picked up my "new" company car yesterday. First of all let me say that
for all the bashing of GM that has been done (and I've joined in, as I
feel that there are legitimate beefs with their products) this is a VAST
improvement over the '05 I turned in. Highlights:
- 3.5 engine is MUCH quieter than the 3.4 - still has a little rumble at
idle but it's actually not objectionable, but it doesn't get much louder
even with the pedal to the mat. Smoother, too. Actually sounds kind of
good for a V-6.
- windshield wipers have been fixed. No more goofy "semi-hidden"
wipers, now I can leave them up to clean the windows or if I anticipate
snow. Also do not run off the edge of the windshield. The blades
appear to be similar to the new Bosch "Icon" blades, and even though
they appear to be original to the car (car sat around outside for quite
a few months before it was assigned to me, so it has low miles but high
outdoor exposure) they actually work well. Unfortunately the PIAA
silicone blades from my old Imp don't appear to fit, but that's not
really GM's fault. (yes, I kept the originals and put them back on the
car before I turned it in. I'm not giving away a $40 pair of wiper
blades that are still good!)
- seating position is MUCH better. Still wish the driver's seat would
go down a little more, but the buckets in the '08 allow much more
vertical adjustment than the bench in the '05. (I always felt like I
was sitting *on*
that car rather than *in*
it.) Also lumbar support
actually works in the '08; the one in the '05 didn't fit my back at all,
I eventually resorted to a rolled up towel shoved behind my back.
- Kudos to GM for NOT using the high beams or turn signals as DRLs as
has been their habit in the past. (not a change from the '05, but
earlier models had high beam DRLs which I find offensive.) Also the
headlights seem fairly decent, but I have only driven the car a few
miles at night.
- Radio is MUCH improved over the '05. The '05 was all bass 'n' treble;
probably was great for listening to hip hop but not much else. the '08
actually sounds OK with the EQ set flat.
- Improved ground clearance - I can actually drive over curb cuts and
pull into my driveway, drive over speed humps, etc. without scraping the
air dam. Also the nose will fit over a standard height curb meaning I
don't have to leave the tail hanging out of short parking spaces (or
worse yet, a parking space with one of those little wheel stop curbs,
which the front of the '05 wouldn't fit over.)
- '08 has a real trip computer and real TPMS so you can check your tire
pressures from inside the car. Not a huge deal but a nice touch. Why
not have a TPMS transponder in the spare though? How many people check
the air pressure in their spare tire regularly?
- '08 feels much more solid and rigid than the '05, although this may be
an unfair comparison as I'm comparing a car with over 80K miles to a car
with 16K miles; it's hard to remember exactly what the '05 felt like
when new. Of course I hope that the '08 will hold up better...
certainly can't evaluate it yet.
- still no telescoping steering column.
- In a backwards move, GM moved the front turn signal lights from the
corner of the car to inboard of the high beams. The side markers do not
flash with the turn signals and there are no fender repeaters.
- Front license plate holder is a flimsy piece of crap. Probably only a
matter of time before it gets ripped off in an automatic car wash.
- Still equipped with those awful "Goodyear Integrity" tires. Am
seriously considering paying for a set of Michelins out of my own pocket
just so I don't have to drive on those unsafe pieces of garbage for
another 50K miles. Since the car is so much quieter, tire noise is
noticeable as well. I wonder if a different tire choice might not
reduce the cabin noise level on the highway.
- While the interior styling is much improved over the '05 and at a
glance has a much better appearance, the plastic materials used still do
not exude an upscale quality. Not a huge deal, but some of GM's
competition is doing this much better.
- dual zone climate controls are now optional (and my car doesn't have
them.) Not a huge deal, unless you're in a situation like I am where I
prefer to be at 65 degrees or cooler and SWMBO isn't happy unless it's
over 70 (at which point I'm sweating like mad.) That was one thing
about the '05 that I actually really liked.
So far I like the car. This one I may buy out when the lease is up if I
stick with the company long enough. That's saying a lot coming from me
because I typically don't like FWD cars or large cars in general. But
as far as a tool to get me from point A to point B this is acceptable
and not unpleasant.
So anyway, my question. I did not pick this car up brand new from a
dealership, I "inherited" it from an employee who is no longer with the
company. Somewhere along the way one of the keys and fobs got lost; I
only have one. Stopped at the Chubby dealer today and they said that my
have an anti-theft system, key has chip in it, $75 for
key, $130-something for the fob, I can't program it myself service has
to do it (prices were for parts only.) Company will pay for new key but
not fob, apparently that is a luxury or something. Now I know because I
actually skimmed the owner's manual last night that I can in fact
program these myself unless the manual is lying to me and I'm betting I
can get a key blank and fob for less elsewhere. The question is, where,
and how can I be sure that I'm getting the correct blank and fob? (they
look exactly the same as the ones for my '05, which didn't have an
anti-theft system, so I could see an opportunity for, say, an
unscrupulous eBay seller.) Is this something that a locksmith is likely
to have access to, or am I stuck finding a more reasonably priced GM dealer?
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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