When I took it into the dealership, they did no work on it and sent it right back to me with the commentary, “Performed complete vehicle DTC scan. No codes or service bulletins found. Could not duplicate concern. Vehicle is operating as designed.” At that point, I wasn’t sure if the mechanic had someone else warm up the vehicle and transmission fluid so much that the problem went away, he was just incompetent and didn’t recognize the problem, or he was intentionally ignoring the blatantly obvious problem.
The transmission is slow and lurches the vehicle when the fluids are still cold. There’s an option to display transmission fluid temperature in the gauge cluster, and whenever it’s below ~100°F, the transmission takes longer to shift to different gears. This is particularly noticeable when you’re just starting up the vehicle and making your first stop of the day. If you do not come to a complete stop then wait a few seconds (and instead just slow down and roll through a stop sign), the vehicle will hiccup and lurch when you ease your foot off the brake and begin accelerating again.
Yesterday when I got back from hiking, I was browsing the Internet while recovering and came across a class action lawsuit against General Motors, the manufacturer of the GMC Canyon. I got curious and looked into it, seeing as I am a General Motors customer, and got extremely intrigued when I saw that it was regarding a defect in the 8L90 and 8L45 8-speed automatic transmissions. Apparently, the vehicles affected were:
- Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette
- GMC Canyon, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon
- Cadillac ATS, Cadillac CTS, Cadillac CT6, Cadillac Escalade
I got in touch with one of the class action lawyers, and I’m in talks with them right now providing relevant information, so hopefully this ends up doing something for me. Even though the transmission sucks, I still really like the truck, and I’ve already put in a good chunk of money modifying it to my desires, so it’s not like I want to completely bail out and get rid of the truck. Ideally, I just want to avoid a situation where I ding 60,001 miles, my powertrain warranty ends, and my transmission proceeds to immediately implode.
“When a driver accelerates or decelerates, the cars will reportedly hesitate and then shudder, jerk, clunk, or ‘hard shift’ when the automatic transmission switches gears. This may also occur when the vehicles are accelerating in a single gear and not necessarily switching gears.”
|Rent (or mortgage plus other homeowner expenses)||$1500|
|Utilities (power, gas, water, sewer, trash, phone, Internet, etc.)||$300|
|Medical insurance (health, dental, etc.)||$300|
|Vehicle (loan/lease, auto insurance, fuel, maintenance, etc.)||$800|
|Student loans or other miscellaneous installment loans||$200|
|Food (groceries, restaurants, etc.)||$500|
|Personal care (haircut, gym membership, etc.)||$100|
|Household products and other goods||$100|
|Subscriptions (Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, credit card annual fee, etc.)||$50|
|Travel and other leisurely activities||$150|
|Gifts and charitable donations||$100|
|Maximum $5,500 yearly contribution to a traditional or Roth IRA||$458|
|Maximum $19,000 yearly contribution to a 401k||$1583|
|20% down payment on a $350,000 house purchase in 10 years||$583|
|$15,000 for a wedding in 5 years||$250|
|$15,000 for the first year of newborn baby expenses in 5 years||$250|
|$35,000 Bachelor’s degree fund for a newborn starting school in 18 years||$162|
- 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor with 801A – $60,540 Probably the truck that is given most frequently as the answer to the question “what is your favorite pickup truck,” the Ford F-150 Raptor with the 801A equipment package (which includes everything included on the standard 800A package, plus 10-way power heated leather-trimmed seats, power-adjustable pedals, and a power-sliding rear window) is $1,770 cheaper than a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition. Yes, the Ford F-150 Raptor, the truck that most truck enthusiasts would call their “dream truck,” and then follow it up by saying “but it’s way too expensive to actually buy,” is cheaper than the Launch Edition. Now sure, a lot of dealerships actually sell the Raptor at prices higher than MSRP, but if you want to maintain the example, you can just take the 801A upgrade down to the standard 800A, then there’s nothing more you can say.
- 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel, fully optioned – $60,290 Not a fan of the Ford Raptor? Go to the Ram 1500 Rebel configurator and click on literally every single available option for a fully-optioned truck, and you can get it for $2,020 cheaper than a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition. This includes options like the 5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT eTorque engine, air suspension, the Rebel 12 package (which comes with the 12″ tablet-like display), Level 2 equipment group, bedliner and tonneau cover, and power sunroof… and literally everything else, because I actually mean fully optioned. Remember that Ram was the first manufacturer to introduce the oversized center console display. That, combined with the black leather interior with tastefully attractive red contrast stitching and accents throughout the cabin, and the fully-loaded Ram Rebel feels like you’re driving a top-tier luxury vehicle off-road.
- 2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon with Level 2 Equipment Group and 12″ display – $62,385 Don’t forget that the Jeep Gladiator is a ¼-ton, mid-size pickup truck, and the two examples I gave above are ½-ton, full-size pickup trucks. But is that still not enough for you? Then take a look at the ¾-ton Ram 2500 Power Wagon – you even have the luxury of tacking on a Level 2 Equipment Group and the iconic Ram 12″ display and only exceed the cost of the Jeep Gladiator by $75. All of these trucks are still very off-road-capable vehicles – that’s not unique to the Jeep Gladiator. But, beyond the obvious increase in payload and towing, keep in mind that the Power Wagon actually feels like a luxury vehicle on the inside, as opposed to the Jeep Gladiator that seems a bit too committed to the off-road look-and-feel.
- 2019 GMC Canyon Denali… AND A 2020 TOYOTA COROLLA – $62,245 Being the owner of a 2018 GMC Canyon, I felt like it would be appropriate to include it as an example in my list. A 2019 GMC Canyon Denali with 4WD is currently $43,240, and the starting MSRP on a 2020 Toyota Corolla is $19,500; combined, they are $65 cheaper than the Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition. Yes, this does indeed mean that you can get a Denali, the sub-brand recognized among pickup truck enthusiasts as the “luxury GMC,” as well as a small daily driver sedan that gets over 30 MPG in fuel efficiency, and you’ll still have money left over for a little cargo tote for your trunk straight from the Toyota dealership.
- A 20% down payment on a $311,550 house … You get the point.