By on April 8, 2014
rogerhuyseen
A reader writes: 
I have a 2007 Pontiac G6 coupe which, up until last fall, had been a pretty decent car.
Then, in October, I had to replace a clutch and a flywheel ($1,700).  While the clutch was being fixed the driver’s side window stopped working and is now propped shut with wooden blocks.  Within a week the check engine light came on.  Friend who works at a GM dealership checked it (no charge) and determined it needed a air temp sensor.  The OnStar report also indicates that the ABS and Stabilitrack is not working and requires attention.  Then, about a week ago the key fobs and trunk release stopped working.  At first I thought it was ironic that so many things could go wrong at once, but now I wonder if all these problems are interrelated and somehow result from some kind of electrical bug.
Do you have any input on whether this could be the case and how expensive a fix could be?
In addition to these problems, the car also requires a ball joint, a tie rod end, and 4 new tires by spring (I have winters on it now).  This takes me to my second question, which is whether it is worth fixing this car or cutting my losses and buying something new.
I am really not keen on having another car payment, but if I do buy another car I would be looking for something used in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.  Because I live in Canada and have been experiencing the winter from hell, I would be looking for all-wheel-drive and would prefer a manual transmission.  This seems to leave the only options as BMW, Audi, and Subaru.  The only problem with those are the fear of ghastly expensive repair bills, particularly with the Germans, and especially considering these cars, at that price range, will have in the range of 125,000-200,000km on them.
So, the questions are, should I dump the G6 now and move on to something else?  Am I crazy for even considering the above-mentioned cars?  Are there other options available?
Steve Says
Your car is suffering from an acute case of Roger Smith syndrome.
This is a chronic disorder that is attributable to a bacteria known as planned obsolescence. All cars have it to varying degrees. However, certain defunct GM models that only existed to placate a bloated bureaucracy of bean counters are now the poster children of this disorder.
How do you cure your car?  By taking the current issues to an independent mechanic who is well regarded, and pay for those repairs. Window regulators, ball joints, tie-rod ends, ABS Sensors, all of these have shorter lives in a harsh environment. None of this is fatal for your Pontiac unless you are compelled to pay the new car dealer premium for fixing them all.
I would spend the $2000 (my rough estimate) since the car will likely sell for that much less with a propped up window, the ABS issue and the needed suspension work. If you just hate the car and want to go back to that merry-go-round of new car payments, that’s fine as well. But I am a card carrying member of the “fix-it” union, and your car is still worth far more alive than dead.
So fix it. Consider a nice seat or stereo upgrade at a local auto recycling center or Ebay. Give it a good detail, and pretend like it just came off the showroom floor. Because you know what? More than 99% of the good within this once new vehicle is still there.
You just have to bail it out… and remove those few parts that are old GM.
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80 Comments on “New Or Used? : More Troubles With Old GM...”


  • avatar
    alsorl

    As long as the engine is still in good running order. You could always just keep putting band aids on the g6. But those cost’s could add up towards a more reliable auto. Subaru would be the way to go. But purchase a new one or make sure the timing belt was changed before purchasing a used one. That belt could cost over $1000 to replace. New models have a chain instead if the belt.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      Changing the timing belt on the Subaru EJ25 engine isn’t any worse than changing the timing belt on other engines in my experience. The problem is at around 150,000 km you will almost certainly have to do head gaskets. They are worth fixing, but that means even a good used Subaru is unlikely to save you repair costs compared to your G6.

      The newer FB engine uses a chain, and as a current FB25 owner I’m hoping the head gasket issue has been sorted out as well – although these engines are only a couple of years old now so it is too early to tell.

      It sounds like your G6 has a MT. You can get nicely equipped Subarus in Canada with AWD and MT, so if this is important to you that might be a consideration. Personally I’m not a fan of Subaru’s CVT, but others might like it.

      As mentioned above, if your budget will stretch to a new car it makes sense to buy a new Subaru. They aren’t that expensive new, and they seem to hold their value reasonably well – so the ownership cost on a new one might not be *that* much higher than on a used one.

