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Old 12-15-2012, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default Went to the Chevy dealer for service instead of doing LIM gasket myslef

Just did the almost unthinkable- brought the Bravada to the Chevy dealer to have the LIM gasket replaced. I replaced the LIM on my Soní* S10 two years ago and it went well, I enjoyed doing it.

I was PCSd (transferred) to Arizona 45 days ago. The family will not meet me in Arizona until next summer. I moved all my tools to Arizona when I moved, I have not a tool or shop supply left in Illinois.

I flew home for the holidays, and inspected the vehicles. When checking the Bravada, I saw a very bad thing. Although the coolant level is not showing a major drop, the oil level is increasing. Since I donít suspect the head gasket, it is the very common LIM gasket on the 4.3L. If the coolant was slowly leaking externally, I would not be so concerned. But is appears to be leaking into the crankcase, a very bad thing.

I priced all the tools to do the job, including shop lights, torque wrenches (I know I could of rented from auto parts store), shop supplies like rubber gloves, chemical solvents and sanding discs, and it came to near $400. Add another $100 for gasket set, new bolts, coolant, etc and I was near $500 doing it myself, in the cold. I do all my own work, so I donít have a local mechanic. I checked adds on Craiglist, and the adds were very scary here in Chicago. I decided to call the local Chevy dealer who did a oil change on the Bravada last April for 19.99 when I was overloaded with to do list so I let them do it. When they did the oil change they tried to sell me an idler arm replacement and oil cooler lines replacement. They missed the hairline crack in the radiator doing their inspection.

I figured the cost to replace the LIM gasket as a local shop would be around $600. I called the local Chevy dealer, he quoted me $850 and could start it today. I decided to pay the extra $250 and reduce the risk of a sloppy repair by going to the dealer. He also offered me a free loaner.

If I was doing the job myself I also would of updated the fuel injection system and the water pump (DELHI new style injection system $180 and DELCO water pump $35). I am not going to have the dealer do this.

Dealer called me an hour after I dropped off the Bravada and stated LIM gasket was bad- I suspect he would have said that even if it wasn't. He also told me I needed a coolant flush, oil cooler lines replaced, throttle body cleaned and fuel injectors cleaned.

I replaced the radiator and the oil cooler lines myself last summer. I am hoping they never looked at the Bravada to tell me this, that they just looked at the computer from last oil change in April.

This is the cost the dealer quoted for the all the extras they try to throw in. Fuel injection throttle body cleaned, $150. Oil cooler line replacement, $370. Coolant flush, $120. That 850 repair is now 1490. Had I not done such a good job of keeping everything new, they likely would have tried selling me hoses, etc. Easy turn a $850 job into a $1800 job. I told the service writer to only replace the LIM gasket, I did not tell him I had already done the additional work he is suggesting be performed.

No guarantee I did the best course of action going to the dealer for this. I am not a master mechanic, but I take my time and research what I donít know, so I suspect I would have done a better job than the dealer, as I would of cleaned up a lot of things while the manifold was off. But I hope I did the smart thing knowing I didn't have the tools and other helpful things readily available, and that I am 1600 miles from the Bravada so I canít be close to address any issues if something pops up after the LIM replacement.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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I don't blame you Mike, I probably would have done the same thing, and not gone with the extra stuff they wanted done. I hate it when they do that.

I myself am getting to the point where I can't do certain automotive tasks anymore. The last big job I did, I dropped the transfer case and tried to save it by cupping the output end with my hand just as it slammed into the pavement. It still hurts today.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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you can do the injector unit in about an hour some other time if you're not doing anything else.

i probably would have taken my chances trying to find a local shop.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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you can do the injector unit in about an hour some other time if you're not doing anything else.

i probably would have taken my chances trying to find a local shop.
I will do the injectors, thanks. I already bought them for the S10, but haven't found the time.

For a local shop, with zero references, I thought too much of a gamble. If they crew it up, I will not be here to challenge it. My wife will just whip out the credit card and tell me to pay it..... At a GM dealer, all they do is GM and I suspect see a ton of these LIM gasket replacements. Only time will tell.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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I don't blame you Mike, I probably would have done the same thing, and not gone with the extra stuff they wanted done. I hate it when they do that.

I myself am getting to the point where I can't do certain automotive tasks anymore. The last big job I did, I dropped the transfer case and tried to save it by cupping the output end with my hand just as it slammed into the pavement. It still hurts today.

Mike sorry about your hand... something tells me you will not be farming out much automotive work, you have the bug....... Nobody does better work than an educated car owner. Even if we make a mistake, we know it, make it right and get even better. At a shop, the mechanic is fighting the clock, often taking every shortcut possible to make a individual profit. I don't think a dealer mechanic will ever clean the old gasket off and prep the surface as thorough as you will.
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