2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same place?
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same place? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I am hoping that I can get some advice on the following situation, sorry it is wordy, but I feel ...
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    Lilgussy's Avatar
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    2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same place?

    I am hoping that I can get some advice on the following situation, sorry it is wordy, but I feel the entire situation needs to be communicated in order to get honest feedback by those who are the experts. ~~~ Friday, brought my car into the shop (Midas) for an oil change and to check alignment. Shop called and let me know my tires are in need of replacement, thus the reason why i thought it was alignment. They replaced all 4 tires and also my RF sway bar and after all said and done $900. I went to pick it up, tech said it was test driven and all set. I live 4 blocks away and drove straight home to my garage and thought this is rough ride, I'm not sure if I like these tires, but thought I would wait till I drove on my highway on Monday to work. Car did not leave garage until work on Monday -- the ride was awful, i felt like I was on a rigid-tail bike bouncing around like a tennis ball. Called the shop, he said bring it in, those are good riding tires, we'll take a look. Tues after work tech drove it, said there was something wrong, put on hoist and showed me that the air bladder on struts were blown at the same place at the same time in the rear, he said that was "extremely" rare and asked me if I park my car on the street since this is a result of vandalism. He stated the shop did not do this, and for these to be blown like they are is so rare that it must be vandalism. I was insulted not to mention irate since when I drove it in for an oil change, all was fine, I drive out with new tires and there is no longer any air suspension yet he hold no liabilty but will give me a quote for fix and I can talk mgr the next day. Written quote = $327. When I left the shop for some reason the ride seemed to have improved which was confusing as hell. Next day to the shop, manager says he has done his homework and prepared to cover all cost "if" my model had an air suspension switch. He called GM with VIN and did not get straight answer on whether this model has a switch or not. He said that since he could not find one that he holds no responsibility on fixing and that this happended after I left the shop. In that 4 block area to my garage. He apologized for his tech saying it was vandalism, he stated that was invalid and also stated the written quote would not be honored and would not hold up in any court, the cost would be more like $900. He told me that if he felt his shop technician was at fault for this or if someone could explain how his shop was at fault he would take that statement to his owner and would then conisder covering the cost to fix. His technician was new and like 20 yrs old since he introduced me as being a long time customer when I initially brought it in.

    Has anyone witnessed this happening? Is there an expert who can speak up and indicate how this could indeed happen if the shop had did or did not do something? If I can provide the manager with a expert knowledge of how this could very well happen and list out the steps? It would really mean alot, and then they would consider paying for the cost.

    I simply brought my car in for an oil change and check why it is pulling slightly -- got the oil change, new tires and drove away with no air suspension with holes brown right through my struts in the rear. Please reply if you have knowledge of this or can speak expertly on how the shop could be responsible for this happening.

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    We need a little more info. What exactly is damaged and how? A picture would be great.

    Your car does not have struts in the rear. It has air assisted shocks (#7). There IS a switch/sensor (#14) that controls the compressor (#1) that pumps up the air bladder to auto level the shocks.

    You do have struts up front and being an SLS vs an STS the rear shocks are passive (EXC F45) rather than active (F45) and thus not very expensive.

    http://www.gmpartsgiant.com/Page_Pro...021&SortKey=17

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    Lilgussy's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    The damage consists of a thumbsize hole on the sleeve that fits over or is part of the air shocks. The hole is viewable when the car is up on the hoist and the tech stuck his finger through the hole -- on the both sides in the rear. When the manager put checked it, he said there are actually 4 holes in the sleeve, 2 on each side, directly inline with each other stating each side has 2 holes in the sleeve on the outer side and also inner. Does that help? I will get pictures and post later today or tomorrow for sure. Could the air have been built up and then when lowered off of the hoist the air had no place to go so that is how the blown holes occurred at same spot on both sides?

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    basscatt's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    Written quote = $327.
    find another shop - they are ripping you off -

    Monroe MA822 shocks - the shocks I ALWAYS recommend for replacements -
    can be purchased for $58.35 - for the pair - with free shipping -
    http://www.partsgeek.com/32syvb4-bui...ber.html?fp=pp

    labor to replace the rear shocks would be 1 hour - or less -

    ------------------------

    Next day to the shop, manager says he has done his homework
    and prepared to cover all cost "if" my model had an air suspension switch

    your car does NOT have an AIR SUSPENSION SWITCH -
    because your car does NOT have air suspension -

    your car DOES have Electronic Level Control -
    consisting of:
    *air compressor assembly -
    *ride-height-sensor -
    *air lines -
    *special rear shocks that have air bladders built in -

    there is NO SPECIAL REQUIREMENT to do anything before lifting the car -

    ----------------------------

    also stated the written quote would not be honored
    and would not hold up in any court,
    the cost would be more like $900


    I can't imagine what kind of CRAP they are trying to feed you -
    and I can't imagine what kind of rear shocks they would use for $900 -
    THEY ARE THIEVES -

    ----------------------

    the simple act of lifting the car will NOT cause any problem - PERIOD -

    ----------------------

    quoting a RIDICULOUS price of $327 for a pair of PASSIVE - air-assisted shocks -
    is HIGHWAY ROBBERY - that is HIGHER than what the Cadillac dealer would charge -

    then changing that quote to $900 - is GRAND THEFT - INSANITY -

    -------------------

    throwing those kind of numbers around tells me a couple things -

    1 - they do NOT want your business -

    2 - they don't work on Cadillacs very often -

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    background - This new member PM'd me the original post - I advised her (?) to post out here - My take is that someone is trying to set a BIG fish hook and that they may also be responsible for the failure (damage to) her rear height control shocks.

