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Discussion Starter #1
Dealer just diagnosed a bad rear wheel bearing as cause of loud droning noise from my 2012 Volt (110k). I figured as much, other than possibly the 1-year old OEM Goodyears.

Also, the dealer told me they could actually upgrade my base radio to the nav unit, which has taken me many months to do. Their Volt tech is very young and he was cool trying it. No other dealer I have visited would even attempt it.

So here is the problem I am having with all this upcoming work: The OEM wheel bearing is a $95 part online from multiple GM dealers. My dealer, however, wanted to charge me +$250 for the part plus labor. When I showed them the online prices they wouldn't match them, but agreed to lower the part cost to $135, their "wholesale price". Parts and labor will now be about $450.

As for the radio they wanted about 2-3x the cost of the three OEM adaptor cables needed for the install, and wouldn't match the online prices at all -- so I am literally having them shipped to them from another Chevy dealer. But for the install labor, alone, my dealer says they want $650 for the install "because they have to reprogram a lot of modules in the vehicle".

Am I being completely ripped off here? I know dealers cost more, but +4 hours of labor to swap the radio because of, in part, "module reprogramming" when other people here say the upgrade takes maybe an hour to reprogram just one module? My dealer says they need to reprogram multiple modules including the OnStar module. Is this true?

This dealer (Libertyville Chevrolet) also wants me to change the spark plugs and flush the brake fluid and turn the brake rotors -- however, I definitely have concerns about their charging practices now. Can a local mechanic change spark plugs and brake fluid, etc. on a Volt? Or must it be a dealer?

Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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Fix the bearing and get any deferred maintained done. Plugs and brake fluid change can be done by ANY competent mechanic. Then use your cell phone for GPS navigation.
 

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Then use your cell phone for GPS navigation.
As an owner of a 2012 with Nav, I second this. The in dash nav looks nice BUT it is horrible. From what I have read here owners of MY2012 without the Nav can stream music via bluetooth, if this is a feature you use then you would probably lose it as part of the upgrade. $650 for in dash nav is way too much in my opinion when Waze is free on your phone.

$650 would also pay the cost for OnStar Guidance for a couple of years.
 

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rear wheel bearings are not difficult to replace. get prices from non-dealers. Where you are at are probably several dealers not far away. I would go somewhere else. this is less than a 1 day fix, so you could just take a day off and go somewhere else out side of metropolis......

dealers often buy 3rd party software that adds magic money to the OEM parts catalog. depending on parts, it can be 50%. Your price sounds excessively high. I dont think I would ever call them until forced to. I worked at dealers most of my life and only one would I call crooked. this place sounds like one of those.
 

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A nav system is nice but for that money I'd read a map. As for spark plugs one would think it would be at least 200,000 after all this is an EV and the range extender runs minimally. The brake rotors have carbo-nitrite surface treatment. Turning them will remove that and ruin them. Are they scored up somehow? We expect the brakes on Volts to go 125,000 and then maybe need pads only.
 

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I had to replace a wheel bearing, garage charged me $400. I'm wondering if bad wheel bearings is a problem for the Volt, perhaps due to the heavy battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had to replace a wheel bearing, garage charged me $400. I'm wondering if bad wheel bearings is a problem for the Volt, perhaps due to the heavy battery?
Thanks for the info -- to everyone. I guess $400 may be reasonable. Its a crap shoot. Next time I have a problem I will do my homework better and call around. This dealer said the hub bearing is not normally stocked so they had to order it from GM.

Re the GPS I bought the head unit and the dash panel months ago, but have not been able to install it because no dealer I have used thus far has been able to do it. They all wanted me to go to outside stereo shops and those shops were very iffy about being able to do it, especially because it involved reprogramming.

I have been using phone based GPS after my onstar expired, but I have a Windows Phone with "HERE Drive" mapping software which has progressively gotten worse over the years, with mis-directions and poor routing. Plus a pain while driving. An in-dash GPS may not be the best, but compared to my phone it would be a godsend. I may be getting the new iPhone SE in the near future so maybe that will help.

The Volt is definitely a hard car to deal with, when out of warranty, because its hard to know what a neighborhood mechanic can safely, competently do, vs. what you really should go to a dealer for. I trust the dealers' expertise, but definitely feel like I am getting hosed on service pricing.
 

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I concur with the majority. Work for the bearing can be done by any reputable mechanic. Personally I have the navigation, but is essential after fit, absolutely not as others say use your phone or other gps device.

