Need help - Dot4 (clutch) contamination, dealer giving me the run around

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6
Location
Austin, TX
Thread starter
Hello all, My first post looking for some help with contaminated Dot4 clutch fluid (the recommended GM part number). My 2017 Corvette uses Dot4 for the clutch fluid. Around 6 months (7000miles) after I bought the car new/3miles I pulled the clutch reservoir and was shocked to see the rubber bladder covered in "snot" (pic attached). I cleaned up the cap and sucked the fluid out of the reservoir, dried it out with a lint free cloth, refilled....pumped the clutch like 50 times and repeated this process like 4 times. I also bought a new cap thinking it may not have been making a good seal. I did not go to the dealer at that point in time or bleed the clutch as it is a MAJOR undertaking to get to the bleed screw. I did inspect it several times after that and it had a "miso soup" look to it (pic attached). That yucky looking stuff will settle to the bottom if I don't drive the car for a day or two. Move forward to 18K miles and my clutch pilot bearing goes out taking out the driveshaft assembly. About $10K later (on GM's dime) I get the car back and they claimed they bled the clutch since the slave was disconnected in the process. I asked them to replace the slave while they were in there but nope.....think they are regretting it now since it is 6hrs labor just to get the slave out! I get home and boom, more "miso soup". So, I go back and GM wants to "vacuum flush" the system. Get car back and less than 6hrs later when leaving work, boom, more "miso soup". My Amazon Dot4 tester shows that the fluid is fine initially but its over 4% when the "miso soup" shows up. GM probably doesn't want to eat this and spend 12 hours going back in and replacing the slave not to mention the huge risk that they screw something up while ripping my car apart. At this point they claiming "we've never seen this" and trying to point me to servivce bulletins about fluid getting dark and that is normal. They have built 30 to 40K cars of this model since 2014 and they say "we've never seen this". Not to mention its a freaking clutch, not rocket science. I have done a lot of Google'ing but have literally found NO pictures of the "miso soup" situation. Obviously the system was severely compromised when I noticed "snot" on the cap. For the life of me I can't imagine how it could get contaminated this quickly after a flush or bleed. The system is NOT loosing fluid so if its moisture it must be sneaking past a seal at a very high rate. Now that I've bombed everyone with info has anyone seen the "miso soup"? Moisture or some other contaminant? Any experienced thoughts or feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Rick Austin,TX [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
 
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4,730
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
That may be assembly grease your seeing? You don't have to bleed the system after disconnecting the Slave for service.....I can about guarantee is wasn't bled after the Torque Tube Shaft & Pilot bearing was changed. Good luck getting the dealer to change ANY parts without a failure! If they do.....GM will charge it back! The Tech & Service Manager could pencil whip it, But that's Fraud & I personally wouldn't risk my job over it! Everytime you pull the cap on the reservoir.....YOUR allowing the fluid to absorb moisture out of the atmosphere!
 
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2,214
Location
SD
That looks really nasty, and looks like moisture contamination to me. But, clinebarger is a well-respected technician, and especially knowledgeable about GM products, so I will defer to his expertise. My only question would be: if it were assembly lube, wouldn't they all look like this, as opposed to GM saying they've never seen this before?
 
First things first; welcome That looks nasty and for the life of me I can't figure out WTH is causing it. I had a Miata that I was planning to do a brake flush on and rather than use Mazdas' fluid I used a fluid that supposedly met specs. Sucked out the MC and as soon as I added the non Mazda fluid I started seeing something similar to (but not as extreme) as what you've got. I figured there some sort of chemical reaction and commenced to suck that stuff out. Bought the correct fluid from Mazda and viola! no reaction. Went ahead with the brake flush and everything was back to normal. Strange but true.
 
