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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a long post, so apologies in advance. I'm trying to help an elderly relative figure out wtf happened to his truck. Unfortunately, a lot of important details in this story are missing because trying to get coherent information out of him is a challenge due to his age.


This all started when he brought his 2007 Colorado to the local gas station in September for its yearly inspection sticker. At that time, they stated that his brakes were shot and gave him a rejection sticker. He brought it back a day or so later to have them do the work. He doesn't remember anything they said, but the receipt he dug up has written "Brand new front pads and rotors and front left caliper" for $370.

Immediately after they did the work, he noticed problems. When pulling away from a stop there's a strong vibration. (He says this feels like the antilock breaks are engaging). He says it seems to happen more often/be stronger when he pulls out turning right, not as bad when going straight, and he can't remember it ever happening when pulling out left. It doesn't happen when just driving down the road and rarely happens when coming to a stop.

He brought it back to the gas station a second time to have them figure it out. They apparently drove it around for a bit and did "something". He got the truck back, but the problem was still there, so he brought it back to them a third time. On this third visit the guy(s) working there said something about it "needs a new sensor bulb". I don't know if this is what what was actually said or if it got lost in translation.

At this point he gave up on the gas station and brought it to the local Chevy dealer. As is typical the dealer says the sky is falling. According to the printout they found it has "DTC codes C0045, C0030, and C0221", "DOC ID 2319397", and that there is/are bolt(s) missing from the front left hub bearing. They claim the wheels are about to fall off (literally) and that it's not safe to drive. They want over $2K to replace both front hub bearings and sensors (after already charging him $200 for the diagnostic). He refused the work and drove it home anyway, where it now sits.

Can anyone help figure out what's actually going on here? I can't find any information on those codes or the "DOC ID". Should he bring it to yet a third place to get another opinion? Neither of us are sure where to go from here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure at what level you're asking here. I know how to use a socket wrench, I've repaired home appliances before and I know cars and trucks in a general sense, but I know nothing about Chevy trucks specifically. If you want to talk about tie rods or something then sure, but if you start rattling off a bunch of three and four letter acronyms for Chevy-specific parts and subsystems I'll need that broken out into english.

Like, I have no idea what "DTC" means or what "DTC codes" are. I thought maybe they were related to OBD codes but two of them don't make sense in this context and the third isn't valid. I'm also getting exactly zero hits on this "DOC ID 2319397" thing.
 

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To replace front rotors on a Colorado you have to remove the front wheel hubs if it's a 4X4 . Not knowing the repair history of this truck I assume that the hubs have never been replaced . If that is the case I would bet the hub or hubs did not survive being removed and reinstalled without damage to them taking place .
 

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DTCs are Diagnostic Trouble Codes. They are codes stored in the vehicle computers and can be retrieved using a scan tool. The mechanic can then research the code for a description of the problem and possible fixes. "Doc ID" is irrelevant for diagnosing the problem. DTCs C0030 and C0045 indicate a problem with the Antilock sensor on the left wheel hub. DTC C0221 indicates a problem with the Right wheel Antilock sensor.

Unfortunately, one cannot blindly trust any retail vehicle repair establishment to be trustworthy or have the required skilled technicians to properly diagnose or repair vehicles, as they may claim. I would highly suspect the work accomplished at the "gas station" and at least be suspicious of the radical findings from the Dealer. You need to ask friends, acquaintances and other family members, for suggestions on where there is a reliable place to get work done on vehicles.

From your description of the work accomplished at the "gas station", it appears that when the mechanic removed the wheel hubs, to replace the brake rotors, he damaged the Antilock speed sensors on both sides. They are easy to damage, even for a more experienced mechanic. The mechanic(s) at that facility could well have also not properly tightened the mounting hardware.
 

