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About Duncan

  • Rank
    "Are they made from real Girl Scouts?"
  • Birthday November 25

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  • Region
    U.S. Great Lakes
  • Location
  • Current Vehicle
    2014 Spark 1LT
  1. Bump...does anyone know the torque specs for the plugs? Lil' Wednesday appears to have a bad coil pack (P0301 code), so I'm going to replace that and do the plugs at the same time. You know, since I'm already in there. Also - damn, these coil packs are expensive! Like $80 each for the ACDelco part - off-brands aren't much cheaper.
  2. Welcome to the Salsa Brigade! Glad you got the car you wanted at the price you wanted - that's not always easy. Your comments about the available power are spot-on - no, it's no stormer, but I have no trouble keeping up or even passing on the highway. And this is with a CVT in mine - your manual should be able to wring that much more out of it. Having driven the manual version a few times as well (I work at a car auction), I also agree that the shift throw is a bit long, but the trans feels very smooth even on Sparks with plenty of miles. So yours should hopefully hold up well. And yeah, pics! Need more Salsa up in this board! Duncan
  3. Welcome! I was not aware of the single power lock "feature" on the base model - obviously one power lock assembly is cheaper to install than all four, but it does make you wonder why they bothered at all. It's certainly a conversation piece, though, as you're leaning across the car to let your bemused passenger in. I can relate about the unexpected tech features on a car this small and inexpensive, though. Our '14 1LT also has the MyLink touchscreen radio, which always makes people ask if it has navigation. I would argue that it does - on the separate screen that is my phone, anyway. Duncan
  4. Welcome! That is a great color. I see you purchased at CarMax - how was your buying experience there? I've sold them a car before, but have wondered about buying from them. Duncan
  5. Welcome! What color is the car? I assume the stripe will be black - I like the offset of it, and your overall rally-inspired theme. Duncan
  6. Welcome! We'll obviously want pics as soon as allowable. Gearhead's right on about the early oil change, too. Always a good idea on a brand new car after the break-in period. And yes, little engines will work better for longer if you let them rev. Having a stick shift will help that quite a bit - should be fun. These are nimble, responsive little cars for the price you pay. Again, welcome! Duncan
  7. Huh. Didn't know about lowering options; I'll have to look into that. Obviously the ride quality will diminish somewhat, but I'm curious to find out what you guys think once you get them installed. Looks great so far, anyway, with the blackout wheels. Keep it up! As for the eBay listing, I just rather enjoy that line at the bottom: "Spark: THE NEXT SPARK" It's like smurfing smurf, know what I smurf? Duncan
  8. That color is great. My wife and I enjoy our current 2014 in Salsa, but we fell in love with the '17 model at the auto show. That one was a loaded LT (heated "leatherette" seats, sunroof, premium wheels) in the lovely mint green pearl color, with matching interior accents. It literally matches all of her workout gear. And the touchscreen radio now has a much-needed knob! (Didn't know how much I wanted that until I saw it, really.) We were very tempted to trade up, but we're sticking with Wednesday for now. Maybe in a couple more years...? Duncan
  9. Note - I had responded originally before I saw Mike's added info on this second page of the thread, so I edited that original post a bit. But my main points still stand. If I were him, I don't know how much of a case there is for a lawyer to handle. As mentioned in my other response, due to the car's salvage title, no dealer is in any way obligated to perform any warranty work. I'm not totally sure if that applies to safety-related recalls as well, but it's enough gray area that it might be a problem in court. He might be able to settle with Chevrolet (or at least the local auto dealer association) somehow, if he can prove that the dealer willingly misled him to believe that they performed the requested service work when they in fact did not, but it sounds like that might be difficult without enough documentation. Lemon laws won't necessarily help either since, again, the car has a salvage title that I assume was disclosed to the buyer. Mike, I wish you well, but I think you may have a long road ahead of you if you choose the courts. Duncan
  10. First of all, you could have posted your original angry missive in a separate thread, rather than hijacking someone else's unrelated thread. If you have problems with your own car, don't "borrow" this discussion just because this is where people seem to be hanging out. Second, you posted on a public forum. If you weren't prepared for people to have their own opinions about what you say, then you should have posted this on a personal blog and turned off the comments. Now, to your situation. Yes, it sucks that your engine is failing or has failed. It also sucks that your local dealer was not clear about which recall they were performing. I'm guessing the notice you received was in reference to the radio chime problem and not the PCV recall. I'm also guessing that, based on what I have read online about the PCV recall, it was correctly completed but the wrong (incorrect type) part was used mistakenly by whoever did the PCV fix on your car. This is, from what I understand, an easy mistake to make, because the only visual difference between the old PCV and the new one is that the new part is gray in color, while the old part is black. So if the oil usage problem continued after they said it was fixed, that might be part of the cause. But what sucks even more is that, at the very heart of it all, you bought a car with a salvage title and expected it to be all hunky-dory. You say that it was "hit in the fender" on the front of the car. I assume that you have looked at the front of this car? There's not much there, so a crash can affect lots of other things beyond just the body without actually looking like it. How do you actually know that it was just the fender? Generally, there has to be a fairly good reason for any state to issue a salvage title. One of those reasons is often flood damage, which is very easy to hide, but can also cause a host of problems to arise if you don't know what you're looking for. For instance, if the car was ever submerged, that could have something to do with your engine problems. I find it very hard to blame the dealer in this case - they're not obligated to do any factory-sanctioned work on a car with a salvage title, as any warranty it might have had instantly becomes null and void at that point. You also say they didn't provide documentation of the work they did - that's possibly because, had they actually run the VIN through their computer, they would most likely have been told not to perform any warranty or recall work on that vehicle due to the salvage title status. If they didn't actually do the PCV replacement at all when they said they did, then I can see your point. But even so, they didn't have to do recall work on your car in the first place, so...? To close, you mention that this PCV issue is a problem that has been plaguing Spark owners. I will have to correct you there, as it is actually a problem that WAS plaguing Spark owners before Chevrolet figured it out and fixed it on the Spark and several other vehicles. You don't see much mention of it in newer posts, because it's mostly ceased to be an issue (except in rare cases where the recall somehow hasn't been performed yet, potentially including your own car). The same is true of several other maladies affecting this car that many people initially complained about, the most prominent being CVT transmission issues (again, mostly fixed by an aggressive recall campaign to replace the drive belts). I appreciate Chevrolet (and GM as a whole) for their willingness to work through problems and do their best to fix them - that's what a good company does. In your case, as best I understand it, it appears they went above and beyond to try and fix your car the same way, even though they had no legal requirement to do so - that's what a good company does. If I am in any way misreading or not understanding your situation, please feel free to provide more information. Until then, it's hard to read your words in any way other than grinding an ax that has very little blade left. I would ask the moderators, however, if this growing separate discussion could be pulled out of this particular thread? I don't think it's fair to the original poster (fatherofsalsa), or to anyone attempting to respond to either him or Mike in this thread as it currently stands. Duncan
  11. oil

