The Aveo saga continues...

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1,642
Location
MN
This is the GF's car, a 2008 Chevy Aveo with 162k-odd miles on it.

I believe I posted the last repair in the "What are you working on today?" thread, which was replacing a leaking water pump and doing a full timing belt service.

Well, wouldn't you know it, it didn't last 3 weeks without another issue. The clutch throw out bearing has been screaming since I met her ~2 years ago, and I've always told her the same thing: when it breaks, I'll fix it. Not before then. Well, last Saturday that very event occurred. I got a text around noon saying the car wouldn't move and there was a terrible screeching noise coming from up front. Obviously, I knew exactly what it was.

I got to where she was and tested out the clutch. It sounded awful, but still engaged and shifted so I decided to limp it to the shop to avoid a $100 tow bill, something like 8 miles. I got the trans town out in about 2 hours, and pieces of the old throw out bearing literally fell from the case. Surprisingly, the clutch disc itself looked great, like it could have made it to 200k easy.

Anyways, it got a new LUK clutch kit and bearing, everything went easy peasy until I fired it up for the first time. It refused to go in to gear, just grinding and bucking. I found this hard to understand, being as the clutch slave cylinder is externally mounted and I never disconnected any of the hydraulics. This is how I do every car with an external slave, just unbolt and set to the side. That usually allows the new clutch to just operate without issue. Well, not this time. I'm not sure why, but I had to bleed the crap out of it just to get a proper engagement point. I have no idea how air could have entered the system, but this seemed to give me back the pedal I needed.

Issue #2: Shifter alignment. The Aveo uses a shift linkage setup I've never seen before. It's much like a Saab, if anyone has done a clutch on one of those. There aren't separate rods or cables to control forward-aft and left-right movement. It's just a single shaft that both twists and articulates. The shift shaft is joined to the linkage with a sleeve and clamp setup, much like an older tie rod adjuster. I made sure to mark the position of this point when I removed it, which has worked fine on the Saab's I've done, however it didn't work this time. I don't know if it was a combination of worn linkage bushing, sloppy assembly, or the simple fact that it's an Aveo, but it took me almost an hour to set the linkage back properly. There is a factory procedure to making everything line back up, but it was useless in my case.

Long story short, I finally got everything working as well as I could. I gave the GF my Volt to drive in the mean time, I plan on keeping the Aveo for at least a week to verify everything is kosher before I give it back. She's the type that the littlest issue will send her to anxiety city, so I want to make sure it's right. I really hope I'm done working on this thing until she gets a new vehicle, hopefully within the next 12 months.

Just to recap, over the last 12-15 months this poor little $9k MSRP car has received the following work just to keep it on the road:

Front control arms
Complete brakes front and rear (friction components only, not hydraulic)
New timing belt kit with water pump
New clutch kit
Plugs and wires
Throttle body
Coolant flush
Battery
New stereo and speakers (that was just for fun)
Cam sensor

Granted, most of that is considered maintenance, but it's starting to get annoying. This is literally the most basic car sold in America yet just keeps nickel and diming. To be fair, the fact that I do the labor and the parts cost about the same as a pound of Bananas helps. I did discover a blown out RF strut while I was doing the clutch, so it looks like a pair of Quik-Struts and links are next on the list. Luckily, the assemblies are $50 each and the links are about $5. Yes, those are RA "Ultra Power" parts. I don't care. This car is getting the absolute bare minimum, as required.
 
Messages
2,318
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
You have my sympathy. I had a customer with a 2010 Aveo. The most aggravating car to work on, ever. Design flaws out the wazoo, terrible component quality, etc. (for others, these are not GM vehicles. They are rebranded Daewoo junk). I really do think it's the worst-made car in the last 25 years. You know what needs to be done with it, so convince her of that... ;)
 
Messages
11,380
Location
Phoenix
Of that list, the only items you can really fault the car for are the throttle body and cam sensor...the rest really is maintenance. I'd even mark the control arms as maintenance, by 13 years and 162k you're going to be replacing a steering/suspension component or two.

But the good thing is, all the maintenance stuff should be behind you for the next 12 mos!
 
