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Pontiac Torrent Ignition Problem



  • If we can look into this issue with your wheel bearings further, please send the following information to us at your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership (include if you would information on when your wheel bearings were replaced last).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Have you already spoke with Customer Assistance in regards to this concern? If we can look into this further, please send the following information to us at your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership .
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Our 2006 Torrent has been running very loudly for a while (suggested to us it could be a hole in the manifold). Yesterday my husband had the car running and was about to leave when he decided to turn it off to see if he could see a hole or anything. After looking and not really seeing anything, he went to turn the car back on but it would not turn on. It clicks when turning the ignition on, a whirring kind of sound comes from somewhere, but nothing happens. Tried to jumpstart it but it never did anything else. Tried jumping it using the remote terminals and directly on the battery terminals. When the doors are open, the dome lights fade in and out (never actually going off, just dimming) Someone hooked up a battery meter or whatever it is called which showed that is was fully charged.

    This morning I checked it out again, "just in case" and it still did the same thing. In addition, I also saw/heard that when I turn the key on but not to the start position, the seat belt alarm did this weird rapid ding before settling into it's normal sound pattern. Also, the radio display light would dim in and out like the dome lights while also making this single click sound periodically.

    Before this, we haven't had any major problems. A few random times the car wouldn't want to fire the first time or two of starting it, but on the second or third try it would start. Haven't had that issue in at least a few months.

    On a side note, the car was not driven from mid-June to mid-August because we shipped it overseas and we are now in Italy where any repairs are going to be very expensive if done by a repair shop, so I would like to have some ideas of things we could try on our own first.
  • I just a couple of weeks ago bought a 2006 Pontiac torrent. Most of the time it won't start, I am so frustrated I bought this vehicle thinking because I need a very reliable car for my many trips to see my sons neurosurgeon due to his health issues, and I am scared to take it out of town due to you never know when it is going to start. I noticed that quite a few people have posted about theirs not starting at times as well. My husband tried the sea foam stuff in the gas tank and the brake booster. I am so frustrated that I am stuck with this piece crap vehicle for years now.
  • Hello isiahlandonmom,

    We're sorry that you've had so many difficulties with the Torrent you recently purchased. Did you purchase this from a dealership or from a private party? Let us know if you would like for us to check for any recalls on your vehicle (we can be reached at - please include the last 8 digits of your VIN).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I have the exact same problem. In 2010 (while still under warranty) the dealer replaced the rear wiper motor because it was faulty and draining the battery. Didn't have a problem for a year at which point the car was just dead in the driveway. boosted it and performed parasitic draw test with no unusual draw but replaced the battery. ONE year later (almost to the day) the same thing happened. Boosted the car and took it to the dealer who diagnosed it as bad battery. They charged me $45 to test but since battery was under warranty it was replaced free. Less than a week later it happened again. Another test performed (no cost this time) and no problems found. FOUR DAYS later it happened again!!! This time I told them to keep it there until they find the problem. I'm not too optimistic but I am fed up. I'll never buy another GM product. I agree with those who say that GM should at the very least find out what the problem is and issue a TSB or even better, cover this problem even out of warranty since it is obviously a defect.
  • Good morning airehead,

    Have you heard anything further from your dealership? If you would like for us to check into this further, please email us more information at (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I bought my 2006 Torrent brand new. Worst investment I've ever made. Can't wait to get rid of it. I agree, I will never buy another GM car again. I've had the same problem with starting the car. It just will not turn over sometimes. You have step on the gas pedal a few times, (like old cars used to before starting) then it will turn over but the smell of gas is bad. It even smells like gas when you are just driving. I've had to replace front wheel bearings on both sides and the car only had 70,000 miles on it. We had a 2000 Toyota Echo for 12 years with 330,000 miles on it that we never replaced these kind of things. We just now junked it because it needed a new converter and just wasn't worth putting $800 into it. It was a standard and we never even had to replace the clutch. Ugly, but great car. My next car definitely will be a Toyota. I know I should buy American, but they don't make it easy. Never again GM.
  • I, too have had to replace wheel bearings at 70,000 miles, both sides, not happy. I bought the car brand new. Same problems with starting the car as everyone else here too. The smell of gas sometimes is overpowering. The car now has 86,000 miles on it and I can't wait to get rid of it. As for the wheel bearing, whoever heard of replacing bearings on a new car with 70,000 miles on it. I have had many many cars over the years and this is by far the worst. Never again going GM.
  • Good morning masshole2,

