Friday, January 2, 2009

Van Troubles

We lease a 2007 Chevrolet Uplander. It is the most basic model. It is basically a box on wheels. It works. It gets the kids to and fro. It is a year and a half old. And yesterday on the way home from Calgary I get a message "A/C off to protect engine." It is -20 and we are on the highway. Not cool. It is cold and snowing and I have my wife and the three kids. However, I hit the Onstar button and they run a diagnostic while I am driving down the highway and they come up with a minor issue and tell me it is safe to continue driving. We stop at Medicine Hat for lunch and give the kids a chance to stretch. After lunch I go out to start the van to fill up with fuel and the van will hardly start. Finally it starts and an engine light comes on. I call Onstar again and they run another diagnostic and they tell me that a sensor is giving a strange reading but it is still safe to drive. So we do and we get home safe. A little nervous on the way and we made sure we did not stop the vehicle for the last 6 hours - but we got home.

After this experience I have two thoughts.

The van is a year and a half old and I should not be having these troubles. I am not impressed.

On the other hand - Onstar is totally cool. As far as I am concerned it paid for itself on the trip. Sure, I should not have had to deal with the problems but because of Onstar I got the family home safe and did not have to find a hotel and then get service somewhere the next day and then try and get home.

So, a message to GM. If you are still around in a couple years please make better vehicles - but make sure you keep Onstar!

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