Messages
46
Location
Holland, NY
The Aveo was built by Daewoo Motor Company, and GM as a joint venture. Never had an Aveo, but I had a 2002 Daewoo Lanos, bought new. Kept the car for over 100K miles, and besides normal maintainence, the car ran like a top the whole time I owned it. A timing belt went in, along with a water pump at 60K miles. A couple sets of front pads and rotors, 3000 mile oil changes, and a battery. It was an automatic, with air and power steering/brakes. The car did not have so much as a speck of rust on the body when I traded it in on a Kia Rio.

I paid $6995.00 for it new, drove it 100K miles, and got $2500 for it on trade. Great car, shoulda kept it...
 

14Accent

Thread starter
Messages
1,642
Location
MN
You have my sympathy. I had a customer with a 2010 Aveo. The most aggravating car to work on, ever. Design flaws out the wazoo, terrible component quality, etc. (for others, these are not GM vehicles. They are rebranded Daewoo junk). I really do think it's the worst-made car in the last 25 years. You know what needs to be done with it, so convince her of that... ;)

The thing is, I both agree with you and don't. I have no issue with how crappy the thing is screwed together, or how cheap the materials are, or how they may be viewed as "throwaway". The thing is, those things are all true. Because they're supposed to be. At the end of the day, this car does exactly what it was put here to do. Start, move, heat, wipe, stop. That's it. And it does all those things, with simplicity and relative ease of maintenance.

People forget, most things in the automotive world have a minimum price. When the Aveo came out, it was the cheapest new car you could buy (or very close). Now, this was assuming you could ever find that newspaper ad "stripper" model (which almost no one bought) but they existed. That's my girl's car: a base model Aveo5 hatch. No A/C, no cassette deck, not a single power accessory to speak of. It has lights, gauges, windows, doors, and airbags. All 2 of them. That's it. It's hard to build a vehicle that meets all the current safety, emissions, and utility functions a modern vehicle required in 2008 all while keeping a sub-$10k price tag.

To compare, a 2008 Yaris hatchback cost $13,225 new. Yea, it had A/C standard, but otherwise it was about the same car. Spec wise, certainly not quality wise. Was it worth an additional $3k at the time? Maybe, maybe not.

What I'm saying is, I'm not mad at the car for needing work. I'm annoyed that I have to do ANY extra work, so my post was much more of a vent and not at all a bash on the Aveo. It's an awful car, yes, however I have a soft spot for it because it's ridiculously inexpensive to repair, parts are readily available, and at the end of the day it serves it's purpose like a front-line soldier. You can give it he** and it replies "THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER!"
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
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13,301
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Sometimes it sure would be nice to have a crystal ball to see into the future.

Sure would have been nice to pick up a $10k Spark before all of this was needed.

Oh well.
 
Messages
437
Location
WA
remember seeing one in the fast food drive through a few years ago. could see the dash on it, looking down from a vintage VW bus,
the entire warning gauge panel was lit up like a Christmas Tree, quite impressive. The exhaust didn't stink so I guess the lady operating
it figured why upset the cosmic balance? They might be 120k mile cars, O2 sensors burn out? Off to the recyclers.
 

14Accent

Thread starter
Messages
1,642
Location
MN
You've exceeded the designed lifespan by 200% probably. What do you expect?

That made me chuckle, this is exactly the thought I have every time I fix the thing. It's a car that owes absolutely NOTHING to NO ONE. I remember a coworker once telling me that back in 08-09 there was a dealership running a "Buy a Silverado, get an Aveo free" deal. He kept the truck, told them to keep the Aveo. It was so useless, he didn't even want to pay the taxes to take the "free" car. That says a lot. What are the taxes on a $9k car, $200-300?

remember seeing one in the fast food drive through a few years ago. could see the dash on it, looking down from a vintage VW bus,
the entire warning gauge panel was lit up like a Christmas Tree, quite impressive. The exhaust didn't stink so I guess the lady operating
it figured why upset the cosmic balance? They might be 120k mile cars, O2 sensors burn out? Off to the recyclers.

Oddly enough, the only warning light on the dash is for the TPMS. I have absolutely no reason to replace the dead tire sensor, there's no point. I solved the CEL by replacing the cam sensor and throttle body a couple weeks back. Sad thing is, the Amazon outlet throttle body I installed cost $25, the OEM cam sensor cost $45....
 
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