Ahhh... you need to take a look at my 2002 Monte Carlo..... Purchased new.
about 6 months after purchase, moisture got behind a piece of
body trim, froze and pushed it away from the body. Covered under warranty, I
pointed it out to the dealer body shop guy... he said... you'll need to leave
car for a week to get it replaced.
Rear tailight assy... has 3 plastic studs... I noticed mine was loose a few
after picking it up from the dealer (should have checked it beforehand ) one
was broken off.
It now has 57 K on it.... my remote door locks don't work, 12volt accessory
( aka cigarette lighter ) doesn't work, and the lower intake manifold
requiress replacement. This is on a 5 year old car driven slightly over 10K
year and kept garaged. What's wrong with the picture.
Now I'll have to admit, my cars don't get all that much driving or abuse and
are kept garaged. Also located in the mid-eastern states... we're not in the
or the flood zone, or the oven zone. Kinda mild and temperate. So it's not
extreme weather or off road conditions like you see in all those commercials on
I also have a 1990 Olds Silhouette... almost 18 years old with ONLY 120 K
which is slightly less than 6.5K per year.
Let's see... hmmm
not counting normal maintenance items... tires, brakes. fluid changes
two alternators 600.00 repair
power steering hose 400.00 repair
rack and pinion 1000.00 repair
two water pumps 400.00 repair
Intake manifold gasket replacement 800.00 repair
current problems and those not fixed...
blower motor, not working... might be motor, might be control panel.
wiper bearing shot, motor control board stops wipers in mid-stroke.
heat core started leaking two years ago... I haven't bothered to replace it.
rear door latch broken... already replaced once
oil leaks from somewhere... haven't figured this one out... might be a valve
At 120K this APV is ready for the junkheap.
my girlfriends 1994 Buick Regal....55 K bought new..seldom used...
not counting normal maintenance items... tires, brakes. fluid changes
alternator 250.00 repair
upper manifold replacement 800.00 repair
air conditioner switch 300.00 repair
My neighbors have honda's and toyota's and volvo's which take a beating
(they're soccer mom's with mid size families whose husbands commute in
gridlock traffic everyday....)... They give me their deepest sympathy for
GM cars... they truly feel pity for me.... Their cars work... mine don't simple
My girlfriends former car was a 1984 Honda... bought new and owned until 2002
was her daily commute car in a gridlock city where nothing moves ).
not counting normal maintenance items... tires, brakes. fluid changes, which
did anyway unless absolutely necessary
After 18 years
Wheel Bearing 300.00
This tells me a lot.
There's more to the story here. Was this work all done at the same place?
Did you do it yourself?
I find it hard to believe that any of the parts could possibly have cost
that much! Labor gets expensive quickly if you have to pay to have something
done. (It's my opinion that this is especially true at dealerships. Other
folks may disagree with me on that.)
I've got a 1990 Lumina Eurosport sitting in my yard that may need to have
them done. As much as I may not want to, the car is in really good shape
otherwise, runs fine and I'll probably learn something in the process.
If all the speeds don't work, it's probably the motor. Missing speeds are
most likely a result of a bad resistor pack.
Instructions for fixing this are readily available. They've been posted to
alt.trucks.chevy many times in the past. If you have a soldering iron and
some hand tools, you can really fix it.
I've heard of this being a problem on many mini-vans.
Oh, I don't know...if you didn't mind digging into it and spending a little
time and money, it could be fixed.
I believe very strongly in the concept that some car maker's products and
people don't get along well. ;-)
I've worked on a lot of vehicles over the years, and there are things I like
and hate about many popular cars. On the GM front, I think very highly of
most of their powertrain setups. I'm not so thrilled with how they rust or
the way some things are a real trick to work on. More than one late-80s
Buick has been here and running/driving great while the body was rusting off
of it. I've got one here now that hasn't seen the best of care over the
years, and the body is really rusty, but the powertrain is still strong at
over 250,000 miles.
On Fri, 04 Apr 2008 00:59:02 GMT, "William R. Walsh"
I think I got a pain in the ass car. Along with a pain in the ass dealer.
It's like, hey guys I really don't want to rent a car for several days and
travel back and forth, while you figure out how to replace a simple piece
of body trim.
First alternator was done by a mechanic.... I did the second one myself.
