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New car conundrum


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I just downloaded the owner's manual (385 page PDF). There is a "Vehicle Personalization" section about how to disable features that owners don't want to use on their new TourX.

It is a really nice looking car! Please talk to the dealer and get these issues resolved.

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At least it looks like GM fixed the issue of the odometer not being visible for more than a split second without jumping through hoops with a bunch of button pushes. As an auction photographer I REALLY hated that since every car needed a photo of the odometer. And I tell coworkers that if they hear me call something a "German Car" then I am really cussing it out for technology issues.

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We are preparing to add a new driver to our house in the next several months. I had been trying to decide what to get for another car and whether it would be for me or my daughter. After looking at new vehicles, I decided that there wasn't anything that interested me enough to shell out the big bucks. So, I found a low mileage '97 Riviera that I am currently working to make a few repairs on to become my daily driver. My daughter will drive my '13 Enclave when she gets her license.

 

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So it's been a crummy few days. Melanie has been doing a lot of crying and I, of course, don't know how to console her. She's not angry at me, she's just unhappy that I'm unhappy and it's her tendency to treat that as a failure on her part. I took the car to the Buick dealer this morning and explained the situation honestly--it was a gift from my wife and I really want to like it, but I'm frustrated by it and can they help me? I told them about the TSB for the radio and that the navigation was wonky, so they'll look into it. I told them I didn't enjoy all the warnings and interactions and that it was frustrating to drive the car with all those things constantly demanding my attention. They understood and said it was a common complaint, and not just from 50-year-old fuddy duddies like me. "Everyone hates that system," the tech said. I don't know if he said that to make me feel better or because it's true, but he certainly didn't seem surprised by my comments.

 

They understand what I want, they just aren't sure if they can deliver. So we'll see what happens and then I'll have to figure out how to make my wife stop crying.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, HarryLime said:

Then why buy a vehicle that has that .........does that ?

 

Because if you read this thread, or the other one I posted when I first got it, IT WAS A SURPRISE GIFT FROM MY WIFE. It was on my list of cars that I was interested in and she had an opportunity to buy one for me, so she did. Now I have a buggered car, a very unhappy wife, and a headache.

 

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Matt, sorry you've experienced these issues, and even more so that Melanie is so impacted by the unfortunate result of her delightful gesture.

have you tried working with your Biock/GM Zone rep?

Perhaps even higher up the GM food chain.

Regrettably, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

 

I have one other suggestion, but rather than identify here, you may contact me directly. I think you have my personal email from the card I left you when we met in Ohio at the CCCA Grand Classic following the earlier mini-CARavan

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Thanks for the offers and advice, everyone. The car has been at the dealership since Tuesday. When I dropped it off with the service advisor, he and I sat down in the car and he started walking me through the menus. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to be behaving as he expected--he kept saying, "That's not right," or "That's not how the other one works." He called one of the techs over and together they poked and prodded and pushed a lot of buttons before confirming that yes, it's buggered. He took me to sit in a new Buick SUV on the showroom floor to show me the system and it is significantly more user-friendly than the one in my car. 


He doesn't have any idea why, but they've been working on it for two days. He called today to say that the SD card reader that's build into the navigation system is broken, which explains that odd error message. The whole thing has to come out and will be replaced, but they're on backorder so who knows when it'll be fixed. I told them to just keep the car until whenever that is. He doesn't have any idea and isn't sure whether the new system will work with the old radio and other interfaces, so worst case I'd need a whole new dashboard and steering wheel to make everything compatible. I'm concerned that may lead to a bunch of new gremlins plus squeaks and rattles in the future, but I'll give them a chance to make it right before I worry about it.

 

But yeah, it's buggered right up. They don't know why or how, but when I told him that it was a show car for GM, he got real quiet--I though he'd hung up on me. When pressed, he said, "I've heard that display cars [like for an auto show] come from local dealers and they're usually cars that have problems they don't want to fix so they just write them off." Great! 

 

Let's hope he's wrong.

 

Meanwhile, I'm driving the Audi ute instead and enjoying the hell out of it. It behaves itself. Last night I added some Audi rings on the tailgate so people know what it is--one close call with a guy in a pickup trying to make out that little red badge at a light...