      If you would rather save some money, Steve’s suggestion of fixing up the G6 is a good one. If you haven’t already done so, set some of the money you save aside for good Winter tires – Winter Tires + FWD are not quite as good as Winter tires + AWD, but better for the Canadian Winter than All Seasons + AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Re: Subarus, my sister bought a new Forester in 2002. She keeps every repair invoice and came up with this breakdown:

        0 – 50K miles = $ 1,164
        50-100K miles = $ 3,025
        100K – 145K miles = $14,020

        Her ‘buy new and hold forever’ strategy has changed to ‘buy new and dump at 100k’.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Buy and dump before 100K is the way to go with a Subaru. At 90-95K you’ll get a decent amount more on trade in than at 100K.

          • 0 avatar
            johnhowington

            and that is where i come in to buy that dumped 100k subaru, fix it for $500, and make $2000 reselling it. and thanks.

          • 0 avatar

            I just ran a subaru (with the H6) to 160,000 (now dead connecting rod let go) but lots of little things started breaking around 120,000 and just kept coming over the last year. I think Subarus may not be the greatest keepers on the road, at least not without a lot of DIY repairs. FYI here is a partial list of recent failures
            Seized brake caliper
            Front half shaft
            Front wheel bearing
            Drive shaft
            Both inner tie rods
            Struts
            Corroded aluminum wheels (slow leak)
            Leaking seals in AC system
            Oil cooler leak
            Valve cover gasket leaks
            Heated seat failed
            Rear door inner handle fell off (really not kidding)
            Sunroof leaks (plugged lines )
            Rotting rear strut mounts

            Of course I’m a gluten for punishment and I replaced it with a euro wagon with 90k miles.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            I bought a Subaru with 99k once (Outback sedan,) and can corroborate. Loved that car, but a mountain of nickels and dimes, plus some ominous signs of trouble to come, forced me out at 180k, though at the time I drove 50k+ per year so that wasn’t a long time.

            I drive much less now, so the next car will probably be a WRX. Subaru makes cars that I believe are some of the best on the road, just for a limited period of time.

            After 100k, it’s time for orange wheels, stupid stickers, and an engine swap that blows clouds of oil smoke.

    • 0 avatar
      calgarytek

      My mother has one of the G6 lemons. It’s the first car I’ve driven with electric power steering. Talk about vague and overboosted. Lots of suspension issues, and the total tally for repairs is north of $2000 for a 2006 with less than 70,000 miles. No problems with engine/tranny (as far as I know).

      Since my dad is footing the bill for the G6′s various maladies, he’s starting to warm up to Japanese cars. Nissan’s apparently catch his fancy, esp. the Altima’s. I told him the only Japanese cars he should consider are Lexus/Toyota, Honda/Acura. He’s now setting his sights on the Chevy Cruze.

      Not sure how to go about convincing him that American cars are crap. I think in his mindset, and being a fan of the ‘Military Channel’, he somehow equates GM to Boeing/Lockheed Martin.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        I wouldn’t go so far as to say American cars are crap.

        Why? Because it’s simply not true.

        I drive imports. Just puttting that out there.

        That’s like saying all people who rent are sh*tty people with bad credit.

        You can’t lump all of that together in that way.

        • 0 avatar
          calgarytek

          @raresleeper

          You’re right, not all the American cars are bad. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Buick. I happen to really like their rides but wish they put HiperStrut into the Verano. If you want to give Acura ILX a serious run for its money, throw that in. Also, a Cruze SS (do they offer one) would be neat with HiperStrut. I like to think of it as a compact double wishbone…

        • 0 avatar
          bachewy

          Stories like this make me glad Pontiac died. My daughter had a 2000 Grand Prix GT and it was amazing how everything on the car broke at once when the car hit 150k miles.

          The Grand Ams were not long lasting cars, either.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            No argument on unfortunate cost cutting, but you do realize you’re basically complaining about the cheap bits on a car your daughter got 150K out of? Especially since if the drive-train was serviced properly you could easily get 250K out of it…

          • 0 avatar
            bachewy

            You’re right, that 3.8L still purred like a kitten.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Sounds like you should grow up and pay attention to your father. I’m pretty sure Toyoda has had more recalls in the past 2 years then ford and GM combined. And Nissan has made some not so perfect cars lately.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Number of recalls, 2012:

