Bobby MSME

Spark Member
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Everything posted by Bobby MSME

  1. When I needed a heated steering wheel on my riding golf cart, I connected directly to the battery terminals with wires running to the steering wheel cover which had heating elements. That power is always available. Electric Golf carts run on a bank of tandem batteries and are charged with a battery charger after the round of golf.
  2. You must have very good, driving habits for the Spark to last that long without any mechanical problems. Congrats! Not even the flimsy coolant overflow container made of plastic sprung any leaks? Heat shield on converter did not come loose and made a racket? The original battery still working? No oil leaks under the car? That CVT still working without slipping and making awful sounds? Check engine light never came on? Car never stalls in traffic? Original Brakes don't make grinding or squealing sounds? How long did the cheap original tires last? Alright, lets wait until you visit the dealership for some routine maintenance. They will find a way to screw something up!
  3. My 2017 Spark will be 2 years old next February. She is very quiet under 55 MPH, at 70 MPH and above it is mostly wind and tire noise. There are around 15,000 individual parts in a car. Dealer Mechanics are not rocket scientists. I can write a book detailing how many times they diagnosed the problem incorrectly in my 57 years of driving. The worst case was when driving home on a Friday evening from work, my 1971 Chevy Nova with a small V-8 began making hammering sounds. I stopped at a Chevy dealer and 2 mechanics did the "testing" on my car and their diagnosis was broken rod bearing inside the engine. They further said it would be best to do a complete engine overhaul. 72,000 miles on a 3 year old car, so I hesitated to leave my car there. They warned me "do not drive home, another 15 miles because the piston rods could break through the engine block". Cost estimate...$2500-3000 in 1974 dollars. Triple that for today's prices. Being a mechanical engineer, I began reading my car manual on the week end. It said if rod bearings are shot, the noise will be most prominent when accelerating or decelerating because of the reversing of clearance. That was not my car's symptoms. The noise was directly proportional to speed. According to the car manual, my problem indicates bad valve train. So Monday morning I visit a Buick dealer, told them I had a problem in the valve train, so please open the valve cover and take a look. 90 minutes later I was informed my car was ready. It was a bent rocker arm. Cost $130 (1974 $$). And there are at least half a dozen very bad diagnosis by dealer mechanics. I never drive into a dealer and say there is some sort of problem. I read up the car manuals, and then tell the tech what needs fixing. Another incidence when my car would not start on a winter evening in Chicago, at end of shift. I called a nearby repair shop and told them to pick up my car and replace the fuel pump because it won't start. The person on phone says "how do you know it is the fuel pump?". I knew because I had installed a large see through in line filter in the fuel line because those crappy bronze fuel filters used in chevy V-8's would clog up frequently. But the incident which takes the cake was I bought this brand new Chevy Impala 1967 to get ready for a vacation. I am still a greenhorn with car problems because this was my first new car. It was smooth at driving speeds but at every traffic light it was noticeable rough idle. I knew how smooth V-8's run on old cars, and mine was brand new. So I drive in to the dealer and leave the car. Pick it up next morning, and they said they could not find anything wrong, but they did clean the spark plugs and everything is fine. I am driving home and the car is still idling rough at traffic lights. I reach home, and floor the gas and look in the rear view mirror. There were white clouds coming out of the exhaust! So back again at the dealer and this time I had specific instructions. I told them the main gasket was bad and coolant was leaking into the cylinders. I pick up the car next day, and she was running as smooth as silk at all speeds. God, I loved those V-8's.
  4. That is the reason I liked cars from the 1960's. No electronics to fail and mess up the car. My guess is removing the hub confused the computer and it probably needs a reset.
  5. Is the battery original? If so, I would take RD's suggestion above and get a new battery.
  6. My WAG is there was something defective from the beginning. The expense of repair at this point may not be worth it unless you need to drive frequently on icy roads. With a stick shift you have inherently better control over the car than a slush box anyways. My suggestion would be to spend the money on good winter tires instead during snow season.
  7. I love my 2017 Spark LS with CVT for trips less than 100 miles round trip. I agree with Stevil that seats are not comfortable for old geezers like me for longer trips. Our other car is a 2011 HHR (chevy) and last year we did a 7000 mile trip in it and my butt came out of it without any pain. No problems at all so far with both cars, except both front doors of my Spark squeak a little when opened. That rear vision camera on Spark is a neck saver and adds to safer driving.
