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New HHR Owners - Give Us Your Report

I purchased an HHR LT in February of this year. Since then, I have come to love the look and thoroughly enjoy the ride and the performance. The gas mileage is good and it's definately fun to drive. It's been taken on several trips into the States and found to be very comfortable and quiet. As well, I successfully moved my son back from college and was totally surprised at how much cargo we could stuff into the back with the seats down.

As a result, I love my HHR! :D

However...since buying it, I have had the following things go wrong:
1) a leak into the front passenger side floor (the sunroof drainage hose was kinked and had to be bypassed)
2) the sunroof was damaged/defective (it had to be replaced and now the new one rattles like crazy)
3) the headliner had been damaged while it was being assembled at the factory (it had to be replaced and doesn't fit like the original)
4) the chrome trim on the driver's side mirror whistles (apparently a design flaw)
5) the antenna hits the sunroof at highway speeds (I replaced it with a stubby)
6) there is a creaking sound in the dash on the passenger side (apparently too much plastic)
7) I had to have my windshield replaced because it cracked from one small stone hit
8) the mirror (with compass/self dimming feature) had to be replaced and
9) the steering wheel column is now rattling (there is a TSS bulletin that just came out and the dealer has ordered the part and is going to fix it).
I also had to put running boards on shortly after I purchased the HHR as the paint was being pitted by the salt/sand on the roads.

As a result, I also hate my HHR. :cry:

I gave up a reliable Mazda and returned to GM to buy the HHR and have discovered that nothing has changed since my last Chevy...same old quality control issues. I've spent so much time at the dealership in the last few months that I'm thinking of applying for a job there!!!

Hopefully my problems are now over and I'll be able to enjoy driving my HHR past the dealership instead of to the dealership.

Toronto, Canada HHR Owner
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Comments

  • sandy06sandy06 Posts: 6
    I had seen the concept photos and knew I wanted this vehicle. Our local dealership, received a Daytona blue LS auto on a Wednesday evening and I saw it the next morning and well it's mine now. The vehicle is roomy enough for running errands and taking a road trip. The fuel economy rating of 30 mpg is on target and the 2.2L engine has enough power on the freeway on ramp to avoid problems. It had more interior room than I was expecting and the base model had alot of features for the money, even a jack for the ipod. Everywhere I have driven it, it seemed to draw a crowd and questions of what IS that? People passing on the street and giving a thumbs up is a good feeling. I think that GM has a good deal here. I had one dealer in OKC ask for a premium of $1,000 on a black LT, so I went with my local guys on a blue one. Can't wait for accessories to become available. This little thing has a world of custom possibilties.
  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    Did you get the GM employee discount on your HHR? I'm curious if they're doing that and if so, how that affects the prices. You still can't build an HHR on Chevy's site, so there's no way to tell.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Dude (or Dude-ette), you bought the first year, probably the first few months, of a brand new product - of course there are teething problems! According to Consumer Reports, even Japanese makes have teething problems. (I do say this with a certain amount of smiling at myself, since my threshold of pain is REALLY low and I trade cars at the drop of the hat, although I keep promising myself to slow down and stop it.)

    The key is to shop around to find a supportive service advisor/dealer, and research your issues on the internet since often you might be telling THEM about an issue that's new to them, and pretty soon everything will be fixed. Well, maybe not pretty soon, but probably soon enough.

    In terms of fix-it stuff that isn't up to factory snuff, ask to talk to the general manager or someone further than the service advisor in the food chain, and also call the Chevy customer service department (listed on the Chevy owner's website). You DO deserve to have dealer work match factory work. Remember that cajoling almost always works better than threatening, stay patient, and good luck!
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Wow, that is a lot of stuff even in it's first year.

    Have you seen or heard about the car of the year-the rattle trap, loud, Honda Civic. The most over-rated car of the year it should be. The auto writers here in the states have this big facination with Honda's for some reason. The cars styling is nothing to brag about, and the long wait for the introduction showed just another clone like Japanese car. The people out West in California are the ones responsibible for the majority of the sales, and that's probably were a lot of the auto writers live. I seriously thought the HHR had a good shot at the car of the year.