          Ford – 24
          General Motors – 17
          Honda – 16
          BMW – 15
          Nissan – 13
          Chrysler – 13
          Toyota – 12
          Hyundai + Kia – 8
          Mercedes-Benz – 6
          Volvo – 5
          VW – 5
          Jaguar – 4
          Porsche – 4
          Subaru – 4
          Fisker – 2
          Maserati – 2
          Mazda – 2
          Mitsubishi – 2
          Aston Martin – 1
          Ferrari – 1
          Rolls Royce – 1
          Lotus – 1

          http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/communications/pdf/2012_Vehicle_Recalls_by_Manufacturer.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            Ridgerunner

            Or to put it another way – 14.3 million vehicles were recalled in 2012.
            5,000,000 by Toyota (Japanese)
            3,400,000 by Honda (Japanese)
            1,300,000 by GM (US)
            1,100,000 by Ford (US)
            etc…
            Or the big two Japanese companies accounted for 58.7% of recalled vehicles in 2012. If someone else has some free time, compare recalled vehicles to sales for a given year for a more accurate picture of the scope of recalled vehicles versus sales. The bigger sales companies will always lead in volume. Source is Forbes – http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2012/12/29/biggest-auto-recalls-of-2012/

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Facts are tough to swallow.

            It’s pretty obvious that the recall leaders are Ford and GM. But the bad stuff doesn’t proliferate as widely due to the nature of parts sharing, as evidenced by TMC installing the same airbag in a wide variety of vehicles, only to find out years later that the supplier botched the job.

            In any case, I hope that you guys have figured out that Lotus, Rolls Royce and Ferrari aren’t the most reliable cars in the market. Recalls aren’t a measure of reliability, and these forums will be polluted with less disinformation if/when you finally understand what that means.

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          Pch. no likey reality of Japanese recall. Yes number of different recalls does not equal total recalls. Ford is not afraid to recall autos before killing people. Hence Toyoda = 89 deaths. Ford learned there lesson from the pinto.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @asorl: “Ford is not afraid to recall autos before killing people.”

            Then why doesn’t Ford do a recall for their electric power steering, which suffers a complete loss of boost with no warning? For instance, on 2008 and 2009 Escapes.

            Or the endless ways the stupidly designed tailgates on 2008-2012 Escapes can leak water into the interior, resulting in rust, mold and condensation inside the windshield.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Brandloyal.. those years of escapes did not have electric power steering. I own a 2010 Mercury mariner. If your going to whine about American made products get your facts right.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Ford did not learn their lesson. Amazing how people have already forgotten about 10 million or so cruise control relay switches that had a nasty tendency to overheat and set engines on fire, even when the car was parked and turned off. The engine fire in the unattended Ford vehicles had a nasty habit of setting the rest of the car on fire, followed by the garage, then the home the garage was attached to – injuring and killing in the process.

            Yup – Ford learned their lesson with the Pinto…

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Tell that to my friend who just had to stick 2400 bucks into his 2007 Forester that needed the engine pulled to replace his crankshaft seal, which was leaving oil all over his driveway, and new head gaskets. And this was just after he had to lay out 500 bucks a pop for front wheel bearings. His Subaru only has 78K miles! None of his GM or Fords ever needed the engine pulled with this much money dumped into them at one time and many of those vehicles had well over 100K miles to boot.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          The legendary reliability of Subbie is just that…a legend.

          Second worst car I ever owned was a Subbie (Pontiac was the worst, by a landslide)

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It’s impressive that your anecdotes are so one-sided, and don’t really conform with data from the real world.

          On the other hand, I’m astonished that you’d allow anyone in your circle of ten thousand friends who own terrible Japanese cars to have purchased one in the first place. They must not think highly of your advice.

          • 0 avatar

            PCH while I know what your saying it depends on what data set you look at. I know CR rates cars back only so far (8-10 years I think) if you look at subarus from before that period on true delta their reliability seems to tank relative to other brands, around 10 years old.
            I kind of interpret this that Subarus are pretty reliable up around 100k to 120k miles after that they drop off. Take the 2001 Outback for example it rates incredibly poorly against its peers on true delta.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Wow, if I didn’t know otherwise, I’d think you were asking about an old VW. Which brings me to wonder if any of these electrical gremlins could be cured by cleaning the ground connections on the car. I know that with VWs it’s advised to clean the grounds with some sandpaper or a wire brush and then treat them with some dielectric grease to prevent further corrosion. Just I thought, I have no idea if it’ll do you any good. But it might not hurt.

