Thanks to Doug and Barb of doughinman.blogspot.com we got a handle on the problem with our 2003 Duramax Chevrolet not starting after the engine is hot. Doug or Barb sent us a hyperlink to the Duramax Forum where our problem was being discussed.
Here is the forum moderator’s response:
“You did not state the engine- but that is a classic problem for a LB7 engine, when the injectors by-pass too much fuel when warm. (8th digit in VIN is a "1") So the engine does not start. Smell the oil in the crankcase-- smells like diesel-? Yep! Drop a little oil on a paper towel, is there a halo around the oil spot-? Yep, injectors!
To verify the problem, you will need to have the system checked.
GM had a special policy where they would replace some injectors for 7 years or 200k miles-- IF they meet a certain condition, as determined by a test done by a tech. Final approval was from GM.
Hope this helps!”
Bless his heart, because that confirmed Jim’s thoughts as to the cause of the problem - the injectors. Our VIN does have a “1” as the 8th digit. Could we possibly get some recourse from GM????? Could we even hope that it could happen? We did take our truck in twice in 2010 because of this problem. Would they honor that for the 2010 deadline?
We drove to Warrenton, OR (by Astoria) on Sunday and checked into Fort Stevens State Park as it was close to Ocean Crest Chevrolet where we had an appointment on Monday.
The long and the short of it is, yes, all eight injectors are bad and have to be replaced. This is usually a $4-5,000 fix. But the service manager, Jeff, knew about the problem with this engine and went to bat for us with GM. The final outcome is that GM will cover a good portion of the expense as warranty work. We had to call the two Chevy dealerships who did work on our truck in 2010 and get copies of those invoices to substantiate our claim that we did try twice to get the problem fixed, but otherwise we don’t have to pay for the whole repair.
Praises…Praises….Praises!!!! Thank you, Jeff!!!
When Jim read the email from the service manager with the good news, he screamed and beat on his chest (guess it’s a man-thing) in celebration.
However, with their workload Jeff can’t complete the work till next Monday, and it will take two days. But the parts have been ordered. So we moved back to Big Spruce RV Park in Netarts, OR, outside of Tillamook where we were before. The state park cost $23/night and here it is $13 with tax as a Passport park, so having to wait a week we might as well save the money.
When I called the manager here at Big Spruce and explained our situation and asked if he had room for us to come back, he not only said yes, come on back, but he offered us the use of his personal car to drive up to Warrenton and bring Jim back on Monday, so didn’t have to move to the state park again. What a guy!!! We have surely been blessed with the wonderful people here.
Our next door neighbor was cooking down blueberries on his barbecue grill to make jam - he brought us a jar to share. Other park residents have recommended mechanics, restaurants, or just been friendly and offered rides. Great people!
So we’ll stay here for a week and maybe an extra day of driving around and trying to restart the truck to make sure everything is working OK. The Mossman’s moved to Lincoln City last Saturday and we’ll join them there or in Newport.
Oh, friends we are so relieved that a solution has been found and we can continue our travels instead of paying full-price for repairs and then making a beeline to the Arizona desert to minimize expenses. We want to thank everyone for your phone calls and emails of concern and encouragement. It means a lot to us. RVers are a wonderful group to be a part of….you are part of our family.
Remember, you are loved.