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2010-2011 Buick LaCrosse

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  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Crankee,
    It sounds like you have the setup I was about to pull trigger on when the build it site indicated H-arm was no longer available, to be brought back later as option on CXS.
    Your combination is quite a bit different than how it came back. The later has 19" wheels and the full time suspension monitoring. You also might not have hyperstrut on front. Have you had the opportunity to compare yours against the ride of the later?
    I'm guessing that yours also came with Michelin tires. What is the recommended cold inflation for your tires?
    I have noted a couple of improvements with miles. This is the first I knew tires had a breakin period. The GY got a little quieter about that point. Also when cooler weather set in I noticed cold inflation had dropped 2# and ride is better at that point. I'm guessing that it allows more sidewall flex, especially laterally. But of course concerns of low pressure start to arise.
  • gberpagberpa Posts: 44
    edited November 2010
    Are they really using propane now? When I worked for an oil company, they used butanes for vapor pressure (read: ignitabilty) control in winter.

    On first driving, I thought the car was very quiet. Upon increasing speed as breakin is approaching end, it seems less so. However, I did have a minor front door issue (stuck out slightly), so there was an adjustment on the "striker plate"...wondering if this affected sound seal?!

    I do note how thin the carpets are compared to my prior Hyundai and also how thin and "cardboard" like feel the drive tunnel seems in the front passenger/drive.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    We chose the CXL with the then available 3.0L to avoid the I-4 option due to power concerns and also the higher cost 3.6L that required premium fuel along the lines of most rice burners. The H-arm was a bonus, not a plan, since we required Michelin tires on all of our cars and the 18" option on the CXL fit the bill - not the 19" GY setup with higher cost active suspension. Ours has normal GM rack & pinion setup- not hyper strut that came later. We have tires at 32# and they rise to 35# when hot. Usually run Michelin X,MXM4, Pilots at 36#, but low profile tires (1X on 18" not 2X as on 19") don't have sidewall "cushion" so 32# seems to ride better.
    The recently announced E.assist "standard" equipment for 2012 explains the move to I-4 setup, so we are pleased with the 3.0L V-6 choice. I-4 hybrid or 3.6L with premium seems to be the marketing plan down the road for Buick Lacrosse. The 3.0L is in the Cadillac SRX and some CTS models so service not an issue to us.
    Small Buick for mileage market, Turbo Regal for performance, Lacrosse for mid market and Super, Park Avenue or LeSabre for higher price point luxo buyers in coming years will round out the Buick stable in the new GM.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,275
    How do you get one of those cards?

    Simply fill out a short form (name, address, phone number, and email) at any Stop & Shop Supermarket and you are given a card on the spot. The card allows you to get discounts off groceries as well as discounts on gas. One catch, the gas must be purchased at designated Stop & Shop or Shell stations.

    Generally, the discounts are five cents off each gallon but if you buy $50 or more of groceries the discount can be high as $0.60 off per gallon. I look at it as a win - win situation. You have to buy groceries anyway. So why not buy it at Stop & Shop at a discount and at the same time get a further discount on gas prices.

    Obviously, that is Stop & Shop's way of competing with Wal-Mart but it won't be long before Wal-Mart launches a competing program of its own.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,275
    GM went public again today and this IPO is hot. The opening price was $33 and in the first 15 minutes 100 million shares were traded and the price had increased to $35 or by 6.33%.

    We all who took a chance on GM should be rewarded with the option to buy at least a 100 shares before the hugh institutional buyers.
  • wow. insightful comment on moving the buttons. Guess that's why GM didn't seek you out as a design engineer. In the design, it would have been very easy to install a lock-from-inside-the-trunk latch on the seat access panels. Nothing new with that approach. Second, yes, they should put a valet pass code in the software. something would be better than nothing, even if they don't have a lockout on the seat panels. As for the coin holder, plenty of room in that "ingenious" double cup holder. Don't get me wrong - I love my LaCrosse. But i agree it's probably a case of "nah, we don't need that" design.
  • I probably won't be as complete as bwia but here's my attempt to gauge the gas mileage of my 2011 LaCrosse CXS on a 1600 mile road trip this past week.

    My trip was from just south of Portland, OR to San Jose, CA returning to Portland from the Cailf. gold country in the Sierra foothills at Angels Camp. (2 days of great golf in shorts at Greenhorn Creek GC) Starting mileage on car was 624 so I was trying to be careful to not exceed the 68 mph break-in guideline. Typically, I set the cruise control to 67 mph on all freeway stretches. Yeah, it did go over for bursts.

