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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2004 supercharged Monte Carlo that is babied. Also, because the wife prefers to ride in the minivan due to her knee replacements, the car has only 8400 miles. Well, last week I noticed that I have a coolant leak that is on the passengers side right below the overflow bottle (could also be a heater core). After a long stay away from GM cars, I took a chance. Although the symptom seems trivial, I look at the fact that I have a 98 Grand Caravan that only needed the necessary maintenance actions (brakes, fluid changes,..), an 89 Caravan with 183,000 miles which still starts pretty reliability, I bought a used Civic for my daughter who has run around the country with no problems and now I have a Chevy that has minimal mileage and has never been in the snow (Chicago) and I am starting to have problems. Oh yeah, when requesting a service date and giving a description of the problem, the service guy says "looks like things are starting to go".
 

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A car thay basically has been sitting for the last 4 years is bound to run into some issues---especially with leaks. I don't know how much use the car gets, but it really sounds like it needs to be utilized more to keep things flowing. I always hear that one of the worst things for a car is not using it enough.
 

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I always hear that one of the worst things for a car is not using it enough.
Yep, seal and gaskets dry out fron non use. A car parked can have more issues than one driven.
 

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Short trips are very bad for a car. My wife's 2002 Malibu has 47,000 miles and has had numerous issues including a bad intake gasket which are a known issue with 3.1, 3.4 and 3.8 V-6s and Dex-Cool coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
While there is a penny's worth of truth that seals may dry outfrom non-use, the fact is that the seals don't see the number of heat cylces and the motor doesn't see the number of rotations. The statement ofthe car not being used enough should prompt GM to have a disclaimer that the car must have so many miles per year to not void the warranty. While we're at it, GM should specify how those miles should be accumulated (gotta blow the carbon off the plugs). This statement is like listening to some mechanic say; Your bearings are gone. Oh, was it a failure due to lack of lubrication? Maybe the thrust or radial loads were too high? Lets check the cage; phenolic or metal. BTW, are we talking ball, spherical, needle, tapered roller? Sorry, after practicing machine design for a major press manufacturer for 39 years and talking directly to the engineers at Timken, SKF, Mobil Oil, (a little note- GM had one of the best bearing design catalogs from their then company New departure), some of what I hear on the mechanics' floor is hard to swallow.
 

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I guess I can understand where you are comming from, GM told you they would cover repairs for 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever came first and now(what, 4 or 5 years later) they are sticking to it.
If it were me, I would probably never buy a GM vehicle again, I mean you gave them their chance and they had the audacity to simply fulfill their end of the agreement and nothing more. It's outragous and you shouldn't stand for it. If they don't fix it for free I would have it crushed into a cube and dropped off on their doorstep at HQ in Detroit to really make a point about the injustice of this.

Good Luck and let us know how this all turns out.
(Maybe you should get a lawyer involved)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha. I am calm and cool and I rarely have any beef with a service department since they are not the designers nor the assemblers. I only hold my breath when somebody starts orating about drive trains and basically only know the basics of the parts. When you work with special bearings (bearings with serial numbers and .0003" tolerances on the diameters) or long addendum tooth gears with high contact ratios then listen to somebody think they know something about design-- no.
The problem I see is that many problems have been conquered over the decades. Let's take one of them--intake manifolds. Never a problem until recent changes in materials and design (a GM problem on their v-6's) and I never encountered walnut shell powder until I purchased this Monte. Hose problems should be a history topic. Either the lesson was lost or cheaper parts were purposely used.
No my beef will be with GM who will probably give me the "we're sorry but although this is a problem that should never occur in the first 3 years and 36,000 miles, you must pay since you are out of warranty". Which means that everybody should run the heck out of their cars in the anticipation that they can pick up any problems early.
No funeral. BTW, call it sigma 6 or lucky but the Grand Caravan just runs and runs (I hope I haven't jinxed myself).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I promised to be calm and cool at the service center and was. I arrived, told the service manager (nice guy) of the problem and asked him to let me show the tech where I noticed the leak. After watching the car lifted and the mechanic working on it, I reminded the manager who took me over and I introduced myself to the mechanic. From what he saw, it looked like the overflow bottle was the culprit and I somewhat agreed. I did hold my breath when he aske if somebody overfilled the bottle and I nicely stated no- nobody touched the car except for the dealer when they flushed the crushed walnut shells from the system when the car was about 6 months old. He denied that GM uses the packets of sealer in their motors. Again, nicely, I begged to differ. After a while of searching, he was of the opinion that somebody overfilled the bottle- most likely me since I had to buy a gallon of DexCool to replenish the bottle. With no evidence, he put everything together and filled the bottle--about 5 inches above the fill line on the bottle! I politely asked why stating that their is a line on the bottle so he emptied it to the correct level. I left with the car.
I returned home, got out of the car and had DexCool all over the driveway. Promptly called the dealership and told them that it is definitely the bottle. So, I returned and told them to hold the car until today (Monday). I received a call in the afternoon stating that it was definitely the bottle and they will replace it for @ $27. I said I am not going to pay since the bottle is defective and want to speak to the district service manager upon hich the manager said he will waive the bottle.
No funeral. Cheap parts with no quality (oh, the radio volume button is also peeling and the radio only sees little service). This bottle is injection molded so there are probably many,many other Impalas and MC's that will likely have this coolant leak. I plan to contact Chevy (I still paid for the service call) since there is no reason for the mfr to make a plastic bottle that can't last a very few years' service.
BTW, every year company leaders sit down and allocate what they think will be the cost of doing business. The v.p. of service will ask for so much money toward warranty issues. Now, if I do not drive my car and find their problems during the warrant time, they pocket that dough not spent. If I show up 4 years later with a car that has a problem but not even the mileage alloted for the first year (12,000 miles), they should be wagging their tails since they banked that money and had time to defer the payout (they make money on the money not spent).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After picking up the car, I parked it in the garage until yesterday. I have noticed no leaking but upon opening the driver's side door to the fullest extent, I heard a very audible click when closing it. It turns out to be the bottom of the door catching that plastic fascia (right word?) along the bottom of the car. Upon inspecting it, the fascia was bent upward and making the contact. This did not exist before the trip to the service shop. Most likely the fascia was pushed upward by those arms of the hoist when the car was raised. Knowing the intelligence of the mechanic that I dealt with, I can see him placing the lift in a compromising spot.
Now, I do not want to contact the dealership again and have another go-round (oh, that was . If I can readjust it myself, I will do it.
 

