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Old 02-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default Oil cooler lines... again.

Yes folks, my car is now in need of its FOURTH set of engine oil cooler lines. I have 75,500km (approx. 47,000mi) and they're leaking yet again. Here are a few things that I've discovered...

1. This is not a problem isolated to the Bonneville, many GM vehicles suffer this same problem.
2. This problem is more prone to occur where there is a cold climate (although not exclusively).
3. Hoses and lines are NOT covered under the GMPP extended warranty. In some cases, GM will honour a "Good Will" warranty.
4. Transmission lines are similarly bad. Again, not limited to the Bonneville.
5. You are a homosexual.

I understand that there has been a lot of frustration over the GXP amongst some of our members due to many problems. I make mention of non-exclusivity of this problem because this can't be attributed to just a Bonneville issue... this would not be fair to the car. This is a dreadfully poor part problem that extends across many GM product lines.

I called a local shop this morning that specializes in hoses. I mentioned that I was referred to them because I have some leaking oil cooler lines. To my shock and surprise (j/k), he immediately said "This is on a GM?". Apparently they have dealt with hundreds of these on cars, trucks, delivery vans, etc.

The good news is that they have a fix. Although not super cheap, after a few sets of hoses and labour to install them, it would most definitely be more economical. Basically, they take the old hoses, use the ends again, replace the existing rubber hose with hydraulic hose and recrimp with a steel ring. The biggest problem he said is the crimp. The one used at time of manufacture is aluminum. They notice a sharp rise in business with cold weather. Basically, with the expansion and contraction during heating and cooling cycles, the crimp loosens grip a little and they start to leak. The hose isn't as big a problem, but they replace it with hydraulic line anyway for good measure. Cost to service a set of hoses is approx. $100.00 CAN. There is R&R labour costs on top if this wherever the car is taken for service. The dealer price to supply and replace oil cooler lines (in Canada anyway) is about $575.00. My dealership has knocked this down by nearly $200.00 in an effort to help me out (in recognition it'* now my 4th set). GM will not help any further because the last time it was done they already covered it under a "Good Will" warranty.

I'm told by the specialty hose shop that GM has been using this same method of manufacture for some time and just hasn't learned. I guess since it'* not covered by extended warranties, it'* not a big deal. It'* not money out of their pocket at that point!

Just a little frustrated right now. Thought I'd share with everyone so the information is out there about a better fix. I'll keep everyone updated as to how these hold up. A friend of mine (professional mechanic) has said they've had good success using these "modified" hoses.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:52 PM   #2
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After market lines is the best thing to do. Sounds like the stock lines are a known issue. I would say there my be a recall, but don't count on getting reimbursed for any repairs. Fix it after market, fix it right, and problem solved.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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I made some inquiries about aftermarket lines but was told there aren't any (at least for my car).
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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You should be able to go to a industrial shop. I would guess a place that services forklifts or trucks. many of them have the tools to make custom hoses. Try the service desk and talk to someone. All they really need to know is fitting size/type, hose size, and hose length.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:10 PM   #5
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Just called NAPA. They have nothing for cars newer than 1999. Rock Auto also doesn't show anything that I could find.

The shop I'm going to does this type of specialty work. They're going to get me fixed up. Not sure if it'* some sort of custom fitting or if they reuse them because there is just no need to replace them.

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Old 02-18-2009, 04:28 PM   #6
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In think a truck shop that routinely makes high pressure air and hydraulic lines could fix you up. Where I got my Braided SS lines for my air suspension because I didnt want to go the standard poly tubing route. It'* hard to believe you have had such hard luck with this item. I havent had a drip and the car is not garaged.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:14 PM   #7
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Okay, new hoses showed up at the dealership today. I picked them up and took them to a place called Green Line Hose & Fittings in Calgary. Before I dropped them off, I took a few 'Before' pictures. There are two hoses that need to be replaced, but I'm only showing pictures of one since the information applies to both.

In the first picture, you can see the entire assembly.


Here are a few close-up photos...



The final 'Before' photo has arrows that show where the oil always ends up leaking from.


When the shop went to modify the hoses, they found that the tubing wasn't perfectly round so they couldn't simply crimp everything back together. They ended up having to solder fittings on, then attach new hose to the fittings with crimps from there. It looks to me like they used something like silver solder. Apparently soldering is a common technique for some applications and circumstances. They replaced the lesser quality hose with a high pressure hydraulic hose.

Now for the 'After' photos...






This last photo shows a comparison between the hose and how it'* attached from the original to the modified.


I suspect I won't be having any further problems with these. New hoses go on the car Monday.

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:41 PM   #8
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Much nicer connections.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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Way to go Darcy, if I have the leak, I'll be digging up this thread. Screw that, I think this should be in Tech Info. It'* time for an N* section. whatta ya think?
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:18 PM   #10
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I think it'* a great idea!
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