Friday, April 17, 2009


While my son and I were on our way to Atlanta over the weekend, the heater core decided to give up on the truck. Have you ever driven over a thousand miles with a bad heater core? The stinch and the think antifreeze that gives an awfull taste in your mouth and gets on your cloths just from going down the road is nasty. In the old days this was something you could easily replace yourself. Not today though. I checked on replacement core at several auto parts stores and the price isn't bad, about $61 for the core itself. I checked because the two repair quoted me $500 and the other quoted $700 to do the job. My reaction was not a good one and some/a lot, of cussing ensued. This seemed way out of line just to replace a little heater core. So a drive to one of the shops was a good idea to find out just why this should cost me almost as much as a tranny rebuild.

Going in I said is this the best price you can give me on this? How but a little break being a repeat customer and all. He told me it was a labor intensive job. Just so happens there was a truck the same year, make and model as mine in the shop and, almost the same amount of miles. The heater core is way under the dash next to the windshield and against the firewall. The idiot engineers put this in a spot that is inaccessible except by basically gutting the interior of my truck to get to it. The seats have to come out and the whole dad blame dash all the way to the firewall has to come out. And I mean the whole damned dash and everything with it.
Then part of the engine components under the hood have to be removed as well. Now before this, I thought my wife's Chevy Lumina battery placement was the worst engineering thing I'd seen. A common item that needs replacing from time to time like a battery should be easily accessible. Not in an engineers thinking it isn't. Her battery requires removing a metal brace, windshield wiper reservoir and another mechanical part just to get to the battery tucked way down hidden below. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. And auto zone with it's free battery replacement with purchase does not apply. They wouldn't do it, period.

With my truck, a job that should be able to be done in an hours time has become an act of congress to do. Are all these so-called engineers flaming idiots like our senators or what? I'd just bet that some new car in the future will require removing the engine, tranny and whole front end just to replace your wiper blades.

Certain things on a vehicle should be easy to replace such as, batteries, heater cores, radiators, air filters, oil filters (Another nightmare on some cars), spark plugs, fan/serpentine belts, radiator hoses, alternators and water pumps. These are the most common items to go bad but engineers decide to make replacing these items as difficult as they can and simply put them in the stinkinest worse inaccessible places.

Good God, are we becoming a nation of people with no semblance of common sense???

OH!! And one more thing is how Chevrolet has been making Luminas, Buicks, Motecarlos and other vehicles with the 3.8 engine knowing there is a FIRE problem. After years of contacting and trying to get our car fixed because of another engineering blunder with the intake gaskets, there is finally a recall. Thing is, we found out about other recalls and we have never been notified of a single one. Even when the dealer was doing all the maintenance on our car. Chevrolet has been hiding this from the public until now after they are in finacial trouble. We have not moved and we have the same address we have had for seventeen years.

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