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2012 Sonic - LCA puck bushing #5444155 06/01/20 06:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
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Number_35 Offline OP
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Hello all - Looking for your opinions here. My friend took his 2012 Sonic into an oil change shop to get the winter tires switched over to all-seasons. They did a front end/rear suspension/brake inspection at the same time, and "found a few things". My friend brought the car over to my place this afternoon for a 2nd opinion. Here are their claims vs. my findings:

- FRONT STRUTS STARTING TO LEAK
The R (passenger-side) strut may be weeping slightly, but it's hard to tell. The L (driver's-side) is completely dry. We changed them both a year ago, and used Delco genuine GM parts. It's not reasonable for the tech to have seen OEM parts and assumed that they're original. As well, my friend had a different shop change out the R ball joint a couple of months after we changed the strut. It was good when we changed the struts, but loosened up sometime after that. I wonder whether they hit a bad pothole sometime after we'd changed the struts, and that the impact damaged the ball joint and started the strut weeping. (Our roads are pretty atrocious due to our freeze-thaw cycles.) I'm positive the new ball joint was on the R side as we could see where the shop had ground down the rivets securing the original ball joint. The replacement is bolted to the LCA.

- REC. FRONT LINKS
We're presuming they're recommending changing out the front stabilizer bar end links. We changed them both a year ago. Took off the top end of each link this afternoon, and although the ball and socket ends are free to move, there is no apparent play. Per my friend there is no knocking or clunking over speed bumps. We'll leave them for now. The set we put in a year ago is the 3rd set - the factory ones lasted about six years. Replacements by a chain muffler and brake shop only went a year or two. Hope to get at least another year out of these. Perhaps back to dealer parts when we do these again; the aftermarket ones just haven't lasted.

- REAR SHOCKS LEAKING
The driver's-side (L) shock is dry. The passenger-side (R) shock has a lot of oil on it. We plan to change both of them out.

- FRONT LEFT CONTROL ARM BUSHING POPPED OUT
We're presuming this is the puck bushing on the LCA. Please refer to the photos. Is it bad enough to replace, or is the shop exaggerating a bit? If it is bad, we'll likely change out the entire LCA.

Thanks in advance!

20200601_132156.jpg20200601_131957.jpg
Re: 2012 Sonic - LCA puck bushing [Re: Number_35] #5444170 06/01/20 07:03 PM
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eljefino Offline
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Yeah you ought to do that LCA bushing.

Re: 2012 Sonic - LCA puck bushing [Re: Number_35] #5444195 06/01/20 07:38 PM
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Nick1994 Offline
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Sounds somewhat reasonable.

They’re a shop, they make money fixing cars. Technically if there’s a problem, then they should make it known. That way if you drive down the road and lose control from the control arm bushing blowing off (yes, unlikely) they aren’t liable.


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Re: 2012 Sonic - LCA puck bushing [Re: Nick1994] #5444238 06/01/20 09:11 PM
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14Accent Offline
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Originally Posted by Nick1994
Sounds somewhat reasonable.

They’re a shop, they make money fixing cars. Technically if there’s a problem, then they should make it known. That way if you drive down the road and lose control from the control arm bushing blowing off (yes, unlikely) they aren’t liable.


Pretty much this. I'm nit-picky when I do an initial inspection, but I give my service advisors a 1-10 rating on components I find "failing". That way, they can have an educated conversation with the consumer. I'd rate those bushings at most a 3/10, the rest I don't have photos of so I couldn't say. Almost all struts/shocks leak a little, I won't recommend them unless they're covered in oil and obviously blown.

Knowing Chevy Sonic's like I do, they're built cheap. On the up side, they're cheap to fix. Therefore, replacing parts before they completely fail is relatively cheap. My old lady drives a base base model Aveo5, and I couldn't be happier. Terrible car, but god is it cheap to keep on the road. I don't care if I have to rebuild the entire front end, it won't cost more than $200 in parts and an hour or two of my time.

Last edited by 14Accent; 06/01/20 09:13 PM.

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Re: 2012 Sonic - LCA puck bushing [Re: Number_35] #5444294 06/01/20 10:38 PM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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Do you get Krown? smile

The shop looks like a good one because they mention wheel retorque. That means they might actually use correct torque and not the airgun

The only quick struts I could find for your Sonic are FCS cry

Re: 2012 Sonic - LCA puck bushing [Re: slacktide_bitog] #5444644 06/02/20 01:42 PM
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Number_35 Offline OP
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Thanks all for your replies.

Originally Posted by 14Accent
Originally Posted by Nick1994
Sounds somewhat reasonable.

They’re a shop, they make money fixing cars. Technically if there’s a problem, then they should make it known. That way if you drive down the road and lose control from the control arm bushing blowing off (yes, unlikely) they aren’t liable.


Pretty much this. I'm nit-picky when I do an initial inspection, but I give my service advisors a 1-10 rating on components I find "failing". That way, they can have an educated conversation with the consumer. I'd rate those bushings at most a 3/10, the rest I don't have photos of so I couldn't say. Almost all struts/shocks leak a little, I won't recommend them unless they're covered in oil and obviously blown.

Knowing Chevy Sonic's like I do, they're built cheap. On the up side, they're cheap to fix. Therefore, replacing parts before they completely fail is relatively cheap. My old lady drives a base base model Aveo5, and I couldn't be happier. Terrible car, but god is it cheap to keep on the road. I don't care if I have to rebuild the entire front end, it won't cost more than $200 in parts and an hour or two of my time.
Originally Posted by Nick1994
Sounds somewhat reasonable.

They’re a shop, they make money fixing cars. Technically if there’s a problem, then they should make it known. That way if you drive down the road and lose control from the control arm bushing blowing off (yes, unlikely) they aren’t liable.

Agreed, the shop is not a charity, and I have no problem with them recommending necessary work. And agreed, no problem with them pointing out stuff that's starting to go but isn't yet critical.

I'm trying to save my friend a bit of money by deferring work that's not required immediately.

14accent, when you say you'd rate that LCA bushing as a 3 out of 10, I'm assuming 1 would be "Bushing is fine, no concerns at this time", and 10 would be "Bushing is badly separated and should be replaced immediately. Bushing failure could cause loss of control. Car should not be driven in present condition." Please confirm.

For what it's worth, I quite like my friend's Sonic. It's been a good car for him, is economical to run, and is fun to drive. He had an Aveo as a 2nd car a few years ago, and it was also good. I don't understand al the hate these cars receive.

Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
Do you get Krown? smile

The shop looks like a good one because they mention wheel retorque. That means they might actually use correct torque and not the airgun

The only quick struts I could find for your Sonic are FCS cry
The wheels were not hard to remove, so suspect you're right.

No plans to replace the struts at this point. If the passenger-side one gets worse, we'll consider it, but right now I'm not even positive it's weeping.

Regarding Krown, I don't think my friend has had the Sonic or his other vehicles rust-proofed. Krown is a fairly new player here. I use Rust Check, which has been here since the mid-'80s. Really good people who do a thorough job.

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