Dealership dazzle, or level-headed realism

This has bothered me for years! My mom bought a mid 80’s Chevy Corsica back then (you know the car that the paint peeled off the hood after 3 years?)

The car would occationaly just “die”, stop running, simply “cut off” without warning. After a while it would start again. The dealership The one not even in business anymore) told us the problem was the car needed a new “Prom” (?) It was one of the few parts that NOT under the “bumper to bumper” warranty. It was close to $100 to replace and we’d had it done more than twice. The car and the dealership have long since retired, but for all these years, I thought they were pulling my leg. If anyone knows anything a bout pulling legs…it’s you two, so, whaddya think?


GM not treating their customers well in the 80’s!? Unheard of!

The PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory) is the chip they install that makes the computer (which is a standard part) work for your specific model, engine, etc. It’s ridiculous that it wouldn’t be covered under a new car warrantee, since it’s not a wear and tear item and it’s definitely not your fault. Diagnosing it across the bounds of time and space, it could have been that the main computer was bad, or that there was a bad connection that made contact when it was getting replaced and took a few thousand miles to wiggle loose.

I had an 1988 Beretta, back then the car came with a 1 year warranty. I had some driveability problems when it 4 or 5 years old. The dealer replaced the “prom” and the car was fine until I traded when it was 7 years old. I was always treated well by this particular dealer. When the hood paint started to show cracks (didn’t peel), the dealer repainted the top of the car for $100 and it was a good quality paint job to boot. My friend had an 89 Beretta with the peeling paint and they repainted the entire car for no cost. I bought a 2000 Blazer in 2003 from the same salesman I dealt with when I bought the Beretta new. I will go back to them when it’s time to replace the Blazer in a few years.

Ed B.

Although PROM chip failures are rare, they do happen. Who knows? The computer might have been destroying the things. Maybe they should have changed the computer too. It costs about $100.

The notorious late-80’s GM paint was the subject of a “secret recall” – GM’s instructions were to admit to the problem only if the customer came in complaining.

Paint was the only major issue with my mum’s 3/4 ton 4x4 Suburban she kept for 215k/12 years besides a rear tailgate that broke. GM repainting the whole thing twice, 2nd time sanding it down to the primer.

I never had either problem on my Corsica LTZ. It ran well, as have all my other GM vehicles.