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I agree that more care be taken, but sometimes, no matter what you do, those hoists will touch the bottom of the body work. Specifically, when the vehicle has "ground effects", which I am assuming yours has if it is an SS.
 

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I agree that more care be taken, but sometimes, no matter what you do, those hoists will touch the bottom of the body work. Specifically, when the vehicle has "ground effects", which I am assuming yours has if it is an SS.
If that is the case then they should just put the car up on ramps and lay down on the floor if they have to.
 

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a little note- GM had one of the best bearing design catalogs from their then company New departure, some of what I hear on the mechanics' floor is hard to swallow.
My dad used to work there as a tool & die maker. Delphi took it over and now some Japanese company has bought them. It was sad to see that plant run in to the ground.
 

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I promised to be calm and cool at the service center and was. I arrived, told the service manager (nice guy) of the problem and asked him to let me show the tech where I noticed the leak. After watching the car lifted and the mechanic working on it, I reminded the manager who took me over and I introduced myself to the mechanic. From what he saw, it looked like the overflow bottle was the culprit and I somewhat agreed. I did hold my breath when he aske if somebody overfilled the bottle and I nicely stated no- nobody touched the car except for the dealer when they flushed the crushed walnut shells from the system when the car was about 6 months old. He denied that GM uses the packets of sealer in their motors. Again, nicely, I begged to differ. After a while of searching, he was of the opinion that somebody overfilled the bottle- most likely me since I had to buy a gallon of DexCool to replenish the bottle. With no evidence, he put everything together and filled the bottle--about 5 inches above the fill line on the bottle! I politely asked why stating that their is a line on the bottle so he emptied it to the correct level. I left with the car.
I returned home, got out of the car and had DexCool all over the driveway. Promptly called the dealership and told them that it is definitely the bottle. So, I returned and told them to hold the car until today (Monday). I received a call in the afternoon stating that it was definitely the bottle and they will replace it for @ $27. I said I am not going to pay since the bottle is defective and want to speak to the district service manager upon hich the manager said he will waive the bottle.
No funeral. Cheap parts with no quality (oh, the radio volume button is also peeling and the radio only sees little service). This bottle is injection molded so there are probably many,many other Impalas and MC's that will likely have this coolant leak. I plan to contact Chevy (I still paid for the service call) since there is no reason for the mfr to make a plastic bottle that can't last a very few years' service.
BTW, every year company leaders sit down and allocate what they think will be the cost of doing business. The v.p. of service will ask for so much money toward warranty issues. Now, if I do not drive my car and find their problems during the warrant time, they pocket that dough not spent. If I show up 4 years later with a car that has a problem but not even the mileage alloted for the first year (12,000 miles), they should be wagging their tails since they banked that money and had time to defer the payout (they make money on the money not spent).
maybe next time you purchase a vehicle from any manufacturer you might sit down and read the warranty coverage from cover to cover and then you might know what is and isn't covered, i am glad for you it was only a plastic jug instead of a headgasket or heater core, i guess now GM can sleep well at night knowing that they still have a valueable customer like yourself on board.
 

