March 31, 2020 at 11:01 am #594650
Can anyone help me?
We bought our Buick Verano a few years ago less than 12 months after it had been sold new and with about 25,000 miles on the odometer. One of the reasons I bought into a Buick is because I found the company’s warranty appealing, especially as I’m not that mechanically minded.
Less than a few months into ownership the car pulled a nasty little trick on my while I was out driving with my family in Daytona – the electrics suddenly cut out (the entertainment console, the lot) and suddenly the steering locked up and turned to lead because the power steering went out – I was lucky I didn’t have an accident, as I was going round a bend at the time and started heading towards the oncoming traffic – I managed to muscle the car around, but it sure got my heart racing at the time. It kept pulling the same behavior for days afterwards, leaving me never knowing when the electrics would cut out. Another occasion the car locked up on me while I was out of the car and wouldn’t let me get in because I had accidentally left the keys inside so I couldn’t manually open it.
Another problem that cropped up at the same time was that the front passenger seat started giving problems with an alarm flashing to the effect that something was wrong with the associated air bag.
I took it to a Buick dealership here in Orlando, Orange Buick, who, after giving me a real run around for a while finally got me to take it in and inspected it. They said that the airbag issue was due to a faulty sensor that required replacement – they had to take the seat out completely to fix it – and that the problem with the power was because of a faulty ‘wire harness’ that they said would need replacing. The repairs were effected under the terms of the warranty and all seemed well after that, other than the fact that the airbag gave problems AGAIN a few months later and I had to go back once more to get the procedure repeated.
That was around two years ago. Fast track forward and suddenly the car is doing the same thing again with the electronics – the first I knew about it was as I came round a corner doing 30mph and suddenly found myself heading towards the traffic on the other side because the steering turned to lead again. As luck would have it the car has only recently ticked over the 50,000 mile mark so it’s no longer covered by warranty. I called Orange Buick to complain because this isn’t wear and tear, and whatever the problem was before it should have been rectified last time around – or do Buick/GM expect buyers to drive around in potential death traps waiting to give up the ghost on power steering at any given moment? Had my wife been at the wheel on either occasion that I described she and others could have been killed. Typical of a dealership, they’ve now changed their tune and claimed they ‘repaired’ the harness last time around, not replace it. I remember it clearly as I’d never heard of an electrical harness before, and it sounded like an expensive fix to replace it completely – I was glad that it was being covered by warranty. That kind of thing sticks in your memory.
What’s weird about the car’s behavior is that it just comes and goes from day to day. You never seem to know when it’s going to hit, though there’s a few clues I’ve picked up. It generally doesn’t start misbehaving until it’s warmed up, and 70% – 80% of the time the power steering seems to cut out when I’m going round a bend or corner. It pulled the trick again of cutting out all power to the doors while I was shopping a couple of weeks ago and came back to the car and found that it wouldn’t respond to the key as I approached – once I got inside manually and pressed the started it was fine.
Weirdly, it’s pulled another trick of locking the entertainment system three weeks ago, so I can’t play any music at all, and even odder, since then the car’s behaved itself completely – no turning off of the electrics or the power steering at all. Just no entertainment system.
What I don’t understand is why Buick and GM won’t do a safety recall on something like this, as it’s potentially deadly – I can’t imagine that I’m the only Verano/Cruz owner who’s had this issue. The fact that Orange Buick claimed the two years since they did the ‘repair’ is perfectly fair in terms of normal wear and tear is ludicrous – the logic being that’s it’s perfectly fine to expect the car to suddenly send unsuspecting drivers heading into oncoming traffic every couple of years when the repairs ‘naturally’ give out. That or you drive around all the time holding the steering wheel literally like your life depends on it in case the power steering suddenly decides to give up! In my entire life I’ve never driven or been in a car that acted like this.
I did do some research online about the problem and can’t find too much other than the fact I should check the battery and leads, which seem to be fine. I do occasionally get a warning signal on the dashboard (before the car decided to behave itself recently) that something or other needs to be checked (I can’t remember now, an odd name that when I looked up said that it has something to do with controlling the anti-lockup system) but it only popped up maybe once every 10 or 20 times the power would cut out. For all I know it may have been a false signal like some of the other weirdness associated with the electronics.
April 17, 2020 at 3:08 pm #597353
Might be the ground. Check all the grounds or pay someone to do it. The only other thing off the top of my head to check or look into is a body control module issue.
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