New Or Used? : More Troubles With Old GM

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
new or used more troubles with old gm
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 SaysYour 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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  • Kaosaur Kaosaur on Apr 09, 2014

    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.

  • Akear Akear on Apr 09, 2014

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Apr 10, 2014

      @28-Cars-Later 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.

  • Analoggrotto Not a single Telluride, give me a break.
  • Tassos the seller's name: "My VW Sucks" (!!!)WHy am I not in the very least surprised.
  • George Who’s winning the UAW strike? Nobody.Who’s losing the UAW strike? Everybody.
  • Zznalg Now, a slam of Subaru. I own an Outback Wilderness. Subaru has capitulated to lawyers and the regulatory environment to render life with their vehicles quite unpleasant. A few cases in point: The vehicles won't allow you to drive one MPH without ALL the seatbelts fastened. You cannot pull a Subaru out of a garage or parking space with no seatbelt without the car screaming at you. First there is the annoying beeping. After a few seconds Subaru ups its game and raised the volume ridiculously. To get it to shut up, I've even had to turn off the car and open a door. It is not enough to put it into park. The beeping continues. I am Not talking about driving without a seatbelt. I'm talking about 1 MPH maneuvers in one's own driveway. Next, the car's auto-breaking is tuned to slow you down or even slam on your brakes at every possible opportunity. The other day, my Wilderness decided to do just that almost resulting in my being rear ended. For NO reason. Next, the Outback Wilderness' transmission is tuned to prevent forward motion. It does its best to NOT GIVE POWER in nearly every situation unless you keep the accelerator depressed for more than 1-3 seconds. This is actually unsafe. In fact at highway speeds, when one presses the gas, the car momentarily reduces power and slows down. The paddle shifters help. But overall, Subaru has so neutered the Outback Wilderness to make a potentially great vehicle quite a drag to own and actually unsafe, in the service seemingly of preventing lawsuits and satisfying the EPA. I know not all of this may apply to the Crosstrek Wilderness but if you test drive one, you would be advised to look for these flaws.
  • Undead Zed I'm not particularly interested in the truck, but do look forward to the puns that the marketing department may try to work into the adverts."Visit your local dealership for a Flash drive today."