■ By Chris Smith / Advisory Editor
I love my truck. I really do. But now, I love my extended warranty even more.
I’m the proud owner of a beautiful, silver Chevy Silverado LT. It’s a great truck. I’ve had others, including a nice Ford F150 (Lariat edition, Bose stereo, etc.), but what can I say? I’m a Chevy man. I’ve had three of them over the years in between my Triumph TR3, TR6, VW camper, AMC Gremlin, Hornet, Dodge Intrepid, etc. Then I got a Camaro and my life changed. I invested in a refurbished ‘86 4×4 Suburban too, which I loved for all the care and parts I put into it.
But this Silverado, man, is really a nice truck. I bought it in 2014 from a Honda dealer in Montclair. It was only a year old with about 20,000 miles on it. Now here it is 2018 and I’m still paying it off. The truck was nearly $50,000 brand new, but I didn’t pay that for it used. Well, maybe I will have by the time I pay it off with the interest.
So I’m driving back from San Diego a few weeks ago, and when I get to Hemet, I notice the truck has a low-speed hesitation – sort of like it’s struggling to get into high gear. I try a higher octane fuel, gas additives, this and that. But it doesn’t really feel like the engine – more of a drive-train issue. From a little research on the Internet, it seemed some other Chevy truck owners have had the same stutter.
I take it over to our local dealer, Gosch Chevrolet, and leave it there overnight. The report comes back the next day. “It’s your transmission,” says Dean, the service manager.
• “The tech is recommending a tear-down.”
• “Wow,” I say. “It’s only got about 65,000 miles on it.”
• “Well, you can never predict these things.”
• “So how much is this likely to cost?”
• “Well, a remanufactured transmission is going to run about $3800.”
• “Yikes! That much, huh?”
• “Do you have a warranty?”
• “As a matter of fact – I do!”
So I call the warranty company, which is Old Republic, and they assure me that my policy is active, and everything is in order.
At the moment, my transmission is apart in the bowels of Gosch Chevrolet service department awaiting an evaluation. It’s a very unsettling feeling. All I know is that, right now, I love my extended aftermarket warranty – almost as much, no, even more than I love my truck.
Chris Smith is on the staff of The Valley Chronicle and, in between being the Advisory Editor, he uses his truck to haul around newspapers, racks, pallets and other items used in the newspaper biz.