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Old 01-26-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
Blakk11SS
 
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Winter cold weather and the Camaro

For those Camaro owners in very cold climates you may want to make note of this problem that I found with my Camaro this past week when we had a really cold stretch of below 0 to -20 temperatures here in Minnesota (much colder air temps when driving).

A leak developed from the front passenger side, next to the lower radiator area where there is a high pressure cylinder that apparently is part of the power steering, it has a power steering hose fitment that runs across above the frame behind the radiator. Well anyway, the fitment of the hose to the high pressure tube looking thing that is positioned next to the rad began leaking during the below zero week of days we had here in Minnesota Jan. 20, 2013. I noticed the puddle of what looked like steering fluid under the car one day, it left a long drip trail as I backed out of the garage.

I contacted my dealer to get a service visit to have it checked out, then the next day, I took it in. I began my conversation with the service tech asking questions about any known TSBs on this type of problem, I was told there were no known TSBs, the tech did not perform a search while speaking with me and continued with the write-up. Meanwhile, the mechanic put it up on the lift, inspected it and identified the same condition I had done earlier at home, the hose fitment onto the high pressure cylinder was leaking right where the pinch clamp holds on the hose, it had sprayed out covering the surrounding area with fluid, he noticed that it was also showing signs of leaking on the driver side end of the same fluid hose, but in a different way, more like a seep, not a drip, He said that this hose would need to be replaced, and it will come with new clamps, I agreed, it would be under warranty, ok good. I asked if he seen anything like this before, he said once, he had heard of this hose being replaced on another car sometime in the past, a reasonable answer. I asked if the Power Steering Lines would need to be flushed and refilled and he stated ‘No’ on a Flush, not necessary, the PS unit would only be refilled accordingly.

The hose part was not in stock and had to be ordered, it would be a 2 days. While waiting for the part to be delivered, I called the dealership again to make sure they had the right contact number for me, and in passing with this completely different service tech, I brought up the subject of TSBs with this type of steering problem. The tech said, he was not aware of any, I asked if they could look up any and all TSBs related to this steering line problems, he refused to do so, there are too many to look through “he said” and that would take a long time, I disagreed with that answer and asked him to ask my original Tech to look up the TSBs before I am back for the service visit, and I would like to have the top 5 TSBs on steering issues for the ’11 Camaro.

Today, Saturday, I had some time to research the issue further, I checked the TSB sources on the web and came across a TSB for this ‘exact’ same issue for all Chevrolet models 2012 and earlier in respect to a Power Steering Fluid Leak from Power Steering Pump or High Pressure Hose During Extreme Low Temperature Operation (Replace Power Steering Fluid) TSB #12-02-32-002 (Feb 21, 2012). I noted the number on my iPod and went to the dealership Saturday afternoon. I walked to the Manager’s office, explained my situation and then walked to the Service desk to discuss further. One of the service techs there was not initially able to locate this TSB #12-02-32-002 because he said that number does not match anything in the Chevrolet technical online reference on his computer in front of him. He asked where I got the number, I told him, he said we don’t always use the same numbers as that web resource, I said check again until you find it. Low and behold, he located it – amazing!

The details on the GM document 2771871 with the number #12-02-32-002 in the first sentence gives a Condition, Cause, Instructions, Part information. I read the document and it states this applies to Models: 2012 and Prior GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks. Some customers may comment that their vehicle is experiencing a power steering fluid leak from the power steering pump, gear or high pressure side power steering hose during extreme low outdoor temperature operation. During extremely low temperatures, -30C (-22F) or lower, the power steering fluid may thicken and the power steering system pressures may rise, causing damage to various components. To resolve this condition, replace any damaged power steering system components, flush the power steering system and refill the Cold Climate power steering fluid. Refer to Power Steering in SI.

After discussing my frustration with the technical bulletin access these Service Technician’s use and their inability to locate anything without being pressed to look something up (TSB number in hand of the customer) I then began asking about how much of my steering system may be damaged, they cannot determine that at this point. I asked if I would get this special “Cold Climate power steering fluid” instead of the ‘regular’ fluid which obviously failed in my car, and the answer was no, you will not. A flush and fill of this nature is only covered with regular fluid, I would need to pay for a flush and refill with the different fluid.

