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HHR Engine Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,237
Discuss starting and stalling issues with the HHR here.

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  • Hello fellow HHR owners,
    I have read alot of the posts on pinging and i have a problem. I bought the car in mid January brand new and it was pinging the next day. That week i put in 89 octane and i didnt think anything of it, then when i kept hearing it i thought my hubby read that you need to do premium, so next 2 fill ups i put 93 hoping the pinging would go away and it hasnt. i dont notice it at stop lights, but say like at DDonuts its very noticable......... i thought maybe the low gas had to be used up to not hear the ping, but that was 3 weeks ago!!!!!!! im wondering if i should call the dealer or not. im not noticing any bad mileage or anything but it worries me.. any thoughts?????? :D
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    Do you have the 2.4L or 2.2L, Chevy recommends premium for the 2.4L, not the 2.2L. I have the 2.4L & even with 87 octane have not heard any pinging....even at 115mph. Are you in a hot climate or cold? Since my 2.4L doesn't ping even on 87,octane...and yours still pings on 93...take it in..something is wrong....I own another car with the 2.2L it never pings...If you're driving a stick shift & keeping it in 5th gear at slow speeds....or starting out in 3rd from a stop....that might sound like pinging...(or if yours has XM radio...take it off that channel you're listening to).
  • Thanks for the reply, I have the 2.4L Bigger engine as well. I live in CT and its neither really hot or really cold right now. I usually keep the car in the garage at night. I was getting concerned that i may need to call the dealer,since all the other people have used the lower grade fuel and no pings. I think Ill call the dealer tomorrow!!!!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,619
    It sounds like it pings consistently so the dealer can hear if they don't believe you. Sometimes pinging is elusive.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    The 2001 RAV4 that we traded in had VVT just like the 2.4L HHRs....we went thru an episode of pinging...lucky it was still under warranty....Toyota kept it for about 2 weeks (they gave us a loaner)....every time I would stop by the Toyota dealership there was a mechanic with his face in the engine ....engine laid open like open heart surgery... If I would have had to pay for everything that went wrong (from day ONE)...with that Toyota it would have cost me about $6,000 !!!! Hopefully yours is just a simple adjustment.
  • Hello All, Its Michele,Well i called the dealer and explained the pinging and they said it is probably the fuel injector and the FI on these cars are known to tick. My husband explained to them that it pings ALOT... I may still have them look at it.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    That's a new one on me....a pinging FI ???? Let us know how it turns out. We bought ours on Nov. a Red Tag Price + about $1,000 GM card discount...good trade in , etc. Just got a letter from GM Card...they will bump my $100 current rebate on the card to $2,000 if I buy a new car by 3/31. Humm, maybe I'll try to trade up to leather-spoiler & sunroof.....
  • It depends on how the noise was described to the service person. Fuel injectors do make a 'ticking' sort of noise that sounds to me a little bit like lifters or something. It's definitely not the same as the noise I hear when an engine 'pings' (spark-knock).

    Injector noise occurs as they actually fire and is usually only audible at very low speeds or at idle, many times in situations where the vehicle is running near a sound-reflective wall (like in a fast food drive through). My Silverado 5.3l does this at McD's. At driving speeds they are inaudible, completely covered over by all other normal sounds (wind, road noise, radio, etc.).