  • avatar
    ezeolla

    Keeping the Pontiac is probably the cheapest option, but if you really want a 4×4 stickshift, Suzuki SX4s (do they have the same name in Canada?) are probably pretty cheap

  • avatar
    Syke

    Ah yes, Roger Smith. My late father – retired Chevrolet dealer, substantial GM shareholder, die-hard GM lifer – HATED that man with a passion during his tenure as CEO. Shortly before he died (1993), one of his pieces of advice to me was, “Cash out the GM stock. They’re still holding OK now, but the crap that Smith did is going to kill them in the long run.”

    My father wasn’t stupid. I’m glad he never lived to see the collapse.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Your electrical issues are not related to each other. The ABS system, power windows and remote entry don’t share much in common. Fix it.

    -A window regulator/motor combo is $50-$70 plus an hour or so labor
    -The remote entry is most likely the battery or the fob itself $50-$70 plus a reprogram
    -The ABS problem is most likely a wheel speed sensor problem ~$100 for a quality hub/bearing/sensor combo plus an hour labor max.
    -A quality control arm with ball joint is ~$80 plus an hour labor and alignment.
    -Tie rod end is ~$30 plus half an hour labor and you already paid for an alignment with the control arm replacement

    So assuming a $90/hr labor rate, and that the shop is being fair with you with the time and parts markup, you could probably have the work done for around $1,000. I know part pricing in Canada is generally horrendous, so if you order the parts online you’ll save a bundle.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Window regulators must be putting lots of kids through college – my local shop quoted me $380 to fix the one on my ’03 LeSabre. I did it on my own. The part was $45, and there are YouTube videos to show you how to do the work. Took me about an hour and a half; probably would have been able to do it quicker if I were a mechanic.

      People don’t realize sometimes just how much work they can do on their cars themselves. Ditto for computers – it cost me $50 to replace the screen in my laptop, and I was being quoted anywhere from $200-400 to have it done by repair shops or Geek Squad.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Yep, shops often over charge for simple things because that’s where the gravy is at. Window regulators on most modern cars are very simple to replace. An hour for a trained mechanic is very generous.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          I look at replacing window regulators as if I was doing a brake job. Once you see how easy they are to do on many cars it’s a piece of cake.

          • 0 avatar
            55_wrench

            Problem is, on that series LeSabre you’re going to do it again. And again. And again.

            Whether it’s the cheap 89 dollar internet special or the Dorman at 40 bucks more (it’s the same part right down to the tooling marks, yeah you, Dorman I’m calling you out), it’s plain and simple a rotten design backed up by poorly selected plastics.

            I went thru 7 of them, never so glad to get rid of a car since my ’80 Omega.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    The G6 is a 2007, and if it has any miles or wear at all, I think this could be the start of a never ending nickel and diming repair stuff. My brother’s Olds Alero got struck by lightening and had a similar fate to your G6.

    Way too many 2007 and older cars with quality hardware (think Camry) that are priced reasonable and won’t suffer an electrical issues that may be in your future. I would sell it. Reliability and lack of issues with a car has a price, and it’s one I am willing to pay. Some people are not, and I respect that.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Or, he spends more money on another used car and has more issues. It’s a roll of the dice. I’d rather stick with the known quantity. It sounds like these problems have compounded over time and the OP needs to get on top of them as they occur.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      On a 7 year old car, this isn’t an outrageous list of maladies. I have this car’s predecessor, 2005 Grand Am, and ABS sensors are known to have corrosion issues. $300 for new sensors every few years sure beats a car payment. Too bad about the window regulator but they do wear out, as do clutches. I wouldn’t feel too bad putting some money into this, assuming he’s kept up on fluid changes in the drivetrain.

      I agree Toyondas are better vehicles, but the premium he’d pay wouldn’t be worth it, especially since any used car is a crap shoot. The devil you know….