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maybe next time you purchase a vehicle from any manufacturer you might sit down and read the warranty coverage from cover to cover and then you might know what is and isn't covered, i am glad for you it was only a plastic jug instead of a headgasket or heater core, i guess now GM can sleep well at night knowing that they still have a valueable customer like yourself on board.
By the way how long should head gaskets last? My wife's 2002 Malibu 3.1 went out in Feb. @ 44,000 and I had the coolant changed last year. I feel a head gasket should last 90-100K bare min. The same thing happened on my 1996 Beretta in 2001 at the same mileage mark and that car had a constant smell of coolant inside the car and the selling dealer said it was "fine" when it was under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Head gaskets especially should last a minimum 100K because the engineering difficulties have been conquered long ago. GM gives a 100K waranty now because it knows darn well that only a few (standard mean deiviation and all that statistics stuff) may fail prematurely. A resevoir bottle (like I stated may be trivial) that does nothing but sit and collect any coolant overflow from the radiator should last pretty long- and they do in every car I have owned with an overflow bottle. Heck, why doesn't GM use old coke cans. On various threads, I read of everybody's screaming about cheap interiors and cheap plastic. I guess most people identify with what is in front of their noses but what lies underneath (the bearings, gears, radiator) is more of a tell-tale of the car's quality. But a good looking interior will sell cars and please the salesperson who may not care what happens after 3 years' service (or after the deal is sealed for that matter).
It's a Chevy and this is a Chevy dealership. So, if Chevy designs ground effects, the Chevy service should be able to deal with ground effects. In this case, I think it is more a mechanic's fault not locating the lift correctly. I don't expect the mechanic to lay on the ground--that is not an efficient way to work on cars.
As far as reading a warranty, there is a certain amount of leeway that is understood. For example, after 3 years the fenders fell off. Would you say that this is reasonable? How about the fuel tank straps failing? Let us go one step further--the car catches on fire due to faulty injectors? As far as you are concerned, all the GM cars could experience such problems with no repercussions. When purchasing a vehicle, even though the warranty says 36K/3yrs, the buyer sees this as nothing more than "okay, all those little things that are not caught on the floor will be fixed". Do you remember Dodge's transmisson problems? As I recall, Chrysler extended the warranty and was very generous about listening to the customer. The problem, if not handled with some sense of reason, could have shut Chrysler down. Oh, by the way, in the mid-80's, I had a visit to Teledyne foundry in IN. They were pouring a 16,000 lb casting that I had designed. In the scrap yard (material purchased from companies and re-used), there was a huge mound and 4-5 gondolas of crankshafts. Some were still castings and some were machined. I asked and the fellow said "Oh, those are from GM". Mfr's have their problems but to stand behind the product shows the true colors of a company.
 

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By the way how long should head gaskets last? My wife's 2002 Malibu 3.1 went out in Feb. @ 44,000 and I had the coolant changed last year. I feel a head gasket should last 90-100K bare min. The same thing happened on my 1996 Beretta in 2001 at the same mileage mark and that car had a constant smell of coolant inside the car and the selling dealer said it was "fine" when it was under warranty.
i wish forever! gm has had some piss poor designs on gaskets, i won't argue with you there, many mechanics i work with have told me that, i have serveral out of warranty vehicles myself, i bitch and moan like everyone else, i just don't start crying about never going back to gm because they make crappy vehicles especially without knowing what the problem is, it is pretty simple, all manufactures have a warranty, a customer has the option of purchasing extended warranty's, if you do great, if not, don't bitch when it is out of warranty. no one here wants you to have problems with your car i just wish my biggest issues were dealing with cracked plastic filler containers like yourself, it is just life, deal with it.
 

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I guess GM can't whine when sales are down either for QA issues or a dexcool class action lawsuit :).

I did have a extended warranty on the Malibu got it for no cost - Father use to work for 3rd party insurance warranty company.
 

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It like CAN'T be a head gasket, it's a 3800. The admin on Bonneville Club himself said that except with extreme modifications there's NEVER been a blown 3800 head gasket
 

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AS I said, before we start the funeral planning...we should find out if the headaache is fatal or not.

If it were me, I'd return to the selling dealer for a diagnosis...and calmly ask for the service manager...discussing the issue without the caravan or honda stories (as they are not really relevant to your car's issue, and why piss someone off that could potentially help you) and ask if there is any assistance from GM as far as a goodwill repair. Based on the delivery date, you might get some help if you press calm & cool...

That's all I can offer to you...otherwise we are just peeing in the wind.

come to our dealership, i guarantee you we will fix it for free. thats all we do all day is warranty or goodwill repairs. nothing i love to see more on a repair order than a vehicle that is a 01 with 90k on it and they goodwill a seat track, or a suspension item for example. i love getting stuck with that stuff.

but regardless, back on subject, im sure that your cars problem is probably not anything major. should be a simple procedure with that low of mileage
 
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