June 04, 2007

Transmission problems at 95k miles

I had the truck serviced and then drove it to denver and back (2,200 miles round trip). I picked up a car in Denver. The transmission was slipping 4 or 5 times during the trip. When it happens, the engine drops to idle rpm and the transmission makes a screeching noise. The noise persists for maybe 10-20 seconds and then the rpms start to climb to normal and then it's working again. No codes, lights etc.

I brought it in to the dealer this morning and a plate on the transfer case is cracked. They are going to go deeper to see what other problems are there. I'll know more tomorrow. They ordered a new plate to replace the cracked one.

I guess I'll find out whether my extended warranty is worth anything tomorrow.

June 4, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 26, 2007

Sirius Radio in a GMC 2500HD

I just installed a Sirius Starmate 4 in my Sierra 2500HD truck. Best buy wanted 170 bucks to do it but that was too spendy for me. So, I got some industrial velcro and used that to attach the unit to the top of the dash board and another piece keeps the antenna on the front of the top of the dash board.

This worked very well until I tried to remove it from the truck. The problem was the power cable. The 12V connector that plugs in to the 12V power outlet broke when I pulled it out. This plug has a plastic cap that has a lip. I used the set of 3 outlets in the center of the dash. The righthand socket has an edge deep in the socket and this edge caught the lip of the plug and broke it off when I tried to pull it out. The center one doesn't have this edge.

The next problem was how do I fix it. I went to Best Buy and Walmart but they don't sell a replacement. You'd have to buy a car kit and thats 50 bucks. Whats silly is Walmart had a complete receiver with car kit for 40 bucks. Go figure. BEst buy sold me a multi-voltaage adapter which didn't work because it didn't have the correct plug for the Starmate.

I couldn't find one online either, just complete kits. Finally I went to EBay and bought one there, cost 20 bucks. It came and wouldn't work in the right hand socket but did in the center socket. But, the cable was too short to reach the top of the dash.

Finally, I went to my box of tricks and was lucky enough to find another 12V car adapter, for a cell phone I think, and took the parts from that to add a fuse, spring, metal nipple and cap to the power cable that comes with the unit. This worked believe it or not and this is whats in the truck now.

I'm thinking again about a proper install. Slight interference and static does intrude on the listening at low volume levels but its ok. I'm on the fence about it.

April 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

January 31, 2007

90000 mile service and water pump fails

I brought in the 2500HD at 89400 miles. There was a coolant leak which the extended warranty paid for. It cost 478 bucks and I paid a 100.

The 90k service was done and that ran me 250 bucks at Viking, Rochester. I had to pay for a coolant flush also (80 bucks) so my total yesterday was 250 + 100 + 78 + tax.

Lets see what 93.5k miles brings...

January 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 30, 2006


I bought some furniture at IKEA the other day and the truck was handy. We put an entertainment centre, coffee table, side table, 2 chairs and cushions in the bed. The topper (ARIES) kept everything dry in the rain on the way home. It just fit at 75 inches long. A bed with no wheel wells intruding would be nice also but apparently that takes a duallie setup.

The truck seems to be better to drive with more weight in it. The furniture probadly weighs

December 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 09, 2006

Rear visibility

It's a problem. Today, I was in a left hand lane and my wife was bugging me to get in the center. "There's nothing behind you, go back and switch lanes". So, of course, stupid here, looks in the rear view mirror and then starts reversing. Of course, a car has stopped behind the truck and I couldn't see it in the mirror because the bed is so high with the lid on. Bang. The tow hitch hits their bumper, dented their front bumper pretty good and thats 500 bucks deductible for my insurance. Thinking back, I should have been able to see her in the driver side mirror but I guess I didn't look there with the pressure in the cab.

Still, I'll be more careful next time and I'm learning to just ignore my wife...

December 9, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 17, 2006

New rear U joint and transfer case gasket leak

86k miles.

I'd noticed a vibration in when driving along. I brought it to the dealer today and showed a mechanic. The diagnosis is a U joint on the rear was worn and the seal on the transfer case was leaking. I bought an extended warranty so they are paying, I have a 100 buck deductible.

Replaced rear U joint, cost is 184 bucks including labor

Replaced transfer case gasket because of leak, cost is 262.66 including labor.

August 17, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 12, 2006

Transmission wierdness

I was pulling my dead Porsche to the dealer and the transmission seemed to slip, we were on cruise control and then the RPMs dropped to 1500rpms and the truck felt like it wasn't pulling, there was a funny noise like a transmission noise. I pulled over and my first thoughts were that the transmission had failed.

Once we stopped, we looked underneath and no leaks, everything looked fine. We restarted and the car pulled the rest of the way and home without incident.

August 12, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Muffler weld holding well


We're back, 1400 miles so far with the welded muffler and it looks fine. I'm waiting till it breaks again before replacing it.

August 12, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 31, 2006

Muffler failed


I'm at 86k miles and the outside muffler pipe broke about 4 inches from the hanger in front of the muffler. The inside pipe looked close to breaking also. It makes a pretty bad racket. I'm currently driving to Quebec from Minnesota and am 800 miles from home. I went to a Canadian GM dealer but they said 1300 bucks to repair it and 3-5 days to get the parts which is just plain silly, the 3-5 days. Apparently, GM keeps no local supply of parts. Stupid.

So, I'm in Niagara for 2 full days and couldn't delay leaving before getting this repaired. I got another 1600 miles to go on this trip and I needed to get this fixed. The GM dealer can't do 'repairs', they only replace. I went to a local muffler shop in Niagara

MinuteMan General Auto Repair, 7361 Pin Oak drive, Unit #1, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6S5, Tel 1-605-3565252

Luke Dyment was the owner and on looking at it, he first tried to get an after market part but couldn't find one and said basically I gotta get a dealer part which would take a week. I told him of my trip and why I couldn't do that so we welded it closed and welded the inside one which was about to break. No guarantees on how long it will hold so we'll see if it lasts the next 1600 miles so I can get home in peace. 35 bucks. Very grateful to him.

I'll get an after market exhaust when I get back to Rochester MN or get a new one from the dealer. I'm not happy with Viking, my local GM dealer as they were supposed to inspect the truck the day before we left and said it was all fine which it wasn't and the cracks are visible on the muffler pipe.

Anyway, now we'll see how long the 'fix' will hold. Hopefully, all the way to Tremblant and then across to Saute Ste Marie and back home. Don't want to wake any bears.

July 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 07, 2006

Brake controller

While towing to the cities yesterday, the brake controller showed a continous number for the first few miles then it went back to normal with a .c. reading. I'm thinking maybe it was water in the trailer brake connector which dried out. It was fine the rest of the trip.

June 7, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)