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Old 07-21-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default 90,000-mile report

It’s been a busy time since 80,000 miles. I’ve spent money on wear-and-tear items and maintenance upkeep plus a couple of surprises. Since the last report I have:

• Had front bumper cover adjusted post-accident from in July 2011

• Had large chip on passenger side of windshield patched

• Replaced battery

• Changed oil, rotated tires, replaced wiper blade inserts and replaced cabin air filter

• Had front-end aligned and front lower control arm and stabilizer bar bushings replaced

• Found a two-inch crack in the LF fender, just ahead of the outside mirror; I think it’s related to the accident from August 2010

• Replaced front brake rotors

• Replaced rear brake shoes

• Replaced spark plugs

• Had A/C system serviced


No problems to report. New plugs have made subtle improvement at idle and a noticeable improvement during acceleration. Any rise in MPGs will be more than offset by continuous a/c use during a very hot summer in the mid-Mississippi River region.


The random shift bugaboo I’ve experienced since October 2007 continues. As previously noted, it happens more often and for shorter durations than it did five years ago. Even though they are random intervals, they don’t occur on Saturdays or when I have time off from work and could take the car to a transmission repair shop…figures. Other than that, no problems or complaints to report.


I gave the car a good cleaning this spring and the interior still looks good. I don’t carry passengers very often so that contributes to the appearance.


Biggest issue I have on the outside is the aforementioned crack in the fender. The body shop of my former Saturn retailer patched and sealed it. It’s only noticeable if your eyes are at the same height as the fender. That’s how I first saw it, while cleaning something off the fender or the LF wheel.

Despite a new paint job for the hood and the nose, the car’s picked up a new crop of paint chips. The majority of them happened on Christmas Day. I stopped behind a Ford Escort wagon at a traffic light. Its driver must have gone four-wheeling somewhere; its nose and entire underbody were coated with mud and pebbles. What started as a few stones hitting the pavement turned into a small meteor shower as we both merged onto an interstate. In hindsight, I should have pulled over and let someone else’s vehicle take the brunt of the damage. Ah well, the car’s 6.5 years old now not brand-new. Live and learn.

Currently, the outside is filthy because there has been no chance to wash it. Voluntary water restrictions have gone up in this area and if the drought continues as forecasted, most cities here will put mandatory water use rules in place.


No real complaints but the shop where I had my brake shoes replaced suggested I consider replacing the shocks and struts soon. I put that on the car’s to-do list between now and January.


Much better since I had repairs made. The original front rotors were starting to warp; I felt the pulsations most when decelerating on interstate exit ramps. The rear shoes weren’t in immediate need of replacement but they, too, were original so I figured it would be good to replace them.


Still mostly in the mid-20s because of my short commute to work (five miles), mostly suburban driving and constant a/c use since mid-March.


Even though my Ion is paid for and overall, it runs well, I’ve been eagerly planning for my next car. I settled on the Buick Verano Turbo. The notion of a sedan making 250 hp and 260 lbs-ft of torque through a 6-speed manual is irresistible to me. The fact that it will come fully-loaded (only sunroof, navigation and a different style of alloy wheels are options) and has goodies I never expected to see in this segment, like a heated steering wheel, electronic parking brake and push button start, are bonuses. I also appreciate its “sleeper” appearance. I have no need for towering rear spoilers, body cladding, bulbous hoods with fake air vents and deep front air dams.

To date, ~15,000 Veranos have been sold; I’ve seen six or seven in my area. The turbo version doesn’t launch until this fall and I don’ t want to be a beta tester so I’ll wait until mid-2013 at the earliest to buy. I’m trying to balance my desire to avoid vehicle recalls against possible future disappointment that I waited only to learn GM would de-content the 2014 Verano.
2015 Buick Verano Turbo
5 - 2006 Ion 3 Sedan, Manual, Storm Grey
4 - 2004 Ion 2 Sedan, Manual, Electric Blue
3 - 1996 SL2 Manual, Medium Red
2 - 1991 SL1 Manual, White
1 - 1991 SL Manual, Grey

Last edited by Tethys; 07-21-2012 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: 90,000-mile report

It's been a long I'll jump on board and continue the thread. Excellent post by the way. I'll add my 50,600 report and see if anyone follows along. I'll expound free form....

Today I had the front pads and rotors swapped out after a couple days of exuberant grinding and the celebratory smell of hot metal wafting up from the left front. Yes, summer and 102 heat indices made it so much....sweeter....

So Ion brakes like it did from the factory (revelatory), rear pads were within spec so were just cleaned and adjusted, tires rotated and alignment was found to be dead on. Just on the short exurban trip home the car felt planted as always. But now more confident as with just the slightest pressure on the brake velocity scrubs off progressively. Nice...

At last oil service also had the transmission fluid changed. Noticed the difference in the clutch, shift feel and gear whine; which seemed more muted and business like. Engine is as strong as ever. Thinking of swapping spark plugs. KN filter cleaned after two years...think it was only 95 that day.....

As the interior being tan it's almost a lost cause with a 9.5 year old who specializes in crumbs and climbing over the back seat with anything that might be dirty. Hoover may need to visit the garage soon. Concerned about examining the cabin filter but that's just me (no problem with the Vue's but it's on the 'outside' of the car). Stereo still kicks it and all switches work. Yea sunroof!

Exterior was washed and waxed a couple weeks back and looks phenomenal as long as you stand at least eight feet away. Has a collection of scratches at the trunk lid and other scrapes here and there; badges that come with being a road warrior and urban transport vehicle. Swapped out wiper assembles after the 'Belgium' ones basically fell apart. Was not surprised after seven years.

So that's it. Not very exciting really. It's a dependable car and IMHO the second generation of the model is very underrated. It's my commuter car so mileage is in the high 20's around town.

Hey, nice to see you again. Who's next?
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #3
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2006 ION-3 Quad Coupe
Default Re: 90,000-mile report

Just rolled over 90k myself. Nothing major to report other than having my pads and rotors replaced due to them warping a second time.

'06 Level 3 Quad Coupe. 140K as of 5-3-15. Traded for 2015 Chevy SS. Gone but not forgotten.

Current: 2017 2LT/RS 50th Anniversary Camaro
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