gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for July 14th, 2008

Mixed Blessing #2

July 14, 2008 @ 23:33 By: gordon Category: General

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So, Mixed Blessing #2 was visited upon me this morning on my drive to work.  (Normally, I walk to work, but I’ve been staying at my parents’ place while Mixed Blessing #1 is being resolved so I’ve been driving to work lately.)

The driver in front of me was getting all road raged up at the person in front of them and cut me off to get around them while I was getting into a left turn lane on Parkdale Avenue.  I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting them and heard a clunk from the front end.  When I started moving again, the steering was very heavy and pulling to the left.

After making the turn, I pulled over and had a walk around.  My fear was that I’d popped one of the tires off the rim, but everything looked fine.  While getting ready to drive off, the driver who cut me off drove by in the opposite direction and stopped to apologize.  I asked her what she’d been thinking by doing that and she said muttered something about the driver in front of her and apologized again before driving off.


I drove the rest of the way to work (about four blocks), taking it slowly because the steering was pulling severely to the left and I could hear the tires squeaking, so obviously something was wrong.  Once at the office, I called CAA and arranged for them to tow my car to the dealer to have things sorted out.

IMG00343 The tow truck guy was hooking up the Tracker and looked underneath.  "Uh oh, that’s gonna be expensive."

I crouched down to look at what he was talking about and saw that one arm attached to the front crossmember was mostly torn off.

"Yup," I muttered, "that’s gonna be expensive."

On the way to the dealer, I Googled "gm tracker front end recall" on my Blackberry to see if there were any recall notices and found a site that talked about exactly what had happened and it mentioned there was a bulletin from GM about it.  The service manager looked it up when we arrived and confirmed it was covered under a special warranty extension.  I arranged for a rental car for a couple of days while they repaired it.  My Tracker was already up on a lift by the time I drove off the lot.

IMG00342Near the end of the day I was happily surprised to receive a call from the service advisor.  They had the replacement part in stock and had been able to replace it in the afternoon.

Cost to me?  $0.  (Except for the rental car which apparently GM doesn’t cover.)

So, why is this a mixed blessing?  Well, though this was highly inconvenient on a number of different levels, it could have been much worse.  Instead of happening while moving at low speed on Parkdale Avenue, it could have failed while driving along the 417 at 100 km/h, which is where I was driving about a minute before it failed.  The right front wheel probably would have folded under the vehicle and caused it to flip.  That would have been Bad.

Hopefully, my drive to work tomorrow won’t be as exciting.

A tip o’ the hat to Suzuki-forums.com user shapsuz who wrote about this in one of his posts.