 

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Exhaust.thumb.jpg.f7c79265f0204eb917e8eb1043eb848f.jpg  Ute3.thumb.jpg.72a23a52b607cb967500e759b441a47e.jpg

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Matt I can understand all of the hoops that you have to jump thru to get the car to drive friendly  The lane departure would drive me totally insane..the only feature I like is the auto on headlights. My Camaro has auto on and i think it works well  I hate the bluetooth phone hookup so i dont use it

The other issue i have with new cars is the headlights that I have to look at being so bright.. sometimes its hard to see the road when they are comming at you.  if they can develop all of the stuff that new cars do why cant the fix the bright lights in the city  this is a safety issue that needs to be fixed

Im with Pete new car manufactures have lost the way AGAIN

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Over the years, I have come to learn, that fixing frustrating problems is much more rewarding on pre war cars than fixing things on new cars. 

The truth! New cars seem like appliances to be tossed!! I’m not sold on all the new doodads. New isn’t always best. My belief is style and quality is timeless and defining. Not some trendy crap everyone else is buying. 

Edited by BobinVirginia (see edit history)
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In your situation I would be tracking down those German programmers whom set up the computers on the infamous VW diesels a couple of years ago. Those guys would have it back to you in a week.

 

You might also talk to Toyota corporate. They were able to track down every single car with the runaway acceleration problem. It appears not  one escaped repair, no incidents in years. Outstanding job!

 

Here's one question to ask. It will get them to blow you off as some kind of kook, but they might sneak in at night and do it. Ask if anyone has tested the pH of the coolant.

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8 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

In your situation I would be tracking down those German programmers whom set up the computers on the infamous VW diesels a couple of years ago. Those guys would have it back to you in a week.

 

You might also talk to Toyota corporate. They were able to track down every single car with the runaway acceleration problem. It appears not  one escaped repair, no incidents in years. Outstanding job!

 

Here's one question to ask. It will get them to blow you off as some kind of kook, but they might sneak in at night and do it. Ask if anyone has tested the pH of the coolant

Bernie, you are the King of Snark!  I like that in a person....

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Dealer update this morning: needs a new SD card reader (on back order), new nav unit ordered, new radio unit ordered, new instrument panel ordered, new climate control unit ordered, new body control computer ordered, and new steering wheel ordered (simply to fix the check mark button I showed them was wearing out). ETA of all parts unknown. Apparently the factory has to flash at least one of the components with the car's VIN, they can't do it at the dealership. I don't have much faith that they'll get it right the first time--a lifetime of experience suggests that they will not get it right on the first try, because nobody ever gets anything right on the first try when it's car-related. I read somewhere that the entertainment system is based on some cell phone company's software (Samsung?), so maybe it has to be programmed in Japan or something. No estimate on completion date. Meh.

 

Melanie feeling better about it and now sharing some of my anger and frustration. Dealership from which she bought it in Detroit has expressed profound disinterest in buying it back. Hmmm...

Still driving the Audi UTE, which, even with 97,000 miles and having been built in some guy's driveway, performs perfectly without any hiccups. As always, Audi's Quattro is a BLAST in the snow! Why did I stop buying Audis, anyway?

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Dealer update this morning: needs a new SD card reader (on back order), new nav unit ordered, new radio unit ordered, new instrument panel ordered, new climate control unit ordered, new body control computer ordered, and new steering wheel ordered (simply to fix the check mark button I showed them was wearing out). ETA of all parts unknown.

 

 

Matt.......you can't see the forest for the trees. They have NO CLUE what is wrong......so they are throwing a pile of parts at it. Since it's a was under warrantee, they have nothing invested in it. Since they didn't sell it, the extra costs won't be charged back to them on the warrantee program like a unit they did sell would. Do you have any clue as to the retail value of all of that stuff? Probably 25 percent of the value of the car. The good news is you are correct.......it's not going to work right the first time. So, you will drop it off, they will play the change out the parts game because we have no one here who can fix it routine, and you get to pick it back up and drive it some more till they try again. At least you have reasonable expectations. Over beers, I will tell you about my new 90k truck that came with a hole in the engine block with a motor failure in 25 miles........and they wanted to replace the block, and not the bearings, rings, ect............ it was VERY ugly. I won because I knew how to play the game.  You NEED to go up the food chain at GM, and get someone with authority to help you, or this will be a long and drawn out mess. 

