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Thread: End of the road.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    Arrow End of the road.

    Our Cruze Diesel was a fabulous car, without a doubt. However, nearly 3 years and 55K miles into it, the complicated decision to part ways was made. The end of "free" service and the upcoming need for tires and interval servicing, now on my dime, made the math right to trade (up or down, yet to be seen). My only regret is, I wish I had taken the time to sell it, rather than trade.

    We were planning on trading into a 2017 Cruze Diesel, however they wouldn't be available until after January, even for orders. Anticipating the trade within a few months, we went to the dealer lots to have a look and get a feel of the new body style and interior, as well as a closer look at the Cruze Hatch, now on lots. It only took seconds to remove the Hatch as an option, so back to the sedan (for several reasons, GM screwed the pooch on that one, IMO). Enter the 2017 Volt Premier. The dealer had a few of them on the lot. It looked intriguing, stylish, and (very) sporty. Took a 20 minute test drive, did a little research and crunched the numbers. It was a done deal from that point. The end cost was actually less than moving into a new Cruze, all told. Prepared to order one when our salesman located one exactly as what we were preparing to order. They brought it, and we bought it, 3.5 weeks ago. So far, we're very impressed with the whole package. It works as advertised. I won't go into details, but will answer any questions anyone may have. 90 MPG average (compensated for grid power costs), so far, and it only looks to get better as we get more familiar with the car and are able to take advantage of lower grid power cost strategies. Wife's happy, so I'm happy!

    I'm closing the chapter on this one now. It was a fine car. No problems with it, whatsoever. There were some issues with exhaust sensors, but the dealer handled that quickly with little inconvenience. The car returned 50+ MPG highway, with an average 44 MPG mixed hwy/city/mtn. Well above the EPA estimate, but from what I've heard from other Cruze Diesel owners, not unusual.

    If anyone is interested in this fine vehicle, it's for sale at Liberty Chevrolet in Selma, CA, at a fair price. Their online listing doesn't do it justice (other than the excellent pics), so don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. It has many features (OEM) they didn't list.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    You mention the end of “free” service - is service for the vehicle that much of an issue for this vehicle?
    '94 GMC 6.5TD K1500 4L80E 2-Door Yukon SLE 221K
    '93 Chevrolet 6.5TD K2500HD NV4500 Std. Cab Longbed 187K
    '85 Toyota 22R RN60 4x4 Std. Cab Shortbed 178K (Currently retired for rebuild)
    Diesel Page Member #2423

  3. #3
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    Arrow

    No, not an issue, or anything unusual. The car came with 2 year, dealer provided, no-charge scheduled maintenance warranty. The service is more costly than gasser models, in that, the oil is more expensive (dexos2, vs, dexos1, with the only aftermarket being Mobil Series 3000, which isn't typically available, anywhere), and also required DEF (no biggie, really, about $15 every 10K). I did two services out of the warranty. The oil filter is a PITA to access, and the oil costs $50-60, and isn't available just anywhere (dealer only in my area, no alternatives, and nothing reasonable online). The filter is typical, at around $10. I also did the fuel filter, but it was unremarkable. Boring, really.

    The "free" service was only a very small part of the decision. We were at the point of, stay in it for another 3-4 years (end of extended warranty), or move into a new vehicle. We were planning on doing this in early 2017, but just moved faster now, only for the financial angle (the majority of the Volt rebates/credits are tax-year dependent, didn't want to wait until 2018 to cash in, and some of the CA rebates will sunset by then), and were so impressed with the Volt. The car gets about 20K miles a year, so trade-in value also played a part. The car went away "like new" (KBB excellent), with the only drawback being the miles and the need for new tires (the appraisal hit was less than half the cost of new tires).

    Ultimately, for a hands-on DIY'er, the car was quite boring. Nothing broke, wore out, or required any attention. No squeaks. No rattles. Nothing. The car performed as well at 55K as it did new. Even the brakes were at 90%. I suppose (hope) I can expect the same from the Volt, as the fit and finish quality is at least up to the same standard. This speaks well for the quality of the cars, but leaves an old wrencher with nothing to do but look at it.

