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jthelman

How-To: Replace Heated Washer Unit With The Alphatherm.

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OK, just finished installing an Alphatherm AT37GM to get around the heated washer recall, and wanted to post a few notes to answer questions and save people a few minutes:

 

1) This install is cake, if you can change your oil, you can replace the heated washer part. Should take 1/2 hr or less.

 

2) The part looks EXACTLY like the old one. This made me a bit annoyed, as there is no way a tech could tell that I upgraded the unit. They could have added an extra bump in the plastic mold, or stamped the model number on the part more prominently. Now I have to make sure my GMC tech doesn't do the recall and pull my new part! Maybe a fluorescent sticker is needed....

 

3) IMHO: if the original problem occurred in something like 10 trucks out of 1.5 million, and with the better replacement unit lowering those odds, the problem is fixed in my book.

 

3) Installation notes:

 

  • Remove the corner brace to make life easier -- it's the only 4 bolts you need to remove to do the job
  • Before you put the brace back, grab the extra hose they provide in the kit, and attach it to the "out" nipple of the Alphatherm. Add washer fluid to the reservoir, and put the other end of the hose in the washer fluid bottle you just emptied. With the unit clipped onto the firewall, prime the unit, then push the button and test to make sure it's heating properly by feeling the fluid as it hits the inside of the bottle. The sounds stupid, but when it's 90+ degrees outside, there's no easy way to tell if the unit works by spraying the windshield. It's also real easy to switch the in/out hoses by mistake.

Again, these might sounds like common sense, but it takes 1 minute to read this and it might save someone 10 minutes of futzing.

 

John

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Thanks for posting these helpful hints. It'll come in handy when I install the alphatherm unit....after GM does the recall on my truck.

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Thanks for posting these helpful hints. It'll come in handy when I install the alphatherm unit....after GM does the recall on my truck.

 

Can you do this after the dealer recall?

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Yes. The dealer will remove the old unit and throw it out. The wire harness in your truck isn't supposed to be touched.

Thus making the newer alphatherm unit 'plug and play'.

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NICE! I am going this route as well. I need to get my rear speakers replaced, but putting it off b/c I dont want them taking my heated fluid!

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Very cool! In Buffalo, NY the heated wash fluid is a definite need, even with remote start.

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Thanks, mine arrived yesterday and the truck is going in Monday for the seat covers and likely to have this done as well. I'll sticky this topic up top as it is pretty current and seems like a number of us are ordering the units to replace the old ones.

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I just got my recall done at the Dealer. I told them I didn't want to get mine done. They said they had no choice (which is not true). They also told me that they had to send the unit back to GM. All the wires are still there. Now I just need to wait for the Black Bear tune in Buffalo to pick up my alphatherm unit from a member.

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Installed today, SO Easy even a caveman could do it. In and out, 20 mins, just prime the pump with the regular washer fluid switch before trying to heat and youre good!

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You guys better be careful doing this...

 

I've personally done about 40 of these recalls. After the recall is complete, NO heated washer system exists under the hood anymore.

 

So, what happens when you guys go in for service, and the Tech raises the hood?? The Tech WILL SEE your new heated wash systems, and there will be problems.

 

Doesn't matter if it was 10 of 15,000,000 trucks...the thing to remember is GM WASHES THEIR HANDS TOTALLY of this whole heated wash system stuff. The company that originally produced these units is out of business.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if some of you get threatened with rejected warranty/warranty items, especially if GM doesn't want heated wash systems anymore...

 

Just be very careful on what you install on these trucks...

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You guys better be careful doing this...

 

I've personally done about 40 of these recalls. After the recall is complete, NO heated washer system exists under the hood anymore.

 

So, what happens when you guys go in for service, and the Tech raises the hood?? The Tech WILL SEE your new heated wash systems, and there will be problems.

 

Doesn't matter if it was 10 of 15,000,000 trucks...the thing to remember is GM WASHES THEIR HANDS TOTALLY of this whole heated wash system stuff. The company that originally produced these units is out of business.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if some of you get threatened with rejected warranty/warranty items, especially if GM doesn't want heated wash systems anymore...

 

Just be very careful on what you install on these trucks...

 

So, if a tech sees the new pump while opening the hood to do warranty work on an unrelated system of the truck, the dealer will tell me that the new pump made the part go bad and void my warranty? I do believe that there is a law against that called the M......(cant remember full name) Act. Now, if the new pump catches on fire and burns up a bunch of stuff then I totally get it. But there is no way in hell that you are going to tell me that my tranny (for example) burned up because I added a heated washer unit to the truck.

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You guys better be careful doing this...

 

I've personally done about 40 of these recalls. After the recall is complete, NO heated washer system exists under the hood anymore.

 

So, what happens when you guys go in for service, and the Tech raises the hood?? The Tech WILL SEE your new heated wash systems, and there will be problems.

 

Doesn't matter if it was 10 of 15,000,000 trucks...the thing to remember is GM WASHES THEIR HANDS TOTALLY of this whole heated wash system stuff. The company that originally produced these units is out of business.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if some of you get threatened with rejected warranty/warranty items, especially if GM doesn't want heated wash systems anymore...

 

Just be very careful on what you install on these trucks...

 

I don't think there will be any problems. Obviously if the aftermarket part causes any problems, they won't be covered by warranty, but we all understand that. And once the warranty ends, who cares? People are modding their trucks all the time - this is no different.

 

So, if a tech sees the new pump while opening the hood to do warranty work on an unrelated system of the truck, the dealer will tell me that the new pump made the part go bad and void my warranty? I do believe that there is a law against that called the M......(cant remember full name) Act. Now, if the new pump catches on fire and burns up a bunch of stuff then I totally get it. But there is no way in hell that you are going to tell me that my tranny (for example) burned up because I added a heated washer unit to the truck.

 

You might be thinking of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is intended to protect consumers from deceptive warranty practices. All it means is that the manufacturer has to be clear about what the warranty covers, and also they have to honor it.

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GM has determined there was a defect in the heated wash system, causing vehicles to catch fire, and burn to the ground.

 

That's what this recall is all about.

 

And obviously, a heated wash system isn't going to cause a trans concern (dlewis)

 

Here's a scenario:

 

You get the recall done. Heated wash removed by GM Tech

 

You install "brand-x" heated wash system, on your own accord, and tell nobody.

 

3 days later your pickup burns to the ground. Investigators trace source of fire to "brand-x" wash system.

 

Who's fault is it?? Not GM's, that's for sure.

 

Get the picture??

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I wouldn't be surprised if some of you get threatened with rejected warranty/warranty items, especially if GM doesn't want heated wash systems anymore...

 

I am waiting for the class action suit because $100 does not fully compensate for the loss. I am thinking in more the range of 10% of truck list price for each truck, plus attorney fees.

 

...and the settlement check will be @ $1.38 after class admin fees are taken.

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