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General Quality for Cost of GM vehicles (Cars and Trucks)

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by PantheraUncia, May 9, 2014.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    I am going to preface this with the fact that I have been a life long GM person, I have had family that worked for GM and typically I have nothing against GM. I have also owned some Toyota's and Honda's.

    Over the years GM has had some catching up to do in terms of quality control to keep up with Toyota and Honda., but I want to bring this to where GM is now. I am not so concerned about the recent recall's because all manufacturers have recalls from time to time, but about some things I have noticed about the various vehicles I have owned or been in the family that have reached or past 200,000 miles. Lets face it. Vehicles don't last forever, things are going to wear out or break and need replacing.

    It is not about body panels that don't line up anymore, or doors that don't at least look like they fit tight and are out of alinement with the frame. I am talking about Power Window actuator's that fail, Power seat gears that wear out prematurely compared to the ones used by Toyota or Honda. How about power locks actuator's that stop working from wear and tear. Heater and AC controls that wear out. These little annoying things we don't think about when we buy a new or a new used car or truck that is only a few years old.

    How about transmissions and engines that truly only need fluid changes and you can get half a million miles out of them without serious issues or a rebuild. I am actually a little offended that GM builds Vortec 5.3L v8 engines that over their life time, begin to leak oil and need their seals replaced when it will be 25-50% longer on a Tundra for example before something like that needs to be replaced or repaired.

    In a previous post I talked about the horrid paint or clear coat job that GM does. I live next to what I will call a mega dealerhship. I can walk from GMC to Chevy, to Cadillac, Buick, Honda, Toyota, Mini Cooper, Smart, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Suzuki.

    I am not sure where GM's problem is in their paint department, be it paint or clear coat, but they have so much orange peal that it is sad.

    I asked a sales person about it and he told me that it is a GM, your not going to get a $30,000 paint job on it. I told the guy, I am not going to get a $30,000 paint job on a Toyota either, look at the difference in the quality of the paint. He did not want to talk to me anymore.

    The reason I bring this up, is that we are all happy when we get a new or new used vehicle, but we usually fail to understand what the long term ownership is of that vehicle is and it seems like GM just wants to build over priced disposable junk because they are now worried about Owner Ship or Brand loyalty (like they suggest all over their TV ad's). they want you to buy a vehicle, get rid of it in a week and buy another new one from them a week later.

    Who cares if it is junk, just sell it.
  2. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I understand where your going with this.
    One thing to think about is how long the vehicles are owned by the first owner.
    Most new vehicle owners dont keep the vehicles to 200,000 miles, they normally trade with less than 100k on the odometer. So the quality issues are noted by a second owner that is buying used and really wont affect GM's new vehicle sales. And their now discounted as "you bought used, what did you expect no defects? Why do you think the previous owner was selling?".
    Quality costs money, and GM is trying to balance between quality and profit, not doing as well at the balance act as others or as well as they should be doing.
  3. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Tbplus10,

    With the prices GM wants for new vehicles(Even when haggling with the sales people at the dealership to lower the price); that happens at at the dealerships for the other manufacturer's as well. GM is really slipping below where they should be and then they wonder why sales are not as good as they should be; excluding things like this recall where they really messed up.

    I have always bought relatively new, meaning less than 25,000 miles on it. the truck I had now, only had 500 miles on it when I bought it, I would call that pretty new and I have owned it the rest of the time. 14 years later, half the stuff doesn't work in it, but it works fine in the Toyota.... same owner, etc. It is not how I take care of my vehicles, it is the junk GM spews out of it's factories.
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  4. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 2 Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    1) Don't forget about inflation and rising fuel prices. The cost of manufacturing has gone up so the price of the final good has gone up as well - prices haven't gone up simply becuase some company wants to charge their customers more. Fuel prices are up which increases all other costs as well.

    2) It's not a legit comparission to compare your one, 14-year-old truck to all of GM's output.