      As for your brother’s lightning-struck Alero, well yeah, 20,000 Amps can have an effect on a vehicle’s electronics….even vehicles not built by GM.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Tough situation. I tend to agree with Steve, find a competent shop to do some of more complicated work and get familiar with the junkyard for the plastic bits and other beancounter grade parts. I don’t see $10-15K out the door getting you much on the used scene. If you can swing 20K this might put you in a base Impreza.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I’m getting the impression that Steven Lang likes to gamble.

    Hopefully the reader’s credit is in order. He is going to need loans, in the form of credit cards, et cetera, not for a new car loan, but just to keep the bastard on the road.

    Or said fellow could always just take a major chunk out of savings and fix the never ending list of issues wrong with it now, but dabbling into savings is not recommended.

    There is no easy way to determine what is next for this G6. He could get about 20k or so miles until the next major clusterfu*k occurs. Or it could run well with the usual maintenance for a long, long time.

    My kid’s mother had a 97 Grand Am coupe. What a dog it was. Every time I drove it, I had to ask myself, why the hell would someone buy this car? What does one see in this kind of car? ?? Absolutely baffling. $hitty stopping power, and drove like absolute garbage. Rode like an old wore out pick up.

    Somehow, the dog racked up 275k miles and was still reliable when she got rid of it. Original motor and tranny.

    Hey, miracles do occur.

    Then she bought a newer four door Grand Am. This one, however, like said G6, suffered from Cluster Fu*kitis.

    So take the plunge on a newer more predictable vehicle (do your research, please, for cryin’ out loud), OR take a chance with your 2k and spend it on your G6 for “x” amount of time until the next major repair(s).

    Good luck, Sir. You’re going to need it.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I’ve got all the respect in the world for Steve, but there’s one thing about his point of view that you have to understand: he has access to good, inexpensive mechanics and parts. The “keep it running” strategy only works if you have the same things Steve has. Otherwise it’s a “when will this end?” situation with money falling out of your pocket, and time as well.

    It struck me odd that the OP reported that OnStar reported an ABS failure. There should be some dashboard indication of an ABS failure, I believe. So, something else is going on.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Good point about the ABS, but assuming the problem is corrosion, it’s not a binary problem…there could be enough current flowing through the sensors to keep the dash light from lighting, but it might be low enough that Onstar knows something ain’t right. Just a guess.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Finding a good reliable mechanic to stay on top of wear items should be the OP’s first priority. The problems described indicate failures of wearables that are greatly dependent on the conditions under which they are operated. Tie rods and ball joints wear out with use, key fob batteries die, the fobs suffer a rough life and die, wheel bearings wear out and cause ABS problems, driver’s window regulators and motors wear out, clutches wear out with use.

      So many here are in shock of the repair list, but it’s not uncommon to replace any of these items on any 7 year old car. The fact that they’re all a problem right now tells me the OP hasn’t been staying on top of maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I’m suspecting a problem with either a bad ground somewhere, a BCM issue or the battery or electrical system may have an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        What makes you suspect that? You must be a dealer technician because we’re already talking about pounding a BCM in it for what’s likely a discharged key fob battery.

        He said the power window is being held up with blocks, so it’s a mechanical issue, and the ABS/stability concern is almost certainly not related to the BCM. Although we don’t really have any facts or DTCs beyond an Onstar vehicle health report said my car reported a problem area with the ABS/ESC.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    As you are averse to a car payment, fix as Steve suggests but keep your eye out for a deal, chance one pops up. Your car is 7 years old and should have at least another 7 in it. The best time to shop for a car is when you’re not in need of one.

  • avatar
    Phillip Thomas

    The larger issue is that the kind reader did no maintenance on their car over the last seven years, and let everything build up. Tie rods and ball joints, these are things that give you plenty of heads up to their poor condition before failure. Bring the car to an honest independent shop(Yes, they exist) and have them quote the work.

    Non-turbo Subarus will solve his malady if he went with a new car. They’re cheap to self-maintain, and easy to work on. They’re reliable, and much tougher than a G7.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @Philip Thomas….The Subie might work for him. At $10 to $15 ,through in taxes. You won’t buy anything half decent around here.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      “The larger issue is that the kind reader did no maintenance on their car over the last seven years, and let everything build up.”

      I often wonder if this is a big part of the problem that people have with used vehicles, even if they’ve been the owner for some time. When I poke around online I read the “advice” that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Whether it’s wearing out is never mentioned.