Well, I am not satisfied with that answer - I will have to think about this some more and told the Tech and Asst. Sales Manager in presence of this conversation that I want my car fixed right and I don’t want to come back again next winter when it fails again, due to the cold. The service tech states that they cannot predict the failure of any part and address the problems as they are found etc-etc. I told him I prefer to be proactive instead of being reactive on the service of this fine car which cost a lot of money! – what if my Rack and Pinion, or Power Steering Pump goes out next? Because it was damaged due to this current fluid failure? I mentioned to them that my 36,000 mile warranty is going to expire in about 10,000 miles and then what will I have?

This is a situation that I don’t look forward to dealing with ‘again’. It appears to me that the Service tech will determine what is right for me regardless of what the TSB document defines as a solution. My last words to him were to “Make sure the Mechanic gets this TSB Document before I come back on Monday for the hose replacement”.

Please let me know what you all think of all of this, sorry it's such a long read – should I just go to a different Dealership for service?

Last edited by Blakk11SS; 01-27-2013 at 09:08 AM. Reason: needed paragraph breaks, hard to read
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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Wow, that's an impressive block of text. It was difficult to read.
It's good to know there is a TSB suggesting "cold weather power steering fluid" in extreme low temperatures.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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gotta format this in paragraphs man at least.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:14 AM   #4
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I think I would find a different dealer, there is no reason for them not to follow the guidelines of the TSB, Chevrolet does their homework, the dealership gets paid, they are simply being lazy. If you cannot get any resolution, call Chevrolet directly and complain, ask that a district rep meet you at the dealership and tell them to properly repair your car.
On another note, I am so so happy I will soon be leaving all this cold weather for a warmer climate.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:12 AM   #5
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Thanks Guys! I appreciate the advice, thanks for enduring that read.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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Try another dealer, don't let them touch it.
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Last edited by TooCool5; 01-30-2013 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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Just had mine in for the lower passanger side leaking for the second time now. You can bet they will be looking into this tsb tomorrow morning.

Currently they have replaced the clamp twice. Today and once back around 4-9-11. Conveniatly they cant find a record of the 4-9-11 repair luckly I posted it on c5. I do not remember taking it to any other dealer.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:48 PM   #8
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I'm sorry to hear your frustrating story OP, but I really appreciate you posting this because I developed this problem today. I was going to leave work and noticed I didn't have power steering as I tried to back up, WTF. Low and behold, there's a puddle underneath the radiator, passenger side with brownish liquid. There's also a trail where I tried to backup and then pulled back in. Called the local chevy dealership, but unfortunately they won't be able to get me in until Monday.

It's at my place of work right now, when it gets warmer, do you think it would be okay to hobble my car to the dealership? It's not very far. But I don't want to cause any damage to the power steering pump. If it won't harm it, I'll attempt it on Saturday when it's suppose to get up to 30F.

BTW, it was -27F this morning. Drove fine in the morning to work, but coming home, no way.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:40 PM   #9
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Hey SPARTAN sui, I'm sorry to hear you've got the same problem. This really cold weather is doing a job on the hoses and such, that -27 is Crazy-cold over there in ND! It's too bad these exposed hoses are not insulated in some way, and we still have a while of winter left.

I lost a considerable amount of power steering fluid last week but was able to drive on it and still had some steering function. What I heard is that it's so cold that the power steering fluid has jelled up to a thick viscosity and cannot flow. Maybe when it warms up by Saturday, it will be ok again, but if you are seeing a lot on the ground, it might be safer to get it towed as you might damage the pump if the pressure is lost from the system.

I took my car in last Monday, it was about an hour & 1/2 job for the install of a new hose and refill of the PS fluid. I was out this evening driving and it is about -5 below air temp now and way colder going down the road at 60mph, so I hope the repair holds, the mechanic stated they put in the cold climate fluid per the TSB I brought to their attention.

