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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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New Car Damage

Iíve just learned that the A/C condenser is bent on my new Cobalt, and Chevy may want me to pay for it, even though itís not my fault!

I bought a 2008 Cobalt LT 4-door on January 21st.
On March 1st, with just 910 miles on the odometer, my wife and I took it from upstate NY to Florida. On the way down, we heard a noise that sounded like tire noise, or a fuel pump or an air leak, but couldnít tell where or what it was.

In Florida, the noise went away.

On the way back, we noticed that it was coming from the front of the car, so I opened the hood and noticed that the bottom of the A/C evaporator was bent in towards the radiator. I closed the hood, and the noise changed. The noise is most prevalent over 80MPH. With 65MPH speed limits in the northeast, I donít go over 80 often. However, the traffic and 70MPH speed limits around Atlanta and other cities require 80+ MPH.

Upon returning to upstate NY, now with 4,000 miles on the car, I took it to a local dealer, who told me to pay them $76 to put it on a lift, because a bent condenser wasnít covered under the warranty. Since the car is now only 7 WEEKS old, I took it to another dealer, who put it on a lift at no charge. He found that the bottom part of the condenser was pushed into the radiator and the radiator was pushed into the fan. The radiator & fan isnít really visible from under the hood.

We finally found the source of the noise!

However, the dealer couldnít fix the problem. He took photos of the damage and it was readily apparent that everything else around the damage didnít have a scratch on it. Even the bottom part of the plastic spoiler had no scratches.
This car hasnít even gone up a steep driveway yet.

Because the radiator and condenser are above the spoiler, engine brace and transmission, among many other parts, and each of them had no scratches, the dealer is now trying to get Chevy to pay for the damage.
In the meantime, I have a brand-new car that not only has a bent radiator and A/C condenser, but I have to be careful about turning on the defroster or A/C so as not to spring a leak! To the dealerís credit, he bent everything back into place so the fan would stop hitting the radiator.

I never hit anything with this,or any other car in over 30 years of driving.
I just wanted to relate this story while I wait for a decision.
The dealer took photos while the car was on the lift and agreed to send me a copy if Chevy doesnít do the repair.

The first dealer asked me why Iíd ever buy a car like that, but that was a pretty ridiculous statement considering itís pretty cold up here in January, and I didnít take a creeper to look over every dent on the underside of the car before I bought it.

Maybe next time I will.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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This is new:
I just took a better look at the car and found a 3' or so piece of black plastic stuck in-between the rear of the fan housing and the front of the engine, -near the top.
It appears to be a protector for the bottom of the radiator. If it was in place, it would have blocked most road debris from damaging the radiator, and to some extent the A/C condenser.

It really appears that someone put that piece there after noticing the damage.

If nothing else, this is definitely a lesson. I'll never buy another brand-new car without thoroughly inspecting it, removing the plastic engine covers, etc.
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