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So I just leased a brand new 2018 Volt, and 3 weeks after I drove it off the lot, my engine needs replacing!!

During the 3 weeks, I mostly drove it on electric power. Last week, I used the last of my electric miles driving to a restaurant. After dinner, I get into the car to see that the car is now in engine mode. I start driving back to where I'm staying. For the first few miles, it seems fine. Then, after I get on the freeway, the engine starts making really loud noises and the check engine light comes on! I'm going uphill and the car starts to shake! It gets so bad, it feels like it's going to either blow up or stall in the middle of the freeway!!

Thankfully, I was only a couple of miles away from where I was going. So as I get off the freeway, it's still not sounding good at all, and the check engine light blinks for about 20 seconds, and then goes back to just being on. I'm able to make it the final few blocks. And when I park it, the message on the dash says, "Engine Not Available." Huh?!! ... The car is 3 weeks old, with a total of 429 miles!

So, as you can imagine, I'm in total shock.

Next day, I have it towed to the local Chevy dealership. (By the way, OnStar ended up taking 3.5 hours to get a tow truck to me!) Anyway, here is what the dealer's service department said:

One of the coolant hoses down in the lower part of the engine has a clamp that holds it in place. Apparently, when the car was being manufactured, the clamp was put on, but it wasn't cinched enough, so it ended up falling off and all the coolant spilled out. So he said the engine had burnt out and they have to put in a whole new one!! Unbelievable!!!

This was my first Chevrolet ever. My brother convinced me to get a Chevy. And 3 weeks in, I'm in this situation! ... Not feeling too great about Chevy at the moment.

I'm going to contact GM Customer Service about this. Who should I talk to and what should I say?
 

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Yes, that's surprising. My Volt has 7 years and 96k mikes on it and no major issues. It's my first Chevy as well. Frankly, the best car I ever had.

But this is what warranties are for. Obviously this was human error on the assembly line, rather than a design flaw. I'm pretty sure Chevy will know who that person was. They don't like this any more than you do. That lose clamp is going to cost them a whole lot of money (new engine, dealer labor, shipping) plus an unhappy customer.

I would ask them for a free loaner to cover me while the car is having the engine replaced. I'd also ask for that car to be a Volt, but don't hold your breath. Just my observation, but throwing attitude does not seem to get them on your side. Firm calm reasonable and persistent usually works better.
 

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Unfortunately this is human error and doesn't have anything to do with the reliability of the engine itself. If this human error was done on any car companies engine the same outcome would be seen.

Just REALLY bad luck for you, but since you are leasing I would push hard to just get a completely different volt for the lease instead of waiting for this one to be fixed. Call Chevy HQ if you need to if the dealer won't help.
 

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Rough situation, but at least it wasn't a true defect of the engine... poor thing just wasn't getting cooled. Did it ever give a notice on the dash of overheating? I always thought it was odd that Volts don't have an engine temperature gauge... in my last two cars the gauge showed me that I had coolant/hose issues and I was able to get them serviced ASAP (and I could tell when it was too hot to drive). Seems crazy that Volts don't do anything like that?!?!
 

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Manufacturing defects can happen to any car. I just read another thread about a Ford F-250 that blew itself up in less than a year.

No car model has a 0% defect rate. You just happened to be in that small percentage that had a defect. Hopefully the dealer makes things right, and you don't have any other problems.
 

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So you're mad at Chevy for a hose clamp not being tight enough. How many times have you had water spray all over because you didn't get the hose tight enough? These things happen.

Now if the dealership tried to blame you for the missing clamp that would be reason to be angry.
 

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What I'm perplexed at is that there is no report of a driver warning of high temp or low coolant. That is something any car should warn the driver about. Very surprised if there isn't one.
 

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What I'm perplexed at is that there is no report of a driver warning of high temp or low coolant. That is something any car should warn the driver about. Very surprised if there isn't one.
There is also a warning light.
 

