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Jim G rescued by Santa Fe Chevrolet!

1270 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  SA13355
As I mentioned in an aearlier post, I expeirenced a need to go to the top of a mountain, so I drove out from Austin, Texas to the ski areas around Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Sunday and Monday.

Now my SSR may have had an isue or two along the way in its 12,000 miles, but it has always been reliable in terms of drivetrain.That apparently has now changed.

Sunday, I noticed that the SSR was running fine as usual at 78 mph on the interstate, but the engine temperature, which NEVER gets above 210 even in stop and go idling under high ambient temperatures, was climbing well above that at gas stops, and then returning to normal on the highway.

After the 3rd gas stop, I developed a theory on what was going on: the colling fans were not coming on. To test this, I popped the hood at the next gas stop, waited for the temperature to rise, and watched the big radiator fan visible when you open the hood and look from the rear of the front fenders. It never came on.

Since the SSR was running just fine at 78 mph, but could not now handle city traffic, I did the sensible thing: just kept it at high speed all the way to Sante Fe!

Monday was Independence Day, and I didn't expect any Chevrolet dealer's service department to be open (just sales departments!). Furthermore, Santa Fe has ONE Chevrolet dealership - Santa Fe Chevrolet.

The first 3 calls to it from the interstate, at 7:30am, 9:30am, and 10 am went unanswered. But my 4th call from the hotel at 11:35 was answered by a receptionist who confirmed their service department was closed for the holiday.

However, George Willard, the sales manager on duty, rescued me. When I explained my situation, he said if I could get the SSR there somehow despite the cooling problem, he would provide me alternate transportation so that my mini-vacation would not be grossly delayed!

I mapped out a 16 mile route to the dealership that would include 11 miles of limited access highway (no problem), and 5 miles of Cerrillos Road (BIG problem - posted at 40 mph and well over 20 traffic lights), and went for it!

I thnk I had a little Divine help. Believe it or not, I had to stop at only 3 traffic lights - this was at 11:45 to 12:15pm timeframe on Independence Day!), and got to the dealership without the temperature guage EVER exceeding about 235.

George was true to his word. He got the keys to the Service Department, opened up the big door so I could drive right into the service lane, and then found me a great loaner for the mountain passes route I was planning: a Trailblazer (not an inexpensive 4-banger car like most dealerships would offer under the circumstances!).

As a result, I was out of the dealership 20 minutes after I got there, and on my way to Taos Ski Area, about 90 miles and about a zillion elevation feet away! I was on a chair lift by 3:45pm on my way to elevation 11,819 feet. My total "loss of vacation time" was maybe 90 minutes.

This morning (Tuesday), I called the service department at 7am and "Maryann" cheerfully took down my description of the symptoms over the phone, and also my theory. She took my cell phone number and said she would call me when there was news.

Yes, I know that sometimes our experiences with dealerships aren't always so idyllic. But here is a real example of a dealership manager goibg well beyond what he "had" to do.

If you7e ever going by Santa Fe, be sure to stop in and see George and tell him that SSR owners are a tight knit community, and his act of kindness was noticed!

Attached are photos of George and my free loaner!

Jim G


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JimGnitecki said:
Good one!

The obvious immediate differences in feel I noticed on the Trailblazer include:

- The 4.2 liter engine is, uh, challeneged with this vehicle weight
- Handling is VERY soft
- Steering is not as firm
- Riding position is much higher
- Vehicle rolls a lot more on (attempted) spirited driving
- Visibility is lousy every direction except front and up to 90 degrees each side
- AC is better
- Instrumentation is MUCH easier to read
- Vehicle seems less rigid than the SSR
- No exhaust note
- NO ONE looked at the Trailblazer all day!

Jim G
Any squeeks or rattles in the top?
Over temp problems?
Radio reception?

BIG JIM :cool
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