Arguement with Holden service - advice please!

Submitted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 16:47
ThreadID: 34214 Views:3094 Replies:9 FollowUps:1
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Hi all, looking for some mechanical and dealing with Holden advice. This prob is not with my 4wd but with my commodore sedan. It’s a 2003 VY v6 on factory dual fuel.

At about 45,000km it developed a rattle that was diagnosed as worn valve guides caused by the gas (according to Holden), they agreed at 52,000km to pull of the heads and fixed the problem under warranty. In the next 6000km I noticed it used a bit of oil and water, at 58,000km I checked the coolant level under the radiator cap rather than just in the overflow bottle – milky white oil under radiator cap – uh oh I thought head gasket. Back to Holden they tested it and say no leaks coolant must have been contaminated with oil when they pulled off the heads, so they flushed the radiator and replaced coolant and told me to monitor to next service.

In for 60k service today it has dropped the coolant below the add level again and there is evidence of oil in water again (all be it a fair bit less than before), Holden still say they cant get pressure tests to show the head gasket is leaking and want to do oil and water consumption reports and monitor it over the next 5000km. They think oil is residual from flush

All very disappointing since my last v6 did 240,000km when I sold it with only an alternator and water pump the whole time.....anyway

So my questions are this
1. How long do Holden have to warrant their work for (as vehicle is now out of warranty) and I do 600km per week

2. I was taught years ago if you pull heads off you should also drop the pistons hone the bores and re-ring or else you will always run into oil usage problems, do other people agree with this

3. If Holden agree to pull off heads again should I instead insist on a new long motor rather than be left with a motor in another 20,000 that is using oil and no chance of warranty? (My 4wd mechanic reckons I should)

4. What are my rights (I am in WA) as I can feel Holden slowly but surely shafting me

Thanks for your help
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Reply By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 17:32

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 17:32
Hi there Zapper, not sure on there warranty on something they do once the vehicle is out of normal factory warranty they should be able to show you some form of legal documents showing there warranty what you are and not bound by, eg, do they want you to get is serviced by them while under the warranty period for work just done eg heads.As far as pulling the motor down just cause the head gaskets blew no way. i have taken the heads off myself twice on my ski boat and had to just replace gaskets on a 350 chev and this is due to the fact that the boat sits there for 6 months of the year not getting used then when you are using it it doesnt have a thermostat to keep engine at certain temp as with all inboards specially the older type.Never uses any oil. You have been mislead in that situation.It is possible that there will be oil residue left in the motor after the heads hace been done ie still sitting in heater core and possibly still in the block itself. It is nearly impossible to flush clean the first time. As far as oil usage goes that should not be happening. I have a v6 xpack vx11 and dont use a drop of oil or water and mine has just cliked ova 63k. What ever you decide to do eg get some form of written and signed documentation saying that ova the next 5k if there is any issues it will be covered under there warranty. As we all know word of mouth means jack s@it if anything goes wrong. Hope this has helped in some way. Regards Steve M
AnswerID: 174487

Reply By: phantom - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 17:33

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 17:33
Hi Zapper,
Can I ask if your gas is original Holden or Aftermarket. It will affect the way Holden will respond to your dilemma.

1. If the work was done by a Holden dealer, the parts used would be covered for 2 years/ 50,000kms by Holden. The Dealer would cover his 'workmanship' for 6 months/5,000kms.

2. It depends on why the heads are removed in the first instance. In your case the valve guides, so the answer would most likely be no.

3. I am sure here you wont be able to 'insist' on anything as they may not agree to anything. I f the car is out of warranty, the process reverts to 'goodwill'. If you get pushy goodwill goes out the window.

4. The same rules apply all over Australia.
AnswerID: 174490

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 23:43

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 23:43
He says in his original post "factory dual fuel"

Dave
0
FollowupID: 430667

Reply By: Member No 1- Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 18:13

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 18:13
get their recommedations in writing!!if not
write a letter explaining what has happened, confirming their advice! ie monitor the water levels etc and contamination

they must iether dispute it in writing so if they dont write back the will be seen as accepting what you say.

based on your account so far it would appear that they are not at this stage trying to dodge anything?

