Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Major frame failure on my GM car?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Major frame failure on my GM car?

    Wondering if anyone else has seen this, and if this is some sort of common problem with aging GM front drivers?

    About a month ago the away at college daughter called on a Saturday night to report that as she pulled away from a stop, she realized that her steering wheel was NOT steering the car. She stepped on the brakes, and had it towed. On Monday morning the mechanic (who I trust) called to report that the driver's side of the engine cradle had rusted out of the body, allowing the drive train to drop, separating the steering column from the rack, and that the car was toast. Sure enough in the pic my daughter sent, you can see the rear driver's side of the sub-frame touching the ground!

    This was a 1996 Oldsmobile LSS, esentially a sporty 88. An apparently nice clean car that I bought 14 months prior at about 100,000 miles. At failure it had maybe 115,000 on the clock.

    History is that it was a St. Louis car its whole life. Dealer held it as a company car for a couple of years, then it was bought by an older man who owned it for 10 years until it went to his 60 year old neice and husband from whom I bought it. She had driven it to and from work 50-60 miles a day for 4 years, and was selling because they were retiring and moving to Florida. Nice folks and I really do not think they had any idea there was a problem.

    In talking to my daughter, it turns out that when it failed, it cut the steering to the hard left. Imagine what if THAT had happened at speed?

  • #2
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallsearch.cfm

    All I saw was something about a headlight switch...
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

    Comment


    • #3
      But, it wasn't made in China!
      Bez Auto Alchemy
      573-318-8948
      http://bezautoalchemy.com


      "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

      Comment


      • #4
        Do they use salt on the roads where this car has been? I grew up in Ohio where cars were lucky to last 6-8 years without major frame failure. Luckily, they don't use salt here in the PNW, I hated that stuff!!

        Comment


        • #5
          My dad's 1968 and 1972 Cutlass also had severe frame failures around the back axle.

          Comment


          • #6
            I once saw an older buick fwd car by the side of the road with it's subframe hanging down in the rear.
            We had some GMs at work that the subframe mounts were bad. Some of them even have 4 mounts in the back.
            It sounds a lot like what Ford was experiencing with their Taurus(subframe bolts) then Windstar(subframe and contol arm mounts) rotting out.
            I don't know if GM will take any responsibilty for their old cars since they've been restructured.

            Comment


            • #7
              Gary, I think that is an unusual incident.

              Being in the used car business in the midwest, I've seen many structual rust issues through the years, but nothing like that on that "platform." Could it have been partially submerged at one time and got some crud somewhere where it shouldn't be, and it was allowed to "cook?"

              'Don't know the explanation without knowing the car's history, though.

              Perhaps Bob Andrews will weigh in and let you know if he's seen that in an even rustier used-car market (upstate New York) than where I live. BP
              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

              Ayn Rand:
              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Very, very common in those cars. The cradle is held in by 4 bolts with rubber mounts. They rust right where the rubber meets the metal and pulls through. When the back of the cradle drops it pulls the steering shaft out of the rack.

                Here in NY we check that carefully on those cars. We have done dozens of cradle jobs. They're not very hard to do on a lift.

                those are great cars, pretty damn tough. But that's the thing you have to watch on those.
                Proud NON-CASO

                I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                GOD BLESS AMERICA

                Ephesians 6:10-17
                Romans 15:13
                Deuteronomy 31:6
                Proverbs 28:1

                Illegitimi non carborundum

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks all,

                  Yes they do salt here in St. Louis.
                  Also, based upon the picture from my daughter, it failed just a Bob A. suggests. Apparently it let go at both of the driver's side rear mounts.
                  Since the daughter is 900 miles away in TX, this one went to the pick'n'pull for $300, but just curious Bob A, what does a cradle job entail? Is it the cradle that fails or its attachment to the body? What do I do to check the son's 1998 Park Avenue? Can I see the problem from below, or must I peel back the carpet?

                  Thanks again, Gary

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Proud NON-CASO

                    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                    GOD BLESS AMERICA

                    Ephesians 6:10-17
                    Romans 15:13
                    Deuteronomy 31:6
                    Proverbs 28:1

                    Illegitimi non carborundum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One side note – I did not type these responses, they were dictated into my iPhone. It's a very helpful feature, but it's not a perfect science yet. So before I get raked over the coals for the typos, I apologize, but I do not have time to go through and correct them all :-)
                      Proud NON-CASO

                      I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                      If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                      GOD BLESS AMERICA

                      Ephesians 6:10-17
                      Romans 15:13
                      Deuteronomy 31:6
                      Proverbs 28:1

                      Illegitimi non carborundum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Isn't the 4s great?!! With its dictation capabilities. .
                        61 Lark

                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you for the follow-up. Glad to hear that I probably did not go wrong in letting it go to the scrapper.
                          I will check the son's Park Avenue and, yes, this one had just passed its State Insp in late July before failing in mid September.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The rear strut towers are very rusty on my 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP and will need repair soon. I will have to look at my front undercarriage to see if I have a problem there too before I spend money on new tires.
                            sigpic
                            In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I inspected my Son's green 92 Bonneville SE, that my parents bought new. 220k miles. The two mounts on each side of the rear look great. It was kept under a carport most of the time. The bottom side of the body is nice and green. Probably never saw any salt. Love the 4s
                              My 1st car. "A TRANSTAR"

                              Starliner
                              sigpic
                              Somewhere between Culture and Agriculture
                              in the Geographic center of Tennessee

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X