I'm very sorry for falling so far behind in my posting on this blog, but I have been busy and not really in a mood to write anything. I have had a lot on my mind lately because of my truck and the problems I have had with it.
A quick recap-On Friday the 15th and the day our Heartland rally began, Stella noticed the truck running very rough. When I drove it that evening, I found nothing wrong with it, but when I went to pick up firewood, it ran badly for me too. I didn't drive it again all weekend and on Monday morning, I knew I would have to put it in the shop to be repaired. My friend Jim here in the park gave me a ride to the Enterprise Rental store near the park. We have rented a car there before and were familiar with it. After getting the rental car, we returned to the park to take the truck to Jakes Auto Repair where we have had work done before.
Jake was very busy and didn't get a chance to look at the truck until Tuesday, and what he found was disastrous. He found the harmonic balancer had come loose from the crankshaft, where it is used to reduce crankshaft vibrations on the engine. The balancer is fastened to the crankshaft of the engine by a "keyway" and a bolt that holds the front of the balancer onto the crankshaft. The bolt had apparently not been tightened enough to keep it from vibrating loose when the water pump had been replaced while we were in Mission. I had told Jake of the work that had been done. After talking to Jake, I immediately called the South Texas GMC dealership in McAllen and spoke with the service advisor, Chapa, that had helped me there. When I told him what had happened, he told me to have the truck taken to a GMC dealer to have it checked by them. He also advised me not to drive it but to have it picked up by a wrecker. I also told him that I had already rented a car since we needed transportation, and he said that was fine. I told him that I expected them to pay for the rental and he said he would have to talk to the manager about it but didn't see a problem.
I called Wiesner GMC in Conroe and spoke with one of their service advisors named Bill. I explained to him what had happened and he said he would send their wrecker to pick my truck up. I later learned that the wrecker had not been able to pick up the truck until the first thing on Wednesday morning due to other obligations.
When the truck was taken to the Wiesner shop, they checked it out and found that when the harmonic balancer came loose, it got into the fan damaging it. They suggested replacing the crankshaft or replacing the entire long block engine. They forwarded this information to McAllen for their review. The service manager called me back after a day or so, telling me that he wanted to bring my truck down there to have the repairs done there. I told him that I would be interested in finding out how much they would give me for the truck, either a buyout or a trade-in. He said he would get with the used car manager and let me know.
I later learned that they came to Conroe about 7 o'clock in the evening to pick it up. I got a call from Bill, who told me that they had brought a trailer and a technician, who got the truck started. They actually drove it onto the trailer. They had been told that the truck wouldn't run, but this probably came from the mechanic at Wiesner, who had seen it come in on a wrecker and assumed that it would not run.
I got a call from Chapa who told me that they had decided to merely repair the crankshaft after taking measurements and noting that there was little damage to the crankshaft. They had contacted GM Technical Services and learned that the specs on the crankshaft were within limits, making replacement of it unnecessary. I am skeptical of this repair, but don't have a say since the repair is being done on warranty for the water pump replacement. At least I will have a 12 month-12,000 mile warranty on the truck.
I did ask Chapa if they would drive the truck from McAllen to Spring to give it a good road test and he said they would. If its going to break down, I'd much rather it happen to them and not us. Holding my breath...