However should you want to use this or any other gm dealership look on their websites for coupons(some coupons I have received give $50-100 off work performed) and price matches for parts and tires. I know that the dealerships in my area have have those posted on their websites and I get coupons constantly from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A nav system is nice but for that money I'd read a map. As for spark plugs one would think it would be at least 200,000 after all this is an EV and the range extender runs minimally. The brake rotors have carbo-nitrite surface treatment. Turning them will remove that and ruin them. Are they scored up somehow? We expect the brakes on Volts to go 125,000 and then maybe need pads only.
Re the brakes, I have wondered about that also -- the dealer said the rotors are "delaminating" especially on the rear. Probably because the Volt brakes don't get used that much, any surface corrosion doesn't get burned off like a regular ICE car. They say there is some pitting and scoring (how?) but I don't think there is much if any warping of the rotors. I too am concerned about cutting them and removing the surface. New Volt rotors are rather expensive if you get the coated versions.
 

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I had to replace the head unit (with NAV) in my 2012 Volt due to the fact that it wouldn't retain settings when the Volt was turned off. (bad memory chip, probably)

I bought a new correct model head unit for about $350 off ebay, and installed it myself, (very easy with instructions found in posts on this forum) and confirmed with my dealer a price of $120 for the programming, which is what several other owners said their dealer charged for it.

It has worked perfectly ever since.
 

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For comparison: A friend of mine with a 2012 recently had a rear wheel bearing replaced. His dealer quoted $160 for the part and $200 for labor.
 

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I wouldn't take an out of warranty car to a dealer for anything. I'd either do the work myself or go to a private mechanic. Spark plugs shouldn't need replaced unless you never charged the battery and ran on gas all the time. The plugs are good for 100K miles of gasoline operation, not 100K miles of electric driving. Brake fluid flush is normal maintenance that every mechanic shop in the world does every day. Nothing magic about the Volt brakes. For the rotors, does the car pulse or shimmy while braking hard? If not, the dealership is just trolling for cash trying to sell you services you don't need. For the wheel bearing, this is a job that requires almost no skill at all and anyone who owns more than $100 worth of tools can probably figure it out without resorting to You Tube in under 20 minutes. Maybe 30 including jacking up the car and removing the wheel. Don't reward the stealership's greedy pricing tactics unless you need something Voltec specific repaired. 90% of the car is just like every other car on the road and any mechanic can fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
UPDATE TO POST (BAD REPAIR RESULT):

Just got the car (Early 2012 base Volt) back from the dealer. $950.00 for the new wheel bearing and the Nav Radio upgrade labor.

The wheel bearing was fixed but the Nav system is seriously messed up and I have to take the car back Saturday.

Once I drove home I got the nav system working and it found routes, but it would not give turn by turn directions on a route. It also sometimes showed the car as being off-road, and also would not automatically update routing if I took a different direction.

Also, pushing the "info" button on the controls kept coming up as an error about XM Radio subscription being needed to see the Weather. It doesn't matter whether you are listening to AM, FM or XM, hitting Info always brings up the Weather prompt.

Worse, the OnStar button now shows RED -- so OnStar ran a diagnostic and it shows OnStar Error Code B2485. Something about a communication problem.

I did also notice that the compass in the dashboard now says "CAL".

I hope the dealer can figure out this mess on Saturday!

Can you damage a Volt's OnStar hardware by dong the nav upgrade as per the upgrade instructions on here? (that's what was given to the mechanic to follow). Can mis-programing the car permanently damage the OnStar modules or is it something that reprogramming can fix?

Very perplexing. The upgrade instructions looked straightforward.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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^^^What he said. Just swapped LF wheel bearing in my driveway for $92 from rockauto (2013 w/ 108k). Straightforward replacement assuming you can get the axle nut off (LARGE breaker bar) and keep the abs sensor out of the way. Had the telltale clicking taking ramps which then turned into a lovely hum. Maybe I should do less than twice the advisory speed on ramps :)
 

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A story from the mid 80's about wheel bearings:

I had a front wheel drive Subaru (non-4 wheel drive) that was making the low pitched droning noise. Sounded like a wheel bearing to me. Took it to the Subaru dealer, they called me and said the problem was with the rear differential and they could fix it for $1000 (this was a lot of money back then). I reminded them the car did not HAVE a rear differential and said I would pick up the car and take it elsewhere. I bought a set of 2 wheel bearings at the auto parts store for I think $30. Then I drove to another Subaru dealer. Told them to just put the new bearings in the rear wheels (the sound was coming from the back). I asked them how much they would charge to do that. They said $40. They did the work and the noise was gone.
 

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Bravo!
Buyer beware or always get a second opinion.
 
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