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Auto blogFri, 05 Apr 2013 18:32:00 EST
The days of changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles are long gone thanks to most cars having automatic oil monitoring systems, but about 800,000 General Motors vehicles apparently have incorrect monitoring software that is leading to premature engine component wear. According to Autoweek, certain 2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain models equipped with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines could be going too long in between oil changes resulting in a higher-than-normal number of warranty claims for the engine's balance chain. The balance chain links the balance shaft to the crankshaft, and a worn one can produce higher noise levels.
As a fix, GM dealers will be reprogramming the software for the monitors in an effort to reduce the interval between oil changes, which varies based on driving habits and conditions. Through February 2015, the software update will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, but since this is not a recall, after that point, it will be up to the discretion of dealers as to whether or not they will charge for the service. What isn't immediately clear is whether GM plans on giving assistance to out-of-warranty customers who are experiencing engine issues from the worn chain.
General Motors must be pretty pleased with sales of its two newest pickups, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, as it's announced price hikes for both models, as part of a planned price tweak.
Prices will be bumped by as much as $1,500, although weirdly, they'll be offset by as much as $1,500 in cash-back offers through the end of October. Fox Business reports that GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the price hike, "With the sell down of the '13 models nearly complete, this price adjustment was planned and is a normal part of business."
The move, as Fox is quick to point out, is an interesting one, as sales of the twin pickups struggled last month relative to the Ford F-Series, while both of GM's crosstown competitors have been aggressively undercutting Silverado and Sierra prices. The F-150 starts at $24,070 and the Ram 1500 comes in at $23,600, not counting any cash on the hood. A base Silverado, meanwhile, retails at $25,575.
Super Storm Sandy took out a lot of automobiles in its path of destruction through the Northeast last October. The number surpassed 250,000 at last count, and a few of those were owned by Chevrolet - cars either sitting on dealership lots or waiting at port to be shipped off. Rendered unsellable by the water damage inflicted by Sandy, these vehicles were facing the crusher. But Chevy didn't send them there.
Instead, Chevy had a better idea: It will be donating 300 of these vehicles damaged by Sandy to help train first responders at Guardian Centers in Perry, GA. Chevy is the official automotive partner of Guardian Centers, which is an 830-acre facility that trains first responders in disaster preparedness. Junked cars are practically a consumable commodity there, where a full-size cityscape simulator gives trainees an entire urban center in which to train for all sorts of rescue operations and disaster scenarios.
Chevy says its particular vehicles will be used "in conjunction with role players for wide area searches, traffic congestion in emergency situations, counter terrorism, public order and mass casualty exercises." While grim scenarios all, we're certainly glad there are people out there preparing for the unexpected. While a zombie apocalypse isn't officially on the list of potential disasters to prepare for, when the virus hits, we'll be hot-footing it to Perry, GA to hang with these guys and gals.