Hi everyone thanks for reading. I live in Ontario and I work at a GM dealership for a living. I have a customer whoom I told "when you are done with your car give me a call". Well sure enough that is what has happened.
I will give you guys the information and ask for some help or questions answered, and I really really appreciate any help given.
My last car that I had besides winter beaters was a 2009 Cobalt SS....it was the 2.0L with the GM stage kit installed and minor work elsewhere, it handled well and pulled a 13.6 in the quarter mile with Bridgestone RE -11's. I liked this car very much but got offered more money than I could refuse, it was white and limited build in that colour.
My customer we will call him Steve. He calls me up asking if I wanted to buy his car. I am currently looking all over for my next summer car and have looked at some Cobra's and Camaro's and stuff like that, but obviously not what I am looking for. His car is a 2008 Redline in Midnight Blue with the Tan interior and roof, 40,00km's, not winter driven. He is middle aged and single, the car has rarely been abused. He also installed the GM stage kit based on my advice on how it woke up my Cobalt. Its all in all a pretty good car he has and I like it a fair bit.
Important details on my next car purchase......the wife just wants me to get a convertable, we enjoy weekend cruising with each other......I want a car with some go, I know how my Cobalt was and I believe the stage kit adds a higher number in power to the Sky vs. the Cobalt. I also want RWD and good looks...the sky seems to meet everything I need it to.
So I don't need advice to buy or not, we are close to the purchase. The best part is I can have this car for the price of $18,000, which in Ontario I feel like I cannot find another Sky Redline for under 20K.
What I really want some input on is..........
General issues, things I should look for and if it is easy to fix or live with it.
I hear about braking issues, and I know nothing of this.
Do you think the deal is pretty good?
pros and cons of people who actually own this car, things I wouldn't find out until I owned it for a few months.
Thanks for taking the time to read this long message and I really appreciate any help given. In return I do what I can at the dealership to help us guys out....parts, warranties, pricing stuff like that.
Welcome, and enjoy the auto. I always let my R/L warmup, ie sit at least for a minute or two. Hold over from the old days up North lol. My brakes do need the time for the boost to build. A small problem. Get the R/L enjoy the smile it puts on your face, and the attention you get.
Frank says: There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.
2008 Sky Red Line
Chili Pepper Red
Black Leather Interior
Single Disc Monsoon
DDM Performance Backbone
Solo HiFlo Cat
Don’t let the 08 breaks scare you away. Though I’ve only logged 15k miles I’ve never really had much of an issue.
May hear/feel some “crunching” / build-up sounds while backing out of the garage, but the brakes are still there.
ONCE – while sitting in a long backup on a downward hill… I turned OFF the motor… and after a while, the boost assist did let go. Kinda funny feeling but still the car brakes worked, just took a good bit more pressure to hold
Get a GM record pulled to verify the in service date and warranty remaining. If the PT warranty is still good and the inspection gives it a clean bill of health, then the one at the dealer is a good option. Get them to kick in another few hundred in discounts and some free oil changes.
You want to personally inspect the car because the Sky and Sol are highly susceptible to damage when lifted improperly. The front fenders crack frequently due to road vibration and are easily crushed if lifted with a floor jack. If there is damage you want to identify it before sale and with a dealer you can push to get them to repair the damage as part of the sale. There are basically no available right side factory fenders anymore and few left side fenders. They are repairable and there are aftermarket replacements available from DDM but you need to know if the fenders are cracked as this can be up to a $1k swinger on the retail price.
You also want to take a good look at the bottom front. Because of the configuration of the car nearly every new owner rams them into curbs one to several times and they get damaged. At the very least there will be scrapes on the bottom of the bumper cover that you can use to get a lower price or commitment to repair from a dealer that you probably will not get from a private party seller.
You also want to take a hard look at the top. More than a few cars have had problems with the folding mechanism that has damaged the canvas where it folds over the windows and / or damage to the canvas when it rubs against an improperly adjusted side window. The top is also susceptible to damage from the hold down feet mounted on the trunk lid. The rubber feet come off, fail or even twist allowing direct contact between the mounting structure and the top canvas while the top is in the trunk. I have seen more than one car that has holes in the top due to this. The canvas is $1600 plus installation which at a dealer can run into several hundred dollars. And to the best of my knowledge while there are plenty of replacement canvas parts available, there are no more top assemblies in stock.
You want to visually inspect the cup holders. The front one is notorious for failing and they cost upwards of $100 for replacement parts plus installation labor. The rear one between the seats is much more robust however they can and do get so full of dust and dirt that they will no longer deploy. If treated well they are fine but you do not know till you try to pull the things out.
Another area that I recommend you inspect is the center console. If the previous drivers did like me and leaned on them hard while driving and used them as a support while getting in and out of the car, they all will crack right down the center. I have had mine replaced under the warranty but you are probably out of warranty. The cover is easy to replace but again is in the range of $100 for a replacement part from GM. There are several threads that cover reinforcing below the cover so it will not crack again and DDM has a replacement that is much stonger and includes two cup holders but again that is in the same cost plus shipping and you get to install it.
