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Old 03-04-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
Zum Zamim
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Default I'm Starting to Despise GM

I got this car last year with 29K miles on it. Itís now got 30K.

Itís begun making crazy creaky noises when I turn right (either parked of moving)

I took it to the dealership who replaced a strut and charged me for it, then I took it back and they replaced the intermediate steering shaft and charged my warranty.

Iím not sure how they thought it was fixed, it always makes noise when turning. They seem to truly have no clue what to do. The third time I took it in, they kept it and the next day called me with ďGood news! You donít have a problem at all, GM says this is common for these cars! And we donít have to fix anything!Ē

Obviously, I'm outraged. Iíve escalated to GM corporate and am getting ready to go to the BBB and WA State Attorney General, and just sent a compaint to the NHTSA as I think this is a safety issue.

The dealership and GM says this is common in the Saturn Aura and late model Chevy Malibu sedans and has no need to be fixed. Would you buy a car that sounds like this?

youtu.be/ohDbxtHSWm0

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Old 03-04-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

A. You need a new dealer

B. Sounds like the EPS is failing. Way too much noise for an ISS issue.

But, I have no idea what year/engine your Aura is, so I can't confirm if it is EPS or HPS, or if you even have any powertrain warranty left. Please report back with details.

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by golftango View Post
A. You need a new dealer

B. Sounds like the EPS is failing. Way too much noise for an ISS issue.

But, I have no idea what year/engine your Aura is, so I can't confirm if it is EPS or HPS, or if you even have any powertrain warranty left. Please report back with details.
Thanks for the reply! It's a 2008 Aura XR with hydraulic steering. This video seems to describe the issue and the underlying design flaw:
//youtu.be/NqJD0LOmDiA

Unfortunately, I can't take it to another dealership. It's factory warranty has expired by a year. It still has its GM powertrain warranty and a 6-year extended warranty through Nissan (I bought the car at a Nissan dealership) but Nissan got suspicious after the 2nd repair and called the dealership to see what was happening, and the dealership told them that I was trying to get warranty service for a non-issue, and that they should deny any future claims.

GM customer care brags that they don't need to do anything else, since it's a non-issue and the car is out of the bumper to bumper warranty. I countered both those arguments by telling them they still have not told me why the card does this, and therefore they can not have ruled out the powertrain as the source, so how can they know it's out of warranty?

GM always comes back with "You say it happens when turning, it's obviously not the powertrain."
I keep telling GM: "Okay great! Since you can rule out the powertrain with 100% certainty, that means you understand the problem! Now TELL ME WHAT THE PROBLEM IS SO I CAN HAVE IT DEALT WITH!!!!!

At this point, thier call-center script fails them and they can only say "you have to take it to that original dealership"

All my money has been thrown to the bad dealership, so now I'm hearing my only choice is to throw good money after bad and find another repair shop

Last edited by Zum Zamim; 03-04-2013 at 07:40 PM..

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Old 03-04-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

iss wouldnt be covered under powertrain but should be covered by extended. extended warranty company is mad at dealer for not going thru the car good enough. shouldnt be your problem. they should cover it. that being said they do all do that. it can be fixed but will somewhat come back.

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Old 03-04-2013, 09:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

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iss wouldnt be covered under powertrain but should be covered by extended. extended warranty company is mad at dealer for not going thru the car good enough. shouldnt be your problem. they should cover it. that being said they do all do that. it can be fixed but will somewhat come back.
They already replaced the ISS - it did nothing!

Honestly, this sound is really loud and continual. I've watched the youtube vids of the clunk that GM cars have with a bad ISS. When I heard them, I had to laugh at the uploaders. If that sound annoys them, they should have thought twice about buying a GM car. My car has rattles, squeaks, a bad bearing whine from the AC blower - but all those kinds of noises are "good 'ole American car sounds" as far as I'm concerned.

Check out my video in the top post (I can't post a url because my account is too new) - now thats a real sound even an American car should not make!

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zum Zamim View Post
They already replaced the ISS - it did nothing!

