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Fixing Power Steering Failure
By -

I own a 2005 Saturn ION and commute about 20 miles daily. About a year and half ago my power steering dc motor was shutting off by some internal process. Since I am an engineer I found this problem interesting. I tried to understand what would cause the power assist to shut off. I peruse I few web forums and found their explanations for the failure, didn't match what I was experiencing. The two main WEB reasons are bad fuses and bad motor. A fuse, such as the ones in the ION is a piece of wire connecting between two terminals. When the current through the wire exceed the rating of the fuse it burn out, like a light bulb. It does not come back. If you can power cycle (turn off then back on) your ION and it clear pwr str then it is not a fuse. Unless the fuse holder is loose and that kind of mechanical failure would be notice on the dealership lot. Base on my understanding of DC motor which is OK. A DC motor with a short would blow the fuse and disable the power steering until fuse was replaced. Then it would blow again as soon as the car turns on. If the DC motor coils had an open path then motor wouldn't work. Thermal expansion of materials could cause a physical break to expand. That would disable the motor until it cool off. Again If you can power cycle (turn off then back on) your ION and it clears pwr str then it isn't thermal expansion.

I believe the real cause of the power steering failure is a bad thermal sensor, or a thermal sensor circuit with too high of a gain. An internal microcontroller decision point set too low could cause the failure. Why a bad thermal sensor? I drove all winter and my power steering was fine. Once the temperature went above 75 degrees the power steering started to fail again. The sensor reports a higher ambient temperature in the summer. The since it a DC motor sense circuit the micro shuts down the power steering. At lease that is what I belief my car is doing.

It should be possible to use a heat gun to simulate this failure, if you know where the sensors are located.

     
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Stuck it to me
By -

AUBURN, NEW YORK -- In 2006 I bought a new sierra 1/2 ton and had one of the worst buying experiences of my entire life. (I am 58) I swore I would never buy another GMC product as long as I live unless I got an apology from GM and some sort of action to make it right. I never got anything but the run around from corporate headquarters and from the dealer. I wonder if the "NEW" GM would like to make it right with me or is it the same old. If so, I figure I will be buying about10-20 more cars before I die and none of them will be GM products. here is a copy of the letter I wrote them in 2006

I purchased this truck with a fair and honest deal. I would not have bought the truck if I knew the price was going to be much higher after the deal was finalized and I had taken possession of the vehicle.

Three days after completing the deal and taking possession of the truck I was contacted by Summit GMC and told that my trade in was not worth what they gave me for it. This is 3 days after we closed the deal and I drove the truck home. I had a signed contract stating the value of my trade in and the negotiated price of the new vehicle. 3 days later I was contacted and told that I needed to bring another $1500.00 to the dealership. I said if it was going to cost me another $1500, that I did not want the vehicle. They told me I would have to pay mileage and a rental fee for the use of the new truck. I said OK, which must have shocked them because then they told me That they couldn't take it back because it was a used vehicle now. I said I can't pay another $1500. 3 weeks later the bank that held the lien on my trade in vehicle called and said my payment was late. I told them I had traded the vehicle in 3 weeks prior. They said the dealer (Summit GMC) had not paid it off. I HAD an 800 credit score. I contacted Summit and asked why they hadn't paid it off. They said they were not going to pay it off till I brought them $1500 more. I said I did not want my credit ruined because they didn't pay off the loan and they said if I didn't want my credit ruined, I should keep making payments on the vehicle I traded in and the new vehicle. They didn't want to hear anything except "bring us $1500" and that was it. I finally had to hire a lawyer. I ended up paying the $1500 to save my credit which took me 55years to build to an 800+ credit score and it took Summit 60 days to bring it down to under 600. I will never set foot in another Summit Dealership again and if my friends and family are smart, they won't either. As far as the 2006 sierra goes, it's a good truck but I don't ever want to go through another ordeal like that so my next vehicle probably won't be a GMC product. I believe in buying American but after this I am seriously looking at foreign cars. I am buying in the next 3 months. Do you know anybody who is looking for a nice truck, only 7200 miles on it.

Thanks for listening

Jim Bye
Po box 212
Camillus NY 13031

     
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Problems Since Day 1
By -

I am a single mother of a 19 month daughter who purchased a 2004 Chevy/cavalier coupe LS brand spankin new from all American Chevy in Middletown, NJ...not even a month after enjoying my over priced vehicle did I begin having electrical problems! It started off as the horn not working, I took it back to the dealership where it was serviced and I was told that the wiring was not connected... A few months later the same problem persists. I took yet another trip to the dealer in hopes of trading it in for something else well I got an 05 cobalt brand new after 1 week I get into my new beauty and it is shaking uncontrollably with the check light engine on. I drive 45 min back to the dealer to complain they tell me they were just about to call me with some bad news instead of my payments staying at $350 (same as cavalier) they will now be going up to $499 a month!!