The Rack and Pinion and power steering hose were both done by the
same place. Unexpectedly, I brought the van in to have a inner tie rod
end replaced. (no flats so it could not be removed while on the vehicle).
The mechanic mentioned that when he pulled off the boot, there was
fluid leaking, so he changed the rack and pinion. 1 grand worth of work.
Not something I was ready to learn while laying flat on my back in the drive.
About 2 months later, the van is losing PS fluid... leaky hose by the crimp
joint. I couldn't get in there with a wrench while lying on my back... so back
to the garage it went. another 400.00 shot.
We're talking about 125.00 an hour shop time PLUS another 10% of the bill
goes to shop charges... ( usually capped at $50.). Personally, I think a
mechanic deserves to make a living... some of these systems are pretty complex.
Having to constantly learn new skills, repair complex problems and deal with
people. That's gotta be worth something. A pretty fair percentage of that
also goes to TAXES... the shop owner pays taxes, the mechanic pays
get to give them the money needed to share the money with Uncle Sam. I
told how much money actually goes to taxes. Probably a lot when you consider
Fed / State / Local / FICA this is before rent, insurance, supplies,
coffee for the customer. I don't think a lot of that $125.00 goes to the
plus he probably makes out on some jobs and loses out on others depending upon
how often he beats the ' book '.
My previous Lumina APV had the same problem... replaced that one
Forgot to mention the transmission 'chatter' and the broken door latch.
Also, it's a 3 speed. Hell on gas.
No idea whatsoever..... I do have a lot of familiarity with the 3.1's and
so fixing them is occasionally easy. My daughter is driving an MR2 which can
be a PITA to work on due to the very tight, cramped conditions.
Thankfully there are many people here on alt.gm who have willingly
and unselfishly given me a lot of advice and direction.... Shep, Ian, Mike
Marlow, HLS and Steve W. just to name a few.... I am very grateful to them
as they've taken the time to explain why as well as what to do in many
instances. That's what keeps auto repair fun.... being able to
continue learning... and fixing more than you break. In a way... these
guys keep me motivated by their tremendous knowledge and expertise.
As a result I've been able to tackle a lot more of the jobs, thanks to
the help and support recieved from this newsgroup.
The prices are real, the labor was darned expensive..... and you can see
how much it is possible to save by DIY'g. Some things I'd like to
try in the future are replacing a rack and pinion, replacing a half axle, and
rebuilding a transmission and engine. Just don't want to learn them on an APV.
That's a pricey shop rate. Around here in CT it is closer to $65 to $75.
Shop charges are 2%. IMO, shop charges should be built into the price and
not a separate line item to bleed a little more money from you.
I do remember being in New York City about 18 - 20 years ago and a BMW
dealer had a rate of $98 back then so I imagine it is up at least 25% in
That is pretty high labor rates. My dealer (in the Dallas metro area) just
raised their rate to $95 per hour a couple of weeks ago, and that is still
lower than some independents I would not allow to change my oil.
Keep in mind that regardless of the shop rate the hired mechanics don't
make ANYWHERE near that amount. Most of the shops around here pay
between 16-22 bucks an hour to the guys doing the wrench work.
Now consider that most of them also have to supply their own tools,
along with buying some of the special tools for odd vehicles and
probably their own scan tool as well. That can kill $15,000.00 REAL
easy. Unless you work out all the tricks and ways to beat book time on a
job you won't be making much money.
True, but they are few and far between. Plus you want to be sure that,
although they are working fast that they are doing a good job as well.
I've seen a few that work real fast that I wouldn't trust to work at a
All I can say is my mom drove a 85 Camry that had problems until she dumped
it at 80k miles and bought a Chevy. My brothers wife drives a Mazda from a
new purhase that has had 2 transmissions before 100k miles.
Fact is, every brand of car has it individual vehicles that perform poorly
and every brand has some that go for many miles with no problems. Overall,
the typical car today is far superior to the typical car of years ago, no
matter who made it or the country of origin.
I bought my first non-GM car in many years because I was unhappy with my
present one, but that certainly won't fix the old one or absolve the new one
from problems. I was not happy about rebuilding the transmission, but, that
is the first time in 46 years of driving that I'd had to do a serious repair
on a transmission.
