Correct, it is the mechanism the motor is attached to. They often get
screwed up also. It could be that the motor is turning but the regulator is
Windows are too common a problem on cars. It would take just pennies to make
them more reliable.
There should not be an engineering change it should have been engineered a
bit beefier from the start. Take a look at a bunch of failed units and see
what is broken and think about how cheaply it could have been made with
heavier material, such as the cable. If you need samples, I have three of
them from two different cars, all the same failure. Let's see, three of
eight failed the same way. What could be the problem?
When you build millions of cars a year, pennies sure add up to big bucks.
Car makers (not just GM) want to use minimal material even if there will be
a certain number of failures down the road. They figure that after 4 or 5
years the customer will just repair it for $200, but GM saved $18,000,000
I agree with you many things on a car could and should be built better.
But I remember the day when 4-5 years would bring time to replace the entire
car, not a few parts. The old saying was they build them to last 5 years so
you must buy a new one.
True. You don't see this problem as often on say, Toyotas or Lexus.
They would not tolerate a supplier / design providing a part that was
underdesigned and failed as often as it appears that the GM units have
a habit of doing.
i find it strange the toyota and other jap dealers have service
departments, must be like the maytag men. could save a lot of money.
had my pontiac in for oil change other day service bays had two toyotas,
and a honda, and one buick.
Don't get me wrong, I own two Oldsmobiles!
But....I just finished replacing a wiper motor assembly on a 98 GM
van, and the local parts store had the part! This tells me a few
things: A) They are failing enough to stock the part and make money
selling them, and B) On the other hand its good to have parts so
readily available. I also just replaced both front hub/wheel
bearings...but the transmission has not been touched and the vehicle
has 140k on it. Of course I did have to have the intake manifold
gasket replaced, which should have been a recall... Overall its been
good on drivetrain but bad on other things like interior bits,
interior fit and finish, the power door quit working and gave up
trying to diagnose, rear window vents work sometimes, sometimes only
one works, etc. The good part of my GM cars is that I buy used, and
with the poor resale value you can get a great value on a vehicle with
a lot of life left in it.
No offence, but if that is your major complaint, then I don't know what to
say. Parts stores are supposed to have the part you want. Are you telling me
if you walked into a Toyota parts store, and they didn't have your part, you
would walk out saying "wow, I'm so glad they didn't have my part, 'cause it
means they don't break down much"?
That I will agree with. I recently had a gasket job done in an '01 Montana.
$1100 (Canadian) for the repair...Then again, it also has well over
200,000KM's on it.
I only had those kind of problems on my '91 Grand Prix. The main reason was
I had a tendency to beat the crap out of the car. Either way, not once did I
have any major problems with the door locks or power windows. It did have
several different shades of burgundy though!
It just gives me more reason not to by a Japanese car. ;)
I have a 98 Olds Silo GLS van, extended with about every option
including rear AC, rear audio entertainment, middle row captain
chairs, trac control, auto leveling, leather, etc. Bought used for
$11k which was good deal and we've used it quite a bit and its been a
good vehicle besides the intake gasket.
I also have a '00 Intrigue GLS with the 3.5 short star motor. Its
also loaded and has the PCS stability control system, 4 wheel disks,
leather, bose, dual climate, sunroof, chrome wheels, etc. I got that
on Ebay for $5k with 90k road miles. Wife loves heated seats and it
is quiet and the motor and transmission work very well - great
It was a local O'Riley autoparts store. I figured it was one of those
freak things where I'd have to go to a junk yard or the dealer to
replace it, but apparently enough fail that they stock them in new and
rebuilt. Guy at the store said they seem to be a weak point as he
gets his share of customers buying them. I had a '65 and '70 Nova and
my sister had a '65 LeMans, My parents had a variety of cars mostly GM
but including a '70 Toyota and a '84 Mazda pickup. Over years and
years of car ownership we never had a wiper system fail before this,
but they were the older design - so go figure.
Also, from doing due dilligiance on the Intrigue, I couldn't help but
notice that for years the vehicle was produced with alternators that
flickered the lights, but GM did not address this for a long time. My
dad also owned 3 1980s/early 90's SSE Bonnevilles and he just about
had to keep a spare alternator in the trunk, they were junk for years
and GM just ignored it. Must have been the bean counters not the
engineers, but hard to keep customers happy when the same part keeps
Its not just GM though, my since departed '95 Ram PU blew a speedo/odo
unit and power door lock mech right before I sold it, lightening my
wallet considerably even just for parts. Not to mention the tire that
egg shaped as I was marketing it....
GM cars are good for driving the crap out of, they seem to get to a
point of wear but then go for a long time before actually going over
the edge. When you do get an import up in miles, the parts and
difficulty working on some of them makes them a losing proposition.
But the lines are blurring with US plants and US designed import
I have liked the Intrigue's since I saw one back in '98. I was actually
looking to buy one, but I found my '96 Bonnie first.
I guess it depends on where you go, too. I went to a Napa (if memory
serves) once for a module for one of my cars. A Cutlass Supreme, IIRC. The
guy checked the computer, walked into the back, brought it out and blew the
dust off it. Said it had been there quite a few years.
I owned a 1990 and 1991 Bonnie SSE, a 1996 Bonnie SE and now have a 1996
Bonnie SSEi. All of them did the 'flicker'. Never replaced an alternator on
any of them though. *touches wood*. If memory serves, I solved it on the '96
SE by cleaning the battery/alternator cables.
Those dash boards are expensive as sin. I had to replace one in the 1990
Bonnie. Well, the dash worked fine (Odo, spedo, ect), but the little
computer's that gave Driver Info and a digital Compass didn't. I thought
they were neat, so I paid $200 (IIRC) for a used one.
I drive the crap out of my cars, and I always have. The car that took the
most was a 1991 Grand Prix. By time I scraped it with well something like
350,000 on it, it had more dents in it then I could have counted. Not to
mention the multi-colored exterior...all burgundy, just different
'versions' of it...But, she drove all the way to the junk yard, and out ran
my then-new-car '97 Olds Cutlass Supreme. Oh the cars we miss...
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