    I have personally done several sets of ELC shocks, and the bladders DO NOT get thumb-sized holes in them - they seem to mostly "dry rot" crack.

    I also advised her to look at the RPO sticker for a possible FE1, F45 on the hunch that her SLS might have been a special order.

    No, the system is automatic - it fills and vents to maintain rear ride height in response to extra weight in the trunk or rear seat. If you so wished, you could disconnect the rear height sensor and the system would jack up the rear end - and it would not "blow" the bladders.

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    Thank you RANGER and BASSCATT for responding to my posting -- your responses are very much appreciated as well as very educational. I can now respond with the accurate terms for the next few questions.

    Is it common for these built-in air bladders on the rear shocks to actually be blown out with almost identical holes at the same time on both sides? What would cause that air pressure to be forced out in such a way to cause these holes all at once? Would normal wear of these air bladders over time produce leaks and not hold the air pressure requiring replacement or is it common to see complete blowouts on both left & right rear at the same time?

    Am I understanding this correctly in stating the following. I need to get my rear air assisted shocks (passive) replaced. The labor for this repair should not be more than an hour. When the shop installed new tires and replaced my RF sway bar link, this had nothing to do with the fact that my shocks were absolutely fine before I dropped my car off and after the repair job, my shocks are completely blown out?

    I apologize if I am missing something but how can it be that I take my car which rides like a cadillac into a shop and get new tires and I drive out with blown shocks and am told there is nothing the shop did since they would have noticed this when it was on the hoist?

    Here is what is really dissappointing, I have been going to this shop for years (unless it something that I want cadillac specific to install) and have spent literally thousands and this guy said he was gioing to give me a great deal at $327 (which according to the thread is a rip-off) and then the mgr states he had done his homework with my VIN and called GM and these are not just shocks, these are load leveling and will be $900 to replace (and this constitutes ripping me off blind). Wow. This is information I needed to know. And Basscatt, this shop said I was a valued customer and that they will always take care of me -- we can service ALL models, Cadillac included -- yet there were techs looking in the trunk for a switch for the air...... Is there anything else I need to know or have misspoken on?

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    Did you read Post #5 ?

    .............. What did the RPO sticker in the trunk give for suspension codes ? No, there is no "air switch" - in the trunk or elsewhere.

  9. #8
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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    Is it common for these built-in air bladders on the rear shocks
    to actually be blown out
    with almost identical holes at the same time on both sides?

    NO - in fact - I don't remember a single case of ONE bladder actually popping -
    much less BOTH going at the same time -

    What would cause that air pressure to be forced out
    in such a way to cause these holes all at once?

    I can't imagine ANY "natural" circumstance causing that -

    we need pics of the problem -
    I am having a hard time picturing the problem -

    Would normal wear of these air bladders over time produce leaks
    and not hold the air pressure requiring replacement

    possibly -
    but the most common bladder failure is due to dry-rot -

    is it common to see complete blowouts
    on both left & right rear at the same time?

    as I said above -
    NO - that is virtually unheard of -

    I need to get my rear air assisted shocks (passive) replaced.
    if they are leaking - YES -

    The labor for this repair should not be more than an hour
    YES - replacing the rear shocks is a VERY simple task -

    When the shop installed new tires and replaced my RF sway bar link,
    this had nothing to do with the fact
    that my shocks were absolutely fine before I dropped my car off
    and after the repair job, my shocks are completely blown out?

    the simple act of lifting the car PROPERLY -
    can NOT hurt the rear shocks -

    how can it be that I take my car which rides like a cadillac into a shop
    and get new tires and I drive out with blown shocks
    and am told there is nothing the shop did
    since they would have noticed this when it was on the hoist?

    I understand you are angry - and need to vent -
    so you aren't really looking for an answer to this question -

    we weren't there - so - no way for US to tell what happened to your car -

    this guy said he was gioing to give me a great deal at $327
    (which according to the thread is a rip-off)

    YES - I gave you the price - less than $60 - for the pair -
    and included WHERE to get these GREAT replacement shocks -
    and told you labor should be ONE hour - or LESS -

    even if the shop DOUBLED the cost of the shocks -
    and charged $100 per hour labor -
    the price would still only be $220 - $100 BELOW their estimate -

    mgr states he had done his homework with my VIN and called GM
    and these are not just shocks, these are load leveling

    the manager of an auto repair shop should have KNOWN that without calling anyone -
    ALL CADILLACS HAVE ELECTRONIC LOAD LEVELING SYSTEMS -
    THEY HAVE FOR DECADES -

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilgussy View Post
    Is it common for these built-in air bladders on the rear shocks to actually be blown out with almost identical holes at the same time on both sides?
    Absolutely not.