AnswerID: 174505

Reply By: 100TD - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 18:21

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 18:21
i have a vp comm(93) or should i say the mrs drives it. bought it at 135k from a dealer 8yrs ago picked it up and few days later ran like a dog,took it back and they pulled the manifold off claiming gaskets leaking,got back running ok,but over 5k period using overflow bottle worth of water,took it back,they checked it over and claimed nothing found,same thing at next 5k,warranty then ran out and still a waterhollick it was,had just kept filling up until at about 285k(yes 140 odd thousand km later)decided to pull headsoff and found dvr side head with big crack in it where water wasleaking into cyl 2 which no one picked,stuck a s/hand pair of heads on,no hone no nothing,and still running AOK now at 314k with no water or oil usage and it is also on lpg from new with a holden/impco system.i dont think initially the manifold gaskets were leaking i think it was water causing the problem all along they need to have the heads checked by whover rebuilt them for starters.is there water evident in the oil??i have patched up many motors without re honing and had no problems with oil consumption.as for warranty i believe if you have previously brought a problem up with them in the warranty period and its still present a short time later after expiry they still should cough up repairs and labour.cheers Paul
AnswerID: 174510

Reply By: cokeaddict - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 18:51

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 18:51
Zapper,
Cant answer Q #1, not sure of warranty but Phantom's reply sounds about right.

Answer Q#2.... NO...heads can be removed without having to do anything In your circumstance being valve guides. ...
BUT....did they get the heads machined ? or did they just replace guides and gaskets and whack heads back on. If they did the latter.....they didnt do the job correctly as it was supposed to be done. This to me sounds like the cause to your problem. Warped heads will casue the symptoms you are having.

answer to Q #3 ...NO, you cannot insist on anything, they (supposedly) are the experts so they should do whats right...(dont hold your breath though)...I said "should".

Answer to Q #4... Dont panic just yet, its easy to start thinking you are being shafted, its human nature. As long as this is all documented in writing and you both have copies of work carried out then you would be well within your rights to take things further if need be, but you should do some homework and make some calls to the authorities and find out where you stand incase things go south for you. BE prepared.

The critical point here is this....do you know for a fact that the heads were machined before they went back on...? i do believe this is the cause of your problem IF they were not machined. Otherwise, one of the gaskets may be faulty of damaged when it was fitted. Has to be gasket related mate, its the only way water and oil will mix (unless a head has a crack)
Hope you sort it out mate
Ange
AnswerID: 174518

Reply By: Exploder - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 19:09

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 19:09
Is any water getting into the Sump?
If it is don’t wait or you will cause engine damage.

2. Umm never heard of that my self.

Did they do a wet and a dry compression test or just a cooling system pressure test?

They still think it is Oil from the head change, How sloppy are these mechanics, How do you get that much oil in the water jackets that even after a flush it’s still in there.

What I am reading
1.Within 2000k it’s dropped what about 500ml to 1 litre of coolant and has oil in the water agene

2. It’s using oil and water with no visual sines of leaks or oil burning.

3. Holden are telling you it’s holding cooling system pressure but haven’t done a compression test.

4. It’s out of warranty not good.

Get a compression test done; If 2 adjacent Cylinders have low Compression then it could be the head gasket.
AnswerID: 174522

Reply By: Scoey (QLD) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:43

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:43
My experience with Holden customer service is that it's non existant. I will never get another holden! Get EVERYTHING in writing from then so you at least have a chance of recourse when it goes pear shape - this is only one blokes experience but! Best of luck - don't settle for 2nd best!

Cheers
Scoey!
AnswerID: 174666

Reply By: Flash - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:36

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:36
My experience with Ford customer service is that it's non existant. I will never get another Ford!
My experience with Toyota customer service is that it's non existant. I will never get another Toyota!

Yeh right, and I work for Mitsubishi.
and my name is Maxwell Smart!
Zapper is asking for help, not BS
AnswerID: 174787

Reply By: gonebush SA - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 10:15

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 10:15
the first thing i would do is contact the consumer affairs and question the warranty in your state because i think that if any work is carried out or you have reported the problem then that part of it has a warranty coverage as the problem was worked on so it should start again from then (just on the fixed part).
also we have a VN commodore V6 on lpg that has now done over 700,000 ks and a lot of that towing and (touch wood) we have not had to do any mechanical work on it apart from the service type things and wear and tear but the motor is still ticking away like new with out being touched. my hubby swears by running upper cylinder lube and regular services and oil treatment added.
wish you good luck.
AnswerID: 175318

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