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The Curse strikes again


DetroitNut90

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It got me. Again. Only this time, it involved my mom’s Venture. We were taking one of the Company’s cargo vans up to the local Chevy/Buick/Pontiac/GMC/Isuzu/Mitsubishi dealer to get a recall on the power steering pump taken care of. So, after dropping off the Express van, my mom, dad, little cousin who’s now living with us (a whole different story on its own), and I pile into our Venture to head home. I turn the key and it sort of sputters. The engine doesn’t turn over. I figured maybe I didn’t turn the key hard enough, so I try again. Same thing...the engine sputters, but nothing. The radio comes on, but the time gets reset to 12:00 each time. It’s then I realize that my mom’s been complaining about it seeming strange when she started it up a few days ago. I told her this morning after it was brought to my attention that the 3.4L V6 is known for the intake manifold gasket failing around 60-65K mi, and the van’s at or above the 60K mi mark. She says it’s not just the engine, but the power sliding doors won’t work sometimes, and the thing just seems wheezier. I tell her I don't know what the problem could be, and we could worry about it when dad gets home (I was running late to catch the bus).

So back to sitting in it at the dealer. I try to open the power doors from the switch console, but they don’t open. My dad was going crazy, he thought I was doing something wrong. So, we manually open the doors and walk back into the service department and tell the lady at the desk that we need to make another appointment. After talking to the lady at the desk for a minute, she arranges for a service guy to go see if giving it a jump start would help. About 15 minutes later, the lady manages to procure a service guy and he proceeds to go wire the Venture up. My mom and I watch, and the van starts up. My mom says that it might have just been the battery, but I told her that if the battery was dead, the headlights, and radio wouldn’t have turned on, and the gauges wouldn’t have read anything. For good measure, we left the Venture there to see if something other than the battery was sour. By now, it’s about 5:45 (we got there at about 4:15). So we wait for about another half-hour for the dealer to arrange for a courtesy ride to the Enterprise down US-1. So as we pull into the Enterprise lot (it’s located in the middle of a shopping center, so it’s a bit difficult to tell which cars are the rentals and which aren’t), I’m scanning for another minivan to rent, or maybe a Malibu or G6. No such luck. I saw a Corolla, a Sentra Special Edition, a new Accent, a Dakota crew cab, and a Stratus with Sebring rims. I’m worried we’ll get stuck with the Corolla, since dad wanted the cheapest rental there. So when we get inside and are going over the choices at hand, a laser blue Mazda6 pulls up. The guy behind the counter says “oh, there's that one as well.” I tell my parents to go with the Mazda, since it’s bigger than the Corolla and not much more expensive. Plus, we had a good experience with the previous 6 while the Sonoma was in the shop. So, after about 10 minutes of paperwork, we pull out of the parking lot in the 6. The poor guy behind us was hoping for the 6. As we were walking out the door, I heard the guy behind the counter say to the guy behind us “sorry sir, those folks just took the Mazda. How about that silver Corolla right there?” I felt bad for him...nothing good left to choose from.

I’m worried about the Venture...it’s never done anything like this before to us. I just hope it’s not a sign of things to come. But, at the same time, I’m happy to have another Mazda6 to examine. This one’s got the 3.0L V6 and the 6 speed auto (both very nice, BTW). So, I guess I’ll have another review write up soon. Thanks for listening to me go on.

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Wow... that's unacceptable for 60K miles! :(

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Well, we got the Venture back today. It had a corroded battery terminal and hose replaced, in addition to some other leaky hoses replaced and the fuel injectors were cleaned. The recall for U-bodies issued ~2005 was taken care of as well. We had to return the Mazda6 today, which entailed watching my mom get into a disagreement with the guy behind the counter over the gas tank. I'll have my impressions of that one up sometime this weekend. Venture's running fine now.

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That's good taht it was nothing too serious...I had a battery issue with the Intrepid. I was lucky to get it started and drive the 30 minute commute home. Turned out in addition to corrosion on one of the terminals it was putting out a faction of what it's supposed to. Had it replaced and things have been going fine. At least the Venture broke down at the dealership and not the middle of nowhere...fine place to have a breakdown :P

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That's good taht it was nothing too serious...I had a battery issue with the Intrepid. I was lucky to get it started and drive the 30 minute commute home. Turned out in addition to corrosion on one of the terminals it was putting out a faction of what it's supposed to. Had it replaced and things have been going fine. At least the Venture broke down at the dealership and not the middle of nowhere...fine place to have a breakdown :P

Very true.

Makes me worry about my dad's venture....

Seems to be quite good now, at 40k...

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I've had my share of car problems as well recently.

The Super 88 is going on eBay as of tomorrow if I

can do up the listing tonight, after that, if all goes

as planned I buy my 1959 Buick.

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