By JLP | July 24, 2006
Oh what an adventure it was when 200 miles from our home our “Service Engine Soon” light came on. You know that sinking feeling you get when you feel like there’s a good chance that your car is going to konk out on you in the middle of nowhere. My wife grabbed the manual for our car and started reading about what we should do. Fortunately, the light meant that there was an emissions problem and that it needed to be fixed but was not necessarily going to damage the car if we kept driving. So, we kept driving. We made it all the way to Wichita. This was Saturday so there was no place to take the car to have it looked at until Monday.
On Monday I took the car to a local mechanic that my family has used in the past. He hooked the car up to their computer, which told us that there was an engine misfire. He told me that new spark plugs and wires would solve the problem. Later that day I got a call from the mechanic telling me that the head gasket on our car was leaking coolant out into the engine compartment. He said that although it was a small leak, if it started leaking into the engine, it would cause big problems. He told me that repair would cost $350 alone.
Here’s my beef with GM: the head gasket that they put in many of the GM models is made of PLASTIC! Over time the plastic can lose its form, which will cause leakage. The replacement gasket is made of metal and won’t lose its shape. GM KNOWS about this but they won’t issue a recall, therefore I had to foot the bill. According to this forum, I’m not the only one having this problem.
Well, $458 later, I picked up the car and we drove to Kansas City. The car drove fine the entire time. However, on our way back home from Kansas, the “Service Engine Soon” light came on AGAIN! The car jerked a lot when I slowed down for stoplights and it didn’t have as much power when I accelerated. I’m thinking it might be a fuel filter problem, but what the heck do I know. Now I have to take it to our dealership tomorrow and see what’s wrong. I’m not going to volunteer that I had the plugs and wires changed, just to see how honest they are!