Good Vehicle But......................................
I bought this 2008 Chevrolet HHR SS in 2015. I called the original owner after I bought it and found out he had truly pampered this vehicle always. It was always serviced or repaired at his local Chevrolet store. In addition to that, he had a garage to keep it in that was climate controlled by an HVAC system. His wife was the member of the family who drove it. I say all of this to show this vehicle was not abused or neglected.
I bought it with 80k miles on it and within a few months, I had engine trouble with it. I took it to my local Chevrolet dealer. They called and first they said it should be around $8-900 to fix it. Then that changed to $1500, then to $2000. And eventually the final bill ended up being a whopping $3600!!! I pleaded with them to give me some sort of discount. They finally cut the price on the parts and the bill came down to $3300.
That was a big disappointment to me so soon after buying this HHR. I seriously considered selling it then but as the service advisor at the Chevrolet dealer said, "You just about have a whole new engine now. Don't sell it!" So I didn't.
It has been very reliable ever since although since I am retired, it is driven only about 1000 miles per year.
My wife drove it recently and she called me on her way home and said it was overheating. The gauge had just begun to rise and she was only a mile from home so I told her to try to make it here unless the temp gauge started going higher. She did make it home OK.
I called an independent garage I use to ask if they could look at it. They said they could. Due to the problem, I had it towed on a flatbed truck to their facility.
They checked it and called to tell me it needed a module for the cooling fan but it was not available separately so I had to buy the module AND the cooling fan. By the time they were done, the bill was $744 and that was with a $30 discount coupon.
So, I do still love this little vehicle (car, station wagon, small SUV??) and really love driving it. It is very fast and surprises a lot of people at stoplights. And I think it is a great looking vehicle too, especially with its 18-inch tires and 5 (or 10 depending on your opinion) spoke polished aluminum wheels, its red brake calipers and its vented and slotted rotors. I also especially like the different grille and front end on the SS version compared to the plain Jane HHRs. I will also say that this HHR and a C5 Corvette that I owned for 16 years are the only GM vehicles I've ever owned that didn't leak any fluids at all. Good job, GM because I HATE leaks under cars.
Each time I have a problem with this HHR, it takes me some time to trust it again. So, I'm in that phase now since I just had the fan and module repaired. But I will come to trust it again as I have in the past. I just hope nothing else comes along to break that trust again very soon. Yet at the same time, I have a good friend who also has an HHR that he bought from another friend who bought it new. It isn't an SS but it is very nice. It now has 234,000 miles and he has had no problems with it at all. He hasn't even changed the timing gears and chains yet! Such luck I will never have.