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First, you need a trusted mechanic that knows these trucks to do whatever needs to be done - maybe we can help here if you let us know where you are. From what has been discussed above, I agree the "notoriously fragile" ABS sensors were probably damaged during the work performed. If this is a 4x4, in general it's well recommended that the hubs be replaced with the brake rotors (since they have to be removed anyway), and the hub kits come with new ABS sensors. I recommend you want to be at the end state that you have new hubs, rotors and probably calipers installed - the new parts already installed should be good. If this is 2WD, the hub replacement isn't essential, but you need to address the ABS sensors per the DTC's.
 

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I did some homework, and the service manual labor for doing both sides is 5.1 hours. Using OEM parts (which is what a dealer would use) would get you up to that $2k estimate (rotors, hubs, calipers, pads). An independent mechanic would look to aftermarket parts (probably what NAPA sells based on the warranty they offer) and a lower labor rate which might get you into a $1200-1300 estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I assume that the hubs have never been replaced
Knowing him they probably haven't been. His memory is crap and he doesn't keep good records though, so it'll be difficult to find out for sure.

Is this a 4x4 or 2wd?
Yeah it's one of the 4x4 versions. On the center dash above the air vents it has three buttons to switch between modes: "2 hi", "4 hi" and "4 lo" (except "hi" and "low" are arrows not words).

DTCs are Diagnostic Trouble Codes. They are codes stored in the vehicle computers and can be retrieved using a scan tool.
Right, so it's just Chevy's proprietary version of OBD then. I figured it was something like that but couldn't confirm it.

DTCs C0030 and C0045 indicate a problem with the Antilock sensor on the left wheel hub. DTC C0221 indicates a problem with the Right wheel Antilock sensor.
OK perfect thanks. For future reference, is there a free way to look up Chevy codes somewhere? I couldn't find any site that listed them, only generic OBD ones.

at the "gas station"
I'm not sure why you're putting this in scare quotes, but just to be clear, this was an actual literal physical gas station. The typical suburban no-name kind you see on street corners with four pumps and a two-bay garage.

First, you need a trusted mechanic that knows these trucks to do whatever needs to be done - maybe we can help here if you let us know where you are.
Oh yeah certainly, but for better or worse it's not my car so I had no idea any of this was happening until much later. He's in the eastern third of MA somewhere, inside 495 I think.

I agree the "notoriously fragile" ABS sensors
Is this a known issue for this model/year truck?

If this is a 4x4, in general it's well recommended that the hubs be replaced with the brake rotors (since they have to be removed anyway), and the hub kits come with new ABS sensors.
So if I'm understanding you correctly, when you do a full break job on this model, you're not supposed to reuse the hubs or sensors? That would balloon the price of the break job quite a bit. I can certainly see a manufacturer recommending something that extensive, but is it what the informed consensus recommends?


would get you up to that $2k estimate (rotors, hubs, calipers, pads).
According to the printout the dealer gave him, they only want to replace the hub bearings and sensors and bolt(s). They didn't mention anything about the rotors or pads or calipers.
 

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"I'm not sure why you're putting this in scare quotes, but just to be clear, this was an actual literal physical gas station. The typical suburban no-name kind you see on street corners with four pumps and a two-bay garage."

Not sure why quotation marks are "scary". To be clear, a lot of the population in this country is located in cities or suburbs where gas station are just that, gas stations. Your description of a gas station doesn't necessarily match with everyone elses.

Those DTCs aren't GM DTCs. They are generic and used by most all vehicle manufacturers, both in this country and abroad. Did you try Google?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not sure why quotation marks are "scary".

Your description of a gas station doesn't necessarily match with everyone elses.
I guess that's fair. But FWIW every single local non-chain gas station I've ever seen was set up like this. I assumed all states were the same.

