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Chevy HHR: Problems & Solutions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
Run into a problem that you just can't get a handle on? This is the place to ask your fellow HHR owners for help with any issue you may be having.

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  • Hi I'm new to this board and I just got a new HHR LT sport red mettallic with automatic, 2.4 engine, alluminum wheels and foglights. I just noticed the tachometer makes a ticking noise as it moves up and down and it will do it too while car is in park and you rev the engine. I sat in another car at the dealer and it didn't do it. Should I wait to see if it goes away or should i take it in. Does anyone out there have this? Also, when turning on the A/C you can really hear the compressor just below the console. Its a little louder than most cars I've owned. Is this normal? Does yours sound a little loud when using the A/C? Any input will be greatly appreciated. :)
  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28
    There seems to be an issue surfacing with regard to HHRs that do not have running boards. It seems that road crud is causing paint damage to the rear quarter ahead of the rear wheel well despite the installation of the scratch guards by the factory on non-running board vehicles. Rumors have it that there have been enough complaints by owners that GM realizes there is a design problem and may offer a resolution of some sort in the near future to avoid a potential loss of sales due to the problem. That is all I know at this point but if you have no running boards on your HHR you may want to contact your dealer or GM directly if you notice any pitting of the paint in the area in question. The more complaints that are registered the sooner a resolution may be offered. Apparently installation of running boards will remedy the problem but I don't feel that the owner of the vehicle should have to foot the bill for them if they were not ordered on the vehicle to begin with. There are also those who do not like the looks of running boares who may want some other solution. As for me, I would accept running boards but have no desire to pay for them since the problem originated at the factory.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    Nice info....keep us posted.
  • I recently discovered that while driving at different speeds in my HHR, when you roll down the rear windows, you get a very loud (unbearable) noise and wind vibration inside the car. The faster you go the worst it gets. I confirmed this with another HHR owner. They have the same problem and complained to the dealer, who tried the "eye brow" wind deflectors. They did not solve the problem. They have a sun roof (I don't), which reduces the problem somewhat, when opened. If you haven't experienced this problem, try opening your rear windows (while driving, naturally) and see what happens?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,652
    The air buffeting is far from unique with the HHR, it happens on many many vehicles. Its due to the way air moves around (and into) the vehicle. Best solution is to crack front windows enough to eliminate the effect. Sorta feels like whole car is vibrating and/or brain rattling around via your ears ;)
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    I concur; you'll find that problem in many automobiles. It is NOT a defect.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    concur..not a design defect...I have the same issue in my 04 Malibu Maxx....
  • I realize there is buffeting on several cars. I will research it some more. I have a Lexus that I will try it out on and we'll see. But, today I took the HHR out and at 45 mph I opened one back window and the buffeting on the ears and a siren-like sound (no, it was a cop behind me)were not tolerable, even cracking the front window. I usually don't drive with the windows open, but this problem was brought to my attention by another HHR owner, so I tried it. I was quite surprised at the intensity. That's all I am trying to relate. I think it's more noticeable on the HHR, that's all.
  • novanova Posts: 135
    My wife drives a RX300 Lexus and it makes the same wind buffing noise as the HHR
  • Guess I owe you guys an apology. I drove my wife's ES 330 today and the same noises occur when you open the back windows. So, I have concluded that problem must exist on many of today's cars. I have been driving vans for the last several years and of course, the back windows don't go down, just the rear window vents will open. I still think the auto industry could design something better to solve the buffeting/noise problem, other than driving with the windows closed.
  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28
    My panels are getting worse by the day. The GM help line arranged a meeting between myself and my dealer rep (which I could have done myself) but refused any help in fixing the problem. My dealer rep was very nice but also refused to help,first offering to install boards for $685 and then referring me to the district service rep. A follow up call to the GM help line indicated that the district service rep has the final call on any repairs. I am waiting for a call from the rep to meet to discuss the problem. I still think GM owes me -- and all HHR owners -- runing boards to remedy the design defect. I wouldn't recommend that anyone purchase one without the boards.
  • tomshhrtomshhr Posts: 5
    I can back up geemac's issue with the rear corners. 5000 miles and my doors and rocker :mad: are silver on my Orange HHR.
  • vinney1vinney1 Posts: 7
    I have noticed a metallic popping noise coming from the front axles. Does anyone have this and is it normal? It does it mainly when going from drive to reverse and vice versa. also when accelarating after changing gears from reverse to drive etc.. My A/C compressor is still loud and whiny and GM doesn't want to replace it. any comments will be appreciated.
  • I am having the same problem. I contacted GM and my dealer. It has been checked extensively and the dealer is waiting to hear back from GM. Out of all the Chevy's in my family, this is a first. Every US automaker offers some type of New Englander package so that the vehicle is okay to use here in the cold, snow, etc. GM should make the running boards standard on the HHR if you live in an area where the climate can be cold and roads are treated with sand and salt for ice.
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    Typically, installing wind deflectors for the sun roof will help reduce the problem. Not sure if deflectors on the doors would help as I've never used them.

    This is in reference to the wind noice issue, not the running boards.
  • I to am having the problem with the back panels. I called GM and they set up for my area rep to look at it, he first said he would not fix it because it was caused by debris on the road and insisted that I must live on a gravel road which I do not the HHR had never even been driven in gravel. Only snow where there was salt on the road. He then said he would fix if I put running boards on it at $750 dollars. He asked why I purchased it without them. I insisted that he fix it and I shouldn't have and couldnt afford to put the running boards on at this time. I also told him that if is going to be the problem with all of them without running boards why not make them standard. Appartenly the same thing happened with the Trailblazers when they came out so running boards are no standard.He also said that he hadn't seen many without running boards but apparently you guys are out there. They are going to fix my paint at a one time only thing, but hopefully others will complain as well and more will be done
  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28
    I am getting the same crap from GM. I am still waiting for the district service rep to contact me. It seems that some Canadian purchasers are getting boards installed at no cost by the dealers but not those of us stateside. I am starting to have second thoughts about having purchased an HHR, even though I otherwise love the thing. In addition to the sandblasted rear quarters I also have a chip in the windshield. I have a 1992 Mercury Capri with better than 120K that is holding up better than my HHR. I took a closer look at a PT Cruiser recently and notice that the design below the belly line seems to have taken into consideration the matter of road debris damage.
  • Funny you should mention a chip in the windsheild. Have onw of those too but I just took for granted that a rock hit it and that happens. Never considered a defect. Where did you get info about candian buyers, just curious. It took me some searching to even find anyone complaining about the HHR. We to love the look and everything but the problems. I think now I should have taken my father's advice and not bought a car the first year in distribution. ">
  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28 has a number of forums relating to the HHR. You will find the posts there, under technical information, I believe. The windshield chipping seems to be something of a problem due to the way the glass is constructed. The aftermarket windshields are apparently made differently and are less prone to chipping. Plus, they have a nice tint band across the top which adds a custom touch to the car. I hope mine begins to crack so that my insurance will replace it. There is another HHR site that has some good forums on it but I can't remember it offhand and I am at my work computer right now so I don't have the site in my history.
  • geemacgeemac Posts: 28
    The other forum address is Your dad may have a point, but I think there is more good than bad about the HHR. I love mine and it is the first brand new vehicle I have ever purchased. It has been fun to drive around in something that other people haen't seen yet. I was asked recently if it was a new PT Cruiser model.
  • 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?
This discussion has been closed.