    The windshield thing doesn't make sense to me. I have worked at quite a few auto dealers over-the-years, both domestic and Japanese, and new auto glass sucks. I don't know why but it does. I don't know if the manufactures buy from the same company or what. When I had mine replaced about 7-years-ago, after a rock incident, the replacement was only like $120 installed because it was a common windshield; additionally, I have gotten hit many times since then and nothing happens but a scratch. It has, like probably most aftermarket windshields, a lifetime warranty.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    I just want to pound this home....my last 3 GM vehicles were/are head and shoulders above my last two Japanese pieces of crap! & this from a guy who admits his brand new 78 vette was a piece of crap. I don't work for any company affiliated with GM.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    People need to pound that point home in other discussions more. It's not your earlier GM anymore. Some folks in the Hondas discussions and Toy discussions act as if HoToy and other foreign brands didn't build anything that rusted away or was simple as a rubber band back in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. But they sure harp on their 1976 Chev that had a new transmission at 75K.

    This message has been approved.

  • Well, after replacing a part on the steering column, as per the TSB, it didn't work and the noise got worse. My dealer's service manager decided to replace the entire steering column to see if that would do the trick.

    That was it for me...as you can see from my original post I have spent a lot of time at the dealer getting things fixed and replaced since I purchased my HHR LT in February 2006. So, I went to the sales manager at the dealership and told him to take his piece of "----" back and get me into something else.

    After I told him about everything that had gone wrong with the HHR, they worked out a deal where I was able to buy into a Chevy Equinox for a bit more money...If I could have, I would have gotten out of GM all together!....

    I must admit that the HHR was the worst mistake I have made in purchasing a vehicle. Over the years, I have owned Hondas, Pontiacs, Chevs, Mazdas and even a Jeep Liberty (in it's first year of production) and never has so much go wrong on a vehicle in the first few months of owning it.

    Surprisingly, the sales manager at the dealer still says they are having trouble keeping them in stock...I say: how come they still have the same two in the showroom that were there when I bought mine in May and you rarely see them on the road?

    By the way, most of the problems being discussed here in the forum are now well known to GM. The water on the floor is from the poor quality hose they used to drain the water from the sunroof - it is too soft and kinks easily. The dash noises are from too much plastic on plastic. The chipped paint on the rear quarter panels need to have the sideboards put on to prevent. The antenna is too long and flexible and hits the sunroof/roof. The steering column rattles/squeeks. The mirror on the driver's side whistles because of the trim/design. The windshield's are of poor quality and chip/crack easily. Let's hope they address all of these issues when they put out the 2007 model.

    I'm hoping the Equinox, that is now in it's second/third year of production, will be a better buy. But I must admit that, given what I have seen and heard (in this forum), I'm not holding my breath.

    No wonder GM is having so many problems...maybe the rumoured merger with Nissan would be a very good thing. They might learn something about quality control.

    Anyways, this former HHR owner from Toronto is now switching over to the Equinox forums and I sincerely hope all of you HHR owners don't end up having the same problems I did. Cheers and good luck.

    Former HHR/ New Equinox Owner
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Nissan has some unreliable newer vehicles (espeically trucks/SUVs) and Renault has their own reliabilty problems, so I don't see how mixing that mess with GM will improve quality of future HHRs.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    .that were there when I bought mine in May and you rarely see them on the road

    In this area there are many on the roads. So I certainly don't agree that you rarely see them on the road.

    Plastic on plastic in dash is always a problem in the designs. It requires some careful troubleshooting, usually a skilled technician for troubleshooting on the part of the dealer helps. One problem is that the squeaks and noises can sound like they're coming from somewhere different than they really are inside the car or inside the dash. It can take a real sleuth to find the true source. Many cars have hAd trouble with noises.

    This message has been approved.

  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I don't recall ever reading about plastic rattling, this is a new one to me and the windshield cracking is common on all new cars. The glass on new cars comes from the same place as most automakers get their glass. There are only a couple of companies they all use. I would agree new glass cracks easily for whatever reason, and the replacement glass I have had on vehicles never cracks under the same circumstances so that makes me wonder. Replacement glass has a lifetime labor and parts warranty but factory doesn't..

