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About gitsum

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    southern Arizona
  • Current Vehicle
    2013 Chevy Spark

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  1. As my son pointed out, I've had several coolant overflow bottle issues. The point of failure has been the return coolant hose nipple. It's plastic with a metal inner sheave. It failed on the original bottle around 45k miles. I bought a new one for $25 and it arrived with the nipple already cracked! Reduced the nipple on the original bottle to about 50% length and repaired with JB Weld brand plastic epoxy. It was a temporary fix, it works but still weeps a small amount of coolant. Bought a second overflow bottle and it arrived intact. Cut off about 2" of the return coolant hose to remove the elbow and rerouted the hose just underneath the intake manifold. It's more of a straight shot and does not have tension from the weight of the hose pulling on the nipple at 90 degrees like the stock hose routing that runs back down along the firewall. It's held up for about 30k miles so far, maybe with a little luck the overstressed and cracked return coolant hose nipple issue is fixed by rerouting the hose. I keep the original bottle as a back up, and after multiple replacement/removal it takes me about 5 minutes to swap it out. Other than some extreme aggravation and a little coolant and water, the issue never caused any significant down time for driving the car. Getting close to 75k miles and other than the overflow bottle the car has been absolutely bulletproof. The car has never seen the dealer and hopefully won't have to. Took care of the recalls myself. My air conditioning has always worked fine, I replaced the PCV valve also cleaning the throttle body and checking/cleaning/regapping the spark plugs. Keep a light coating of marine grease on the hood latch assembly. I feel confident the Daewoo built car will remain problem free (knock on wood) until it's paid for, which should be around 130-140k miles. Averaging around 42 mpg and paying $59 a month for full coverage insurance, the car will pretty much pay for itself with extremely low operating costs.
  2. Let's go ahead and beat this horse some more to make sure it is dead. The oil life algorithm in the Spark measures engine parameters to predict oil life. Is it accurate? It appears to work good enough. But let's make sure and recognize one very important fact. The algorithm is based on a theory, not actual physical oil properties/condition. It is estimating the actual oil life based on how the said engine parameters are affecting the oil. It is not checking the actual oil properties. For the most part this works good enough. But there are a few things that can't be factored in or accounted for by this algorithm. Driving in dusty conditions, driving in a extra humid environment, increased blow by gases in a high mileage engine. Dirt/particulates, moisture/water, and contaminating gases from combustion are three of the biggest factors in reducing the lubricating properties of oil. I seriously doubt if sticking to the oil life meter is going to cause engine damage. But under some real life extreme conditions that a lot of cars are subjected to, changing your oil consistently before the oil life meter runs out is likely to reduce engine wear. This is my personal opinion and you have to decide whether or not it has merit. Likely I am biased because I am a person who is a real stickler for maintenance on my cars and motorcycles. I do all my own work and it certainly doesn't hurt anything to schedule maintenance a little earlier than the manufacturer's recommendations. Somewhere in the big scheme of things I don't think these manufacturers want your car to last forever...
  3. Yes, you were correct. But you didn't test it yourself, you took GM's word for it. Yes, GM's description was correct. But that doesn't mean one should take every manufacturer's claim as 100% truth. If we could blindly believe all, the Volkswagen diesel wouldn't run dirty and Hyundai's would get better gas mileage than they claimed. Just to mention a few recent manufacturer's false claims among many...
  4. Retired old Gearhead that is an excellent response. Your answer is based on facts and actual experience. You have definitely convinced me the oil life monitor does work on parameters that give it proven functionality. Since it doesn't actually analyze the chemical properties of the oil, I will continue to err on the safe side and change the oil every 5000 miles. I drive the Spark mostly short trips with a lot of stop and go, surely falling into the severe use category. The oil life monitor always says that I am changing the oil earlier then necessary. But there is no doubt that one can hear and feel the difference fresh oil makes in an engine compared to oil that is "only" 5000 miles old. As far as the pressure loaded baffle in the primary muffler, I never noticed any difference in performance at any speed. I got just what I was looking for, losing some dead weight and raising the exhaust volume a little bit. The exhaust was so quiet in stock form, there was a few times in traffic under light throttle where I stayed in a lower gear to until the revs where 5000+. Now there is a pleasant low level growl at higher engine speeds to give one a better feel without checking the tachometer. With a multiple catalyst/resonator design the muffler is an overkill for the Spark's 1249cc engine. I guess it's comes down to personal preference, but the car still falls in the "quiet" category even with the muffler removed. It has a little "personality" now. There are several other modern car models that don't run a "primary" muffler in stock form.
  5. I really trust GM. The same company that says I need a GM brand oil with a "specific" additive or else risk engine damage.The same people that denied there was an ignition switch/cylinder problem that caused engines to shut down. After enough people got killed or injured they finally decided to do a recall. Must be a really sophisticated algorithm, a little extra rpm and heat will reduce the engine oil life. I'm really gonna trust that! I'm going to put about 150k on this car before I retire it. Not following the "sophisticated" oil change algorithm is going to the best thing I ever did for the car. I'm still going to post the oil life percentage results here. Remember, the Spark is a Daewoo not a GM (thank goodness).
  6. 72,000 miles and running perfect on my 2013 5-speed LS. SuperTech 5w30 every 5000 miles, Valvoline Synchromesh at 50k. 185/60r14 tires, averaging 42 mpg. Airbox mod, throttle body half shaft mod, removed rear muffler, shortened gearshift.
