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Demons, Derelicts and Daewoo's

When the check engine light blinked its way into my life, we were unable to get a clear code from the now bankrupt/dismantled Daewoo computer system. Any repairs done would be guess work. The car was still putt putting along; save her occasional stalling incidents; so I decided to leave the light. Just as I had grown fond of my little woo woo’s orange warning. I was told that to pass smog I must now address the apparently vague crank sensor and evap codes coming from my computer system. And so I began my journey in search of a Daewoo speaking scan tool.
After numerous KIA dealers, a few of them plugging and receiving the familiar dead end message, I made my way back to my trusted mechanic for more ideas. Patient and wise as he was he suggest I might contact GM who supposedly bought Daewoo out back in 1999. A few hours later I found myself being shooed out of the GMC dealer lot. The manager assured me that GM cars were American made and he had heard nothing of the connection between Daewoo and GMC. Wonder why my uncle (who works for GM makes regular trips to Korea). My next option was to visit the state smog referee in attempts to get a wavier, due to the inability to repair my vehicle; and so began my love affair with the state. The referee enlightened me the wonderful CAP program that offered $500 worth of smog related repairs through state certified (Gold Shield) mechanics. Waivers would only be obtainable through these golden mechanics. A month later as my license plates approached their expiration I began to worry and attempted to contact the State office. I was told that mail in applications were backed up 3 months and submitting my application through a regional office would ensure a two week response. Hmmm… why wasn’t I told this a month ago. “Well ma’me you are dealing with a state agency, what do you expect.”
Weeks later, I marched my fancy acceptance letter down to the local Gold Shield Station and offered up my state money in turn for repairs. A young mechanic seemes to find the illusive codes right away and presents them to his superior. As my hopes began to soar the wrinkly faced man with wirery eyebrows blurts “ I don’t want to work on your car.” “You don’t want… can you say that,” I ask. “Aren’t you bound by the state or something.” “No,” he says. “ I would have to spend a bunch of time diagnosing and looking for obscure parts and I probably wont be able to fix it.”
3 months later, countless phone calls, scan tools, gold shields and referee rejections, I make my way back in search of may waiver. I am again denied “WHAT EXACTLY DO I HAVE TO DO TO QUALIFY FOR THIS WAIVER???” “You must find someone who is willing to fix your car,” states the referee. “But I have,” I say “ I have found tons of people willing to repair my car but they don’t have the tools.” He replies “If you are able to properly diagnose the car and a part is unavailable, then I could give you a waiver.” “But the part to properly diagnose the car is unavailable,” I say. “You have to find someone who is willing to work on it.” He repeats insipidly. “Who is able!” I grumble as I bolt out of the office. Three more Gold Shields, two more referee visits and another month go by and still no results.
With much surprise and disbelieve my father finds a list of certified Daewoo dealers at a GM dealer in detroit. We take it to one such non-gold shield certified dealer. My months of work with the state are now worthless, I must pay out of pocket. I figure this nice clean cut gentleman, with his kids art plastered all over the walls must be an honest guy right? Not so fast! $360 later all I have to show is a new… no USED crank sensor (taken from a car in his back lot) and a persistent engine light. Convinced that I got taken advantage of and determined not to let it happen again, I looked up the price of crank sensors on-line. $35 new from, greatly disparaging the $75 use one I recently purchased . So I contact the other GM Daewoo certified dealers on my list to get some info. I start by getting quotes on replacing the crank sensor to see who I can trust. After 4 conversations; none of which were in a comprehendible level of English; I learned that no one is to be trusted. They all tout that they are the only Daewoo mechanics in the city and give initial quotes of $75 and then after consulting with (most likely their greasy conscience) quotes suddenly raise to the $200’s.
Completely exhausted I roll my 4 months past registration woo woo down to my trusted mechanic and tell him, "I have $90 more to spend before they have no choice but to give me the waiver for my efforts. I would rather give the money to you than those crooks. Do me $90 worth of the best guess work you can and I will leave in peace. $90, some gooey patching on my evap system and my old friend the engine light has bid us adieu … for now.

I ask you, oh car talk guys, what did I do wrong that made this journey so long and arduous??

Nothing. You simply gpt caught up in a government system that promulgates rules with no exceptions that assume that all car problems are “black & white”.

If you think THAT was tough, wait until Obamacare gets fully implemented!

As mountainbike stated, not all car repairs are black and white issues. Many are very gray.

You did not state how many miles and the circumstances behind the original scan but you apparently chose to motor on in spite of the blinking CEL, occasional stalling, and putt-putting as you refer to it. It could be that a comparatively minor problem may have snowballed into a number of others due to motoring on.

You absolutely cannot compare prices at a dealer to DIY parts from Amazon. It doesn’t work that way.
The dealer likely charged you about half price as compared to a new from Daewoo sensor as many used parts from salvage yards sell for 40-50% of retail.