    Total miles: 1586 with average gas consumption of 27.177 mpg

    I used mid-grade tier one exclusively: Shell, Chevron and 76. I checked and filled my 19" tires to 35# before leaving home. There was very little wind on any of the legs of the trip. Anyone who knows the route on I-5 between OR and CA knows the grades and dips you encounter. Siskiyou summit is ~4500 ft. Then there's Stagecoach Pass, Sexton Pass, Mt. Shasta, the Sunol Grade (2X), etc., etc. Just to give you all a sense of the elevation change challenges in such a trip that defeats great gas mileage that you might get in say, the mid-West.

    Speaking of mid-grade gas, the octane for such in Calif. is 89. In OR it is 91. Huh!

    The car was stuffed stem to stern. I thought I'd have a challenge getting as much as I wanted into the trunk. But that got filled to the brim and the rear seats were loaded, too. So I was able to take my wife in the passenger seat (creative packing = good move!).

    Best leg: Red Bluff, CA to Sunnyvale,CA 222 miles on 7.396 gals. = 30.016 mpg

    2nd best leg: Farmington, CA (near Stockton) to Rogue River, OR 386 miles on 13.048 gals. = 29.583 mpg

    Worst leg: driving within Silicon Valley,CA 4 days and then to Angels Camp with sightseeing, 288 miles on 12.896 gals. = 22.333 mpg

    Overall impression: I'm thrilled! These results far exceed my expectations for highway driving. I received numerous compliments along the way about the styling of the car which went a long way towards helping me see my way to the next car payment. The car is as much a cruiser as any other on the highway - a dream to drive! It handles nimbly (can I say that?) on mountain roads with sharp twists and turns. I love it!

    I'm sure I've left out some pertinent details I intended to convey but wanted to post this on the day we returned. If I think of those, I will post them later.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Bob; Good report. We have note with 2010 CXL 3.0L that speed is biggest factor in MPG. Below 65 is the best but overall driveabilty is better at 75+ due to less shifting or searching for the right gear. bigger 3.6L may be better at that. 27.5-29 at 70-75 is normal for us but at 60-70 it improves to 30+ on regular. Best is at 55 - ~32 MPG but who can drive like that in America?
    Improves slightly with midgrade but wife feels it runs beter soooo..... we use midgrade with her aboard! Tremendous road car IMO. 16-18 in city driving (4300# car!) but it is really setup for highway cruising and mileage. Great choice- ENJOY.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,275
    Bobinor,

    Props for such a nice report! You are such a good writer by the ease with which you turn a phrase I would guess you might be an auto scribe. (sic). Moreover, in the short time you've joined this blog I have been drawn to your writing and I always look forward to reading your postings.

    Feed the forum!
    Phil
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I see a newer filter number in the owners manual.
    I have ran across some discussion concerning it and some are having a hard time locating the new filter.
    What I have gleened so far is that it may be a replacement for the PF-49 and the new one is physically larger. Guessing, I'd say it likely contains more filtering media or maybe better.
    Searching on the new number I found there is a version of it that has letters at the end which indicates it is for engines having higher oil pressures and might have a premium price.

    Does anyone know how to get data on AC oil filters?
    There could be a lot more changes than just size. Valve type, pressure relief, media type, as well as how fine of filtering occurs might change with the new number.
    What concerns me is that cross reference charts by year, make, & engine are calling out the older AC number and if another brand is used they likely are comparing their's to the older AC.
    And some are really confused because their new vehicle came with the old filter even though the manual calls the new part number.
    I'll try to check what is on mine tomorrow.
    If I do the 3K swap to synthetic I'll need to start hunting a filter.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I am currently seeing about the same as you Bob. A little better than 22 on my local driving which is not truly city, but some combination of city and open road. The 27 was about what I saw on long run.
    I'll know more at time goes by. Scheduled for run to VA end of month, 120 miles, and I know what past vehicles have done on it.

    I do find the figures for a 2011 Impala questionable or at least making me wonder why we don't see maybe 1MPG better. Albeit the impala is about 500 pound lighter, but that should not effect open road much.
    They still use the 3.5L rated at 29 highway and the big 3.9L rated at 27 highway. I did not see anything about Impala getting six speed so those numbers seem impressive with the used final drive, especially the 3.9 with 3.29 ratio.
    Thanks for input since it seems real world numbers reveal truth.
  • snipsnip

    I'll have to wait to try out the shifting schemes at higher speeds until I pass the break-in period. That'll probably be a while since snow is predicted here and we'll use my wife's AWD Equinox then.

