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Replacing the HVAC seems complicated... they have to remove a good part of the dashboard. I am afraid it will rattle afterwards.
Although I have not disassembled the entire dashboard, I did disassemble the console, HVAC control, radio trim and removed the radio faceplate and cd player unit. I was very impressed with the robustness of the parts in general. They are all strong parts that are fastened and/or clipped together in a very sturdy manner. If the entire dashboard assembly follows the same design principles I would be fairly confident that rattles would not be an issue after reassembly. Of course, if the technician was to not assemble the dash the same way it came apart by forgetting screws or something, that's a different issue.

Many of the parts I took out had flock tape on them where they mate to other parts, and the wire harnesses all appeared to be wrapped with either flock tape, foam, or some combination of the two. Cars I've worked on in the past have not shown such a level of detail or sturdy design with regards to plastic trim, etc.
 

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Well I got my new surge tank installed yesterday. I'm still waiting on the new cap to come in, but that's a simple swap later this week when it gets here.

A couple pics. The first is of the drain kak (**** is not allowed) on the radiator. It points rearward instead of down, which makes it tough to drain without getting coolant all over the lower rad support. I came up with a quick and easy solution to this:

This is a piece of 3/8" wire loom about 5" long. I couldn't find a piece of hose or anything else that would work, but this worked great. It might not stay in place if the drain kak was all the way open and coolant was pouring out at full flow, so holding it in place somehow might be necessary.

Here's a shot of the surge tank. As it drained I tilted it up on an angle to get all the coolant out, only to find I couldn't get all the coolant out! The way the baffles are set up inside, when you tip it up like this some coolant gets trapped in the front. Funny enough, I kept draining more out of the rad and the tank stayed at the same level, as seen here:


Anyway, I did a good bit of stop and go "city" type driving today without the heater on so the car got good and hot. I'm happy to say that, based on today's driving, I have not smelled any coolant with the new tank. A little more time will be necessary before confirming the fix, but it certainly seems good so far.
 

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fastdriver said:
You should send a copy to Akerson too! Maybe it will do some good OR maybe even make him aware of the problem to begin with!
steve333 said:
Akerson is a moron. If he didn't initiate action by now himself it's clear he couldn't care less about GM or its customers. He's got his millions for mediocrity
You guys are hilarious… why on earth do you think the CEO of one of the world's largest companies would have a quality control issue like this on their radar? The CEO is not paid to deal with things like this, he is paid to manage the HUGE firm known as General Motors. Ackerson would be doing a great diservice to the 200,000+ employees of GM if he were to get sidetracked into this stuff. There are many layers of management between him and this issue, the bottom of which are the ones who are supposed to look after these types of things.

If you wish to comment on this, send me a PM. Please don't further dilute this otherwise constructive thread.
 

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I am going to ask them to replace the surge tank and cap to see if it solves my problem. Wish me luck... :hope:
Before getting the tank replaced, check the inside of the cap area for a rough surface where the o-ring sits. If the surface is smooth and a new tank/cap fixes your problem it was probably the cap. If the tank has a rough spot and the problem gets fixed, it was probably the tank. See pics earlier in the thread. Either way I hope you get the problem sorted out!

I replaced my tank on the weekend and have had no venting since. This is with the coolant properly topped up and still using the OLD cap. I picked up a new cap just as insurance but have yet to put it on.
 

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They've had the car more than I have in the last 2 months and I'm worse off now than before!
There's no excuse for the lack of customer service, and definitely no excuse for scratching/denting your car. That's BS. You should be in touch with GM Canada and tell them about two things... 1. your less than satisfactory dealership experience, and 2. the fact that you've had the car in several times for each of multiple complaints.
 

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...I did a good bit of stop and go "city" type driving today without the heater on so the car got good and hot. I'm happy to say that, based on today's driving, I have not smelled any coolant with the new tank. A little more time will be necessary before confirming the fix, but it certainly seems good so far.
Well, ten days later, the weather is in the mid-high 20's C (~80F), and I have yet to catch a single wiff of coolant vapor, either inside the car, outside the car, or under the hood. I washed the car tonight and did a quick wash under hood as well. The vent cover on the side of the tank is bone dry without a trace of condensation or dry coolant... no venting has taken place since the tank swap.

I now feel very confident in saying that my personal coolant smell issue, though slight compared to some, was solved by replacing the surge tank with a new one with no defect in the cap seal area.

I would urge anyone with an underhood or outside the car coolant smell issue to go to the dealer and request a new surge tank that does not have any defects as pictured in my previous threads. Since BigSkyMontana appears to have had his issue cleared up by replacing the tank cap, it wouldn't hurt to suggest to your dealer to install both a new tank and cap. I installed a new cap as well, but that was days after my tank swap and I had no odors using the old cap with my new tank.

For those who are having HVAC lube related odor issues (the ones that seem to come and go based on heater use and vent position), there is a fix involving the replacement of the HVAC case with a new one that uses a new lubricant that does not smell when heated.

If you have issues that are resolved at the dealer, please post your experiences and what fix was performed to cure your issue. The more info we have the better!
 

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My dealer changed out my tank and cap per my request via this thread. So far, the smell is improved, but I still have it in the engine bay & my garage. I'll try dropping the level from the max level down to min and see if that helps...
milehigh, did you check the inside of the surge tank for defects as per the pics in my previous posts? If the cap seal is functioning properly there should be no venting of coolant vapor at all so lowering your coolant level may not change anything. An easy check for venting is to look at the vent cover on the tank (the little plastic "deflector" pointing away from the cap on the driver's side). If that vent cover is dry and there are no signs of dried coolant (whitish orange deposits) then the tank is not venting.

One thing to keep in mind; if the surge tank was just replaced there is most likely some coolant that was spilled inside the engine bay. This coolant will emit an odor until it is completely dry. It may help to take a hose and gently rinse the engine compartment, paying attention to rinse the top of the transmission and all other items around the surge tank. If your underbody shield has not been cut per the recall there could be coolant pooled up there as well.

Use a gentle shower setting on the sprayer nozzle if possible; it is not recommended to use a high velocity spray under hood as this could force water into wiring connections. A gentle but thorough rinse is completely safe and may get rid of that last little bit of colant smell. The dealer should have done this when the work was completed, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.

Even without rinsing the smell of any spilled coolant should pass after a few days of driving the car, if spilled coolant is the source of the smell.
 

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I still find it interesting that all the other GM cars thst use the 1.4 turbo have the surge tank in the front of the engine compartment.
I don't think there's anything worth reading into there... it's just packaging. The surge tank is just a reservoir; all the heat producing items in the coolant's path are what will affect the system. As long as they're able to place the surge tank above the coolant level in the rest of the system (highest point) I don't think it matters where the tank is located.


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I had my car fixed of this problem... ...had to take all the pulley's off to see the small leak on the water pump... ...take maybe another 5000km for the smell to go away under the hood...
Great to hear of another successful fix!

You bring up an excellent point about the smell taking a while to go away after the work was done. I will re-state in bold for everyone's benefit:

AFTER HAVING ANY SERVICE DONE TO YOUR CAR'S COOLING SYSTEM, ASK THE DEALER TO RINSE THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT. Any spilled coolant will hang around and smell for quite some time after the fix is complete. This can make it seem that the problem was not corrected!

If they resist, tell them you don't need them to wash and detail the engine, just a quick rinse to get rid of any coolant left hanging around.

I used to work at GM Oshawa Plant and grew up in Port Perry. I moved to Ottawa a few years ago.
 
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