I guess I will find out in the morning when its -20 outside and I start the Camaro up and back down the driveway. I'll let you know how it goes, and let us know how your service visit works out too. BTW, the hose part had to be ordered from GM Parts and that took 2 days.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #10
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I waited until it to warmed up to -15 degrees below zero this morning before starting the car, the power steering hose repair seems to have held for startup and the drive to work. Maybe it will be -10 by lunch-hour for the second temperature test.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:01 PM   #11
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Yes it has been crazy cold these past few days. I was pretty happy with my car being able to turn over without issues during the brute of it. I was not expecting to have power steering issues due to the cold weather though! Tomorrow morning I'm going to head back up to work and see if I I have any power steering left. If not, I'll be calling the chevy number to get me a tow truck and tow it to the dealership.

I imagine my dealership will have to order the part in also. Hopefully by the end of next week I can drive her again. :( I'm driving my sister's 2012 charger for the time being, which is great she's lending me it while they're away, but it's not the same by any means. Just makes me sad driving it and not my car!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:50 PM   #12
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Power steering hose leak

Add me to the list....experienced the same leak with the extreme cold of last week.
The issue must be fairly common as the hoses required for the repair are on back order.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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Back order? Damn. I was hoping to have my car back by the end of the week.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:22 PM   #14
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Wow! Service must be getting slammed with PS repairs all over. I hope you can keep rolling in the Charger until then.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:38 AM   #15
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Well good news is I live in the same house (basement apartment) as my sister, and we work at the same place. I'll probably just have to get up a half an hour earlier than I normally do and ride into work with her. Did that this morning. Which is fine, but I am not a morning person at all. -_-

I guess the bright side of things is it is winter, and I hate going outside if I don't have to. If this was the middle of the summer, and I wasn't allowed to drive my Camaro for a week, I think I would go insane!
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPARTAN sui View Post
Yes it has been crazy cold these past few days. I was pretty happy with my car being able to turn over without issues during the brute of it. I was not expecting to have power steering issues due to the cold weather though! Tomorrow morning I'm going to head back up to work and see if I I have any power steering left. If not, I'll be calling the chevy number to get me a tow truck and tow it to the dealership.

I imagine my dealership will have to order the part in also. Hopefully by the end of next week I can drive her again. :( I'm driving my sister's 2012 charger for the time being, which is great she's lending me it while they're away, but it's not the same by any means. Just makes me sad driving it and not my car!
It will be okay! Don't be sad. Let us know how the repair goes. We are here if you have any questions as always!

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Old 02-06-2013, 10:05 AM   #17
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to early to start reading this much text.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Chevrolet Customer Svc View Post
It will be okay! Don't be sad. Let us know how the repair goes. We are here if you have any questions as always!

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Thanks Brandon.
I dropped off my car Saturday and ended up getting it back Monday. On Monday, within a couple hours of the service dept. being open they called me to let me know my car was fixed. It was the return line hose that popped off. They didn't order anything or use the winterized power steering fluid like the TSB outlines, so we'll see if I have anymore issues when it gets really cold out again. I hope not. But she's back to normal!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SPARTAN sui View Post
Thanks Brandon.
I dropped off my car Saturday and ended up getting it back Monday. On Monday, within a couple hours of the service dept. being open they called me to let me know my car was fixed. It was the return line hose that popped off. They didn't order anything or use the winterized power steering fluid like the TSB outlines, so we'll see if I have anymore issues when it gets really cold out again. I hope not. But she's back to normal!
That's great news! I am sure your sister is happy to have her vehicle back as well.

Glad service went smoothly.

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #20
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Brandon- cool of you to show interest, but odd that you'd seemingly overlook the glaring mention of the service dept neglecting to follow the tsb.. not the first time something like this was mentioned in this thread. Just my two cents..
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryank2000 View Post
Brandon- cool of you to show interest, but odd that you'd seemingly overlook the glaring mention of the service dept neglecting to follow the tsb.. not the first time something like this was mentioned in this thread. Just my two cents..

Bryank2000, Well said - exactly right on.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:08 PM   #22
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Uh okay guy. Start a new thread, this is not the same issue as you're having. Also takes caps lock off.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:29 AM   #23
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Time for GM to switch all cars to electro-mechanical power steering!
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