Question for Auto Mechanics

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by diane, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    We purchased a brand new 2003 Silverado 6 cylinder pickup truck with the idea we would pay for it before retirement, maintain it perfectly, drive it kindly and make it last for many years to come. We have, after 3 years, 37,000 miles on it and the other day I took it in for recall work. The distributor cap and rotor were replaced due to some defect relating to the recall.

    I left the dealership and picked up some groceries and was on my way home. Stopped at a stop sign and began to slowly accelerate (gas saving exercize) and the truck literal began having a mind of it's own. I began accelerating out of control and when I tryed to brake the warning came on that I had lost brake power. I was about to shift into neutral and turn off the ignition when the acceleration stopped (at that point I was at 65 mph) and the whole engine began making very loud sounds. I did an about face and went back to the dealership.

    After 24 hours they pulled the cylinder head and found that a small screw had escaped when they replaced the distributor cap and had fallen into the engine. They assure me that there is no damage and they are replacing all gaskets etc. Can I depend on this?? What questions should I ask before I accept the vehicle back? What would you do???
     
  2. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..................Diane , find a reputable garage that has the proper diagnostic equipment and tell them what happened . Have them run a "post mortem" on the engine including a Compression test of all pistons . Don't know what this will cost but I wouldn't think more than a 100 or so . If they Find discernable problems that the mechanic can link ....To the "screw" then you need to take the Proof and return to the dealership and insist upon further repairs as needed . fordy.. :)
     

  3. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Thank you fordy!!! I don't know why I didn't think of that!! I knew if I asked it here I would get some good advice. I want to be proactive, not a victim, but sometimes I just don't know the next right thing to do. I have to tell you, this dealership could not have been more helpful and kind. They gave me a loaner car and I figure that they didn't need to even tell me what happened.....they could have lied or something. I just don't want to, down the road, be sorry I didn't do something to be sure that there was no damage. Thanks again......we will most certainly do that.
     
  4. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    Based on the sequence of events, it sounds like the intake system was open, then the screw fell in. The only way a screw could cause the engine to increase in RPM-s that occurs to me is that it physically blocked open a flap in the air metering system or covered a sensor in that same system before it finally dislodged and fell into the cylinder head. It is unlikely that the screw damaged the intake system as it passed through. Depending on the size of the screw and the hardness of the steel of which it was constructed, it may have done some damage to the intake valves, the top of a piston and the interior of the cylinder head.
    That's a long way of me telling you do "do what Fordy says"
    have it checked out. A compression test will determine the state of the valves and piston.
    My guess about the brake warning light is that you have an entirely separate problem that you didn't know about until you pressed the brakes so hard. Likely the brake fluid level is a bit low and when you pressed the brakes so hard, the low brake fluid level indicator light turned on. Press on the brake pedal very hard again and see if the light turns on. check the fluid level. Have the problem fixed.
    As an aside, I'm wondering if it is true that the engine's ability to make the car go is stronger than the brake's abilities to make the car stop. I sure hope not.
    Ray
     
  5. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    The wandering screw may have caused a vacuum problem which might have affected the power brake booster. Just a thought.
     
  6. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    If the screw didn't make it past the intake valve, everything should be OK. But if it did and make it into a cylinder then there could be trouble, "BIG TROUBLE". I'd want to now exactly where they found the screw and inspect all the piston tops and combustion chambers/valves for damage.
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately after many years of working in dealerships I'm not surprised at your story.
    I would want extremely good documentation and I would contact GM's customer service. With enough rattling they will probably extend your warranty and or offer you a good deal to trade. I would want extremely good documentation of all parts of this and any agreement you come to.
    The thought of keeping that late a model of a vehicle for an extended period of time might have it's drawbacks. Everything on that truck is very expensive to repair and there aren't many out there that have the tools or the technology to do quality work. You have already experienced what happens with a simple part installation that they have done many of if it's a recall. Think of the quality work they would do on a real problem they would have to diagnose.