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Honda valve newspaper column question

Ray, I have read your column and enjoyed your show for may years. Recently you answered Steve’s question about adjusting the valves on his Honda and how it is not necessary for him to replace the timing belt because Honda uses a chain. The implication being that the chain has a much longer longevity than a belt. In 2007 I bought a GMC Acadia awd. This vehicle served me well for 10 years then I gave it to my daughter with 78,000 miles on it. Currently has 87,500 miles on it and needs the timing chains replaced as it gives a P0017 code. The GMC dealer has quoted $3500 after charging $180 diagnostic fees. This vehicle was purchased new, kept in the garage and maintained by the book. As a matter of fact the oil was changed more frequently than required. If I did anything wrong, it was that I used 100% synthetic oil. BTW after 10 years this vehicle still looked in show room condition. And, before I gave it to my daughter I had a 150 point inspection and all the fluids replaced. We have called GM about getting some assistance with this repair, but GM says no. They have washed their hands of it. It seems to me that GM has designed a very poor product. I know this engine 3.6 V6 is used up and down their line, in Chevrolet, Buick, Cadilllac and GMC products. My daughter and son-in-law have been told by another mechanic and the GM mechanic, ‘it’s not worth fixing as the next thing to go will be the transmission’. I was wondering if you could give me your input and guidance regarding the repair or not of this vehicle. I have offered to pay half the repair cost.
Thank You Joe D. Fremont, CA

Joe, I don’t think Ray ever answers anything on this section . GM is not going to do anything because this vehicle has been out of warranty for years .

GM did have problems with early versions of this engine

And having to replace the chain is not unheard of, such that GM dealers have one part number, which includes everything needed for the job, as opposed to having to list 15 separate items, for example. That should tell you something.

I recommend getting a second opinion. Maybe somebody will come up with a different diagnosis, and/or come in with a much lower estimate

Normally, I’d say to avoid the dealer, because of their comparatively high labor rates and high parts prices. But because this is a pretty complicated repair . . . as opposed to a brake job or tire replacement . . . you should stick to shops which are very familiar with the diagnosis and procedure.

Since you have given your location, and assuming the car has been there the entire time, I pretty much know the car is not a rusted out wreck. Assuming the chain(s) are the only current problem, I say consider fixing it. It could easily give your daughter another five years or so of good service. But she should keep maintaining it as per the severe service schedule, as most americans do fall under that description

Using synthetic oil wasn’t a contributing factor

My daughter had a 2007 Acadia - nothing but problems. Her timing chains were not replaced that I know of, but it did have the dreaded flexplate in the transmission break apart. $4500 to fix it. Power steering pump started whining - off and on cel - mysterious front end noises - all the labels on the hvac rubbed off. I called it the turdia :grinning: glad it is gone, and again gm should be ashamed!

You’d think at the very least – I mean we can send men to the moon, right? – with all the tech we have at our disposal, you’d think the hvac labels could be designed so they wouldn’t disappear in 10 years … lol .