If you compare the cars of the '50s and '60s that we grew up with and still
love the styling, they were poorly built and had very high routine
maintenance. Clean your plugs at 5,000 miles, replace plugs, points, rotor
at 10,000 miles. Oil change and chassis lube at 2000 miles. Common to do a
ring job at 50,000 miles, maybe bearings too. Muffler was good for a couple
of years and flat tires a few times a year.
Once you got the new car home from the dealer you started a list of things
for the dealer to repair under warranty. Common to have 10, 20, or even more
items on that list. Of the last four cars I bought new, one has one defect
from the factory, another had none for six months, the other had none for a
year, my present car has none on 18 months and 34k miles.
You mean the minor fact that it was a change in the gasket material
mandated by federal laws on asbestos that caused the entire problem for
the auto industry.
Or they had NO choice in the matter and followed the law.
Tens of thousands of cars out of tens of MILLIONS of cars running Dex-Cool.
The real problem is NOT the Dex-Cool. Never has been. If it was the
coolant that was a problem why don't ALL the vehicles using it show
problems? The problem is and always has been a result of the gaskets
going bad. That is why GM started using a redesigned gasket that
eliminates the problem.
I agree, Steve..I dont think the DexCool destroyed gaskets either, although
I dont think it is the best coolant that could have been used, with respect
There was a problem with the gaskets. Other motor companies did not seem
to have this level of problems, and that indicates to me that it was
more than just the problem with gasket changes. The mechanical aspects of
those engines' mating surfaces and assembly have been suspected.
Whatever the factors, GM has some responsibility in the matter.
But these engines aren't suffering from corrosion problems until the
gaskets fail. And it's not so much corrosion problems after the gaskets
fail, it's the coolant oxidizing, clumping/coagulating causing problems
like plugged heater cores.
Who else uses the gasket design like GM uses on their V engines?
The mechanical aspects of
That is part of the overall process, Aarcuda. Aluminum is not so well
by this sort of technology. Corrosion of iron can lead to the formation of
organic acid "soaps" that are slimy, shoeleather gunks. And it doesnt take
corrosion to set off this situation.
I dont know who else does. Apparently few to none, since other companies
not have the problems GM did, it seems. The lack of asbestos in those
claimed to be the main factor for their failure, but of course Ford and
have been bound by the same laws. So, that is not the best excuse. The
beads are more likely the cause, whether it happens by product quality or
or even mechanical design. I have opened "good", relatively low mileage,
engines and have found those silicon prepped areas to be on the point of
failure. I contacted the
aftermarket gasket manufacturers about this several years ago, and Felpro
did answer that they knew of the problem and were working on gaskets to
solve it. I believe, in fact,
they came out with the improved gaskets which mitigated the problem.
Whether this was planned obsolescence, bad engineering and materials
just an unlucky star for GM, one expects better from any prime American
Buy a Yugo, you get a Yugo.
GM has documentably a long history of allowing problems to continue in their
cars. These are problems or defects they KNOW about, but choose not to do
about. We have been over them before...You know what they are.
"The real problem is NOT the (the gaskets.) Dex-Cool. Never has been. If it
was the (the gaskets) that was a problem why don't ALL the vehicles using
(the gaskets) show problems? That is why (the gasket manufactures)
started using (the proper materials in the) gasket that eliminate(d) the
No one but you have ever suggested it was the gasket that was the fault. It
was the gasket that failed, causing the problems. That was a GM design
issue. Exactly what the design flaw or flaws were, I don't really know.
The point remains that GM stood alone in the line up of manufacturers that
had such a long running design, complete with its known problems.
What color I the sky in you world? Ask any of the Toyota, Ford, Chrysler,
VW and Honda etc. owners that had a gasket problems, for years after
asbestos was banded, if they think GM was the only manufacturer to suffer
losses, because the gasket manufacture failed to meet the vehicle
manufacturers design specs for the gaskets they made for ALL of those afore
mentioned vehicle manufactures.
You might want to ask the insurance companies, for those gasket
manufactured, why they paid 80% of costs for those losses if it was a GM
"bad gasket design" that was the fault L
Ah - more of Mike's irrelevant distractions. So Mike - how long did those
gasket problems persist for Toyota, For, Chrysler, VW and Honda? It's no
small wonder you stay stuck in the mode of repeating the same mantra over
and over again - you really do fail to grasp the points being made by other
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