    I have to say, I do enjoy the free "quickie" wash after a dealer service. And I trust our dealer, and know they're using the right oil, so that's never a concern. We bought our 2014 as a CPO unit, so had free scheduled maintenance for two years or four oil changes, whichever came first. Turned out to be the four changes in the end, as we have put a fair number of miles on the car in two years of ownership. That said, it is ridiculously easy to change the oil and filter on this car, should you choose to do so yourself. (Well, yours is a 2017, so maybe a little different, but I suspect most aspects are the same.) I knocked it out in about 45 minutes, same as if I had been waiting at the dealership, though without free bottled water and big-screen TV. And for about ten bucks cheaper, too! Duncan
  12. Which is what I figured out, unfortunately. So, my thought now is that maybe I'll replace everything but the front amber bulbs (to maintain electrical load and keep the flashers from going so fast). That will at least give me the brighter LED glow at the back of the car, which has been my main concern. And honestly, the backup lights are already way bright enough - I can't imagine what the LED version of that would look like. But I'm willing to try, of course. Duncan
  13. The original poster may or may not see this, but... My check engine light came on during the winter, at about 35,000 miles. My first instinct is always to chalk it up to bad fuel, so I went to a newly built gas station (fresh, sediment-free tanks, you see) and filled it up with a tank of premium along with a bottle of Techron fuel system treatment for good measure. The light quickly went out, I considered myself a mechanical genius, and went on my way. Fast forward a few months later. Just a week ago, the engine light came on again, this time with a fresh tank of fuel from a "known good" station. This time, with my genius status in doubt, I took the car to a parts store and had them run the scan tool. Surprisingly, he got the aforementioned P0597 (thermostat open) code. Then, once I started the car to leave the parts store, the light went off again and did not return. And here we are today, with the light having come on again. Now, I've done some research online, and several other Chevrolet forums advise that replacing the thermostat tends to solve this problem. But, like you said, that's for the Sonic and Cruze - which, though related to our vehicle in some design features, do not share anything like the same powertrain. I'm willing to bet that it's a similar fix, though. I too will be taking my car to the dealer sometime soon, if I don't find different or better research online to prove that a quicker fix exists. I'll keep you all posted...
  14. oil

    Most important thing first, then some opinions. Chevrolet recommends at least a Dexos1-rated semi-synthetic oil in a 5W20 grade for our cars (the 2013-2015 models), and to change it at regular intervals. As long as any oil you buy for the car meets those requirements, and you follow the specified schedule, that's the most important thing. (For this or any car, really.) Now, the opinions. First, I certainly wouldn't go cheap and get a conventional (non-synthetic oil). In fact, if you're buying a Dexos1 oil, it will be at least partly synthetic no matter what as a function of meeting GM's quality specifications. Now, if you want to go full synthetic, there are several good options. I am currently running Havoline Pro DS full synthetic, not due to any brand loyalty but (literally) because it was the only name brand full synthetic that O'Reilly had in stock that met Dexos1 specs when I was shopping - and it was on sale. I have also used Mobil 1 and Valvoline full synthetic products in the past on other vehicles with good results. Second, some observations and such. Having switched over to full synthetic, it seems like the engine runs a tiny bit quieter. This is possibly academic since it's a fairly noisy car anyway, to be honest, but at low speeds it simply sounds like it's running a touch more freely. I have also noticed a tiny improvement in gas mileage - maybe 1 MPG more in normal driving, about 2 MPG more on a recent vacation trip (over 500 miles on the highway). So it's not going to save you a ton of money, especially considering that I average in the mid-30s MPG all of the time anyway with the Spark. Now, if you want to go longer intervals between changes, that's where synthetic oil can save some money over time. I still change my oil every 5000 miles with full synthetic, but you can easily go as long as 7000 or 8000 if necessary. The key is to continue checking your oil regularly, or at the very least, paying attention to the car's own oil change timer (accessible via the gauge cluster buttons while the car is in Park). Possibly more info than the original poster wanted, but perhaps it will be of future use to others as well. Duncan
  15. Guess I'm not going to worry about getting fog lights installed on mine, then... Duncan