Stay away from the H3
The service four wheel drive light came on after I had the vehicle for about three days and again in each of the three days following. I took it into the dealership and they kept it overnight. It didn't store a code and they couldn't get it to happen again. They gave it back to me for the weekend with the instruction to bring it back on Monday. I did. They had it for another three days with no progress. They had me come and get it because they couldn't figure out what had caused the light to come on. As I was pulling out of the dealership the light came on again so I turned around and they were able to pull the code. They had it for another day and followed what they were supposed to do for the given code. Everything appeared normal so they still didn’t know what to do. They gave it back to me with the explanation that they wrapped some wires with electrical tape and that may or may not fix the problem. So it spent the entire second week I had it in the shop.
I also had concerns about a noticeable grinding feeling in the brakes at 10mph. It feels like the pads have worn down to the wear indicators, but they claimed that they can't feel anything. There is also a vibrating feeling and sound associated with the brakes. It feels and sounds like a light ABS cycle. When this occurs at night the lights dim down. They associated it to the mechanical break pump. The H3 uses an electric pump rather than a quieter, smoother vacuum pump found in other cars. I later found out that this pump is designed to only come on during harder stops to maintain pressure in the lines. Mine is coming on every time the brakes are applied. It comes on while coasting to a stop sign or pulling into my garage or if I’m stopped and in park. They don’t know what to do about that either.
I also noticed a crack in the roof rack the day I picked it up. They said that they would order the new part for me and have it put on. While talking with the service adviser I found out that this is a common issue and the original supplier so no longer being used. Because of this the new parts won't be available until mid June, if I can get the first ones coming out.
Yesterday I noticed a ticking sound coming from the engine. I talked with a coworker who has an H3 and he said that his wife was complaining about the same noise for a couple weeks. He drove it in to work today and can hear the same thing that I am. I called the service department and he stated that the ticking is normal. Come on! I didn't get a brand new car to listen to ticking!
On the plus side, the vehicle has pretty decent fit and finish for a GM. GM is notorious for scary soft brakes and mushy suspension to go along with dead, numb steering. The H3 has firm suspension and tight steering. It also has firm seats with nice side bolsters which is hard to find in a GM. Is this enough to overcome all the other issues that I have already encountered in less than three months? NO! The H3 is only good for looking at. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that this is a lease and they will have their piece of crap back in two years. With that said, this will be a very long two years. Sometimes the GM employee discount looks good on paper, but I should have gotten a Honda.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 9th May, 2006