    But it's interesting you mention searching by the 5-speed, I presume, on the 3.0L. Gear searching and stumbling has been something I have been very cognizant of with my 3.6L 6-speed. It drives me nuts! Example from my road trip: I'm cresting a long grade having had the cruise set to 58 to get there. Once over the top I have to hit the brake (and cancel cruise) to limit my speed on the long downhill (4 miles of 6.5% grade). I'm trying my best to keep the speed steady at around 67 mph continually touching the brake to keep it there. As I do this I glance at the tach and it keeps jumping from 3000 rpm to 1800 rpm to 2400 rpm with very little change in actual speed. I thought, OK the car wants to downshift when I tap the brake at 68 mph so the revs go up to the ~3000 to help slow it down. But should it up-shift again when gravity sends the car to 63? The tolerance ranges seem to be quite small.

    I haven't really described this very well. As I re-read it it sounds almost like the car is doing what it should. But I continually am surprised how often I lurch a small bit whenever the gearbox decides to do its thing - at unexpected times even at slower speeds. Does anyone know if there is a spec for this 6-speed and what the shift patterns are? Maybe if I understood better how it is supposed to work I can tolerate its nuances.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    It does sort of sound like it is working as designed. I recall similar with 09 Malibu 4 cylinder 6 speed. I don't travel through such terrain very often but will get a chance to see how 3.6 does beginning of next month.
    There were lots of complaints about Malibu shifting but not related to what we are talking about now. Shifting was fine for me with only tranny related concern being it slipped into 3rd gear when cold.
    I am having a bit of trouble locating lower shift points because it is so smooth with the shift. Hope that is not an issue.

    With the Malibu, it had the shift paddles, and when going down such a grade I manually kicked it to a lower gear. That was to save on brakes and not to overheat them so they would be available if really needed.

    I seem to remember other vehicles that did a bit of hunting on the downgrade.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Bob: The new 6-speed( shared technology with ford & GM) seems to be programmed for mileage primairily since the unit upshifts very quickly and when any grade or demand is placed on the engine it has to downshift to compensate. We had this same pattern with an older 4.1L V-8 in a Cadillac. If we drove 75+ the RPM's were high enough to overcome the programs economy preference and the unit did not search. The new Lacrosse appears to have the same programming and the searching is minimized at 75-85 MPH, unless a major grade is encountered.
    Another feature that works on the Lacrosse is to use the gear selection tap mode and "lock" it into a gear on a grade (up or down) to preclude searching until the grade is overcome. We have not experienced the downhill problem you have. Our unit appears to hold the speed on downhill even w/o the cruise engaged. The programming favors mileage as the priority and to overcome it requires manual shifting. Ours has the 3.0L but I believe the stroke is the same so RPM's s/b close.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Rider: We have the 3.0L and it requires the PF-49 in the manual as does the 3.6L in the 2010 model . I had the oil changed at 2000 and the dealer installed the PF-49 that is one of the smaller designs (same as PF-47 on 3.8L V-6). The 3.0 calls for 6 quarts with filter but that would change with any size change of filter (~1/2 Qt. with longer filter case design). Curious why they would change filter on a production engine - that's a new one. I will try to determine reason myself. Too much oil pressure (in absence of overfill) seems like a rare bird to me.
    Good catch - maybe their will be TSB out soon to clarify.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    ride: Check out the website knfilters.com for the 2011 vs. 2010 3.6L. The 2010 filter is the PF-48 match and is 3.75 inches high. The 2011 is longer at 4.78 inches. I saw no cross ref for an AC filter for the HP-2011 model for 2011 3.6L. all the K&N filters use pressure relief valves ( similar to Honda and others OEM). The web shows a PF-2129 filter for the 3.6L, but not on a GM site sooo.... it may or may not be right.
    K&N is top shelf, as you know so the longer filter for the 2011 3.6L vs the shorter (like PF-48) for the 2010 is probably correct. Clearance is an issue on some models but not the 3.0/3.6L since it is on radiator side of engine with no obstructions on ours. Curious why the change- keep digging.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited November 2010
    The correct numbers were pretty vague in my memory as I wrote that. If I had the answer I would have posted and I'm curious why as well.
    My manual does not show 2010, but for 2011 the one shown for 3.6L is PF63, GM number 89017525.
    No 3.0L but 2.4 is shown using PF457G. I don't have any idea what the last letter designates.
    Oil capacity for 3.6 is shown as 5.5 quarts and 5.0 for 2.4L
    With the proper filter and proper fill I will make note of where it shows on dipstick.