      How much of “it’s not broke, so I won’t bother fixing it” adds up to “this car is trash and I’m going to dump it. I often see a list of regular maintenance items and things that will wear out anyway as a reason to dump a car.

      I have my Blazer, 16 years old with 215k miles, and I’ve put the money into repairing the bits that broke. Now it runs like a champ and every person who has been under it has said that it should last a lot longer. They’ve told me the engine seems very strong and that nothing is amiss.

      When does a solidly running vehicle that suffers from old age become not worth fixing anymore?

      I’m not looking to start a fight, but I’m honestly curious.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “I had to replace a clutch and a flywheel”

    That might be your driving style. Or it may not be.

    “the driver’s side window stopped working”

    That’s annoying, but it’s not uncommon for window actuators to fail, and that shouldn’t be expensive to fix.

    “it needed a air temp sensor.”

    Not so bad.

    “the ABS and Stabilitrack is not working and requires attention”

    Now that’s something that might make me worry, depending upon what caused that to happen.

    “the key fobs and trunk release stopped working”

    Are you referring to the remote? That might just be a matter of replacing a battery in the clicker itself — Google for replacement instructions, and you can probably find the battery at an electronics store at a fairly low price?

    “ball joint, a tie rod end, and 4 new tires by spring”

    That sounds like a combination of mileage and rough driving. (Canadian potholes can be brutal.)

    The one thing that would worry me on that list is the ABS. If that turns out to not be a big deal and the rest of the car is in good shape, then I’d probably fix it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Generally agree – the ABS modules IIRC in these things were built by the Rube Goldberg corporation.

      It is probably a speed sensor in one of the hubs. The OP never states how many miles (errrrr KM) the car has – I think that makes a huge difference in providing insight on real issues. Given that TCS/Stability control is deactivated – my guess is a front hub.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The problem that I am seeing now is with bad quality parts being brought in from China, this year I had CV axles and bearings put into my Corolla only to have them fail after only a couple of months, I went back to the shop and told the guy, no more Chinese parts, ever! I will gladly pay more for US or Japan parts.

  • avatar
    Feds

    Never miss an opportunity to swap one set of problems for another.

    You COULD spend a couple grand fixing the G6, but then you’d be another dude with a failing G6.

    OR you could travel back in time and buy something from the golden age of Japanese reliability WHILE beating your cost criteria. Depending on where you are in Canada(Anywhere west of Cornwall), look up your local JDM shop and order in a 98/99/2000 CRV or Rav4. ~$9k on the road with 50-100,000 kms. It’ll last forever, be AWD, and be cheaply and easily fixed 300,000 kms from now when something finally breaks. Best part: RHD means you can always order from the short line at the Tim Horton’s drivethrough.

    Of course, if you’re going to go JDM you should buy a Delica, but you don’t come across as someone who will do a lot of their own maintenance. So you’re better to stick with something actually sold in this market.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      Why would someone who is not a JDM enthusiast buy the JDM version of a car sold in our market?

      Putting up with RHD when turning left would be enough reason to avoid JDM cars for a daily driver.

      And it’s doubtful that a 15+ year old JDM car will be as reliable as a 7 year old Grand Am. The JDM cars may well be from “the golden age of Japanese reliability”, but 15+ years is getting pretty old…

      • 0 avatar
        Feds

        There are good reasons to do it, and there are good reasons not to. $8k is a lot for a 15 year old car. It is less than half price for a CRV/Rav4 with 50,000-70,000 kms on it. Working with a good importer, you’ll end up with something well maintained and rust free.

        Cars built around that time are a little more “open source” in that you can generally ground the right pins and get them to spit out diagnostic codes so maintenance is easier. Also; most of the recurring problems have been found and fixes are easily available on line. By choosing a popular model, mechanics will know how to fix it. Downside is there will be some special bits that you’ll have to source from your importer or from ebay UK.

        On top of that: 15 years old ain’t what it used to be. a ’75 Pontiac Ventura was a dinosaur in 1990. A ’99 anything is “just some car” today. Fleet average age is 11.5 years in the US now. True Delta also says that a c.2000 Rav4 has a much lower repair frequency than a c. 2007 G6.