I tell them to give me my cavalier back as I did not want any parts in an extremely high payment or a brand new shaking vehicle. a few months down. the line the speedometer, cd player, and all the lights on the radio and gear changer fade to black windows are having trouble rolling up. Took the car to yet another Chevy dealer and was told it would cost me $100 just to get a diagnostic test done! Well I relocated to Pennsylvania in 2006 and called the dealer for a copy of my contract was told they are stored in a warehouse in Delaware and would take weeks to be sent to me! Well that was 3 years ago, since then I got out of an doctors appointment In September 2008 and noticed my car would not start I needed an engine and new dash board that cost me $2400 an alternator $433 and a starter $100,in the meantime as I struggled to get all this money together to repair my only means of transportation GMAC is hounding me for my car payment being 60 days late! I try explaining to them that I am barely making it and to have to put an engine in a car that's only 5 years old is causing me to fall behind!

I also asked them to consider the fact that I have made 54 payments on the loan and barely ever ran behind, and also to acknowledge that I have paid off 17k as I stared at 21k and now owe 4k, not to mention the dealer told me I would pay 19k for the car. Any how, they took that into great consideration by sending the repossession man to my door at 1am on wed night, and back again at 10pm on Thursday night I awoke to this guy flashing his flashlight in my bedroom window to retrieve this nightmare vehicle I have invested so much. Into! I got up the next morning and was able to make one payment and not even a week later GMAC is calling for another, not even 2 months and $2400 later the car is not starting!! What's wrong with it now??? Nothing but problems since day one no one seems to care about the consumer, or the fact that the economy is in bad shape!!

GM will never ever get any of my business again there cars are trash no wonder they are going bankrupt I say they payoff any cars who have a 5k balance or lower and have had problems with newer vehicles that are not normally caused by ware and tare!!!

     
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Extended Warranty For a Used CAr
By -

We own a 2002 Buick Rendezvous, and when purchased in January of 2005, we purchased extended powertrain warranty from GM, which only expires January 4, 2008 or 152,310 km. Our vehicle currently only has 127,000 km on it right now.

We were traveling in BC this summer (Aug. 2006) and realized that the vehicle was over-heating. We took it into a GM Dealer, Barnes Wheaton in Chilliwack BC PH: 604-792-1391. They diagnosed it as being the thermostat which required changing. We asked how long that would take and they quoted 3.1 hours. They did not tell us that the diagnostics was another hour, therefore a total of 4.1 hours was charged to us at $99.00/hour!! We told them we had extended powertrain coverage, they checked it out and said that GM does not consider a thermostat to be an internal part of the motor, therefore it is not covered!! Well, we needed a thermostat to continue so we proceeded to get it fixed. The total bill came to $515.45...We were rather shocked, to say the least, but paid it and thought we would deal with it when we arrived home in La Ronge, Saskatchewan.

We phoned GM Canada and told them the problem, gave them our extended warranty number, they checked it out, responded to us saying, and I quote:
"We see here that you have warranty on the powertrain, and under our warranty policy the thermostat is not covered, as it is not considered part of the internal motor, however, if you were considered a regular customer at Barnes Wheaton in Chilliwack, we would be willing to pay half the bill for you. Since you are not a regular customer, there is nothing we can do for you".
I couldn't believe it and told them, "How do you expect us to be a regular customer when we are travelling from Saskatchewan on vacation, how ridiculous is that, owning a GM vehicle isn't good enough?" Apparently not, as we got the same response.

I was then directed to another area, as apparently we needed to go to the extended warranty area for used vehicles. I did that and received the same response telling me that a thermostat is not considered an internal part of the motor. Pierre (that was his name) said that if they covered thermostats, they would then have to cover gas. Well, I said that's ludicrous, gas is not a part, and if anyone was to purchase a vehicle, they would expect the thermostat to be considered a part of the motor! GM needs to improve their warranty policy and start honoring all parts of the motor, not just some!!

Well, we did put in a formal complaint against GM, (with Marny in Customer Service, Head Office in Ontario) but of course nothing was done, nor will anything change with GM, because they are such a large company who don't care about the average person purchasing a vehicle from them.

Our extended warranty does say (and this is the last half of the paragraph under Gasoline Engine):"Also covered are turbocharge/supercharger housings, Internal parts, valves, Inter cooler, seals and gaskets".
I'd like to know what else they do not consider an 'Internal Part'!!, wouldn't you?

(Our friend owns a new Ford Truck, looked at his warranty and the thermostat is covered under warranty with Ford). I told this to GM, but they didn't care!

I'm hoping that perhaps you would be interested in a story like this, as GM and other large dealers like them need to start honoring their warranties, and/or re-wording them differently so as to include or exclude parts not covered!!

Thank you for your time. If you cannot help us, could you please direct us to someone who can.

Greg & Sharon Schafer
306-425-3006
La Ronge SK

     
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GM Acknowledges
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RICHARDSON, TEXAS -- My wife purchased the first new car she ever purchased in 1998. She chose to buy an Oldsmobile Cutlass with the V6 engine. In the first 36,000 miles, her Cutlass has been to the dealership about a dozen times, the ABS system has failed twice, the engine control computer failed, the radio stopped working, the trim fell off the back of the trunk, the right rear taillight filled with water, the gas gauge has been broken forever and the seatbelt is broken. In addition, it needed new brake pads, at 20,000 miles.