Honestly, this sound is really loud and continual. I've watched the youtube vids of the clunk that GM cars have with a bad ISS. When I heard them, I had to laugh at the uploaders. If that sound annoys them, they should have thought twice about buying a GM car. My car has rattles, squeaks, a bad bearing whine from the AC blower - but all those kinds of noises are "good 'ole American car sounds" as far as I'm concerned.

Check out my video in the top post (I can't post a url because my account is too new) - now thats a real sound even an American car should not make!
I too would be annoyed if i had to hear noises,rattles, or whines from my american made car. its called un-refined Quality, too me... especially if i have my friend along in my car for the ride Hearing it, Laughing because his honda is older and has more miles than mine and makes 0 noises thats Kinda of embarising if You ask me.

Just my 2 cent thought opinion...

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Watched the video...on any vehicle, that is not normal! The steering clunk is the ISS but the other growling-ish noise is definitely not normal at all.

Since the video shows the engine idling, and the vehicle not moving, I would rule out the powertrain first. Powertrain is coverage of engine and transmission.

Power steering rack needs to be looked at very closely. Hell if it was me I would have quoted a steering rack from the start.

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by brags View Post
I too would be annoyed if i had to hear noises,rattles, or whines from my american made car. its called un-refined Quality, too me... especially if i have my friend along in my car for the ride Hearing it, Laughing because his honda is older and has more miles than mine and makes 0 noises thats Kinda of embarising if You ask me.

Just my 2 cent thought opinion...


Boo hoo. I've had Nissans, Hondas, Mazdas, Volkswagens, etc. that all have their share of rattles, noises and quality issues. Nothing is immune, so let's not bash American.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

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Originally Posted by golftango View Post

Boo hoo. I've had Nissans, Hondas, Mazdas, Volkswagens, etc. that all have their share of rattles, noises and quality issues. Nothing is immune, so let's not bash American.
Yeah - my point exactly. There are lots of annoying sounds cars can make, but they are complex machines, you cant expect perfection.

The problem is GM - they are telling me the sound in that video is one of those noises!

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Sounds like it's skipping (or missing) teeth on the steering rack. Or something is binding it
Especially because it sounds like it happens in the same spot every time

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Old 03-05-2013, 05:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

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Sounds like it's skipping (or missing) teeth on the steering rack. Or something is binding it
Especially because it sounds like it happens in the same spot every time
It does seem like it could be the steering rack.

Unfortunately, the dealer and GM say it throws no engine codes so there's no issue.

And I'm out of money, having thrown it away on them.

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Old 03-05-2013, 06:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Steering rack failure? I think this is reaching for something not there.......... There are hundreds of millions of power steering rack and pinion systems all over the world without issues. Unless this car was run hard at a dirt track and hit hard into the wheels, steering racks don't fail or wear in one spot. When was the last time anyone read of a rack unit being replaced? When replacement is needed its usually due to failure of an end seal that leaks pressurized steering fluid, resulting in loss of power assist; the car can be steered but much more effort is needed to turn the steering wheel. Not because the mechanical portion of the rack unit is damaged but the hydraulic seal failed. Anyone familiar with non power steering will know this. Steering with the rack unit is still intact to allow steering control. Loss of hydraulic power removes the 'powered' assist with no loss in the rack unit. This isn't a weak point in the steering system or a common issue.

What may be a weak point is the large offset angle between the steering column and steering rack attachment point to join the steering wheel to the rack unit - the intermediate shaft. Universal joints are great for slight off angle mechanical connections like front wheel cv joints but there's an issue when larger angles stresses these joints. There's a video of someone pointing this out and demonstrating how to spray lithium grease into the silicone(?) boot housing the intermediate joint(s) to contain grease. I don't know if your steering has this boot surrounding the intermediate shaft or if its rubbing hard against the firewall boot that isolates noise and dirt intruding from outside into the firewall. You may want to look into this yourself. GM dealers should be aware of this issue as this is an issue with some Vues, Equinox, and vehicles using intermediate shafts with greater off angle connections.

If you understand that boots containing grease are part of every cv joint for long term reliability then you may understand the need for occasional greasing of the intermediate shaft U-joint(s) that may be exposed. Have you examined your steering system for this possibility?

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

I don't despise anyone...........I like very few.

