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HHR Engine Problems



  • I don't think it's a brake related issue. No pulling, no increase when braking, does not get better/worse w/mileage (miles driven not mpg). The noise & feel of scuffing grinding is most noticeable @ around 35mph. As for the mileage (MPG) it seems to be getting worse.
    I am dropping the HHR off at the I.G. Burton Chevrolet Service Dept. (very reputable they replaced my 2005 Suburbans trans. @ plus 36,200 miles for $250.00 w/100,000 wtd on new unit) again Thurs. to be checked out and will post new findings.
    I hope this can be resolved because we really like the car it's super quiet and fun to drive, the only disappointments are; visibility (we test drove, knew & bought anyway), mileage I really expected to get 30mpg hwy (our 2005 Suburban has gets 20+), and this noise which I have the nagging feeling is the tip of a serious problem w/front axle, bearing or transmission.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The bearing is the first thing that came to mind.
  • ljumpljump Posts: 4
    I bought a new HHR SS a few weeks ago and after only one week I noticed thick, black carbon buildup on the tailpipe. Dealer said "that's normal", but ran all the diagnostics anyway - no rich fuel mixture, no dirty emsissions, etc. - everything was to specs. I cleaned the exhaust pipe, then checked the oil. With only 800 mi. on the car, it was pretty clean but I noticed it was 3/16 of an inch over the full mark. Then I drove to Phoenix and back (about 1,200 miles round trip) at 75 mph with the a/c on. It got about 26 mpg - not too bad, and the car performed very well. When I got back, the tailpipe was even blacker than before - the carbon deposits were a little shiny and slick, indicating oil - not unburned gasoline. I checked the oil - it was down to the full mark, but quite dirty - not quite black, but getting there fast. Again, the dealer said it was normal and they wouldn't even take it in to look at it. I'm hoping it's just the excess half-quart of oil blowing out, but I guess time will tell. The dealer said GM did not have any tech bulletins out for this specific symptom. I'd like to get an expert opinion on this....
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I'm guessing it is the over full oil as this is about the worse thing you can do to an engine. I think it is even worse than running it a quart low. Now that it is down to the full mark, clean it again and keep an eye on it. I only have about 450 on my 2.4 HHR and my chrome pipe looks like brand new.
  • cynarkcynark Posts: 1
    i am thinking about purchasing the hhr at the end of the month....i have done my edmunds search my consumer reports search and i really l like but i pray that i do not have the trouble you all are having.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    beleive the HHR SS has the same 2.0L turbo that the Solstice GXP has been using since 07.....the GXP also experienced the blackening of the tail pipes...but it apparently lessen after engine break should see the same thing
  • ljumpljump Posts: 4
    My dealer offered little resistance to my offer of dealer invoice price on the new HHR SS I bought a few weeks ago (loaded with most options for $24.5k) - I showed the sales mgr. the printout and he agreed to the invoice price!! Get the SS if you possibly can - sooo much better than any of the other HHR models. The turbo power is awesome (260hp) and you still get 26+ mpg on the highway.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    It's possible to suck oil through the turbo by the way. Not uncommon on turbo cars. Tell-tale sign would be a puff of blue smoke on morning start up that does away quickly.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    To the full mark on the dip stick is fine, over the full mark is not.
  • jonnymjonnym Posts: 5
    I'm sorry but I would stay away from the hhr. I own a 06 LT currently with 60,000 miles. I've had fuel board problems, brake issues, steering column problems and ignition issues. If you do buy, get the best warranty you can, you're going to need it. Best of luck. :lemon: :lemon:
  • hhrprobshhrprobs Posts: 13
    Yes i agree,my 2006 is a lemon and i wish i had never bought it.Its got 18000 on it. and its got so many problems.Its been in the shop for diffrent thing.s roters, the battery dying,dont get good gas mileage.Computor messes up,its got alot i wish i good write gm i would love to get my money back. :mad: :lemon:
  • tim08hhr1tim08hhr1 Posts: 7
    There is a TSB for this. They will put a radiator guard in front of the radiator. This will fix the problem you have. GM is aware of the problem & is now placing them on all 08 and below.
  • kathiky1kathiky1 Posts: 19

    What does the TSB address (sorry, I don't know enough about cars to know what a radiator guard fixes).