    I'm not here to talk up the Volt, but the "normal" wear items just won't wear, or simply don't exist. The ridiculously long warranties cover almost everything out of sight (8 years, 150K for the high voltage systems, for example). The engine rarely runs (hard to tell without instrumentation, since it's almost always completely silent, even when it's running), it doesn't have a transmission to speak of (there's a purdy, basket ball size thing hanging off the engine), and the service brakes are only used to hold a complete stop (automatic regen, and regen-on-demand are VERY effective), or an unexpected hard stop. Almost everything on the car is electrically driven by the high voltage system. The engine has one (short) acc. belt, and that only drives an external water pump (something I can repair, if it breaks). It has 3 separate cooling systems, engine, high voltage system, and power electronics system, each with its own coolant reservoir and radiator. Every system is sealed from the elements, and are climate-controlled. At the going rate, it looks like I won't have to lay a wrench on it for 7 years or so. Maybe I'll rotate the tires and change the oil at some time, but there's just nothing more to do that isn't warrantied during that time. Another boring car, I think. Looks to be more boring than the Cruze, but it's actually more fun and comfortable to drive, by a lot. I have only 2 gripes about the car, and they're trivial. Like the Cruze Diesel, this car delivers everything promised, in spades, with an end-cost significantly less than a new Cruze Diesel.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  4. #4
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    Ft. Wayne, In.
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    It's funny that in the last couple of weeks I've been thinking about posting here to ask how the Diesel Cruze owners like yourself have been doing with their cars!
    I can understand your purchase. Makes sense/cents!
    I've not read about the Volt for a few years, (I read about it in the engineering journals at the time it was being designed) so I'm not up to speed on it anymore. What does a road trip look like in one? Does it charge as it goes so you can drive all day?
    Dave
    Dave, N9LOV
    Member #242
    Dave's Diesels:
    Sold June, 07 '82 1/2 ton 4X4;340k miles
    '97 2 Dr Tahoe, Intercooled,
    Kennedy ECM, 4" Exhaust
    '02 GMC

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DmaxMaverick View Post
    No, not an issue, or anything unusual. The car came with 2 year, dealer provided, no-charge scheduled maintenance warranty.
    Ok, it just aroused my curiosity when service was mentioned in the discussion to sell a vehicle only a few years old - particularly as the first item mentioned. The first impression is that it must have been in the shop pretty frequently to have been mentioned.

    Right about now, I could do with “boring” a bit more. I’ve been doing quite a bit of work on the K2500 lately. I was rear-ended a couple years ago and I have a strong feeling that contributed to the broken rear spring pack even though it didn’t show up until later. A bad rear axle seal lead to new seals, bearings, and brake shoes (due to the oil leakage). While I was back there, I replaced the parking brake cables as they weren’t working well (a couple off-road snags didn’t help them). Replacing the front brake hoses led to replacing all the brake lines. And now I’m welding in a patch panel for the driver’s side of the radiator support. I looked at what all had to be removed to replace the whole panel and decided that patching was the better option, but I’m not so sure now…

    Then again, it's closing in on 200K miles after twenty-three years and at least one previous owner of questionable maintenance skills, so I can’t exactly complain about its service.
    '94 GMC 6.5TD K1500 4L80E 2-Door Yukon SLE 221K
    '93 Chevrolet 6.5TD K2500HD NV4500 Std. Cab Longbed 187K
    '85 Toyota 22R RN60 4x4 Std. Cab Shortbed 178K (Currently retired for rebuild)
    Diesel Page Member #2423

  6. #6
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    CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDavy View Post
    It's funny that in the last couple of weeks I've been thinking about posting here to ask how the Diesel Cruze owners like yourself have been doing with their cars!
    I can understand your purchase. Makes sense/cents!
    I've not read about the Volt for a few years, (I read about it in the engineering journals at the time it was being designed) so I'm not up to speed on it anymore. What does a road trip look like in one? Does it charge as it goes so you can drive all day?
    Dave
    We were very pleased with the Cruze, the entire experience during the time we had it. No regrets or complaints. It was sad to see it go, but reality won out.

    The Volt got a significant facelift for the 2016 MY, both in the appearance and technology. It's much more refined and "sporty" than what we looked at in 2013. 30%+ greater battery range, and much more efficient all the way around, while much more "luxurious" at the same time. It's worth a serious look if the range and other features work into a strategy. EPA rated range on the battery alone is 53 miles. We range between 48 and 70, depending on driving style and conditions. The lifetime MPG is north of 90 MPG (2200 miles, currently), which takes into account charged energy usage compared with an equivalent cost of gas. This will improve as experience improves. It's a simple matter of efficiently balancing economy with comfort, and battery charging strategies.

    Road trips are unremarkable, to say the least. It has 4 driver-selectable drive modes to accommodate just about any condition:

    Normal: uses the available battery charge, then switches to the gas engine for power. It charges/discharges the battery as necessary to maintain the most efficient use of energies. The engine will start, stop, rev, idle, depending on the actual energy demands and stored power. We easily get 50 MPG on gas only on the open highway.