        As someone who has put more than 70,000 kms on a RHD van in the last 2 years (including a trip from Ontario to Florida and regular towing of a 12′ pop-up trailer) the left turn is not a big deal. If I had to negotiate downtown toronto every day I might think twice about it, but anywhere else it’s manageable.

        There’s the fun factor too. If you want an appliance, stick with the G6. If you want something interesting that will get you plenty of attention anywhere, buy a RHD import.

        Reasons not to do it are as above: It’s a high price based solely on age, and there may be some parts hassles. However, total cost of ownership over 10 years/to 300,000 kms will be well in your favour.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I also live in Canada, and have a lot of experience with that era of GM’s. Our climate is a car killer. All cars! Yours is a long ways from dead. It just needs a little life support

    I’m going to guess its got a 150 K KLM’s. The clutch and flywheel should have held up longer than that. Did you buy it new? Somebody has been hard on that clutch.

    15,000 dollars will not get you near, a half decent BMW. Not in this part of the world {southern Ontario}.

    I can’t add much to Steves advice. Only my own experience. Do not, take a 7 year old car to a GM dealer, for service. Don’t even think about going to Canadian Tire. Steve mentioned 2000 bucks? He may be a little low, for Canada. With a little shopping, and a good independent 2500 might be a little closer.

    Even the die hard GM haters here will admit, that Grand Am’s , with a little TLC will give you years of service. Where I live, I see 10 to 15 year old ones, on the road everyday.

    Good Luck

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    You should definitely consider changing out the window regulator yourself – I did it and it was no big deal at all. Saved about $330.

    Here’s a video to show you how to do it (it’s for a G6 sedan but the procedure should be similar for the coupe):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-rWs0vAfKE

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    One critical piece of missing information from the OP

    How many kilometers (miles) does the G6 have?

    There is a huge difference if you’re seeing this issues at say 80K kilometers versus 190K kilometers.

  • avatar
    hifi

    Keep the car. For 15k, a high mileage AWD used car won’t be any better than what you have now. Audi and BMW maintenance is expensive. Subarus have plenty of their own issues and love to consume head gaskets. You’ll likely be the third owner, which is never good with European cars. If you buy something “new” you not only want to have fewer issues, you want no issues for a long time. And you won’t be able to rely on a 100k-plus car for an everyday driver.

    All of the things you mention, with the exception of the window, are things that require scheduled maintenance. Suspension components and undercarriage rubber, clutch plate, air sensors, filters, key fob batteries are all on the maintenance schedule. If they haven’t been replaced, then you should have your mechanic buddy go over everything and deal with them. You may end up spending close to $1000 or more, which may be more than the value of the car. But it’ll be a better value to you, and will reliably move you from place to place until you can comfortably afford the 30,000 mile used car that you want.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    OK, any car with some miles (assuming because you needed a clutch) will need suspension work.

    Window regulators aren’t crazy failures either, especially on a car with large heavy windows like yours.

    The electrical problem sounds an awful lot like a ground that wasn’t connected when the clutch was done, or maybe a pinched wire somewhere. Most of those functions share a computer, so the fact they are all failing at the same time says something.

    You should be able to poke around forums to figure this one out a little on your own before taking it to a mechanic.

  • avatar
    DougD

    As a fellow Canadian and manual transmission enthusiast:

    - Keep the car but stay a bit further ahead on the maintenance curve. If you let a bunch of stuff pile up it makes the situation look worse than it is. Take a few weeks to find a sale on tires before you take the winters off. (Besides we still might get snow yet)

    - At the risk of repeating myself again, Krown rustproof! I’m pretty sure it’s saved me a lot of electrical gremlins because wires and connectors don’t corrode.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I usually go by the maxim “the cheapest car is the one you already own” but I would actually dump the current car, especially if you have to go to a mechanic for most repairs. It’s going to nickel and dime you to death. Already it’s shown to be a pretty crappy car.

    I would have a really hard time dropping thousands on a car that is going to be worth absolutely nothing in a short amount of time. This line was made to be disposable for a rental fleet.

    If you want AWD, Subaru would be a better pick than BMW or Audi if you want reliability and affordability.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Car in the painting looks a lot more like a Cavalier than what we actually got as a Saturn.