    We're sorry to hear about the difficulties you've been having getting your Torrent started, in addition to the wheel bearing replacements. Have you ever had the start-up problem diagnosed? If so, and it we can follow up on that diagnosis with your dealership, please contact us at with more details (including your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • sgtvsgtv Posts: 5
    A company shouldn't be allowed to rip us off like this. I bought mine new also in 2006, and I was in love with it until it had 36,579 miles on it, and I had owned it for just over three years. The door harness that operates lights, radio, electric windows, and locks decided to break. It is the worst design for a harness I have ever seen. Bare wires running through a boot. Not covered.
    I to have replaced wheel bearings on both left and right front. I have also had the startup problem, and had a new starter put on it, and it worked fine for 5 months. The problem is back. Not covered. I also am having the heater core replaced tomorrow morning to the cost of $8oo.oo. Again not covered. I have owned a few cars and trucks during my time, but have never ever had a company turn it's back on you like this. A major recall should be in the works. Just think of all the Torrent owners who haven't even bothered to post.
  • pikey2pikey2 Posts: 2
    I have an 2008 torrent with a hard start issue. Sometimes it starts fine. After driving and parking for 10-20 minutes it will crank and not start. Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 attempts to get it to start. The dealer replaced the fuel pump under warranty. I cleaned the TBI and ran a few bottles of injector cleaner thru (directed to by the dealer) it still does the same thing. It started in June and is progressively getting worse. The dealer now wants to charge me $100 an hour to figure out what is wrong with it and sell me a $100 induction cleaning service! Oh, and they tried to sell me a battery because it is an 2008 and the battery is still original, But they never tested it. The adviser said that it could be anything from a bad EGR valve to a warped Throttle Body. (all covered under warranty) I don't really care what it is, I just want it fixed and my warranty honored. It has 65,000 miles and is still covered under power train warranty until December. I can't see them charging me to figure it out as I see a non starting engine as a powertrain issue. I told them that if they think there is not an issue give me the service managers home phone number so when my pregnant wife gets stuck with our 2 young kids at 10:00 pm she can call him to come get her. Of course they would not oblige. Just pay the couple hundred for them to figure it out is what the adviser told me. I have only owned GM vehicles my entire life, This may be the last new one I purchase from them! I wish GM would just fix the problem before my warranty runs out.
  • Good afternoon pikey2,

    We can understand that this is a frustrating situation. Per the 2008 Pontiac Warranty manual, the following components are covered by the powertrain warranty:

    Engine: Cylinder head, block, timing gears, timing
    chain, timing cover, oil pump/oil pump housing, OHC
    carriers, valve covers, oil pan, seals, gaskets,
    turbocharger, supercharger and all internal lubricated
    parts as well as manifolds, flywheel, water pump,
    harmonic balancer and engine mount. Timing belts are
    covered until the first scheduled maintenance interval.

    Transmission/Transaxle/Transfer Case: Case, all
    internal lubricated parts, torque converter, transfer case,
    transmission/transaxle mounts, seals, and gaskets.

    Drive Systems: Final drive housing, all internal
    lubricated parts, axle shafts and bearings, constant
    velocity joints, axle housing, propeller shafts, universal
    joints, wheel bearings, locking hubs, front differential
    actuator, supports, front and rear hub bearings,
    seals and gaskets.

    Whether or not any of these components is to blame for the vehicle concerns you're currently experiencing is not clear yet as your dealership (from the post) has not had the chance to check into this further.