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14 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Dealer update this morning: needs a new SD card reader (on back order), new nav unit ordered, new radio unit ordered, new instrument panel ordered, new climate control unit ordered, new body control computer ordered, and new steering wheel ordered (simply to fix the check mark button I showed them was wearing out). ETA of all parts unknown.

 

 

Matt.......you can't see the forest for the trees. They have NO CLUE what is wrong......so they are throwing a pile of parts at it. Since it's a was under warrantee, they have nothing invested in it. Since they didn't sell it, the extra costs won't be charged back to them on the warrantee program like a unit they did sell would. Do you have any clue as to the retail value of all of that stuff? Probably 25 percent of the value of the car. The good news is you are correct.......it's not going to work right the first time. So, you will drop it off, they will play the change out the parts game because we have no one here who can fix it routine, and you get to pick it back up and drive it some more till they try again. At least you have reasonable expectations. Over beers, I will tell you about my new 90k truck that came with a hole in the engine block with a motor failure in 25 miles........and they wanted to replace the block, and not the bearings, rings, ect............ it was VERY ugly. I won because I knew how to play the game.  You NEED to go up the food chain at GM, and get someone with authority to help you, or this will be a long and drawn out mess. 

 

Exactly as I suggested earlier in this thread-

 

Matt, please phone me

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It is not just the "new" cars that give the dealers (service department) problems.

We had a 2005 Rendezvous Ultra that had never given us problems in the first 92K miles and I was hoping to get another year out of it. 

The cruise control started acting up.... after 4 attempts by the Buick service department,  they could not figure it out.... I finally gave up and told them they could have it 

for as long as needed because I was trading it in.  

As Tech advisor for Reattas.... I get calls from Reatta owners that have taken their Reatta to their Buick dealer for problems and the dealer either cannot fix it or they get a ridiculous estimate for the repair. 

Since most everyone here is a Buick owner... we talk about Buick dealers,  but I suspect other brands operate the same.   They are mostly parts replacers and if they cannot figure out what to replace, it cost

them man-hours trying to find a problem.   The want to move on to the next money making job. 

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1 hour ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

No secrets, Larry. Not fair! 😁

 

A few years ago a friend I have coffee with had his wife in a hospital I was associated with. He was seriously afraid she was going to die. I consider myself as simply a mechanic. I gave him one phone number and told him to call it saying the same thing he told me. She was home and doing well two days later.

 

"Secrets" are like making the best spaghetti. if you know about oregano.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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Dealership called and said the TourX was ready today, so Melanie and I took the '41 Limited to pick it up. I amazed them with how quickly the radio changes stations when I push one of the buttons, how the headlights don't come on until I turn them on myself, and how when I put the key in the ignition, I already know that I have the proper key because the engine starts.

 

They brought the TourX around to the front desk and the service advisor and I sat in it so he could explain how things worked now that they're operating properly. He showed me the radio stations (my pre-sets were formerly inop) and demonstrated how you could select favorite radio stations from the list and they would be saved as a pre-set. And... oops. No, they weren't available. Try again. Huh. That's not how it's supposed to work. Get another tech and puzzle through the menu. Nope. That's so weird, it was working yesterday. 

 

So we got back in the Limited, which started instantly and didn't beep, buzz, or flash lights at me, and it didn't try to outsmart me as I drove. The 80-year-old analog car just started right up, I put it in gear, and eased away silently with the lightly humming tube radio playing Spotify from my cell phone, leaving the TourX in my rear-view mirror with two professionally trained guys trying to figure out why its state-of-the-art computers are retarded. 

 

Larry, sorry I haven't called, this has been an uncommonly busy week. If you've found something substantial, can you send me a PM? Thanks.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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On 11/2/2020 at 4:20 PM, edinmass said:

Dealer update this morning: needs a new SD card reader (on back order), new nav unit ordered, new radio unit ordered, new instrument panel ordered, new climate control unit ordered, new body control computer ordered, and new steering wheel ordered (simply to fix the check mark button I showed them was wearing out). ETA of all parts unknown.

