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Chevy HHR: Problems & Solutions

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  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28
    My local dealer offered to paint the rear quarters of my HHR and install running boards for $300. He called other dealers as well as GM and no one was addressing the problem at present. He further agreed to refund the $300 if GM eventually agreed to pay for installation of running boards on HHRs. Since the damage isn't too severe -- yet -- I decided to accept their offer before the car is damaged more than it already is. At least my local dealer is willing to do something top stand behind the vehicle, even if GM isn't.
  • Well you got a better price than me. But i guess at least my paint is getting fixed and I am going to pay for the splashguards myself.. As many complaints as I have read surely they will do something more about it soon. At least I hope!!
  • I have the same issue. I had my blue 1LT for 1 month when we got a 2 day ice storm in Dallas. They sanded all the roads for the ice. I only drove in the sand for 2 days. Once everything dried out and I washed my car, I found out I'd been sand-blasted. Rear fenders and kick panels had a frosted look. My local dealer did not hestitate to say it was a problem. Immediately offered to repaint for me. They did some investigation with GM and no official word from GM on it. My dealer is installing the molded splash guards and repainting at GM's expense. I am having them leave the plastic guards off of the rear fenders. I am going to take it straight to the local vinyl shop after it gets repainted to have them put clear vinyl on the rear fenders. At least that will protect the paint until GM officially decides what to do for a permanent fix. Vinyl shop quoted me about $35 to cover the fenders and kick panels for me. At least when that gets messed up, it can be peeled off and new vinyl put on. I checked on Running boards at the dealer and they quoted me $697 for parts only. I would install myself. I am very happy with my dealer's response. Hope GM will eventually step up to the plate for us though.
  • Update: Just picked up my HHR from the dealer after the repaint. Looks great. The body shop said that I need to wait about a week before puting vinyl over the freshly painted fenders. The service manager said that if I decide I do want the vinyl, let him know and GM will take care of that too. They even gave me a rental while my HHR was being re-painted. I have to say, I have great dealer support. Hate to hear that many of you do not have the same luck.
  • idykaridykar Posts: 2
    I just had my windshield replaced, I thought somthing hit it ... maybe not! I just walked into the garage one day and there was a semi-circle crack in it. Other than that I have had no problems, I love the car, easy ride and comfortable.
  • idykaridykar Posts: 2
    I'm looking for an "easy on" snow traction solution for my HHR LT, any one have any suggestions? I was looking at the Z-cables, spider spikes and go-claws. I want something fairly easy to put on! Any experience? and/or suggestions? Thank you
  • sara17sara17 Posts: 1
    Just bought my 2006 HHR one week ago. I have heard a Loud Clunk 3 times. It happens randomly.. Once after turning a corner. Another time just got in the car and shut the doors-started engine and CLUNK...(did not put on seat belts yet or shift into gear)
    Has anyone had this problem.. I will be taking it to the dealer but wanted to be prepared talk to him if others have had this problem. After reading this forum I am glad I have a running board and will be watching for chips in my windshield.
  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28
    Got my HHR back today with the rear panels painted and the running boards installed. Cost $318 total. They did a very nice job and left the vinyl stone guards on for extra protection. Since GM is still not offering anything except free paint (which doesn't actually address the problem) I am very satisfied that my dealer was willing to work out a compromise. At least this is one issue I can put to bed . . finally!
  • tomshhrtomshhr Posts: 5
    Went to my dealer for the second time and they now will repair the damage on the fenders and install the runningboards for no cost to me, I asked for the flaps when they are installing the boards. They are calling as soon as they arrive.
    One of the sales wifes had the same problem and they are ordering runningboards for the 2 HHRs on the lot before they sell them.

