Retired old Gearhead

High Mileage Owners with/without Issues?

21 posts in this topic

I, and I'm sure other members would would be interested to hear from owners who have 40Kmi or more and what, if any, issues you have had. I think the wheel bearing failure is now becoming more common as is the drivers seat stitching coming apart.

The bearing issue has been narrowed down to two causes: Defective inner seal on the bearing assembly from a 3rd party supplier (some manufacture dates causing grease loss) and incorrect install of bearing/hub at the factory resulting in loose or off center bearing contact..again some manufacture dates.

When posting, it would be helpful to include the year, model and the build date (on the sticker on door center frame)...build date is very helpful in determining which dates have a common problem.

I have slightly over 40Kmi on my 2013 1LT Auto...built:1/13. So far only the PCV recall done before failure. Burns no noticeable oil (5w20 synthetic) between 4,500mi oil changes bearings and seat upholstery: no issues.

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2012 Spark LS 1.0 (build december 2011)

111.000 miles and this has been the defects/faults in the past 3 years:

0 miles: rear washer would not spray. Fixed same day.

~10.000 miles: new clutch release bearing.

~12.000 miles: new manual transmission (factory defect)

~20.000 miles: new transmission again, not enough oil by workshop.

~25.000 miles: CEL-light. New airflow-sensor.

~40.000 miles: New ABS-rings, ESP-fault.

~60.000 miles: new wheel bearing, rear right.

~100.000 miles: new ESP/ABS-module.

Service every 15000 km and 10/40-Oil.

This has been the biggest faults, minor stuff was done within ~10.000 miles. Fx new roof rails (chipped paint), new rear light (small crack) and alignment of the wheels.

My car gets a beating almost every day, so I have been very happy with it. Will drive it until it becomes to expensive to fix, and buy a used VW Polo 6R or Seat Ibiza when the time comes.

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2012 spark, have reached 40k miles and no problems except for plugs and break pads but that is common in all cars :). Service every 5,000km.

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Built date 01/13 2LT 4spd auto. 27k miles. Not quite high miles. But I've only had for about 1 1/2 years. In that time I've had a few issues. All recalls done except hood latch bc dealer says they don't have parts. Then I had my injectors replaced. The rear sprayer didn't work right after I got it. That was fixed. Then after pcv recall oil consumption increased slightly and cel came on with traction control light and wouldn't shift. They (the dealer) found an issue with the number 4 plug and replaced it. So far no more issues.

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Built date 01/13 2LT 4spd auto. 27k miles. Not quite high miles. But I've only had for about 1 1/2 years. In that time I've had a few issues. All recalls done except hood latch bc dealer says they don't have parts. Then I had my injectors replaced. The rear sprayer didn't work right after I got it. That was fixed. Then after pcv recall oil consumption increased slightly and cel came on with traction control light and wouldn't shift. They (the dealer) found an issue with the number 4 plug and replaced it. So far no more issues.

*Excellent! This is exactly the kind of info that will help narrow down issues with certain build dates. Same build date as mine, but I have not had the injector issue nor the #4 fouled plug issue. Most likely because my PCV was replaced at about 30Kmi, before failure. How did the injector problem present itself..(symptoms)?

I am in the process of making a database of common issues tied to the mileage, model and build date and how it was resolved. I will share with members once completed. I can do this because as a retired person I have some xtra time to do this & have a good supply of beer in the garage office fridge to help me stay on track... {];-)

Edited by Retired old Gearhead
leighmaxwell likes this

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Build date 1/2013, 1LT Auto

At 24K had engine replaced due to excessive oil consumption, stalling and intermittent loss of power. With a week of new engine, gear shifter got stuck in park at a Dunkin Donuts drive through, had to be towed to dealer. Told me a cable came loose. Wonder if was not tightened properly after engine replacement.

My-Link stopped working at some point and they replaced the entire unit. Works fine now.

Also had the AC recall.

At 37K wheel bearing had to be replaced.

Currently has 41K and is running fine.

Funny thing is that as problematic as this car has been, I still love driving it.

Edited by leighmaxwell

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2013 Spark 2LT Automatic ,25K miles. Build date 4/13,specifically asked dealer to locate a late build date to be sure running changes such as lighted steering wheel controls were incorporated.

Recalls A/C - car never had issues but took it anyway .Dealer found nothing wrong but did do BCM update.

PCV - oil level has never budged from full mark but had recall done as a preventive measure. Hood latch - parts not in yet.

