Saturday, 01 June, 2002
My truck's been a very reliable vehicle the past 6 years, in no small part, I think, because I keep to a regular maintenance schedule: oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, and taking it to the dealer for the recommended 15,000 mile checkups. So it rolled over 75,000 miles a couple of weeks ago, and I took it in. I'd noticed a leak a few days before, so I had them check into that while it was there. The service manager called me at work, informing me that I had an oil leak. The valve cover gaskets were leaking, as was the oil pan gasket. "Fine," I said, "fix it." He then informed me that it was going to cost almost $1,000 to fix the leaks! Apparently, replacing the oil pan gasket on a 1996 GMC Sonoma Pickup with automatic transmission requires 11 hours of labor. I verified that with my brother-in-law, who owns an auto repair shop. Somebody should talk to the engineers who designed this vehicle. A professional mechanic in a state-of-the-art auto repair shop could remove, disassemble, reassemble, and reinstall the whole engine in 11 hours!
I paid the money, of course. The truck is paid for and it hasn't caused me any problems since I've owned it. I'm not about to replace it yet. I'm still shaking my head over this one. Sheesh.