    The service manager said GM is comming out with a bulletin soon. :)
  • If you don't mind saying what state are you in?
  • I have the same issue in the south. I had my blue 1LT for 1 month when we got a 2 day ice storm in Dallas. They sanded all the roads for the ice. I only drove on the sanded roads for 2 days. Once everything dried out and I washed my car, I found out I'd been sand-blasted. Rear fenders and rocker panels had a frosted look. I only had 1500 miles on my HHR then. My local dealer did not hesitate to say it was a problem. They immediately offered to repaint it for me. They did some investigation with GM and no official word from GM on it. My dealer installed the molded splash guards, repainted the rear fenders and rockers, and provided me a loaner from Enterprise at GM's expense. I suggested that they leave the plastic guards off of the rear fenders and cover them with the clear vinyl paint protection similar to the clear bras. I have been told by several sources that the vinyl would be more impact resistant than the paint or those plastic protectors that GM installed initially. They said they didn’t think it would be necessary after having the mud flaps installed, but said they would do it if I saw the need after trying the mud flaps. As I expected, the mud flaps did help deflect debris from the rear fenders. However, after extensive testing, (washing my car and intentionally running through puddles at a high rate of speed) I found that there was still going to be a problem with debris hitting the fenders and chipping the paint. The spray pattern only covered about 1/3 of the way up the fenders now, but was still there. So, I contacted my service manager again. He gladly added the clear vinyl to the rear fenders and rockers. Their vinyl cutting software did not have a template for the rear fenders of the HHR yet, so they did a custom job. They covered the entire fender from the point it flares out all the way to the wheel well. They covered a much larger area than the pre-cut sets you can get at www.invisiblemask.com and others. Can’t even tell it is there. Looks great. I just hope it holds up next winter when I run through sanded roads again. If not, I will be going back to them again…

    I am very happy with my dealer's response. I have to say, I have had great dealer support. I hate to hear that many of you do not have the same luck. To my knowledge, they didn’t go through the district GM rep at all. They just did it and charged it to GM as a warranty issue. I hope GM will eventually step up to the plate across the board for us though.
  • mapperhdmapperhd Posts: 2
    Not to digress too far from this subject, but be glad you don't own a 2004 Volvo wagon like my buddy. We were driving down the freeway when he opened the sun roof for the first time. You should have seen the entire roof start to buckle up and down from the wind. Talk about design flaws!
  • mapperhdmapperhd Posts: 2
    So, I want to be preemptive about this issue. What is recommended? The running boards, the vinyl protection, both? This is my first brand new car and I'd like to try and keep it looking that way as long as possible.
  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28
    From what I have gleaned from the forums you should at least have the running boards. The mudflaps alone do not appear to do the job. People with running boards claim that they have experienced little or no damage. Both the boards and flaps would insure no problem but it is a matter of taste if you want both. Personally, I kept the factory-installed vinyl stone guards when I had my running boards put on but I haven't logged enough miles to know if the running boards alone are the solution. From what I have read they should suffice. I just know that after 4300 miles the rear quarters looked like they had been sandblasted and something had to be done. I didn't add mudflaps because I don't like the looks of them. Some people remove the stone guards when they add running boards because they feel it makes a cleaner look without them.
  • I now have 12,000 miles on my HHR. Love it. But now the engine light comes on, followed by "Low Power" in the instrument panel message board and then the traction control light comes on. I have taken it to my dealer twice. They ended up finding two wires rubbing under the carpet on the passenger side and fixed it. Yesterday. Today the TC and Low Power lights are back. They don't have a clue what is wrong with it. Suggestions? It usually happens after I have been driving for about 20 minutes. BTW, the traction control thing is not helpful when you are stuck on a snowy patch and need to "rock out". :confuse:
  • ALSO I forgot to mention:
    1.Low power means it will only go 35 mph when the light comes on.
    2. the first time in (I had it towed) they diagnosed a sticky rear brake for the TC problem and and emission control leak for the low power issue.
    Isn't it a bit strange that the two would coincide?
    3. Why do cars never act up for the mechanics? Pixies? Demons? Is my car possessed?
  • The running boards alone should eliminate the problem. I take a close look at every HHR that I see. The ones with running boards are free from scars on the rear fenders. Every one without them has the sand blasted fenders. Some wose than others, but it is still there. By all means, get the running boards when you buy one. If you find one on a lot that you like and it doesn't have running boards, make the dealer order them and charge you for the ordered option price (installation included) rather than the after purchase price from the parts dept + installation.
  • beavisbeavis Posts: 2
    very good advise to anyone that has not finalized the sale on a HHR , it's like fighting the U.S. goverment if you bought one without r/b's
  • tomshhrtomshhr Posts: 5
    NW Wis and MN, Superior and Duluth area
  • I bought my HHR in Aug '05w/out the running boards, had it about 1 week and decided it looked more retro with them, so I went to the dealer bought running boards and molded flaps. I have NO damage, I did however have them take the chip deflectors off, IMO I think it's looks silly with the deflectors. They only charged me about $500.00 for everything and labor. A $500.00 well spent!!!!!!!!
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