There is little info provided about a 75 dollar quote. The odds of getting a repair, both parts and labor, for 75 dollars is slim and none. You might get a scan diagnosis and the price goes up from there.
At some point you have to decide if you want to fish or cut bait with this car.

"I ask you, oh car talk guys, what did I do wrong that made this journey so long and arduous?? "

You maintained ownership of a Woo-Woo in a state or area that requires emissions testing…When that CEL first came on, it was time to kiss the Woo-Woo goodby…

“I decided to leave the light”

That’s when things start going sideways…

Love the story though…

The story may have been entertaining, and I might have had some helpful comments, but I refuse to even attempt to read something that should have–and could have–been broken into at least 10 paragraphs, but instead is presented as a huge, difficult-to-read mass of sentences.

When asking others for help, I think that it is only reasonable and courteous to make one’s post as easy to read as possible, and on that basis, the OP’s query was a massive failure.

Nothing wrong with long story. However at the beginning create something called cliff notes or short version. Basically ask your question in a few sentences.

If you talk to mechanics like you post you may never get the issue addressed.

I did not read what you posted.

It’s pretty easy to Monday morning quarterback these types of things, but I think you went wrong when the first Gold Shield mechanic refused to work on the car. At that point you should have gone back to DMV with the list of all the mechanics that said they couldn’t or wouldn’t work on the car and started up the DMV food chain until you found an acceptable answer. A lot of State agencies have ombudsmen to iron out this type of thing. A call to your legislator or a local consumer advocate wouldn’t have hurt either. Best of luck next time.

Your GM dealer was an idiot, the last Pontiac Lemans was a Daewoo-built, Korean mane car, My sons Geo Prisim had Toyota cast onto the brake calipers and engine, The Geo tracker was Susiki made. The Saabs were made in Sweden and there were more I can’t rercall because they were mostly very forgettable cars.

So let me see if I got this right…

You spent several months running around trying to get an emissions waiver for your car because you had a CEL on your car, and the eventual solution for the CEL was found by your favorite mechanic for $90?

You went wrong in thinking that your mechanic couldn’t figure out the problem because the car is a Daewoo. Everything after that was your own silliness.


So what’s the question?

A daewoo isn’t special, btw. It has exactly the same OBD II system as other cars of the same year, and the same set of stuff that sets the error codes off. There are sometimes some “special” things according to manufacturer. But even then they normally aren’t esoteric.

I enjoyed the read, it flowed well enough. Hindsight, the 90 dollar gooy patch fixed it, you went through reasonable progression of steps, and I can not fault your process. If it makes you feel better read about the $2200.00 to replace Lexus Headlights!

the same mountainbike: I am a little disgusted that you would use this forum to purvey your political views by tacking a cheap shot onto your reply. At the risk of doing the same, I will say that while Obama isn’t perfect, and I don’t agree with all of his views, at least he was and is willing to make the unpopular decision to roll up his sleeves and wade into the muck left by 8 years of our previous administration, and apparently at least try to do some good instead of just going with the flow and self-servingly making some of his cronies richer.

Oblivion, I apologize for my transgression. You’re correct that this forum is not the appropriate place for such a comment. In the interest of not compounding my error, I’ll refrain from debating the points in your reply.

Sincere best. No offense was intended.

oblivion & mountainbike, I find that exchange odd only because politics is regularly on this board. I just rolled my eyed at mountainbike, smirked, and said “there he goes a again…”. (I then refrained from engaging. You have to be in the mood for that).

Frankly the eccentric and eclectic nature of this post looked like it left the thread open to most anything…

I will say that while Obama isn’t perfect, and I don’t agree with all of his views, at least he was and is willing to make the unpopular decision to roll up his sleeves and wade into the muck left by 8 years of our previous administration, and apparently at least try to do some good instead of just going with the flow and self-servingly making some of his cronies richer.

Isn’t this precisely the same kind of political blather you’re complaining about?

If you want a politic thread post one, do not bother this poster with responses (as I also have been guilty of) that do not pertain to the original question, so as to be pertinent, please see previous post.

“do not bother this poster with responses…that do not pertain to the original question”

There was an original question? I thought it was just a long existentialist shaggy dog story.

Usually the political discussions evolve as a result of posts about things like the bailout of GM, Cash For Clunkers, and protective tariffs. Those are political posts, political debates, and as such political comments are relative to the posts. I accept Oblivian’s comment that in this thread my comment was inappropriate…even though he followed with political statements of his own. In an effort to end the thread from diverging too far from the original question I chose not to proceed with a political debate. Were the subject of the thread political, I’d be happy to debate, but Oblivian was correct, my comment had nothing to do with the thread’s subject.

In short, I accept Oblivion’s criticism.