    I did look at KN and application showed the filter you mentioned. The bypass valve is at 7-11 which I would think low. Ford traditionally used lower oil pressures than GM, generally. But newer engines could be very different. One example being Aurora engine in 96. It would typically show pressures up to 70 when cold, but once warmed to operating the oil pressure would drop to about 9 #. So I took a look at what KN showed, no bypass valve.
    I did the same thing with the PF-2129 and it has to bypass valve.
    I will stay away from aftermarket crossovers unless I find data showing its relative closeness to the OE filter data.
    Looking at other KN numbers for GM engines, earlier years, same or similar size, they often have no bypass valve. As I remember some GM engines have the pressure relief valve internally, either part of or near oil pump. An oil light would then mean immediate shutdown because you could have zero flow.
    A new thought, it could just be about capacity and extending the oil life reminder to a longer drain interval.
    Keep me posted.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    We have always used OEM parts when indicated. Fram filters for older GM, but always AC/Delco parts when in the warranty period. The new warranties are longer but lots of quibbling about customer maintenance schedule etc. so we stick to the dealer and OEM parts to preclude dodging and weaving & weasel wording tactics.
    Curious about the oil life monitor method of changing vs. miles/months as in past. The $20 to change the all important oil every 3-5000 miles seems like cheap safe- guard to engine protection. I prefer Castrol GTX with Hi-mileage version in cars with 80,000 or more. Great product and consistent quality reputation.
    Also, the 3.0L version calls for 6 quarts and has that cast aluminum oil pan we posted about previously. The rear H-arm members are cast as are the front a-arm suspension members. Pretty good upgrade for old GM- using high end (cost) suspension and engine parts IMO. Good development!
  • I originally reported highway mileage on a 250 mile trip on I75. Conditions were 75 degrees, two passengers with golf bags and luggage. I'm guessing adding about 550 lbs to the car's weight. This stretch of interstate was fairly level, traffic was light to moderate. Tires at 34 lbs cold and using a blend of Reg & Midgrade, but not a designated Tier 1 fuel. I started at 1600 miles on the odometer. I got 24.5 mpg as measured by the car's electronics. This is the CXS with the 3.6L and Touring package. I wasn't satisfied after I read reports from others.

    Yesterday, with tires at 35# cold, 37 after several miles, ambient temp at 52 degrees, just a 225 lb driver, no passenger or luggage, my system reported 30 mpg at 70 mph using cruise control over a 25 mile stretch USING Shell premium gas. Since the cost of premium in NOT 20% higher than Reg gas, I will use Premium. The upgrade is currently about 10%.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Rainman: We experienced the same change in MPG using Shell midgrade. Can't say if it is the "Shell" or the higher Octane that retards the ignition level to accomodate the higher compression engines. Whatever it is the mileage is improved at all speeds with obvious max at 55-65 MPH (32 to 30MPG). 75-85 MPH drops to 29 & 27.5MPG that makes sense. All numbers with two passengers light luggage and fairly normal weather conditions. The computer on ours is very close to actual calculations so we are skipping that step. I believe the new 3.0/3.6L series V-6 prefers the higher octane fuels due to the higher compression ratios and the prom/computer program set up for mileage and nor low end torque/speed, but would be hard pressed to prove it with logic or math!
    27.5 to 30+ on the highway is great for a 4300# car that is heavy (read mass) and safe by all measurements. In town is 16-18 with lots of variables so not consistent.
  • gberpagberpa Posts: 44
    Your last trial was too short to conclude anything. But the refiners will love you with their higher margins on premium. I, also thought I was getting better mileage with mid grade at first (see earlier posts). But a few other tests lead me to doubt it. Also logic per below

    I started to post a detailed analysis of gasoline energy but lost it before it went out :cry: . Bottom line, is that hi octane gas maybe up to 10% more dense (more lbs per gallon and more energy) but the energy per pound is 4-10% lower (lower hydrogen to carbon ratio of aromatics in hi test). So maybe, there is up to 6% more energy for a pure hydrocarbon fuel. But, a big factor is how much ethanol (high octane but about 1/3 less energy per pound relative to hydrocarbons)is added in your area. Also, your area (how cold) and winter vs summer count as butanes are added for easier starting and butane has somewhat lower energy per pound.