Messages
6
Location
Austin, TX
Thread starter
@clinebarger, Thanks for your input. My aggravation here is that the paperwork claims they bled it a pilot/torque tube replacement. Additionally, I went in a 2nd time for the so-called vacuum flush. I wonder if they ever did either of those. If they didn't that is fraud as well as they are charging GM.....and screwing me. I've heard the grease comment before actually, the service manager (Corvette service guy) said that a friend of his brought this up...not GM. Yeah, and I realize just opening it exposes the system to moisture but I'm in a pickle. Originally they acted as if this was not normal and now they are backing off on that stance. In order to see if their claimed vacuum flush made difference I had to look. Of course it made no difference or they didn't do anything. Onward through the fog......I can totally see this being a long term issue and down the road 1) I have to provide full disclosure to a prospective buyer that something is wacky or 2) it causes a very expensive problem on my dime if I'm out of warranty. Thanks
 
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1,894
Location
missouri
Talk to the dealership owner. if no satisfaction, then Call the GM factory rep in the owners manual. It will [censored] off the dealer but at this point they have it coming. Rod
 
Messages
6
Location
Austin, TX
Thread starter
At this point I don't want to [censored] off the dealer or service department. I've never used them before but throughout the whole drivetrain issues (1month in the shop) things work out about as well as expected except for them not resolving this hydraulic issue in the process. Now, if they continue to avoid my emails and voicemails I will become more irritated obviously. At this point I "think" the issue is GM. The dealer supposed filed a TAC case and got back the BS info on service bulletins from cars prior to 2012. I've had 5 generations of manual tranny Vettes. None of them have had anything like this. It is crazy. duh
 
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14,617
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Hopefully they can help you. My friends at GM dealers have not received parts deliveries since the strike started except for probably TAC orders, Ford calls them something different.
 
Messages
6
Location
Austin, TX
Thread starter
Originally Posted by bdcardinal
Hopefully they can help you. My friends at GM dealers have not received parts deliveries since the strike started except for probably TAC orders, Ford calls them something different.
Yeah. The service advisor mentioned its been a PITA and I told him I understand. I probably won't bother him any more until the strike is over and they are caught up with cars piling up waiting for parts.
 
Messages
6
Location
Austin, TX
Thread starter
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
welcome Does your car share the clutch fluid with the brake fluid?
Nope. Thankfully no. : )
 
Messages
4,730
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted by Rick64
@clinebarger, Thanks for your input. My aggravation here is that the paperwork claims they bled it a pilot/torque tube replacement. Additionally, I went in a 2nd time for the so-called vacuum flush. I wonder if they ever did either of those. If they didn't that is fraud as well as they are charging GM.....and screwing me. I've heard the grease comment before actually, the service manager (Corvette service guy) said that a friend of his brought this up...not GM. Yeah, and I realize just opening it exposes the system to moisture but I'm in a pickle. Originally they acted as if this was not normal and now they are backing off on that stance. In order to see if their claimed vacuum flush made difference I had to look. Of course it made no difference or they didn't do anything. Onward through the fog......I can totally see this being a long term issue and down the road 1) I have to provide full disclosure to a prospective buyer that something is wacky or 2) it causes a very expensive problem on my dime if I'm out of warranty. Thanks
I feel your pain! Unfortunately....Services such as this sometimes don't get done, I've had to fire technicians in the past for this! I would have point blank told you that there is no guarantee that all the bleeding/fluid exchanges in the world would remove whatever is in the fluid as there is no way to actually flush the Master or Slave Cylinder.
 
Messages
6
Location
Austin, TX
Thread starter
Now that the UAW strike is over I've resurrected this discussion with them. Up to the point the dealer has supposedly bled at least once and "vacuum flushed" twice (in one day). Later the same day of the flushes the fluid looked exactly the same. At this point they (TAC) have eluded to assembly lube but also claim it is "not an issue" and doesn't affect clutch fluid performance. I'm no expert but I'm not sure I buy that with this level of contamination. Additionally, moisture has come up BUT the dealer states they have no guidance on how much is too much. I found a relevant document for these Corvettes that claims greater than 2% is two much and I've asked the dealer to remind/show TAC that GM document. My moisture meter (albeit cheap amazon version) goes of the chart with this fluid but if its lube I'm not sure how the meter would know the difference between moisture and lube. The service adviser is on my side but obviously he do squat unless approved by GM. Currently they are re-discussing the issue with TAC and if not satisfied will escalate. If that doesn't get me anywhere I've been asked to escalate by calling customer service and escalate on my end. My 3yr/36mo basic warranty is almost up and the clutch hydraulic system is covered under the 3yr unfortunately so this is going to get interesting.
 
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