Ataristic

Spark Member
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    69
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About Ataristic

  • Rank
    New Member

Profile Information

  • Region
    U.S. Southern Plains
  • Location
    Houston
  • Current Vehicle
    2013 Chevrolet Spark LS Manual
  1. Well, I went to the dealer, they drove it around, and blamed it on me coming off the pedal too fast. But just like before, they will not admit that this car is just underpowered and one has to baby the clutch. I even tested it on an uphill, it is absolutely anemic starting uphill, even frightening, It will just not move without giving it some serious revs , over 3000, and even then, it will loose rpms fast.
  2. Mine has the symptoms of clutch chatter, also known as shutter, the clutch begins to skip towards the end of its travel. The only way to mitigate this is to rev really high, around 2000, or modulate clutch and throttle to keep rpm constant. This effect is specially noticeable when moving off from a stop on a mild uphill grade. I will be going to the dealer first thing tomorrow so they can diagnose this. I have never had a manual with clutch chatter. In this spark, the chatter has always been there, hence my journey on trying to find what I was doing wrong, but now it is getting worse.
  3. Just use regular, but watch out for cheap high ethanol gas, some places have ethanol up to 15%, this really kills power and gas mileage. As per the user manual, I only use Shell regular on mine.
  4. Here is what I have received: "Is that electric?" "is that a Smart car?" "Is it three cylinders?" "Are you not afraid of dying in a car crash?" "Who makes this car?" "Why are you driving a girl car?" "Can you drive it on the freeway?"
  5. The only major problem I have experienced was a bad wheel bearing on the rear left wheel. The bearing was replaced under warranty. Another problem I have experienced, and that is by design, is how the clutch is set up on this car, it is very light and travel is very long, first gear is also very tall, so I have had to relearn my driving method to be able to perform smooth take offs, one basically has to modulate the clutch and throttle. Minor gripes would be how the passenger seat rattles, creaking plastic panels when there are temperature changes, Low profile wheels that are easy to scratch, angstrom thin paint that chips easily, and a windshield that is a rock chip magnet. I figure the A/C problem was a design decision, but GM will not admit to it. On the question of service, it varies from dealer to dealer. The dealer I purchased from, Ron Craft Chevrolet, has been very helpful, but will never admit to any design flaws in the car. On the first oil change, they overfilled by about half a quart, the service manager corrected it personally. Other dealers, particularly "Chain" dealers, like Autonation, just do not care, they are rude and make it very obvious you are taking up their valuable time with your questions.
  6. 1. Shorter first gear on manuals, put in a heavier clutch, or at least one that is travel adjustable. This would be an inexpensive option for GM. 2. Put in the 1.2 engine from the Opel Adam, or a down stroked 1.4 from the Sonic, which I think they will eventually do, this would bring up the Spark to compete in power with the Fiat 500 and the Ford Fiesta. 3. More soundproofing, specially on the floor pan 4. Make the hood from fibreglass, this would mitigate the onslaught of rock chips and lower weight even further. 5. Make a spare tire kit optional. 6. Make cruise control optional on LS models. 7. More padding on the front seats, with additional side support.
  7. I do not trust goo bottles, it is a true temporary fix when it works,and will require the tire to be serviced later to remove the goo. As soon as I got the Spark, I bought a tire plug kit. Most flats will be caused by nails on the road, which is easily fixed by a plug kit, and will not require the tire to be serviced further, like the goo would. I also purchased a tire inflator with higher CFM than the included one, and a good pair of needle nose vice grips. I have used this kit with most cars I have owned, even with ones that did have a spare, never have I had to bring out the spare.
  8. The best thing to do, is get an appraisal at Carmax first, expect them to low ball. My LS with 9500 miles was appraised for $9000, the cool thing is that once you have this sheet of paper, whatever dealer you go to, will have to maneuver around the Carmax offer. One thing to remember is to absolutely reject any offers from dealers who would have you sell your car to Carmax instead of matching or besting the Carmax appraisal, if they bring that up, take your business elsewhere.
  9. Did not work for me at my purchase dealer, Ron Craft Chevrolet in Baytown Texas. It really depends on the dealer, some never check web page appointments, I reckon the app uses the same method. I find it best to just call using the old fashioned phone.
  10. This is the method I have been using for years, but it just does not seem to agree with my Spark, how much RPM's do you first set your throttle to? I find the method you have described only works well for me if I set throttle at 2000rpm on a flat surface, which seems high for me, then again, I have never owned a car with such a tiny engine. The method i have had more success with is the UK driving school method: set throttle at 1500 move clutch to biting point and hold add more throttle roll off clutch Even if it does work, this method just seems to involved, too many steps and too much thinking required, specially when one is in stop and go traffic.
  11. at 9500 miles, I was being offered $9000 at Carmax for my LS, does not seem like a great deal. I will have to take more bites off this note before I consider anything else. Owning the Spark has been an experience of ups and downs, I get to the point where I feel I can live with it, and then something new pops up. I have mostly mastered the horrible clutch setup on on the Spark, I still have to think about it way too much though, and now, I am getting creaking from interior panels and rattling from the passenger seat. I know this is a cheap car, but come on GM, you could not put more glue or some foam behind the door panels!
  12. I am feeling the urge to give up on the Spark too. One of the reasons I bought it is that some reviews considered similar to Honda Civic's of the 90's. I owned a 95 Civic dx manual, best car I have ever owned, easy to take off, plenty of power, great fuel economy. I have not had the problems with the A/C, but the thing I just cannot get over is how horrible the clutch/gearing/torque is set up on this thing. Never had I had to think so much about moving off from a stop as I have had with the Spark. Having driven manuals for life, I have not had stalls, but I just hate how if one does not rev up to 2000 or baby the clutch, this car just looses RPMs and gives off ugly lugging groans and shudders. I drove the Fiat 500, and that thing takes off without thinking, the Ford Fiesta also has a sensational clutch feel, no need to get the autostick with that one. I do feel conflicted though, I just cannot stand the size of the Fiat, the premium gas it needs, and the premium price one is paying for what is an economy car in Europe, and its not even built in Europe.The Fiesta just looks too mundane, specially from the back, and has less front leg room in the front. I also do not like the gear shift on the Fiesta, its so cheap and plasticky, cheaper than the Spark, if that is possible. From the experience with the Spark, and how its priced so close to the Sonic, I am getting a strange "New Coke" feel, drive a Sonic after having experienced the Spark, and its like night and day, the sonic also has a soft clutch, but it has enough torque that one does not have to constantly think about modulation when taking off, fuel economy is similar, while getting more room in the Sonic. Maybe GM made the US Spec spark as it is in order to make the Sonic seem that much more appealing.
  13. I think they method I have posted will help you. I was having the same problem you are, and It came down to the fact that the clutch on these cars has no feel, so it is very easy to miss the bite point and actually release the clutch too much, which will cause the shuddering. These cars are meant to be slipped, all cars are to a certain extent, but specially in cars with very low torque such as the Spark, this is why the clutch travel is so long, to encourage clutch slippage.
  14. hood paint chips are a big problem on the Spark because of its sloped shape, the quality of the factory paint does not help either, I had a ton of them on my Salsa red. The easiest solution is to call the dealer parts department, give them the last 8 digits of your VIN, and ask for "Touch up paint". It should be around $15. Its in the pen form as aftermarket touch up paints, but it also includes a brush. The paint color is perfectly matched. Wash and dry the affected parts before applying. The paint is very runny, so you want to have plenty of paper towels to wipe off excess, and just dab it in. It works best in two or three applications, let the applied paint dry for 30 minutes between coats.