    If you would like for us to check into this further with you, we are available. Please email us at with more information (include your name and contact information, summary of the situation, the last 8 of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I own a 2006 pontiac torrent and it has been (putting it kindly) a nightmare! Lets see... Where to start... My major issue- there is a leak inside of my car during every rain or snow- no matter how heavy... It was very light and suddenly spread and it very saturated with water now. It pours in under the passenger side dashboard- soaking the carpet, and now under the drivers side ( not quite as heavy), also between the two visors in the front filling water into the light and dripping down and soaking that roof area, and finally now into the back light dripping down from the center roof area. I have many times tried finding the source. I have used store bought silicone to coat areas. This water causes mold growth bc in the area that I live it has been non stop rain! (just my luck ) The leak is obviously flooding interior wiring because I have constant issues with onstar turning on and not turning off... It has at times shut down my car... Not let me turn it on or off... It has affected my shifting while driving my car in heavy rains and I was only able to drive at maybe 10mph tops with the pedal to the floor. My cd player will not work or eject cds... It is always making a clicking noise when i use or unlock/lock the car. I have had constant shorts in my rear drivers side break light. Which we have attempted ourselves and then had a mechanic replace shorted out parts. As far as the carpets- I clean the mold and it will grow right back because I just cannot keep the carpets dry. I smell a mold/mildew smell with the use of the heat/ac which irritates myself and my passengers when in use. Which leads me to my next issue. We have some sort of heating issue as well... The thermostat is always messed up... reading cold or hot... It rarely blows warm air ( never hot anymore) bc the temperature reads cold. We have to be sitting stationary in the car for quite some time to get luke warm air through. And again- it smells musty. I have some sort of issue here and there with a chain like sound coming from my car when sitting still... (car rotors or belt maybe? I have no idea as I am not real familiar with mechanical issues.) Our breaks are needing changed. Our oil light is always on... Even after changed ( several times trying to find the reason for why it is lit) and our engine light is always on as well but unsure why. Our sun roof has stopped working. It only moves an inch or so and will not open. I'm not sure if our sunroof drain tubes could be clogged badly causing a back up (no visible water in the sunroof area) or maybe a leak at the source of the onstar atennae? I have no idea! Also- early on in the beginning of owning our car ( we have currently had it for approx 3 1/2 yrs) the spoiler on the back detached on one side. My uncle is a master mechanic and has told me this is due to poor constuction with this make because it catches when you open the trunk. I see no way of easily reattaching that. It flaps in decent winds. My uncle has gone over possibilities with me as to what may be the source of my issues but in order to know for sure it is quite a costly procedure...(not incl. the costs to fix the issues... esp. electrical)... We were screwed over with a warranty that we were sold and was not honored and really quite honestly cannot afford this kind of damage. I have been adviced to just trade the junker in and start over but I prefer to have my property paid off... If I traded it in right now for its value I would definetly have negative equity and would be starting all over with a higher loan hoping to dodge issues. If there is anyone who has had these issues could you please point me in the right direction or share your insight? I'm one frustrated owner. Much thanks!!!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,005

    Was the warranty you purchased one of our GMPPs? If so and if you have any questions about that, please let us know!We can be reached at (include your name, contact information, and the last 8 digits of your VIN with any inquires).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Your leaking issue may be clogged sunroof drain tubes. When plugged they will drip on the drivers and passenger floor. I would try to blow some compressed air thru them, you may have an issue doing that as your sunroof will not open. We traded our 08 torrent in for a Dodge caravan before our issues escalated further.
  • Regarding your water leak problem.... Could it be your sun roof leaking? I had similar problem due to sun roof leak. My sun roof sat below the roof and wasn't level with the roof. I took the vehicle to a Chevy dealer and they made an adjustment so that the sun roof sets level with the roof. That fixed my problem.
  • SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS!!!! I have read 100's of posts about the torrents having starting problems including mine. How can this problem not have been solved by now it has been 7 years and counting and noone has a resolution to this problem. This doesn't make sense to me, is this a scam to make money or what????? How can so many vehicles have the same issue and noone can find a way to fix the problem, I am sorry this just doesn't seem right! I am a single mom and I wanted to invest in a vehicle that was going to be reliable but all I got was problems.... I got this truck thinking I was getting a good vehicle but instead got a piece and a headache, not to mention the embarrassment when it doesn't want to start!!!!!! Can someone please help me and tell me what the problem is with the pontiac torrent 2006 not starting on occasion. HELP!!!!!!
  • Totally agree. Can't believe there hasn't been recall. With so many of them with the same problem that's the least that should happen. Two more payments on this pos and can't wait to trade it. Nothing but junk.
  • Good luck on your trade, thanks for the reply.... sorry that you have had to deal with it as well!!!! :(
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