Work performed - oil changes/ tire rotation. Brought car in to dealer last week for oil change , cabin and air filter. Car inspected and was told both filters still good , check at next interval. One thing to note. Dealer didn't get shipment of oil filters in so had to use aftermarket. This filter didn't allow the required 4 quarts without pushing oil well past the full line .Dealer got the OEM filter and replaced next day.

Overall impressions . Runs very well in all conditions. Starts first time every time .Drives off in any temp without hiccups with no warmup. Everything works as it should so far, feels very solid.

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I forgot to mention that I bought mine new with 27 miles on it. I drive 140 miles round trip 4 days a week, but do not usually speed above 65 mph.

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The injector issue was diagnosed about six months ago when I started getting some other recalls done. I mentioned it had issues with stalling at take off from a stop. They ran some tests and said it was the injectors. The pcv was replaced about 6 months ago when the recall came out. Prior to there was minimal oil usage. Then oil usage started and the car started flashing lights and not shifting a few times then they said the spark plug in #4 was fouled.

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The injector issue was diagnosed about six months ago when I started getting some other recalls done. I mentioned it had issues with stalling at take off from a stop. They ran some tests and said it was the injectors. The pcv was replaced about 6 months ago when the recall came out. Prior to there was minimal oil usage. Then oil usage started and the car started flashing lights and not shifting a few times then they said the spark plug in #4 was fouled.

If your oil consumption has increased since the PCV replacement as per recall with the addition of the CEL etc coming on and the #4 plug foul, I would suggest the new PCV may be defective, incorrect (older unit) or not properly installed.

I would suggest you have the dealer or you check on your own that the new PCV is grey in color (not black) and properly torqued and not 'cross-threaded'. The corrected PCV has a grey coating (GM part#: 25193675). The old defective PCV is black with a stamped # visible on the exposed head.

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They say it's been fixed with the new one and I haven't had problems since. They say it must have been damaged prior to the recall but can't replace it till the cel comes on.

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They say it's been fixed with the new one and I haven't had problems since. They say it must have been damaged prior to the recall but can't replace it till the cel comes on.

Got it! Just trying to keep the data as accurate as possible.

*I have received an additional pile of data for the Spark (non-proprietory, no confidential info) from a helpful automotive engineering student who is compiling a database of current automotive issues as part of his studies. Very detailed data that will take me a while to sort through. A fairly clear picture is starting to come together now that the PCV defect that contributed to almost all the engine problems is now documented and resolved and more data on the wheel bearing issue will give us a good picture of cause, result and resolution. Aside from the issues caused by the PCV failure, I am finding only one major issue (wheel bearings) and a small number of minor issues such as power window control module contact corrosion, seat upholstery seam failure and a few other minor and mostly rare issues.

Apparently the 'early' wheel bearing failures on some Sparks is attributed to incorrect torque on the bearing assembly when installed, causing damage to the grease seal, resulting in bearing grease loss and subsequent premature failure of the bearing retainer assembly. The few power window failures 'could' be caused by contact corrosion on at least the main drivers side window control module according to the info referenced in the new data I received.

Please keep posting your experiences with/without issues on this thread as it is very helpful to be informed for all members now that we are getting into some higher mileage. Build dates and mileage are really helpful.

Edited by Retired old Gearhead

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It would be great if they have the engine issues resolved, but I am still wondering whether this is a 200,000 mile car, as any 2-3 year old car should be.

GM power windows have never been any good, which is why I wish the Spark had crank up windows. I have repaired a LOT of GM power windows, on some pretty expensive cars. They are unbelievably cheaply designed and built. They use a stranded cable, very much like clothesline wire, and 2 pulleys that are no better than what you would find on a sliding screen door. These pulleys have no bearings or bushings of any kind, and are held in place by rivets. They are very loose and wobble side to side. The entire weight of the window glass is on these flimsy rollers. The all tend to fail rather quickly, and the entire regulator assembly, motor and all must be replaced. Parts cost $150-$200 at a non dealer parts place, like AutoZone.

The wheel bearings are of concern because they will strand you.

It looks like 2015 will be the last year of the cool looking Spark with the hidden rear door handle. Maybe by the time the last of the 2015 cars are coming off the line the Spark will be worth buying.

From what I have read on this thread, many of the repeat problems are caused by totally incompetent dealer technicians. If I had done work like that during the 36 years I worked for a large city fleet services department, I would have been fired.

