I'm really PO'd. Today I took my car in for the yearly mandatory state inspection and it didn't pass. It's an '09 with only 19K miles on it. The mechanic told me the whole front suspension was loose. I couldn't believe it!
I took it home and checked it myself. He's right: when either front side is jacked up the whole top of the strut mount is loose with at least 1/2" play vertically between the flanged top metal cap bushing and the body mounting hole. I tried adjusting the lower nut (the one under the cap nut) but nothing would take out that gap. The whole strut assembly will move up and down if there is no weight on it. Both struts have the same looseness. The struts themselves are good; the car is always garaged, very clean, low mileage - it's much too young to have this sort of absurd problem.
The inspection sticker is expired so I'm desperate to have it pass inspection so I don't get a ticket. I found a way to rectify the situation, though. I scrounged through my materials and found two heavy rubber shock mounts that are about 1/2" thick and about 2" in diameter, with a hole in the center that is about the same size as the threaded strut rod. I put each rubber block on each strut rod, so it is covering the body panel hole, then put on the metal cap bushing and tightened down the top nut. It worked and it took out all the excess play. I'm taking it back tomorrow and hoping it will pass inspection.
What's with this bull****? Is this cheap suspension supposed to 'float', or not???
Chevrolet is going to hear from me on this one until this nonsense is rectified.