 

 

Matt.......you can't see the forest for the trees. They have NO CLUE what is wrong......so they are throwing a pile of parts at it. Since it's a was under warrantee, they have nothing invested in it. Since they didn't sell it, the extra costs won't be charged back to them on the warrantee program like a unit they did sell would. Do you have any clue as to the retail value of all of that stuff? Probably 25 percent of the value of the car. The good news is you are correct.......it's not going to work right the first time. So, you will drop it off, they will play the change out the parts game because we have no one here who can fix it routine, and you get to pick it back up and drive it some more till they try again. At least you have reasonable expectations. Over beers, I will tell you about my new 90k truck that came with a hole in the engine block with a motor failure in 25 miles........and they wanted to replace the block, and not the bearings, rings, ect............ it was VERY ugly. I won because I knew how to play the game.  You NEED to go up the food chain at GM, and get someone with authority to help you, or this will be a long and drawn out mess. 


Don’t you hate it when I am right? Don’t worry, give them four more tries........they will get half of the problems sloved.

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13 hours ago, edinmass said:


Don’t you hate it when I am right? Don’t worry, give them four more tries........they will get half of the problems sloved.

 

This is one case where you haven't told me anything I didn't already know...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Entering week 4. Buick still at dealer. Radio silence continues. I'm not going to call and be a pest--I'm certain they'll call when they have news. Have been doing reading and there is a known defect in the wiring harness which causes all the issues I'm experiencing. Unfortunately, the harness is obsolete already and new ones are not backwards-compatible. In most cases, the solution has been a used harness from a wrecked car. How many of these TourXs are there and how many have been wrecked and how many of those have not already been scavenged for their unobtainium parts?

 

I wonder if Rhode Island Wiring or YnZ's could make me one and if the dealer would even be willing to install it?

 

Meanwhile, I'm driving the Audi Ute and it's just a wonderful little thing. Impossible not to love it. Fast, quiet, competent, heated seats very effective now that it's chilly, great gas mileage (like 30+), lots of fun with the 6-speed, and Melanie bought an adapter so I can use my phone with Spotify with the OEM radio (which doesn't work because the radio antenna was mounted on the rear of the sedan's roof, a detail that I plan to remedy eventually). Little guy gets as much attention as the '29 Cadillac on the road and at gas stops. Maybe I don't really want a new car.

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Matt, 

 

Sorry to hear you're having such issues with your TourX. That's extremely frustrating. 

 

I bought a 2018 over the summer for my wife. It's a more base model version than yours so doesn't have the lane departure or there pesky features. It also has the more base radio which, while it works well, it is slow to respond. Honestly my 1988 Reatta responds quicker. 

 

Nevertheless, we've been really happy with it. Bought it way under MSRP with 6800 miles (former dealer loaner car), and two weeks later drove it across the country and back for vacation. Very capable car and never gave us any issues. 

 

I hope you can get the issues solved on your car. I think you'll love it when it's all functioning right again 

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I would look for compensation for the time without the car........it’s depreciating every week, your paying insurance, and the opportunity cost of not having a new vehicle while it is still fresh to the market is also a financial loss...........I would locate the district service manager and ask for a new car.......and compensation. 

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On 11/16/2020 at 1:29 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I wonder if Rhode Island Wiring or YnZ's could make me one and if the dealer would even be willing to install it?

 

Knowing nothing about the purported wiring issue than what I read here, I had a similar thought.  Why can't someone alter and/or augment the existing harness to resolve the problem...?

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My Traverse has a message that your Regal likely has.  It tells me when my washer fluid is low.  It says I can press the check mark to  get rid of the message.  Every single time I start the vehicle.  But....guess what, don’t worry, because if I press the check mark and somehow forget that I did so, the message will reappear every 5-10 minutes as I drive down the road.  It’s non-stop and tries to completely take your mind away from safe and attentive driving.  
 

I have no need to be told when my washer fluid is low.  I have managed my whole life just fine by filling it up when I feel the need or when it runs out.  Now I no choice but to be constantly distracted until I do so.

 

I have checked and found no way to disable this.  

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Just this past week I had technology problems..... First I tried to look at my online bank statements and it told me my password was no good because they had changed the requirements (more than 9 characters, less than 36 need ant least one number and something needs to be caps)  so I followed the instructions until it ask for a pin number.    I did not have a pin number and had never needed one.   Was forced to go into the bank and they helped me create a pin number.   I go home to try out my new pin number and (you know the answer) I could not get past the password,  it put me in an endless loop.      The next day it worked fine. 

 

Second issue ..my health insurance provider sent a letter saying I had money remaining in my HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement ...for you younger folks)  but they did not send any forms.