    The HHR is a well made vehicle and has been praised for its workmanship. I see them pretty commonly on the road as much as three different ones a day.
  • izappedizapped Posts: 1
    Yeah, it's not much, but I have had the LT on several long trips already and found it to be very comfortable and enjoyable to drive. I got it loaded from the dealer and the XM really makes travel go by fast. Since it's just my wife and I, we find it plenty roomy for extended trips, only once have I folded down the rear seats for cargo. Performance is pretty good, mileage is okay, but what we like is the ease and comfort of driving it. It just does everything well. Have had stellar dealer support locally, got great GMAC financing with just a trade-in as down payment. :blush:
  • Hmmmm, curious really as the "leak" on the passenger side of my HHR only started last week and I've never had the sunroof open. Here in Florida it does RAIN when it rains so I was wondering how much of a fix is this and where is the damn hose draining to? Besides the carpet of my car?
    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Rich R
  • I JUST BOUGHT MY 2007 HHR AUGUST 8 2006 IT WAS THE FIRST THAT THE DEALER RECEIVED. I LOVE IT . 28.5 MPG AVG
    I TRADED MY 2004 GMC SIERRA WHICH I LIKED BUT NEEDED SOME
    GAS MILEAGE. I HAVEN'T REGRETTED IT SO FAR.
  • I bought my HHR (my boyfriend's father is a higher up at a local dealer in Illinois) for a very nice price and it's all been beautiful since.
    I PUT TONS of mileage on my vehicles and quite frankly was nervous that a Chevy product wouldn't hold up to the early beating it was no doubt soon to receive after purchase.
    Well, I'm glad to say that since purchase and driving from Northern Illinois to Phoenix, Arizona (living in Arizona for 11 months) and then driving BACK to Northern Illinois I have not had one problem w/ my HHR. The mileage is UNBEATABLE for a vehicle it's size, I think I should mention that my HHR is a manual (all my cars are). On my way to Arizona my mpg was almost 47. Yes, I did the math myself, I didn't just rely on the vehicles system to tell me...even though it said pretty much the same darn thing. Also, around the city in Arizona (w/ AC on) my mpg on a regular basis was 28-29 and on the highway around that area (w/ AC) was 30-31. Now in Illinois it went up considerably. My mpg here is 31-32 in the city (w/ AC or heat) and about 35 when on and off the highways. Long distances (straight shots) I always get fabulous mpg.
    Umm, what else? It handles nicely for a vehicle of it's dimensions and I must admit that I didn't love the body style for awhile. But I am now in love w/ it and look forward to buying it in Black!
    So, no leaks/squeeks/static/pings/performance issues and I baby the hell out of my vehicle (as far as always cleaning it!) and I look forward to keeping it looking mint.

    Good luck and enjoy your new HHR, I know I enjoy mine!
    ~L in Illinois :shades:
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    Is your 5 speed a 2.2L or a 2.4L ?
  • bporter1bporter1 Posts: 229
    The HHR is on my short list of cars I am looking at. If I decide to buy an HHR, it would have the 2.4L with automatic.
    What I would like to know is, how many of you people out there have the 2.4L engine with automatic, and how many of you all put premium fuel in the car. If you do not run premium fuel, how is the power. Thanks.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    Mine is a 2.4L Automatic (2LT-sport suspension-shiny 17 inch wheels), had it one year this month...12K miles...zero defects!!!! Ave mpg ....right at 26.8. I've had it up to about 120mph. Never pings on 87, sort of seems like it has most power with full tank of 91 octane....but in every day use???? When regular was $3/gal I put 87 in, now with reg at $1.97 /gal I put 89 or 91 in???? If you want to race someone ...put in 91.....left foot on brake...rev with right foot....when light turns green...stomp gas & release brake...it'll kick! & even with the electronic traction control you'll spin the 17s for a second or two.
  • bporter1bporter1 Posts: 229
    Thanks for the insight. It certainly sounds as if I can run the 87 octane gas in it if I choose, with no noticable difference in performance.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    What will really blow your mind is the oil life indicator...I don't have the guts to go by it...it indicates 10-11 K mile oil changes!!! 7,500 was as far as I'm willing to go.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    For that kind of oil mileage you must do some very conservative driving and live someplace warm but not too hot!! (at least in the summer)
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