    Pinging on the other hand normally only happens when the engine is under load, like when climbing inclines or during rapid acceleration. That's because the detonation usually occurs when the motor is straining. I don't know if it's still considered normal for cars to sometimes 'ping' under extreme situations, but it used to be. I remember some older manuals mentioning it in the 'fuels' section, and saying that some pinging in such situations was normal, but that if it occurs in regular driving that either higher octane gas should be used (than the minimum recommended) or that the vehicle should be taken in for service.
  • dravencrsdravencrs Posts: 1
    Just purchased a 2006 HHR in March, 2006. This past Friday, got into the vehicle, started it and the "Service Passenger Airbag" message came on. Then later on that night noticed that the remote starter did not work. Took it to the dealer today who told me that GM Tech Line said that this problem was very new and they didn't know much about it, but the passenger airbag was malfunctioning and that was causing the remote start not to work. They told the dealer to change the "relay" part - that has been fixing the problem. So, if the message reappears or if the remote start still does not work, then I am to call the dealer back and let them know. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what did the service dept. tell you?
    Thanks. :confuse:
  • jonnymjonnym Posts: 5
    Last week I went to start my HHR and it took a good 10 seconds for the car to turn over. I thought nothing of it at that time and went about my day. I didn't have anymore problems starting the car the rest of the day. The following day I experienced the same problem starting but this time the temp, speedometer, tach, and gas gauges all were dead. When i realized the gauges were dead I pulled over and shut the vehicle off immediately. I waited a few minutes and started it up and the engine turned over immediately but the gauges were still dead. I waited a few more minutes and started it again and this time everything was fine. It started and ran fine all weekend. I took it to the dealership on Monday and they told me it had produced a faulty ground trouble code however the couldn't duplicate the turning over problem. The service manager told me they cleaned all grounds and assured me this would fix the problem. Not more than 2 hours after having the vehicle home the problem I experienced with the engine turning over problem came back. The service manager told me he would be in contact with GM and would get back to me. Anybody have anything similar?? :cry:
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    I haven't heard of this happening to anyone,,,,but: To be clear, are you saying the starter doesn't seem to engage for a period of time? A few times I have thought I started mine (without listening (spaced out or whatever)) only to find it isn't started. So far I attributed it to me not turning key far enough but perhaps it is something else.
  • jonnymjonnym Posts: 5
    Right, engine cranks but never turns over. I have definitely turned the key far enough. The dealership has lent me a Vehicle Data Recorder since they can never duplicate the issue. The problem can be pretty intermittent sometimes so I guess I can sympathize with them for now. Hopefully, the recorder can catch exactly what is or isn't happening. I just got the recorder hooked up late yesterday so I should have a answer in a few days.
  • ficeteeficetee Posts: 1
    Yes, I've experienced the same problem. It started before I drove off the lot. The driver info center kept flashing between "Service Passenger Airbag" and "Powersteering." They ended up keeping it for 2weeks. Replaced a relay. It was okay for a while, but the problem came back a few weeks later, followed by the powersteering, windshield wipers and a/c going out whenever these messages appeared. Took it back to the dealer for the 2nd time, this time however, after having it for a week, they determined there was a loose connector?? I have no idea what that means. But it seems to have fixed the problem. I hope this helps. :D
  • jamiegisijamiegisi Posts: 1
    Not sure if you got this fixed yet so this may be a mute point, but we had the same issue, identical to what you described, turns out what it was is the security system was malfunctioning. The security systems turns off the fuel pump when it thinks it is being stolen. Dealership chenged the computer in the car and it fixed it, never had problem with it since. Knock on wood!!
  • jonnymjonnym Posts: 5
    Yes, still having issue w/ car. I will definitely mention this to the dealership @ my appointment on Thursday. Thanks for the info.
  • jonnymjonnym Posts: 5
    If you don't mind me asking, what is the name of your dealership and city that's it? My dealership replaced the theft deterrent module and the issue is still there. I was hoping they(dealerships) would be able to communicate and come up with something since GM has no clue what the problem is. Was it the main computer they replaced? Or one of the others? :confuse: :cry:
  • Have owned the car 5 weeks and twice it would not start. Key will not turn. First time it did start with the automatic starter. Second time we had to call Customer Service, he said pull steering wheel hard to left. It started? Anyone else hear of this? :cry:
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    From what you describe, it sounds like what has nahppened on several different vechicles I've owned. Usually its from having tension (holding) steering wheel when you turn vehicle off, then when you let go, the wheel may turn a bit and lock and be hard to release when trying to start again. 'fix' in this case is to let go of steering wheel before shutting off, and perhaps not move it to lock position.
  • walgerwalger Posts: 1
    My husband and I bought a HHR may 1 and it has gone back so many times . We are just driving along and all the alrms start ringing, the gas gauge goes to empty and the truck just stops. After waiting for 1/2 hour it will start and run for one minute and then quit again. After they change a few pins they said that was it. Then it happened again. Now they sya they need to replace the whole fuse block . I asked for a new car the ervices guys said I should get one but I have to deal with GM who want to explore all opotions. Mean while I still have to pay for a truck I don't have the pleasure of using. Is anyone else having this problem???
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Didn't they give you a loaner vehicle??? They should!!!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I think the writer means they want a replacement for the HHR with the starter problems
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    you might want to research what the lemon laws are for your state if they cant fix the problem....each law varies by state as does the arbitration process....

    lemon laws start with the dealership first.....
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    Hhmm The mention of fuse block has me wondering. It has been mentioned here (and elsewhere) that the fuses/fuseable links/relays may not be tightly seated (from manufacturing). A simple check you or hubby could try is just opening fuse box and pushing down on all the fuses relays and stuff in there, you may find some or all could be a little tighter in fitting and perhaps may make things better. ( I know about underhood fuse block, there may be one in cabin also, not sure)
  • I stopped to fill my 2006 HHR with gas. Turned off the engine, then turned the key to reset my "trip" button and roll down a window. Turned off key, then pumped my gas. When I got back in the car, I turned the key and got a clicking noise, it would not start. I got out of the car and tried to use the remote starter. When I pushed the button, it did not start the engine but everything inside went crazy (my radio, clock). It still would not start. I called my Dad for assistance. When he arrived (10 minutes later) it still did not start. We pushed the car away from the gas pump and proceeded to "jump start" it with my mom's Tahoe. The engine did not turn over the first time, but did the second time. We proceeded to the Chevy dealer, where it is now. Anyone else ever had this problem before?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    I don't believe I have heard of that problem before, but the general symptoms sound like battery or battery connection problem.
  • Or could it be the Alternator? The car is only 10 months old, with 4600 miles on it.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    could be that to, tough to say without some diagnostics done on it. There is another outside possibility also. Have you (or someone else) ever checked the fuses in underhood fuse box? Many have found them to be not seated correctly right from factory. I haven't heard of it causing specific troubles, but its possible.
  • We will see. I will let you know what the outcome is when we get it back from the dealer.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    IF I were a betting man, my $ would be on somekind of a computer issue - maybe something that can be fixed with a reprgram or something.
  • That is possible. I will post when we get a diagnosis/fix.
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