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Pizza delivery guy pulls into my driveway with a 2013 Spark (auto trans). Curious, I asked him how he liked the car. At 89Kmi the only things he did not like was impact chips on his paint, most likely due to the Spark not having a protective clear coat over the paint that most other cars do have & that he had to replace the wheel bearings (all 4) between 40 to his current 89Kmi. This seems to be a common issue with the Spark..not sure why, but it could be the rough ride, in part, due to the low profile tires. Wheel bearings should last, at the very least, about 80-100Kmi. Other than that, his fuel mileage had been consistently good throughout since new and the only other expenses he had was a tie rod end replaced as well as brakes and tires at about 45Kmi. Pizza was good and hot. Anyone else had bearings fail?

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Mine has almost 60,000 km, other than replace of front rotors a 38,000km and yesterday dead battery, only 2years and 8 months old, first change of spark plugs worn out electrodes, picked it up today for $200 batery and spark plug change at the dealer, it runs like a champ again, i call it the PAPA Smurf, 5 speed 2013 model. had to replace front headligh bulbs, rear third brake light bulbs but other than that everything works great.

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I had the coolant surge tank fail as several others have had happen . Never had that happen on car . My bumper to bumper is over so I called the dealer to see if it's covered under the powertrain but they looked it up in the computer and claim it's not listed as a covered  part . I could have escalated the issue with GM but it wasn't worth my time or hassle for a $30 part . So I ordered and installed it myself .  The new part is a little different so hopefully It's  been revised . 

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My coolant reservoir tank started with the top left intake getting brittle and breaking. So I fixed that. Now I am having it overheat/surge out due to what I imagine is high temperatures. But why? Then as I'm inspecting the tank it appears that now the bottom of the tank is changing color and becoming brittle. This seems to be a defect and I shouldn't have to pay for anything. I hope it doesn't cause damage to the a/c compressor, engine or anything else. I can change the tank myself but at $60-80 for the part and another $120 to have the dealer do it just seems ridiculous. . Where are you getting this tank for $30. I can't find it except at dealer and they want around $70. Plus $120 to install. I can install. But don't feel this is an issue I should have had. 

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-GM-OEM-13-15-Spark-Engine-Coolant-Recovery-Tank-95352005-/252314912151

 

This is where I got mine from. Like I said in one of your other posts about this. Parts fail. A lot of cars have issues like this. Luckily in this case the part is cheap and super easy to install.

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This is where I buy all my parts for my Spark . Gmpartsnow.com  

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On 8/22/2016 at 6:59 PM, njresler said:

My coolant reservoir tank started with the top left intake getting brittle and breaking. So I fixed that. Now I am having it overheat/surge out due to what I imagine is high temperatures. But why? Then as I'm inspecting the tank it appears that now the bottom of the tank is changing color and becoming brittle..... [snipped]....

Here's the scoop on the overheat....The tank is pressurized to a small extent like 8-15psi and fixing the coolant leak spot may still allow some air leakage since liquid is more dense than air and without that pressure, the engine will, to some degree, overheat. If your tank is brittle at the bottom (dried out from heat) you have only one choice...replace the tank. I don't think there is any harm done by some spillage on metal, rubber or aluminum alloy...so your components should be fine. In days gone by the rad came with a pressure cap..not on the Spark, that function is partially taken over by the tank cap. Many have had this issue and it seems the tank material is not correct for the high heat/pressurized application, dries out and cracks. I have plastic components on my boat and in the engine compartment and spray coat them with a special conditioner to prevent the drying out due to heat etc...so you may want to do that with the new tank...here is what I use:

http://www.prestaproducts.com/Marine_Vinyl___Plastic_Conditioner-details.aspx

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On 1/27/2015 at 5:17 AM, Retired old Gearhead said:

Pizza delivery guy pulls into my driveway with a 2013 Spark (auto trans). Curious, I asked him how he liked the car. At 89Kmi the only things he did not like was impact chips on his paint, most likely due to the Spark not having a protective clear coat over the paint that most other cars do have & that he had to replace the wheel bearings (all 4) between 40 to his current 89Kmi. This seems to be a common issue with the Spark..not sure why, but it could be the rough ride, in part, due to the low profile tires. Wheel bearings should last, at the very least, about 80-100Kmi. Other than that, his fuel mileage had been consistently good throughout since new and the only other expenses he had was a tie rod end replaced as well as brakes and tires at about 45Kmi. Pizza was good and hot. Anyone else had bearings fail?

Sparks have single stage paint? that's a win in my eyes, after all the clear coat issues I've seen on GM vehicles

I'm only at 7100 miles in my 2015, no issues yet

 

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