  8. Do not believe any unbelievable stories! If it is too good to be true, it is most like not true!! Car manufacturers are under big pressure by law, to maintain average gas mileage below a certain number. Do you really think GM would not put a cover on the lower air intake if that makes 50% jump in gas mileage? The story teller was most likely seeking attention, which his wife does not give him.
  9. Above post is the best because it is reality based. Everyone has different driving habits, use different grade and brand of fuels, weather conditions are different, and traffic is different. After 54 years of driving new cars, what I know for sure is that my biggest car expense after purchase is not gas mileage, but it is how many repair bills are incurred.
  10. Dunno about these objects in your pic, they don't look like keys even though they are on a "key" ring. But I like the looks of your line of fortune on your palm. I predict you will be driving a Mercedes or a Cadillac in future.
  11. Usually the belt driving the alternator and A/C. If you are still chugging around with the original serpentine belt, then that is more likely as belts get noisy with age & use.
  12. My relatives in AZ tell me they replace batteries every 3 years.
  13. Only one method possible to make any Spark instantly more zippy/responsive. But do NOT try it, it will destroy the engine in a short time. I will not reveal the method because a few of you might be tempted to try it
  14. Looks like you are going to need a new key made. If there is no spare key, your only option might be a visit to a gm dealer.
  15. Rudy....Awesome job in writing step by step procedure. If only manufacturer's car manuals were something close to your post, I would have attempted many DIY jobs
  16. Here is What I have used for oil changes since 1964 when I started buying only new cars. Never had engine issues in 54 years traced to oil change. The only time I had engine problem was when I had coolant changed by dealer and they left air pocket in the coolant system. non synthetic - 3000 miles or 12 months Synthetic blend - 6000 miles or 12 months Never used full synthetic!
  17. Why take a chance on a harsh solvent which could harm some sensors or seals somewhere in the engine bay? What I do not like about modern cars over those I owned in the 1960's is there are too many sensors to feed the computer. I would just use a pressurized air hose.
  18. Per owners manual, it all depends on severity of use..such as hilly roads or stop and go describes your 45,000 miles, then change the CVT fluid.
  19. My new car dealer gave me some coupons to buy GM accessories, and it saved me $100 with the coupon. Got 4 custom fitted rubber mats, very useful since I live close to the beach.
  20. Sure, if it is all slightly downhill with a little bit of tail wind
  21. I miss the built in coolant temperature display available in my previous car, a Pontiac G5. The engine coolant temperature tells you a lot if engine is running normally. It tell you if the cooling system is performing normal, if you need new coolant or flush. It is like your body temperature. If it is above normal, you have a fever and something is wrong. If it is much below normal, you are suffering hypothermia. Now that I have a OBDII scanner and the Torq software on my smart phone, I can monitor temperature in the Spark. I am new owner, so do not yet know what the normal cruising coolant temp should be. My reading is usually 92 C. I do not know if that is high or low or normal, because the car is new. My previous car, Pontiac G5 had built in access to temperature on the display screen. I knew immediately if coolant level was low or when is stuck in bad traffic, I should turn the heater on to cool the engine down a little. Over 9+ years of driving the G5 I knew exactly what the temp should be based on up slope or cruising. The temp was always close to 189 F = 87.2 C when cruising. Stuck in traffic it jacked up as high as 220 F.
  22. I calculated MPG by keeping track of actual miles driven between fill-ups and exact amount of gas used. The number was slightly below 34. But the computer average shows slightly above 35. Which can only mean the computer numbers are slightly inflated, at least on my Spark 2017 with CVT. Note - my driving is similar to distant suburb model.
  23. Agree totally on how good 2017 spark is for the price. I am driving 2017 LS with CVT and like the tranny without having-to shift gears. our other car is a Chevy HHR and it rides much more stable at speeds over 60mph. but not as much fun to drive in urban areas.
  24. Ouch...mysterious shorts in the electrical harness are heavy on man-hours.
  25. There are a lot of steps for the technician to follow. These techs are known to make mistakes. If your Spark keeps giving you lower MPG (4-5 less is horribly bad) I would take it back to the dealer and complain vociferously.