Control arm, struts and fuel leaks...and a terrible dealership

Discussion in 'LS, LT, LTZ' started by GrandpaDan, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. GrandpaDan

    GrandpaDan Junior Member

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    2009 Cobalt LT, 94K miles

    I bought this car new, and gave it to my daughter. Three years ago she slide around an icy curve and hit the curb. Local dealership replace the spindle, axle, control arm, tie rod end, strut on one side. That was 45K ago. My name was on the repair bill, as I paid for it.

    45K later it started leaking fuel near the drivers side rear tire. Daughter took it back to the dealer to see about the fuel pump recall, and was told it was leaky fuel lines. They charged her $80, and included a laundry list of things it needed.
    Included was a new balljoint on the passenger side, and new front struts. That strut and balljoint/control arm was replaced after her brush with the curb 3 years ago. The OE strut looks different, and the axle they replaced says NAPA on it. Shouldn't the dealership be using OE parts? The replacement strut's boot is crumbling and tearing...the original is not. Balljoint was complete trash.
    The estimate they gave her to fix the fuel lines, 2 struts, one control arm, alignment and a few other overpriced things was over $2500. All the while, the service manager talked trash about her car, and tried to sell her a new one because her's was "so old". He was condescending and pushy.

    I replaced the control arm ($80) and have a $100 kit from Inline Tube to repair the fuel line. I didn't find anything wrong with the struts. They aren't leaking and do a good job of damping rebound.

    The fuel line issue is angering...this problem is common and well documented. The NHTSA opened an inquiry into the problem in July of 2020. There have been no deaths associated with it...so far.

    My daughter and I are documenting everything, and intend to take them to task for this. Because my name was on the repair bill from the accident, and her's was on the estimate, we can compare the two and apparently the dealership didn't make the connection.

    I think it's unreasonable for a ball joint and strut to fail after 45K miles.
    What do you folks think?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  2. SideShow Bob

    SideShow Bob Member

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    Call the GM number dealing with recalls and the like. There are certain states that Cobalts sold when new that are covered for fuel line repairs.
    If you are covered in this, let them know what stealership is trying to make you pay for a covered technical bulletin or recall.
    You should read my previous posts on fuel leaks.
     
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  3. GrandpaDan

    GrandpaDan Junior Member

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    No recall on this VIN for the rusty fuel lines.
    I replaced the lines with a kit from Inline Tube for about $100. The hardest part is cutting the old line out! It takes a combination of tubing cutters, saws and bolt cutters to remove it in pieces small enough to thread around everything that's in the way. Installing the new lines is not too bad. No leaks!

    The control arm comes off easily (with a good impact wrench), but the spring needs to be compressed some to get the new one in.
    I know it's advised to get an alignment after the new arm is installed, but I'm wondering why...the arm is not adjusted to change alignment, and once the rear bolt and ball joint are seated, the remaining bolts are centered and don't move.
    I took it for a drive, and it seems to track well, no pulling or wandering...but would the "steer by wire" operation not give the same kind of feedback as a standard steering system?

    One thing I noticed though, is a rhythmic "rubbing" kind of sound from the right front wheel. The caliper is free and wear on the rotor is even, so I'm suspecting the axle. My daughter reported that noise after she got it back from the dealer, and said it wasn't there before.

    I wish they hadn't given her such a hard time...now I'm suspecting them of sabotage whenever I find something wrong!
     
  4. five7man

    five7man Junior Member

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    Check to make sure the metal backing plate / splash shield is not contacting the inner side of the brake rotor.
    It is very easy to deform them during a repair such as what you did, they are easy to bend back into position.
     

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