Those DTCs aren't GM DTCs. They are generic and used by most all vehicle manufacturers, both in this country and abroad. Did you try Google?
Yeah but I couldn't/can't find anything appropriate. One of them came up as related to the rear wheels, one was an engine problem, and I wasn't getting any hits at all for the other. When searching do I need to type something more specific than "OBD C0221" or whatever?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just talked with him again trying to get more info. The truck has just shy of 77K on the odometer and he doesn't remember ever having any brake work done on it before and claims this is the first time he's ever needed pads or rotors or anything. I don't know how true this is but I could believe it. He's not the kind of person who pays attention to this sort of stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So does anyone have an idea of what he should do here? Does the dealer's claim that it needs new hub bearings and sensors make sense given the mileage? Should he take it to a third place for a third opinion?
 

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So does anyone have an idea of what he should do here? Does the dealer's claim that it needs new hub bearings and sensors make sense given the mileage? Should he take it to a third place for a third opinion?
I typically replace the hubs when I get that deep into the front end. I’d suggest changing them. If you get new brake pads/rotors/hubs you shouldn’t have to touch them again for a long time. I hate to be “that guy” but I’d go ahead and put fresh upper and lower ball joints as well. It’s worth not having to disassemble the front again.

I’ve yet to find a 1st Gen that didn’t have leaky front differential axle seals. If you’re in that deep they are cheap and easy to replace. If they don’t look like they are leaking you’re probably out of front gear lube. 😆

I’d definitely check the inner and outer tie rods but getting 100k out of them isn’t all that rare.

That’s just my suggestion. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK so two followup questions:

1) The dealer wants $2K to replace both front hub sensors and ABS sensors. Is that standard dealer pricing for this job or are they taking him for a ride?

2) The dealer claims the car is unsafe to drive, is that true or are they just being scumbags trying to scare him into paying them?
 

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1. Dealer labor cost will be the highest out there . Period . So pretty accurate .
2. I would have to see and drive it to be able to give you an honest answer . That said if the hub were to fail , actually come apart while driving , which can happen , you will get to experience having a wheel assembly collapse under you . I call that very unsafe.
 

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OK so two followup questions:

1) The dealer wants $2K to replace both front hub sensors and ABS sensors. Is that standard dealer pricing for this job or are they taking him for a ride?

2) The dealer claims the car is unsafe to drive, is that true or are they just being scumbags trying to scare him into paying them?
#1.) I think that price is ridiculous but that’s the nature of dealerships. The one good thing is that you’ll have more confidence the job was done properly.

#2.) Without seeing the truck first hand it’s impossible to say if they are correct. I’d error on the side of caution.

Taking the front end apart doesn’t require a ton of knowledge or tools. I’d simply do it yourself. It will save a boatload of money and you’ll know it is safe.

Good luck with whatever you decide. 👍🏻
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
1) How far into ridiculous territory is their pricing? In other words, roughly what do you think this would cost at an independent who's not shady and assuming non-crap parts? $500? $1000? $1500? (He may decide that "doing it right" and having peace of mind that it's finally over is worth a premium, but he's going to want to know how much more).

2) OK, so there's at least a possibility the gas station screwed things up so badly it's unsafe. Thanks I'll pass that on to him.

As for doing the work himself, he's elderly and doesn't have a pit or lift or ramps or anything. If the job is more complicated than changing a headlight bulb he takes it to a shop, there's no way he could handle this.
 

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1) How far into ridiculous territory is their pricing? In other words, roughly what do you think this would cost at an independent who's not shady and assuming non-crap parts? $500? $1000? $1500? (He may decide that "doing it right" and having peace of mind that it's finally over is worth a premium, but he's going to want to know how much more).
Armed with the knowledge that it was just disassembled and would likely be easy to get everything apart again I'd think roughly $500 plus the cost of parts.

That of course is being hopeful the last guy's work didn't mess up anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I don't know what the price range is on decent quality parts for this truck/job. A couple hundred each? So like $750-$1000 area all said and done?

Edit: Also, do you have recommendations on specific brands that are good? I talked with him again and I'm having trouble convincing him that aftermarket parts aren't the devil so I need to show him a bunch of positive reviews for these before he'll accept the idea.
 
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