  • avatar
    Tim_Turbo

    With all the electrical issues happening in what I am guessing to be a short period of time it could be a mouse/rodent issue. Seen it before. If so good luck-it is a nightmare.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Fix it yourself.

    Do not go to a mechanic again until you have children, a physical aliment, or make so much money that you don’t care.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    Get on some forums for your car and do some research on problems related to it. I just looked at the G6OwnersClub.com forum for ABS related problems and they list scores from a bad connector working loose and getting taken out by the fan to faulty wheel sensors, and even one dude whose dealer told him it was a result of misfiring fuel injectors.

    If you research these problems as best you can and determine that they’re individual problems which can be solved with discrete repairs, make the repairs and keep driving.

    If you see dozens of different theories reported from dealers and ever more outlandish possible causes, it’s likely an electrical system problem that will require the assistance of a tech who is honest, patient, and really knows the electrical system to repair. Such a person is rare and not many shops have him on the payroll because he needs things they don’t want: Time and no tolerance for easy answers.

  • avatar
    dasko

    MazdaSpeed6 and call it a day

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Wonder if the Epsilon platform G6 is any less reliable than its cousin Saab 9-3. As far as the G6 is concerned I would invest some cash in it since the issues do not seem severe. Besides its a coupe and a manual.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    G6 Coupe with a manual? Sounds like he wants to be rid of it. Send it to me in Michigan, I’ll take good care of it…

    This sounds like the usual litany of wrongs that proceed the buying of another car to “fix” the ailments of the first car. Bad move. (Ask me how I know).

    FWIW, I’d fix the issues with the car. The Epsilon is a robust car and with proper care should run quite a while or until you’re truly tired of it. If you don’t have the money to fix this one, then buying another used car to replace a used car is just a huge gamble. Somebody further up the string spoke about the devil you know…

  • avatar
    radimus

    Dear Reader,

    As someone with a long history of living with older, high mileage, GM cars and trucks I advise you to do what Steve Lang said. Find a good independent mechanic, spend the money to fix the problems, and keep on truckin’.

    My personal saying about GM vehicles is this:

    The engine and transmission will most likely run forever with basic maintenance. The rest of the car will gradually fall apart around it.

    What you perceive as electrical issues are probably not that at all. It’s most likely just the actual sensors and modules failing. The wiring and connectors in GM vehicles tend to be quite rugged, but the stuff that plugs into them gets the all the best that GM’s cost containment system has to offer. Your most economical option is to just keep fixing stuff as it fails because it will still be a lot cheaper than car payments. A lot of the little things that fail will be things you can fix yourself as well, if you’re inclined to learn how to do it.

  • avatar
    Kaosaur

    I’d say sell it and buy a Fiesta or a Mazda 2.

    Your car and your wallet will not survive another winter otherwise and you’ll do fine without AWD.

    With all the horror stories I’ve been hearing from G6 owners recently, it turns out the car is kind of crap.

  • avatar

    Lutz and Wagoneer produced cars like the g6. The ingnition recall were ultimately their responsiblity. The Cobalt was the first car that Lutz oversaw for GM.

    Roger Smith never produced cars that were deathtraps.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Nope, he just killed Oldsmobile, nearly killed Cadillac, Buick, and Pontiac, and brought about Saturn. :P

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      No, but within a fiscal year of his retirement GM lost $23 billion in 1991 dollars.

      “His tenure at GM ended in 1990, one year after the release of the popular underground documentary Roger & Me, where many displaced GM workers called for Smith’s retirement. Smith voluntarily retired from GM, and later toured the new Saturn facility in Tennessee, which he brought to fruition, in 1991.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Smith_%28executive%29

      “In 1992, GM announced it had lost $23.5 billion in the fiscal year just closed. California’s pension fund found itself over-subscribed on GM stock, and its influence on the Board of Directors led to the “palace coup.” Finance guy Jack Smith replaced car guy Bob Stempel, father of the Oldsmobile Toronado, as the automaker’s chairman.”

      Read more: http://blogs.motortrend.com/suddenly-its-1992-gm-bankruptcy-next-week-2414.html#ixzz2yQxCyijF

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        In the picture above Roger Smith is holding a Saturn prototype. It does look like a Cavalier. I guess restyling gave it its own unique look, though it did look like a downsized Cutlass Supreme.


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