    What would cause that air pressure to be forced out in such a way to cause these holes all at once?
    Nothing. What you are describing or suggesting is almost impossible.

    Would normal wear of these air bladders over time produce leaks and not hold the air pressure requiring replacement or is it common to see complete blowouts on both left & right rear at the same time?
    Normal wear can cause leaks as mentioned by dry rotting, never blowing out and rarely at the same time.

    Am I understanding this correctly in stating the following. I need to get my rear air assisted shocks (passive) replaced. The labor for this repair should not be more than an hour.
    Correct

    When the shop installed new tires and replaced my RF sway bar link, this had nothing to do with the fact that my shocks were absolutely fine before I dropped my car off and after the repair job, my shocks are completely blown out?
    The two should not be related.

    I apologize if I am missing something but how can it be that I take my car which rides like a cadillac into a shop and get new tires and I drive out with blown shocks and am told there is nothing the shop did since they would have noticed this when it was on the hoist?
    Does not sound logical.

    Here is what is really dissappointing, I have been going to this shop for years (unless it something that I want cadillac specific to install) and have spent literally thousands and this guy said he was gioing to give me a great deal at $327 (which according to the thread is a rip-off) and then the mgr states he had done his homework with my VIN and called GM and these are not just shocks, these are load leveling and will be $900 to replace (and this constitutes ripping me off blind). Wow. This is information I needed to know. And Basscatt, this shop said I was a valued customer and that they will always take care of me -- we can service ALL models, Cadillac included -- yet there were techs looking in the trunk for a switch for the air...... Is there anything else I need to know or have misspoken on?
    To give the shop the benefit of the doubt, they are going to mark up the shocks and labor is not cheap and while $327 is high, it's hard to call it a ripoff, but $900 for load leveling shocks IS a ripoff and they are trying to screw you. You should ask them if you get dinner and a kiss with those shocks.

    yet there were techs looking in the trunk for a switch for the air.
    They may be able to "service all models", but they are not familiar with Cadillac.

    After you let him know you are onto him, find another (honest) shop.

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    I located the sticker and following codes are in the "F" series: FE1 & FV3.

    Is this what you needed and if so, what does tell you about the car?

    VIN #1G6KS54Y43U251054

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    Your car is either FE1 or FE3. This is standard or touring suspension. SLSs are FE1.

    The important one is weather or not your car has active suspension. Do you see F45? Most SLSs do not have active suspension.

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilgussy View Post
    I located the sticker and following codes are in the "F" series: FE1 & FV3.

    Is this what you needed and if so, what does tell you about the car?

    VIN #1G6KS54Y43U251054
    ---------------------
    what does tell you about the car?

    there are two Seville models - SLS and STS -

    our Seville Luxury Sedan has slightly softer springs - code FE1 -
    and "passive" - or non-electric struts and shocks - no code for that -
    16" wheels - with 225/60/16 size tires -
    along with a slightly different code "Y" engine/trans -
    VIN #1G6KS54Y43U251054

    -------------

    the Seville Touring Sedan has the stiffer springs - code FE3 -
    and code F55 - MagneRide "electronic" struts and shocks -
    17" wheels - with 235/55/17 size tires -
    and has a code "9" engine/trans -
    the VIN - would have a "9" where your "Y" is -

    -----------------

    there are no surprises here -
    all 2003 SLS models share the same components as yours -

    --------------

    oh - yes - it has Electronic Level Control -

    like I said above - ALL Cadillacs have the ELC system -
    whether it has the ACTIVE suspension - or PASSIVE suspension - doesn't matter -

    and EVERY ONE IN THE WORLD who works on Cadillacs knows this -

    -------------------------

    by the way - if you are in or near the Northern suburbs of Minneapolis -
    I know of a couple shops I could/would recommend -
    and they would agree to install your parts - most shops will not do this -

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Your car is either FE1 or FE3. This is standard or touring suspension. Most SLSs are FE1.

    The important one is weather or not your car has active suspension. Do you see F45?
    ----------------------
    ALL 2003 SLS models were FE1 - and PASSIVE -

    all STS MODELS WERE FE3 and F55 -

    FV3 is the 3.11 trans final ratio -

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    Wasn't sure what year the F45 option stopped on the SLS. When F55 was introduced maybe?

    Post fixed, I meant most SLSs are passive.

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Wasn't sure what year the F45 option stopped on the SLS. When F55 was introduced maybe?

    Post fixed, I meant most SLSs are passive.
    ------------------
    Wasn't sure what year the F45 option stopped on the SLS
    strictly optional in 02 -
    no longer available in 03 - ***

    *** for 2003 - SLS -
    there were 3 - FE3 - European export units -
    passive suspension -
    VIN "Y" engine and trans -
    these 3 units got 235/60/16 "Z" rated tires -
    rear fog lights -
    high pressure headlight washers -
    European radio frequency -

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    Re: 2003 SLS - shop installed new tires and now my rear struts blown, 4 holes same pl

    What kind of a vandal only goes for Cadillac ELC shocks? Can you post some pictures of the holes?

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