Sunday, January 25, 2009

GMC Yukon XL Denali - Oil Change and Warranty Work: 16414 km

I took our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali into the dealership for an oil change yesterday. With the Oil Life Remaining at 23% I didn't really need to bring it in. The owner's manual states that a message will say CHANGE OIL SOON when you need to change it, but I had some warranty issues I wanted to have checked out. So last week I made a call and setup an appointment to deal with these items:
  1. Oil change
  2. Loose driver's door panel - It seems like one of the clips would not hold the panel
  3. Clunk in rear hatch - I always thought this was normal but then I read on one of the forums that someone else had a clunk that developed into failure and warranty work
  4. Leaking washer fluid tube in the passenger wiper arm - It looks like there's a pinhole and fluid shoots all over the place
  5. Battery problems - The battery has died a couple of times since the first incident a couple of months ago.

Click below to read the results of 3.5 hours of waiting a the dealership....

I'm glad to say that after waiting 3.5 hours, the dealership was able to fix everything I wanted them to fix and it was all under warranty so all I had to do was pay for the oil change. My biggest worry was the battery because the first time they checked it out, they said it was fine. I thought it was a bigger electrical issue that might have been hard to pinpoint. This time, they said the battery was bad and gave me a new one.

For the other items, they replaced the wiper arm/hose assembly and realigned the clips and retainers on the door panel. The service advisor said the rear hatch clunk was normal and the Cadillac Escaldes on their lot did the same thing. I have renewed confidence in the Denali again and the 3.5 hour wait didn't bother me because I expected to be there a long time. The family was comfortable at home and I simply relaxed and caught up on some Podcasts that I had saved onto my Garmin 750.

Below is the copy of the invoice and the work they performed.

Page 1
GMC Yukon XL Denali invoice 1/4

Page 2
GMC Yukon XL Denali invoice 2/4

Page 3
GMC Yukon XL Denali invoice 3/4

Page 4
GMC Yukon XL Denali invoice 4/4

Sunday, January 18, 2009

GMC Yukon XL Denali - 16095 km: Bumper Repair

O.K. I am now officially done with the snow. I've had enough and it can't melt fast enough.

Sadly, the last statement is all too true. The snow that has been sitting around blocking the side-streets has still not been cleared and the warm days and freezing nights have changed it into rock hard ice crystals.

Late Friday afternoon when I was picking up my daughter from a play-date, I was very surprised to see that their street had not been cleared at all--even after 2 weeks since the last snowfall. The roadway was wide enough for only one vehicle and each driveway was marked by 3-foot piles of snow on either side. I could still see people shoveling out a wider opening for themselves. It was nearly impossible to turn our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali our friend's driveway and when I tried to get out I backed into a snow--no, it was an ice-bank and put a huge dent in the rear bumper. I know it didn't sound....

...good but when I got home and took a look, I saw the extent of the damage.

One of the annoyances of rear backup cameras (not only GM's but all the ones I've used including Honda) is that they don't give enough of a wide-angle view so that you can actually see the corners of your bumpers. It's the same with rear park sensors. GM and Honda don't place sensors on the corners so they don't warn you when you get too close. To me, the corners are critical points on the bumper. Could this accident have been prevented if either one of my pet peeves were addressed? It's hard to say--the view out the rear camera was also difficult to see because the white ice/snow didn't show up in good detail in the screen especially with the sun and shadows in the back. I'm kicking myself because I normally backup much more slowly and carefully. Needless to say, it wasn't a good start to my weekend.

When I got home, I tried quickly to hammer out the dent. It's completely empty behind the bumper cover but without really going under and taking a look all I ended up doing was giving myself a cut on my hand. With nightfall and dropping temperatures, I decided to wait until the next day to do repairs.

Since hammering the plastic didn't work, I knew I needed something to push out the indentation. I used the bottle-jack from the Yukon's spare tire kit and was able to brace it against the bumper beam under the vehicle and simply kept turning the knob until the whole thing popped back in place. It looks almost as good as new....

Well, as good as new except for the rips and tears and cracks--but definitely way better (and cheaper) than replacing the entire bumper cover and repainting it. At least the rear park sensor was not damaged and besides, the battle scars just give The Beast a bit more character.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali--Front Lip Removed

Denali snow
Originally uploaded by istargazer.
In December we were hit with a series of snow storms that left many people snow bound. I was totally impressed by our GMC Yukon XL Denali's performance with the AWD and winter tires and I never got stuck--even though I tried :lol:. While my neighbors were busy shoveling their driveways so that they could get out, I refused to shovel mine and simply drove the Denali in and out of our garage. I even used a tow rope to pull out a neighbor's Jeep Cherokee that had gotten stuck on the slope in front of their house. I also picked up strangers walking in the street who waved me down for help. I gave them rides down the mountain because their cars were stuck, the buses weren't running, and the sidewalks weren't cleared. Walking in the road in conditions like that was just too dangerous.

I bought 17" winter rims this season in anticipation of getting chains for my YDXL but I'm happy to discover that even with our record-setting snowfall this year, I've had no problems getting around very deep snow conditions.

The only problem I had was going in snow that was deep and icy enough to rip off the black plastic lip under the front bumper. One side had ripped off making the mounting hole slightly bigger than the screw that held it in. I didn't want to risk having the entire lip rip off and losing it somewhere on the road, so I took it off. I'll re-install it in the spring.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Battle Without Honor or Humanity

I just bought Kill Bill Vol. 1 on Blu-ray and now this is my current favorite song from one of the coolest movie walk-throughs ever: "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" by Tomoyasu Hotei.

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