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post

What may be a weak point is the large offset angle between the steering column and steering rack attachment point to join the steering wheel to the rack unit - the intermediate shaft. Universal joints are great for slight off angle mechanical connections like front wheel cv joints but there's an issue when larger angles stresses these joints. There's a video of someone pointing this out and demonstrating how to spray lithium grease into the silicone(?) boot housing the intermediate joint(s) to contain grease. I don't know if your steering has this boot surrounding the intermediate shaft or if its rubbing hard against the firewall boot that isolates noise and dirt intruding from outside into the firewall. You may want to look into this yourself. GM dealers should be aware of this issue as this is an issue with some Vues, Equinox, and vehicles using intermediate shafts with greater off angle connections.
They did replace the ISS, but honestly I don;t think they know why they did it. To hear them (and GM) talk, it seesm that this is the first car they have come across that has any steering-related noises.

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

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I don't despise anyone...........I like very few.
I think they deserve it.
They are protecting their interests by actively pretending that I donít have an issue and that all cars sound like a crypt door being slammed shut when they move.

And the dealership is no better. They write stuff like: ďCust. states noise when turningĒ

What the hell does that mean? Does it mean that we only have the customers word that thereís noise? It's open for debate???

If I bring it in while the engine is on fire will they write ďCust states car currently on fire.Ē

And when they get around to looking at it the next day and itís burnt to the ground and smoldering, will they write ďchecked for fire, none found, left msg for cust to see if they can furnish more info.Ē

This GM/Dealership make-believe is maddening.

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Oh my dear........some people have such troubles. I've never had a problem with a Chevy,Honda,Pontiac,Saturn, or any dealer. Bring it in get it fixed be on my way. Never had a problem with the local Toyota dealer that has a bad rep around here.

Maybe it's just me ....or.... maybe it's just you.

Last edited by saturnions; 03-05-2013 at 09:13 PM..

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

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Oh my dear........some people have such troubles. I've never had a problem with a Chevy,Honda,Pontiac,Saturn, or any dealer. Bring it in get it fixed be on my way. Never had a problem with the local Toyota dealer that has a bad rep around here.

Maybe it's just me ....or.... maybe it's just you.
Look Ė Iím sure you are normally a nice kid who aspires to own an Aura someday, but those of us who have actually paid for one need to take measures to ensure they work. Now scoot!

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

So now begs the question, what did your Aura do the first 29K years of its life? Ex rental car? There has to be some underlying issue causing that noise. To me, it sounds like a steering rack. Only time I've replaced a steering rack on a GM was a '00 Alero that was hit hard in the front. Any accidents?

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

do you have someone who could assist with turning the wheel while you stick your head under the hood and under the car to see if maybe you could pinpoint where the sound is coming from??

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Old 03-06-2013, 12:38 AM   #20
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Default Re: I'm Starting to Despise GM

Quote:
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So now begs the question, what did your Aura do the first 29K years of its life? Ex rental car? There has to be some underlying issue causing that noise. To me, it sounds like a steering rack. Only time I've replaced a steering rack on a GM was a '00 Alero that was hit hard in the front. Any accidents?
It was a one-owner trade to a Nissan dealer. No negative history that we can find. They traded it in after the 3year + 1year bonus warranty expired.

That reminds me of a story - I bought a '99 Grand Am (aka Alero) from the local Pontiac/Buick dealer in Bellevue, WA. It was a dealer demo that had 3k miles when I bought and titled it as new.
I tried to schedule a service appointment the next day because the car pulled to one side. They got the car and called me an hour later and said "We won't fix your car - it's obviously been totaled and reconstructed and we don't warrant cars that have crash damage."

I got angry and pointed out that it would be impossible for me to have driven off the lot last night, totaled the car, taken it to a shop, had it rebuilt, etc in the span of 15 hours and demanded they swap the car. They backpedaled quickly and came back to me and said "Whoops - our bad! When we saw the huge gap between the hood and the front fascia, we assumed it must have been wrecked, now we see they are all like this. Sorry, the new design's only been out for a few months."

Funny thing is - they were right. There is an odd inch-wide gap across the front of all the 99+ Grand Ams.

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