    Sport: It is what it says. Fast! Quicker than it deserves to be. Fun! Responsive. Aggressive. The car has 2 high voltage traction motors, and usually uses only one at a time. Sport makes them both available, as well as gas engine power, simultaneously. Uses more battery and gas. E-ticket ride, to be sure! A guilty pleasure, at a $$ price. Tesla-mode, as I call it.

    Mountain: It will either hold a minimal battery charge (usually about a 10 mile range), or make one, to assist with steep grades. It works like the battery-depleted "normal" condition, except it keeps a charge in reserve.

    Hold: It will "hold" whatever battery charge it has, and will charge/discharge as needed to keep up with power demands. It can be selected at any time there is battery capacity available (above zero).
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trbankii View Post
    Ok, it just aroused my curiosity when service was mentioned in the discussion to sell a vehicle only a few years old - particularly as the first item mentioned. The first impression is that it must have been in the shop pretty frequently to have been mentioned.

    Right about now, I could do with “boring” a bit more. I’ve been doing quite a bit of work on the K2500 lately. I was rear-ended a couple years ago and I have a strong feeling that contributed to the broken rear spring pack even though it didn’t show up until later. A bad rear axle seal lead to new seals, bearings, and brake shoes (due to the oil leakage). While I was back there, I replaced the parking brake cables as they weren’t working well (a couple off-road snags didn’t help them). Replacing the front brake hoses led to replacing all the brake lines. And now I’m welding in a patch panel for the driver’s side of the radiator support. I looked at what all had to be removed to replace the whole panel and decided that patching was the better option, but I’m not so sure now…

    Then again, it's closing in on 200K miles after twenty-three years and at least one previous owner of questionable maintenance skills, so I can’t exactly complain about its service.
    It spent very little time in the shop. We had a couple issues with the exhaust sensors. Each time we were immediately given a rental, so there was really no down-time, for us. The sensor problem was the same for other vehicles that used the same/similar parts (Ford uses the same sensors, and had the same issues). The problem was the supplier, and finally resolved once it was redesigned. The only other shop-time was for scheduled maintenance and to replace one bad speaker (20 minute wait for that one). The car had only 2 recalls, neither serous. One was a "check" of the master cylinder level sensor, which was handled while it was in the shop waiting for an exhaust sensor (the MC recall was completed with no correction required). The other was for a possible battery negative cable connection issue, which we didn't experience. Boring, but in a good way.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  8. #8
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    Very interesting read, this one, D Max. I mean, regarding both cars. Been wondering about these for a long time, without having read anything on either in the publications.

    Sure wish I'd held off in 13, when we bought our 011 Malibu flood car. I'm thinking that the intent that I had, regarding a Cruze, was passed up too easily.
    Now, I'm spending money like a drunken sailor on other stuff and will be out of the market for a couple of years at the very least.

    One question. Did/does the Cruze have the same electronic power steering as the Malibu? Sure hope not.
    2008 Jaco Seneca 35' motor home (Kodiak 5500 chassis). Pulling 18' Wells Cargo enclosed trailer, with 2016 Miata in it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickWells View Post
    Very interesting read, this one, D Max. I mean, regarding both cars. Been wondering about these for a long time, without having read anything on either in the publications.

    Sure wish I'd held off in 13, when we bought our 011 Malibu flood car. I'm thinking that the intent that I had, regarding a Cruze, was passed up too easily.
    Now, I'm spending money like a drunken sailor on other stuff and will be out of the market for a couple of years at the very least.

    One question. Did/does the Cruze have the same electronic power steering as the Malibu? Sure hope not.
    Electric? Yes. Reported problems or recalls? No. It's the same design, but the Malibu line has had issues with this since the 2005 M/Y. The dealers keep replacing the wrong parts, or try "calibrating" the damn thing. The problem is the load sensor on the column. It's a faulty design, unique to the Malibu. I've dealt with a few of them, including my mother's 2005 Maxx (nice car, otherwise).
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
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    Arrow

    I always thought the Volt was promoted badly. Like low energy light bulbs, the government gets involved and makes it seem like (or is in actuality) a mandate. This is why Obamacare was so hated.

    Like the LED light bulbs, there is a genuine conservative argument to be made for the use of electric assisted cars, but the argument has to be based on a good outcome - "you'll save money and not experience inconvenience."

    You can bet that if I still commuted, I would likely have a Volt. Keep us updated... I like hearing about it.

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