) .

    I think I might be looking at fuel filter or ignition thing as Mr Shiftright suggested.
  • Thanks for all the help folks. I went with my gut, decided to try the cheap route first. Put a bottle of HEET in the gas tank....problem solved. I just never experienced the almost rhythmic fire/not fire/fire symptom before, and that is what threw me. Thanks again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    Since the methyl alcohol worked to help the fuel flow, does that mean the fuel filter is partly clogged with stuff or with water that the Heet picked up and moved enough of to help for the time being. I'd suggest it's time to change the fuel filter. On the theory that there's stuff in the tank getting caught in the filter, I'd put in a Techron Fuel System Cleaner for 12 gallon tank after running the Heet out. Run that down and THEN change the fuel filter, so that gunk and water in the tank are thoroughly cleared out and won't get caught in the new fuel filter.

    This message has been approved.

  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,185
    Hhmm Since the HEET appears to have worked I might wonder if there is some water in fuel , and with today's more closed systems how it got there, bad fuel perhaps? (Also can't go wrong with imidazol97's suggestions)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    edited January 2013
    > how it got there

    More than likely with the tank and contents being cold and then the atmosphere containing more moisture in warmer air. The system doesn't seal completely and must take in and out some air with moisture. Warmer moist air cools in the tank and moisture is dropped out. Or the tank is opened to put in gasoline on warmer days.

    As for the Techron, I've used it since BMW recommended it back in the 90s for the system and injectors. Note there is an Injector Cleaner version that is cheaper, but I like the Fuel System Cleaner. Run tank down to as low as you like to get it, put in the Techron so it's concentrated in a few gallons as you put in the new fuel. That way it can dissolve gunk before it's diluted with the additional 7-10 gallons of fuel you put into the HHR tank of 12 gallons.

    A radio car technician always recommends using premium of a name brand to do this with the Techron, for the additional additives in the premium fuel. I usually do that as well. He liked Chevron and Shell. Chevron's additive package is what the Techron is--it's a Chevron product. We dont' have Chevron in this area of the country anymore.

    This message has been approved.

  • I have the usual brake shuttering issues with the HHR. Mine is a 2006 2LT. I am not going to discuss that issue here. This morning upon going to work I got a block away up a big hill and the REP message and CEL came on. First time ever. I managed to coast back home and called for a ride to work. It is 14 degrees here and my bf left very little gas in the car for me. I dont know what to do. I have not taken it to a dealership as I have no money and he will look at it when it warms up a little. Any ideas???
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,185
    CEl could be any number of things. Some places such as autozone will run a scan to determine what codes come up. That would be first step. Was it running ok even with light on? Heat working ok?
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