If you are by chance looking at a 2008 RL, one factor is the production run for the first 6 or 8 months deleted the electronic vacuum pump that provided motive force for the brakes immediately after start up. The issue presents itself on some cars as high brake pedal force required and / or pulsing of the brake pedal for the first few seconds to the first couple of minutes upon cold start after sitting for an extended period or at high altitude. The issue is that the turbo car does not generate much vacuum (its boosted) and as a result once the vacume accumulator leaks down, there is no vacuum for the power brakes when you start. And when you start the factory tune, it is set to heat up the catalytic converter and not optimized for creating vacuum. There was a big safety investigation made and a lot of people had problems with this about mid-way through 2008 calendar year. My wife's car falls in this group and about once or twice a year we get the symptoms but it works fine through it and within about 30 seconds there is normal brake feel. The factory has a software update that if asked they will install on cars with this complaint and in extreme cases there is a retro fit kit that adds back on the electronic vacuum pump. But again, you cannot tell if the car you are looking at falls into this group or not unless you physically check for the pumps presence on the left side of the engine block, and unless you drive the car from a cold start. If you are buying from a dealer you could make the software update part of the deal and get a promise to do the pump retro fit under warranty because GM normally pays for it.
You want to cycle the driver’s seat up and down because a lot of cars have never had their electric adjusters cycled and they need to be freed up and lubricated before they work correctly. In fact, I did a test last year and out of 40 cars and 80 drivers only 5 knew that the driver’s seat went up and down with the switch! Servicing the seat is no big deal but it will be half an hour of labor and some parts allowance so its in the $100 range. If you buy from a dealer you are much more likely to have this addressed as part of the deal than if you buy from a private party. And if you do not have access to the car its difficult to verify operation.
Many, maybe most of the key fobs for 2006 through 2008 at least have a known manufacturing problem. The metal tab / connector that holds the battery in place has a cold solder joint. The fob starts to work intermittently and eventually stops working. If you are good with a solder iron you can easily fix it as many of us have done, but if not, then the dealer will charge you around $100 for a replacement fob and programming it with the car. Potentially times two. If you have access to the fobs, you can pop them open and inspect the condition of the at risk part and know if you are good to go or not. If not, again you are much more likely to get the fob replaced as part of the deal by a dealer.
The door sills have an aluminum insert that is glued to the plastic part. Unfortunately as a result of the attachment method and the difference in coefficient of thermal expansion between the aluminum trim insert and the plastic door sills, the aluminum part will almost always bow up around .25 inches in the middle during cold weather. In some instances drivers will drag their heels across the door sills and can catch the trim plate and bend the crap out of it. They are relatively cheap - around $25 plus labor to install, but if you find it after the fact then it’s your $25 and not the sellers.
Rob.....thanks a ton, this was the info only an owner would know that I was asking for.....much appreciated. It is however being offered to me privately. I will check these items you listed, go over them, based on the fella who owns it I am sure a few of these things may be wrong and gives me an excuse to get a lower price. I feel like I already am getting a great deal on the car, but whats the harm in trying to save myself some more money. You know I do need some money for some modifications. I work at the GM dealership and have access to all history on the vehicle such as build date and the maintenance history. Like I said before I can do this kind of stuff for you guys as my part of the team on this site, but like the Cobalt sites I was a part of ( more immature over there ) I am sure there are a couple of us that work at the GM stores and can do the same thing....but I want to help. Dealership related questions can come my way, I don't/can't know everything but do my best to help out.
Again everyone I really appreciate the help and if there is more than what has been covered already I will take it all please and thanks.
Also I know the moderator just added my post to the boards today and I am pleasently surprised to all the reply's already.........I am use to just seeing ppl with sort comments like " hey newbie try searching " and other rude comments like that ( on other forums ).
Like everything else I am having a hard time navigating this site, but with a little time I am sure I will come around. I want to pick up this car but I cant get it for a short time, then get right into some minor mods, I will be looking for good vendors for parts like sway bars and stiffeners(sp), of course this is based on how much I like the performance when I get it. Tires for sure and exhaust will be a must, also some intake ideas.... I believe the GM tune with these parts will be enough for me. The 290/340 power with small mods should keep me in the mid 13's with new tires etc...This stuff can wait until I get the car in my hands.
Look forward to further discussions with you guys.
Thaks for the Link for that service bulliten, it so nice having ppl with help like this, as the service department can be dicks with the TSB's sometimes.
Welcome Swazies, what part of Ontario? We have a great group of Kappa peeps in the Toronto/surrounding area. We also have a FB page where some discussion are going on for a cross border trip.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/SSOOO/
Chili I live in Tillsonburg, its about 25 minutes south of Woodstock, about 30 minutes north of Lake Erie. The link in your sig doesn't get me anywhere.......does it have to do with an Ontario group of ppl? I use to get together with Cobalt guys for meets and cruises....I enjoyed that very much and would enjoy it again.....and hi Skybaby, I have been a customer of Hahn's in the past.
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