2001 Chevy Camaro Sears Automotive

Tiny
KEN_GONE_FLYING
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHEVROLET CAMARO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
Today I took my 2001 Chevy Camaro Z28 into Sears Automotive to get an oil, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid change. When I drove off of their driveway, I could tell that the ignition was different than what I was used to. It seemed to have to be forced a lot more than usual. I figured maybe it had something to do with the nuetral safety switch. Since they had just changed the brake fluid I didn't think much of it. When I got home, I turned the car off and couldn't get my key out of the ignition. After finally turning the key into the far aft position ( great force required), I was able to remove the key. I then again attempted to restart the car. At this point, the force to turn the ignition forward was so great I had to use 2 hands and was scared I might break it off. I finally started it and took it back to Sears. Their only solution was to adjust the streering column and shake the key vigorously. I had never had any previous problems like this with the ignition system. They sent me home again after it appeared to be working at their shop, then it once again would not let me have my key in my driveway, even after adjusting the steering column this time. I basically told the manager that the ignition was working fine when I dropped it off at 11 AM and when I picked it up at 1:30 PM the car was jacked up. He proceeded to tell me that the ignition cylinder had "just went bad" at this certain point in time. Is that likely given there had been no previous issues with it? Also, is there anything that might cause this type of behavior out of this component, such as trying to stick the wrong key in the ignition and turning? Any info on this would be greatly appreciated. Its just very hard for me to believe that this piece went bad in this 2 hour window with no previous signs. Thank you.

-Ken
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Monday, February 22nd, 2010 AT 4:59 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
You're absolutely right to be sceptical. When you're ignition tumblers begin to fail (Doesn't happen often), they'll show signs of sticking, looseness, and other troubles a little at a time, not all at once. (Though the ignition switch can fail to start the car all of a sudden due to bad contacts, etc.)

And yes, if someone at their shop accidentally got another customer's keys mixed up with yours, and they forced them into your lock, your tumblers could've been bent. But unfortunately, that's impossible to prove unless one of their techs admitts to it. (Unlikely)

So basically, you'll have to chalk this one up as a loss. But spread the word, and make sure none of your friends, familly, etc, ever does business with these people. (I really, really, really HATE dishonest mechanics, because they make us all look bad!)

Sorry, and if you need help with changing out your ignition lock/switch, don't hesitate to write!
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Monday, February 22nd, 2010 AT 7:34 PM
Tiny
KEN_GONE_FLYING
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much for the response. I actually dropped my car off at a GM dealership this afternoon and they are going to fix it. I called the Sears National Customer Service Center and they actually sound pretty helpful, which is surprising. They said they will get a statement from the shop supervisor and then contact me. They said if I am not satisfied with the outcome, they will take it to the district manager. Hopefully they see that keeping my family and myself as customers in the future wil be more profitable for them in the long run than not paying for this mistake and will do the right thing. I will keep you informed. Thanks again.

-Ken
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Monday, February 22nd, 2010 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
KEN_GONE_FLYING
  • MEMBER
Well, the same day I got my car back from Sears, I turned it in to a GM dealership to get it fixed. Yesterday morning, the dealer called and said that the problem was a broken shifter cable. So, I told them to go ahead and fix it. They said they would have to overnight the part from Boston. Today they called and said that the part has been discontinued by GM but GM has a few left in Detroit, so they will overnight it tonight and the car may be ready tomorrow. Anyhow, is a broken shifter cable something that occurs often? Is that something that will just break everntually under normal use?

The services that Sears did on my car were an oil change, power steering fluid change, coolant change, brake fluid change, and a fuel system cleaning. Do any of these servicings require work in the general area of a shifter cable? Any input would be appreciated.

-Ken
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 AT 5:36 PM
Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
Your shifter cable is a part that wears like other parts on your car. And it's extremely difficult to say if Sears was responsible for your issue.

And without proof, there's just nothing you could do about this, other than warn your friends about them. Sorry.
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 AT 9:29 PM

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