2008 Buick Enclave CX: Power Steering Repair Redux
August 04, 2008
Thursday July 24th I brought our Long-Term Buick Enclave back to Santa Monica Auto group to address the continued problems we've been having with the power steering. Late afternoon on Wednesday June 30, our Enclave was fixed and back in our hands.
The wait was expected, Santa Monica Buick called us late Friday to let us know that the problem had been diagnosed and that new parts had to be ordered. Parts included a new power steering pump, a new steering rack, and new hoses. The parts, they said, would be in on Tuesday and the job should be finished Wednesday. A rental car was offered but declined.
In a past life Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds (no relation) developed steering systems for a major manufacturer and, upon road testing the vehicle, said that when the first pump failed it had probably contaminated the fluid with pump-parts that were now lodged in the rack. Turns out he was correct, that was the exact diagnosis that GM came up with and remedied.
After the fix we were contacted by GM to discuss the situation. They let us know that replacing the pump first is standard operating procedure as contamination is not a guarantee. The dealership, however, should have road-tested the vehicle further, found the flaw, and replaced the rack on the first visit. None of this should ever have hit the consumer. They also made it very clear that errant dust from our dirt road trip had nothing to do with the pump's failure, though the high-rpm churning required to not get stuck may have exacerbated the issue. Bear in mind that the same amount of wheelspin and engine use will be required by every driver to keep momentum up in the snow-belt.
All-in-all it was a fine visit with a good amount of communication and information from the dealer level. And the best part is, the Buick is back and it feels just as solid as it did before.
Days out of service: 6
Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 21,638 miles.