    Also see:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/autos/aut12.shtm
    which advises higher octane only if your engine knocks significantly.

    My 2011 CXS doesn't exhibit knock with 87 RON. Since 93 RON is about 25-30c/gal more (~8.3-10% at $3/US Gal), I conclude high test is a waste of money.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Q & Rainman: The new cars must be able to diagnose the engine performance with the feedback loop program and then adjusts the electronic timing advance up or down to use the octane and also keep the knock sensor happy. The 3.0/3.6L engines have relatively high compression ratios that would require 91/93 octane w/o the computer adjusting for feedback. The 3.0L engine in our 2010 CXL seems to run fine on regular (87) but wife feels it "likes" midgrade so it gets midgrade. We were told with previous cars that 91/93 was not good for cars that did not need it. The new engines we all have are definitely high performance given DOHC/DI/VVT & HP to displacement ratio. 250 - 285 HP for a 3.0 - 3.6L engine is pretty good.
    Bottom line: If the car runs well on regular octane and gets the mileage we use it and if the midgrade helps more than the cost we use that (or if the wife says to!)
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 2,145
    I dunno if it is just marketing or real, but I always prefer Shell gasoline over most other brands. The car just seems happier with it.

    2014 Cadillac ATS4 2.0T, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • Q, I read the general recommendations in the link you provided. Thanks. These are 7 years old and that's a long time span when it comes to computer operated systems. It also says to heed the owners manual. Mine requires 91 tier 1. Around here (Dertroit), I can choose Shell or Mobil. I started out running Regular from Marathon and BP. It wasn't until I had over 2k miles on my 2010 3.6L CXS that I learned it was intended to run Super (91).

    I can't agree that if it doesn't knock, go with the lowest grade. There is still a financial calculation to be made. If MPG is up 20% on Super and the price of Super is only 10% over Regular, I'd be nuts to not to use Super. FYI, I have no engine knock on ANY brand or octane. Performance is identical in any normal driving I do or have done.
  • My 2011 CXL has 5,000 + miles on it. On the interstate with my cruise set at 72 MPH, for a 1 hour length of time, I achieved 27.5 MPG. In town it is more in the low 20's. To me this is decent gas mileage. If gas mileage was my main goal, I would have stuck with my 2010 Malibu which was getting 37 MPG in the same driving conditions. The ride and handling all rival my former 2006 DTS I had- and the LaCrosse handles curves and winding roads as well as the 2004 Pontiac GTP I had. I am completely satisfied with this car- many people can't believe it is a Buick. Before purchasing, I compared this to a Lexus 350 and Acura TL and the LaCrosse won hands down.
  • which engine?
  • V-6. I just didn't feel that a 4 cylinder would do the job in the LaCrosse, as it did in my Malibu. Reading some of the earlier posts, I'm tempted to go to a higher octane fuel to increase MPG, as I always use regular unleaded.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Just so you know, the higher compression yields better efficiency. Before electronics, high octane was an obsolute must for high compression engines. They had no way to automatically retard the spark should knock or detonation occur. And the spark was usually advanced a bit more than regular engines.
    After the first concern of pollution was tackled, hydrocarbon emissions, they also started learning about noxious nitrogen compounds and many more tactics were employed to slow their production. Retarding the timing was one, hence poorer economy.
    Continuing fuel shortages has pushed technology into a very sophisticated engine.
    I knew hobbyists that installed fuel injection on their cars during the 60's so that part of the technology has been around. Electronic knock sensors may have been key in implementing today.
    Thus we now have high compression engines again via direct injection, leading to better efficiencies and also cleaner burning.
    Using too low an octane will cause the ignition to retard to prevent engine damage.
    Sometimes I'm confused with GM newer engines. 3.0 & 3.1, 3.5 & 3.6, 3.8 & 3.9. But now that 6 speed trannys are widely available I don't doubt there will be newer engines built that take advantage of that shift range and the way most people drive to squeeze even more economy.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    FYI, with todays electronics, if you hear knock you have a serious problem. The sensitivity of these systems is designed that you should never hear it. So the likely symptom that you will see is reduced MPG because the engine is being retarded to avoid the destructive knock.
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