It indicated I could do it online but the site link was for choosing insurance.     I called them and after answering enough questions to get into a high security area they said they did not have the forms available online and 

would need to mail them.     They want you to do everything online (to cut down on the warm bodies they must pay) but only do a half-a__ job of building the software.

 

As Matt indicated.....what good is a high tech thing if it doesn't work and they cannot fix it..... they are not technicians or mechanics... just parts changers.

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I had to hunt down a gremlin in my '94 Roadmaster. Bravery is an asset.

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The Radio Shack stores have closed but I could do it again.

 

Henry Ford said the trained professional fully understands the limitations and will avoid the unknown. Find someone who uses a Triplett multimeter and you will be in the home stretch. Avoid mechanics using tools smarter him.

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Bernie, that looks like my 96 Roadmaster Wagon. Dash apart trying to find the intermittent short that blows the tail lamp fuse. What was your gremlin?

 

Oops, post creeping off subject warning......😳

 

Matt, good luck! Wiring harness failure on a one year old vehicle? YIKES!

Edited by Frank DuVal (see edit history)
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On 10/22/2020 at 5:47 PM, edinmass said:

Knowing Matt.........I will take him at his word the car is a turd...

It seems to be more of a lemon to me.  Hopefully, there is a lemon law where Matt lives.  

I bought a 2019 GMC Yukon Denali just over a year ago, & love it.  I too had my dealer find me one in the color I wanted, with 2nd row bench seat, & no useless back seat video player.  It is my all-around vehicle for towing my Buicks, long road trips, and around town errands.  The heated seats and steering wheel get warm half way to my Buick barn just ten blocks away.  I could use the remote start to get the seats and steering wheel warm and defrost the windows before driving it,  but I park it in the garage every night.

My only complaint is that GM charges for navigation updates.  Evidently, GM is ignoring the fact that most of their customers can and do get free navigation on their cell phones.....  

 

Matt, I suggest you investigate your state's lemon law.....

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On 11/22/2020 at 1:25 AM, Frank DuVal said:

What was your gremlin?

 

Mine would engage the starter while driving. Ate up three starters doing that. Ohmed, grounded, checked, scrutinized, and mind melded every conceivable component. Then installed a 1970's starter. Never happened again.

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Dealer called this morning and said they are going to deliver the car to our shop later today. They are apparently VERY apologetic, which is surely why they're not making me come pick it up. I don't want to assume anything anymore, but I also have to believe that if they're bringing it to me, they have the problems figured out and are confident that they'll stay fixed. Melanie talked to them so I don't know what they replaced to make it work, but I'll ask when it arrives. I'm not 100% convinced it'll be right, but I'll give them a chance because they're earnestly trying and doing all they can.

 

I'm still back to my initial conundrum, however: at best, I'm ambivalent about the Buick and at worst, I don't trust it. I am not at all excited by the prospect of owning it or driving it and sort of wish it would just go away quietly. I'm perfectly content to drive the Audi Ute (which has been flawless fun every day) or the CTS wagon, which is now running properly thanks to a new O2 sensor. I have a creeping sense of dread over the idea of getting into this new Buick and turning things on. Maybe I'll just leave the radio and other nonsense off when I drive it. As long as it goes down the road, who cares about the rest? My old cars don't have stereos or navigation or computers and I enjoy them just fine.

 

This is exactly the same sense of dread you get when you do a big repair on your antique car and turn the key the first time--will it or wont it? I've had so much automotive-related failure in my life that I expect them all to be turds. I'm not really prepared for my daily driver to cause that same kind of frustration every time I get in. Fighting daily with these crappy old cars is bad enough. Whatever. Maybe Melanie will enjoy driving it instead of her Focus ST this winter--she broke her foot a few months ago and it's still healing, so she needs to avoid the clutch pedal anyway.

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I’ve read the thread since you started it, so forgive me if this point has been made already. You Regal is an Opel, which is no longer owned by GM. I’d expect support to get even worse over time as parts and expertise become even more scarce. If you can lemon law the car, I’d go that route. 
 

I’m bummed by your experience because I like that car and would consider buying one.

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5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I am not at all excited by the prospect of owning it or driving it and sort of wish it would just go away quietly.

 

Just park it at your business with a full tank of gas, the keys and the signed title document on the seat, and I am sure someone will make it disappear. 

 

😉

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