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What I'm perplexed at is that there is no report of a driver warning of high temp or low coolant. That is something any car should warn the driver about. Very surprised if there isn't one.
I guess the check engine light is the only warning. Then you have to go look for what's going on.

Don't blame Chevy. Even MB cars have manufacturing defects occasionally. You will get a new engine, and they'll give you a loaner. The only thing you are out is a little stress, and the 3.5 hours waiting for the tow.
 

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If the failure under warranty is 7% and it happens to you, the failure rate is effectively 100% (for you).
 

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If I recall a blinking check engine light (CEL) means "pull over asap and turn engine off".


Of course, there's nothing to say the manufacturer can't put that text on their display in bright blink so those that don't know the seriousness of a blinking CEL get the message in plain English.
 

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According to the owners manual the vehicle has an indicator to warn of engine overheating. It is called the engine coolant temperature warning light or also known as the " idiot light"
 

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laarkmaa , minor defects with large consequences happen occasionally for types of vehicles. They manifest very quickly as you noticed. Hence the reason for warranty periods. As you stated, the Chevy dealer is giving you a new engine since your car is under warranty. No need to complain to GM customer service as you have been taken car of. The dealer will also provide you with a replacement loaner car (not always a Volt) while your repairs are being performed. This is what they did for me when my rear axle needed replacing and was under warranty. The dealer will inform GM about the error made on the assembly line. Chevy dealers have a GM quality control feedback system for such cases.


So I just leased a brand new 2018 Volt, and 3 weeks after I drove it off the lot, my engine needs replacing!!

SNIP

Next day, I have it towed to the local Chevy dealership. (By the way, OnStar ended up taking 3.5 hours to get a tow truck to me!) Anyway, here is what the dealer's service department said:

One of the coolant hoses down in the lower part of the engine has a clamp that holds it in place. Apparently, when the car was being manufactured, the clamp was put on, but it wasn't cinched enough, so it ended up falling off and all the coolant spilled out. So he said the engine had burnt out and they have to put in a whole new one!! Unbelievable!!!

SNIP

I'm going to contact GM Customer Service about this. Who should I talk to and what should I say?
 

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I suspect there were a series of warnings which an attentive operator should have picked up on - That's almost always the case

I burned up the little 3 cylinder diesel on my Kubota garden tractor last year and didn't notice anything until I started to smell it. A nut fell off a battery hold down rod allowing the rod to wear a hole in the screen protecting the radiator - I should have noticed that if I'd been checking the oil every time I started it, but it never burns ANY oil, so you get out of the habit. The rod poked a small hole in the radiator and when the coolant got low I suppose the red idiot light on the dash probably did come on, but you can't really see if it's lit or not because the sun bleaches it out - Should be an audible warning too for something where the dash is out in full sun I guess. By the time it started to smell bad, it was too late - Still running fine at that point, but I definitely cooked it. I replaced the engine with a used one I bought on eBay which was imported from Japan - Lesson learned . . . . be more attentive!

Don
 

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Yeah, that greatly surprises me too! You'd think that the DIC would have been lit up like a Christmas tree!

What I'm perplexed at is that there is no report of a driver warning of high temp or low coolant. That is something any car should warn the driver about. Very surprised if there isn't one.
 

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If I recall a blinking check engine light (CEL) means "pull over asap and turn engine off".
I suspect there were a series of warnings which an attentive operator should have picked up on - That's almost always the case
The check engine light means so many different things from, "you need to get this checked at some point", to "stop now, the engine is about to explode."
People have become accustomed to seeing the light and thinking it's probably no big deal.
 

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If there's no coolant, the coolant temp sensor would have to be measuring the air temperature in the cooling system. Air is such a poor conductor of heat compared to liquid, it's entirely possible that it never got hot enough to meet the threshold to set off the engine temperature warning.

A flashing CEL means that a misfire is occurring. The manual says to drive gently and have the car looked at ASAP, not to turn the engine off immediately. Although, in my opinion, the latter is what you should do because a continuous misfire can cause all sorts of damage.

I am surprised that there's apparently no coolant level sensor.
 
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