  • tim08hhr1tim08hhr1 Posts: 7
    If you have a 08 HHR or lower in model year. Look under your lower bumper in the front of your car. You will see your radiator. If there is nothing infront of it you need the guard. The guard will protect your radiator from rocks flying into it. If you get a big enough impact from a rock it will go into the radiator and drain the fluid & you will have big problems.
  • overrevoverrev Posts: 1
    some people may have gotten lemons, but i have an '06 2lt and think it is by far the best vehicle i have ever owned. someone did their homework when designing the HHR. the only problem i have had is the often mentioned front disc vibration. but there is a TSB out to cover that , and i am looking at drilled/slotted rotors anyway. get up to 33 mpg highway. all around, i don't think you can go wrong with the HHR.
  • mah123mah123 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 08 hhr ss last sat. and the car doesn't start sometimes and they said it was the starter. I had 50 miles on it, I looked under the front of the car and there is a shield for the radiator to protect it as well as one under the doors and the tail pipe. :cry: :cry:
  • rose4hhrrose4hhr Posts: 4
    I had a 2001 Malibu that we bought new that had the exact same issue within months after buying it. I was driving on an isolated country road late at night and it just cut off. I later joked with my husband that it was like I was being abducted by aliens because everything just "cut off" ...that is except the lights...I think. Anyway, I had no cell service and had to wait to flag someone down to call him and he only got a partial I waited for hours. I think strangely enough, it started again after he "showed up" and so he took it to another dealership from the one where we purchased it from, and they fixed it on the first further problems. It was a really good car until I had an accident off an icy bridge this February and totaled it. I credit it for saving my life...had 143.500+ miles and was still going with no major problems and good mechanic reports, no major overhauls!!! (I was trying to make it to at least 250,000! I did a VIN check and someone rebuilt it!)
  • rose4hhrrose4hhr Posts: 4
    I had an issue with the dealer that we purchased our current 08 HHR from (mistake, wish we would have went to one of the other dealerships within a 150 mile radius!)...the issue was over my last '01 Malibu (I have a used '03 now to replace it...didn't buy it from the same dealer!). Anyway, they kept having problems "finding" what was wrong with my cruise control after a routine tune up, it had never had anything before and the car was only about 2-3 years old at the time. They wanted me to buy a $250 motor plus labor and local taxes, etc after selling a $48 button we didn't need and after they messed up my cruise cable, which lodged under my accelerator on my way home from their service shop and almost got me killed. I called them, my family, and they paid to replace the cable. Anyway...I was livid and told them their was absolutely no way that a system that had nothing wrong with it suddenly needs a motor and a button; and that I had experience with buttons before and knew it had nothing wrong with it...that they must have done something wrong when they did the tune up because it worked up until then. I gave them one last chance after about five to fix it. They insisted it was the cruise motor. I told them I would take it elsewhere for a second opinion at my expense, and if they were right, they were right...if they were wrong, they would refund everything. Guess what? They had put the cruise cable in upside down during the tune up and continued to do so....they refunded my money, but not all the time and aggravation. But I did find some honest mechanics in town as a result that only charged me diagnostic charges to fix it. The cost of which I insisted the dealership refund to me, and they did.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Looks like your instincts worked. Some dealers unfortunately aren't the greatest for service.
  • abbytyabbyty Posts: 1
    I'm sorry I have to disagree, I have a 2008 HHR and think it is a wonderful car. No, this isn't my first HHR, I bought a 2007 last summer. My husband and went on a trip to Atlanta and it did overheat, but after being repaired by a local dealership there we were on our way home and didn't have another problem with it. However, on March 17th it became my 'saving grace' when in swerving to miss a semi tire loose on the road, I lost control and hit a guardrail totaling my car. It became my saving grace because although I had to be removed from the car due to the fact the front in was completely crushed, all I sustained was a broken nose and a cut arm. Had I been in another car, the front end of probably would have been crushed in on me or I could have possibly been killed. Because of the accident I was forced to get a new car, of course all I did was call the Chevy dealer from the year before and the next day (over 2 weeks since my accident) I was able to drive away in my new HHR. I believe the 2007 HHR was the wisest purchase my husband and I have ever made. Now I just miss my 2007 but I love the 2008. Hopefully I won't need another 'saving grace'. :blush: emotorcons/emo_blush.gif
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