At slightly over three years and 40,000 miles the engine has a blown intake manifold gasket. I went to the dealership, where I have established a bit of a relationship with one of the mechanics. I asked him, “How long would you expect the intake manifold gasket to last on the average car?” He said, “between 80,000 and 100,000 miles” and then asked me “Why?” I told him that the intake manifold gasket on my wife's Cutlass with the 3100 V6 engine just blew at 40,000. He paused, reflected for a moment as he looked at the ceiling and then said “that doesn't surprise me, they run that engine pretty hot.” My translation that engine's a piece of crap!

After sending a letter to Oldsmobile, I got a call from customer relations telling me that they would look into my situation and “see if they could do anything to help me.” They took my VIN and called me back several days later. They told me they had researched the history of my vehicle and that there was nothing they could do because the kind of trouble I was experiencing was “normal.” That's not my word, that came directly from the GM representative's mouth. So now I know GM considers it normal for their cars to need major engine rework at 40,000 miles.

To help keep me as a potential future customer, I would like the following:

My family will not buy a GM car ever again. Not an Olds, not a Chevy, not a Buick or a Cadillac, not even a Saturn, even though we were considering one. We will give our business and our money to your competition for the rest of our lives.

Please know this, the relationship between a company and a customer is fragile. When you take people's money and give them poor quality products, you can make short-term profits, but in the long run you loose. In this case you've lost. You've lost any opportunity to sell me a car for the rest of my life and probably that of my children. I have and will continue to tell my friends and associates not to buy a GM.

At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident. Thank you for your time.

     
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2009 Traverse Problems
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

I purchased a 2009 Traverse about 3 weeks ago with 46, 000 miles. Already the first week I had problems with this vehicle. The dealer replaced the pump, the coil. I'm still having same problems going in to shop. Will be the 4th time cause they are not sure. The engine light doesn't come on. But it pulls on the highway like if you were pulling on a rubber band not strong like but enough to feel it.

Also I'm not sure if its normal when starting the car turning the key the rpm stick and my miles per hour stick go all the way to the end as far as it can go. Dealer says its normal but my friends don't. I have tried to be patient but this is really depressing.

I have reached out to dealer but as far as coverage I was told by the repair guy the dealer sent me to who said the dealer gave a hard time replacing coil.

GM is doing nothing to help with the problem. BEWARE I am so disgusted with the problems this car has caused me. Must I say also when on high speed on the highway at times the rpm don't go up to see n the vehicle feels like it has no power it happen to me while I had children in the car. Its really scaring me having my family in the car w these problems any advice would really help please.

     
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Rust on New Van
By -

ANTIOCH, ILLINOIS -- I bought a Dodge Caravan new in 2006 from local dealer. Within the first yr. tail gate started rusting on the inside lip. I complained to service dept and they told me it was my fault I didn't keep it clean enough. I didn't want to argue so went on my way and paid attention to cleaning my van more often. Let me tell you this van is garage kept and now it has bubbling rust all over and major rust on engine hood inside lip and tailgate inside lip all door inside panel bottoms. I really don't understand why, I'm thinking manufacturer defects. Is there any thing to be done about this problem? Rust has been a problem since I got it. It looks like bad.

     
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Manifolds
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

DON'T BUY GENERAL MOTORS VEHICLES!!! We own a 2005 Chevy Trail Blazer. The exhaust manifold went bad less than two years ago and we paid to have it replaced. Now here we are with another bad exhaust manifold. I talked with General Motors and they continue to do nothing about it. They only warrant the manifold for 1 year, which tells me that is all the longer they expect it to last. They just continue to produce non quality parts. This is probably some of the reason they had to be bailed out by us, as taxpayers. They will probably need it again if they keep producing bad products. I know of 5 other people that have had to have this exhaust manifold replaced. I have also heard that they are putting something similar on some of their new trucks and they are already having to have the manifold replaced.

     
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Bad Transfer Case
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN -- Transfer case failed on my 2005 2500 Suburban LT. About a $54000 truck. Dealership took it apart and determined that one of the oil holes drilled into the main shaft going into the transfer case was never deburred. They drilled the holes and splinted the shaft and did not clean out the oil hole. It was partially plugged. Doomed to fail.

Contacted GM and they offered me $100 service voucher... Thank You General Motors!!! I help bail you out with my tax dollars, you get back on your feet, you give away $7500 to your want to be machinists and I get $100 voucher. That is great! Guess what I am not buying anymore...

     
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Electrical System
StarStarStarStarStarBy -
Rating: 5/51

LOUISVILLE, TENNESSEE -- I bought a 2003 Buick Rendezvous and the electrical system is going crazy. The lights air conditioner radio and gauges cut off while I'm driving. I looked on the internet and there are so many complaints about the same problem. I have two children and I am scared to drive my car. People have wrecked because the headlights go out. People have been locked in their cars and there were also times these cars have quit running while going down the interstate. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THEY DO NOT RECALL THESE CARS WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE ARE HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM!

     
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