  7. Well, just because they say it's so I'm going to be stubborn and not believe it. On my next oil change (about 2-3 months) I'll reset the oil change function. I change my oil every 5000 miles with full synthetic 5w30 SuperTech from Walmart (I don't believe the GM additive bull). I'll report back with the percentage left and then reset and go another 5000 miles with a fresh change. I strongly suspect the second percentage is going to match the first exactly. If the parameters really include engine temp and revolutions, the percentage readings are going to have to be different. This is going to take about 6 months, but we will have a definitive answer based on actual results, not on advertising/marketing hype.
  8. Someone mentioned the muffler had some sort of valve to keep back pressure even between low and high rpms. I cut my muffler off and welded on a plain piece of exhaust pipe. The OEM is a generic cheap $30 muffler with baffles, no valve. Several people talked about the oil change meter claiming it can analyze remaining oil life. No, it's simply hooked up to the odometer. It might have a way to adjust for city vs highway miles, but I doubt it. The Chevy Spark is a low end economy car made by Daewoo at a price point, not a Mercedes Benz or Lexus. I don't want to ruffle anybody's feathers, but it's hard to believe no one was called out for this ridiculousness (until now).
  9. I ran the stock tires at 40 lbs front 42 lbs rear for a compromise between fuel mileage and ride quality (tires were still harsh riding). On my 185/60-14" wheels I run 34 lbs front and 36 lbs rear. They are not rock hard fuel efficient tires like the stock tires. Much smoother and better traction. On any all season radial that isn't a rock hard fuel efficient tire, the 2250 pound Spark feels and rides better at tire pressures well under 40 lbs.
  10. Yes, the stock 15" rim with a stock 185/55 tire will fit in the spare tire location. Lay your seat backs flat and the tire fits by dropping in the back first and then the front. It might be the front first, I've had one in there with a tire iron and a bottle jack for over six months. It only drops in there one way, but it's not too hard to figure out how to fit the stock rim and tire size into the spare tire well. By the way, I replaced my stock rims and worn tires with 14" rims and 185/60 H rated tires. It rides way smoother and handles better than the rock hard "fuel economy" stock tires. My average fuel consumption dropped from 42 mpg to 41 mpg. $30 for the four used 14" x 5.5" steel rims, $20 for wheel covers, $225 for tires. From now on it's $225 out the door for new rubber from any tire store in any town, the best price I could find for the weirdo stock size was $430. Tire circumference is 1.1% smaller, you can feel a little more pick up in first and second gear, but overall the gearing change feels pretty much the same. My son just put 195/50's on his stock rims for $264 (four tires). Both of our cars have snorkel mods (air resonator removal with stock downpipe), throttle body half shaft mods, and rear muffler delete (straight pipe replacement).
  11. Could the problem be caused by excess crankcase pressure? I changed the oil on my Spark at 500 miles and then every 5000 up to the current 34,000+ mileage. I always fill the oil up to the second dot on the dipstick, never all the way to the top of the second set of hash marks. I ride small motorcycles and scooters and it is common for them to blow excess oil through the crankcase vent tube if filling all they way to the top level on the dipstick. I also believe that a small high revving auto engine can be prone to cavitation of the crankshaft in the oil pan at high rpm's. This results in foaming of the oil causing a reduction of lubrication in the top end. That being said, my Spark is running perfectly, no oil consumption and excellent power and fuel economy.
  12. You're right, it could be a risk for negating a warranty claim. But I think it's a small one, and I'm willing to take a chance anyway because the car runs so much better.
  13. I think the dealer's diagnosis of a clogged fuel injector is a load of crap. Any newer fuel injected vehicle that is driven on a regular basis just doesn't get a clogged injector all by itself. It's possible bad gas can screw with the fuel system, but usually that is caused by water in the fuel. If it was bad/dirty gas, the fuel filter, fuel pump and possibly the tank itself would need to be cleaned. The fuel filter should do it's job and trap any particles before they reach the fuel injectors. Larger particles would clog up the fuel pick up in the pump, unlikely anything would reach the injectors. None of this would cause a specific misfire code from any individual cylinder. It would be almost impossible for one of the injectors to get clogged without any of the other issues caused by contaminated/dirty fuel. If it was a fuel problem a faulty fuel injector would make more sense, something that would be 100% covered by warranty. A misfire is much more likely to be an ignition problem. As I mentioned earlier, my son's car exhibited the same symptoms. It was a simple sparkplug issue.
  14. Your assuming the mechanic would need to remove the throttle body, and if he did he would recognize it was modified. It still looks close to stock and was polished up with fine grit sandpaper. Don't make the mistake of thinking a certified factory mechanic knows anything other than what a computer diagnostic code or a tech manual tells them the next step should be. Good ole common sense and mechanical aptitude aren't a requirement for the job anymore.
  15. I forgot to ask, why is this mod only good for "racing purposes"? The screws are using the same amount of threads as stock. If the stock screws were backing out the extra threads would serve no purpose except to extend the length of time until the screw actually falls out. I don't know of anyone or any dealership that checks those on a regular basis. I applied locktite and put some paint marks on the two screws. It takes less than a minute to remove the rubber intake at the throttle body and eyeball the paint marks. I'll check them after a few hundred miles and then again after a few thousand. This is way safer than never checking the stock throttle body screws ever.