    3) You say your truck is 14yo and half of the stuff in it is broken? I have a 13yo truck that I got new with 8 miles on it and everything still works just fine. Hell, my sister just got a 2013 Ford Escape and the interior panel of the back door has already fallen off. So it's either not just GM with quility issues or you are not taking very good care of your vehicles.
  5. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have to say that GM is still suffering from the poor reputation of paint from their issues in the late 80's and early 90's. Back then paint would fall of the vehicle in chunks. Their paint has been improved significantly since then. Heck, my 1995 just started peeling clear coat on the top of the bed rails. This is a truck that is 20 years old and has never been parked in a garage. I would think that my constant washing and waxing (stripping wax and letting the paint "breathe" at least 2 weeks out of the year) was the direct cause of my paint lasting so long. My 2002, 2003 and 2005 never had paint issues. My 1990 safari mini van had paint falling off in sheets. I know plenty of guys that have 1999 and new trucks and have no paint issues. For example, look at [MENTION=25593]99'HEARTBEAT[/MENTION]'s truck, it is a 1999 and still looks brand new. Sure ever vehicle has issues. You are going to have stuff fail. We all know that we will replace a wheel hub on our trucks. What always gets me is when people drive 100,000 miles and complain because they have to spend a few hundred replacing a wheel hub or something of that sort. When you ask them if they keep up with maintenance at gm recommended intervals the answer is always "No".

    I work on a lot of cars in my garage. I have to say that the GM's I see with 100,000+ miles are usually in much better mechanical condition than the Dodges, fords, Chryslers, Hondas and Toyotas I see. The cars that come in with 80,000 miles and never had any preventative maintenance are always the vehicles that are "falling apart". Then the owners complain when you give them the list of items that should be fixed asap. Their answer is always "It only has 80,000 miles on it and it is falling apart, it is a piece of crap". I then explain that I just had the same vehicle in with more miles and the vehicle was in great working order, but the owner did maintenance as needed.
  6. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 2 Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    My 2001 still has good paint. No chunks falling off, no clear coat fading. It will look pretty dang if only I would wash it. :p
  7. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    McCintoc,

    I did mention that the GM vehicles are not the only ones I have with over 200,000 miles on them. I take care of my vehicles or I would not have them this long. But it surprises me that the annoying things like window Power Window actuator's that fail, Power seat gears that wear out prematurely and transmissions that should last allot longer. Engines that don't leak oil.

    If this is the fault of the vehicle owner, then I would make the assumption that my Toyota's and Honda's would have the same problem. They Don't.

    As far as the paint goes, listen, when I wash the truck and take it up to the dealership the paint is shinier and more reflective than when it was new because I learned the proper way to wash, clay, wax, etc the truck.

    The paint/clear coat comes with orange peel everywhere. When you look at a Honda's paint next to a GM's paint job at the dealer (brand new vehicles) it has allot of issues. Go to your dealership this week and look. That is not a lack of the owner taking care of the paint.
  8. squatchy

    squatchy Member 100 Posts

    And then you complain about things wearing out, breaking, and not lasting forever...
  9. summitwhite11

    summitwhite11 Member 100 Posts

    I tend to agree with Panther, I was at my dealership this past saturday getting the HHR serviced, oil, tire rotation, balance, and wiper fluid motor replaced, two weeks prior it was the cam sensor on bank one, next week its new struts, its a 53k mile vehicle with all scheduled maintenance performed, my trail blazer was the same way, just over 50 k miles, the vaccum pump and a couple other items failed, I had the same thing with my blazer prior to the trailblazer.I have noticed and mentioned to the service manager who is a long time friend of mine, that the past 4 GM products I have owned all began to nickle and dime me to death shortly after 50 k miles, his response was, hey they don't last forever. Don't get me wrong, I like my chevy's, 20 years of fords prior to these four chevys and it was very rare to spend a dime on anything other than scheduled service, I have a 96 F-150 I bought because I wanted one of the last old body styles with the 300 6 cyl, 5 speed over drive with the tow package, since 1996 I have only replaced the factory fule pump in the rear tank at 75 K, prolly cause I rarely use that tank. with 140k miles it looks like it did when I bought it, and I will get in it and go with confidence. just saying, not trying to stir up a whasp nest here. Love my Z71.
  10. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I think as someone previously posted other mfgrs have their issues too, but since GM is our common favorite we expect a little better out of them, but they arent providing it all the time.
    I do know GM owners that have had many trouble free miles and years with their vehicles, same with owners of a few other mfgrs to though.

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