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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,048
    Oops. Typing too fast. Panamera.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,310
    edited February 2013
    . . . than clutch at straws to try to make myself look better.

    I agree, but you need to remember that losing face is important in Asia, but even more important on these forums.
  • My 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD Advance (whew!) is my first non-Audi since my first, a 1978 5000. Immediately prior to the Acura I had a 2009 Audi A4 2.0T Prestige with the sport package option.

    I may have (I do have) some issues with the Acura -- but many/most of them are of a cosmetic nature -- but, now that Acura bought new wheels for me (3 of the 19" wheels were bent so badly that they could not be road-force balanced), I have no issues with the steering. The wide and low profile tires that were on the Audi and on this Acura can be the source of some ride stiffness, but I have no issues that I can comment on that have anything to do with the electric power steering.

    The TL SH-AWD Advance is very well equipped, smooth driving and riding, yet agile and nimble (due to the wheel/tire combo and the sport suspension).

    It does seem to be not an unreasonable imitation of an Audi S4 when one factors in the S4's $11,000 premium when similarly contented -- if you can get past the controversial styling (yes, even the toned down 2012 still has too much "beak" for most folks.)

    I will shop Acura (among others) for my next car when the lease is up on this one -- at this point, I would shop the upcoming TLX, the Infiniti Q50, the Audi A4, the BMW 3, the Cadillac ATS and CTS and probably the Volvo S60.

    The Acura suffers from NOT providing its owner with an experience that is not crystal-clearly differentiated from the Honda upon which it is based.

    Some people think that Acura's best feature is that it comes from the Honda Motors Corporation. Others, like me, wish it wasn't quite so obvious that it came from Honda's loins (so to speak.) :D
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 376
    Sad that GM still has oil/engine problems on the Caddys. My uncle bought a 2002 DeVille with the dreaded Northstar. It drank oil and he complained to GM numerous times and was told the oil consumption was "acceptable" and they refused to do anything about it. He now drives an Infiniti and will never consider GM again, and I can't say I blame him.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited March 2013
    The CTS doesn't have oil issues from a design standpoint. What is happening is that people need to learn that with an oil life monitor and synthetic oils, that the gauge usually will be telling you how much life/protection is left in it.

    If you run it down to 0%, it's not time to change it. It's that your synthetic goo has turned into water in terms of protection capability. You should never let it get even remotely close to 0%.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,549
    edited March 2013
    If 0% trully means zero protection, the designer of CTS should be fired, because it's a poorly designed messaging system. It should be such that "zero" means "change now", because that's how normal person would understand the message. I trully doubt that is how it's designed.

    As an engineer, I can tell you we work with factors of safety and other means to tell us that when the calculation shows an element is "over the limit" it does not mean "run and hide", it only means "do something to improve the situation". We NEVER design things to be on edge of destruction, whether it is a house, a bridge, or a machine. If we did, nobody would feel safe in them, as they would literally fall down somewhere, every day. Only things like spacecraft or similar "new frontier" items where risk calculation allows for safety factors to be cut to razor thin margins, would have "zero life left" mean "tell your wife you love her".

    If you are telling the truth, CTS HAS oil issues - big ones.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    The CTS owner's manual for 2013 shows that when the "Change Engine Oil" soon comes on, it should be changed with 600 miles and that the oil showed by changed at least once a year.

    that the gauge usually will be telling you how much life/protection is left in it.


    When the oil life percentage in my Explorer gets to 0%, Ford says to change the oil within 500 miles. That indicator has a level of safety built in.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,549
    I think that, too. Can't imagine it any other way, really.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,310
    edited March 2013
    have engine lunching issues that have to do with excessive oil consumption that starts suddenly.

    I've been monitoring the CTS engine issue board for many years, and thought at the beginning that the root of the situation was pampered moderately ignorant CTS drivers never manually checking their oil. Mostly that was true, but not always. Several people posted who seemed credible and checked their oil on a regular basis. At some point the engine started using a quart of oil every few hundred miles, and that was a disaster for the average "set it and forget it" driver who wouldn't know how to check or add oil to save their souls.

    The 3.6 engine has serious issues, possibly related to the cam drive system, but in any event the symptom is sudden onset high oil consumption followed by engine failure. Too many people have outlined the same scenario for it to be made up and/or anecdotal isolated incidents.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,189
    Does this issue effect other cars at gm using the same motor - ?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,048
    edited March 2013
    "lunching issues that have to do with excessive oil consumption"

    Yuck. I'll take Jersey Mikes any day but light on the oil. ;)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,982
    Hey Dino -

    Do your Xenon lights make one straight path, or does the one on the right seem to be aimed lower?

    I'm bringing my car in to have that checked out as well as a defective trunk latch. I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary with my 328xi.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,310
    Does this issue effect other cars at gm using the same motor - ?

    I don't know. I only monitor the CTS board.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,549
    Yes, they do. By law, American market cars have to have lights aiming unevenly, biased to the right. You could see it in xenons because they are so bright, but the same is with regular lights - that is, unless people tamper with their settings, which I see done a lot. Some guy thinks he can't see, so he ratchets the up, blinding everybody else.

    BTW, Other markets (like European) have different regulations (even aim, there are other differences, too). However, US-versions of European brands have US-market settings, obviously.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,549
    I would amend that it is left lights that should aim lower, not right. The idea is reduction in glare for the oncoming traffic and better vision for the sidewalk/shoulder pedestrians or small vehicles.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,982
    Cool. Thanks. So my left light is aimed too high. When I use the high beams, they are even.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,549
    Or perhaps your right light is aimed too low? ;)

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,189
    Might be something to monitor if you are looking to go back at GM about a product fault- if it's an engine issue it should not be isolated to the Cts- and would effect other brands under the umbrella- just food for thought.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited March 2013
    When the oil life percentage in my Explorer gets to 0%, Ford says to change the oil within 500 miles. That indicator has a level of safety built in.

    Evidently, in the CTS's case, 0 life was really very close to 0% and there was no leeway. GM changed it to be twice as sensitive (2011) so it tells you it's time in about 6 months or 6000 miles, which gives you a fair amount of leeway. Note - anything less than about 25% protection is running into greatly increased wear with synthetic oils. If you are running an older (2011 or older, evidently) CTS, letting it drop below 50% oil life remaining is causing increased wear and problems.

    I ran into this a few years ago when I was looking for a car for my parents. And back then the mechanics at the dealers were all saying to get it changed at 6 months/6K miles. (the manual says almost twice that interval) That they didn't do a recall is a whole other problem, but the mechanics certainly figured out what had happened with the oil life sensors several years ago.

    So the engine isn't the issue. In fact, it's the best engine GM has ever built. It, not too surprisingly, wasn't really designed to run on synthetic goo which some marketing genius managed to pass off as "oil". GM kind of found this out the hard way, it seems.

    NOTE - there is nothing that says that you can't run semi-synthetic in the car, either. In fact, the newer oil that they put in it at the dealership when you get it changed (on 2011+ models at least) is actually semi-synthetic. GM doesn't want to admit that their engines shouldn't be run on pure synthetic and are "suggesting" their new DEXOS standard oils.

    Yes, it's buried way way in the fine print, but DEXOS is semi-syntietic oil under a new brand name/standard to try to confuse the issue, since they spent over a decade ruthlessly pounding into everyone's head that pure synthetic oils were better than conventional ones.(which is not true, obviously)

    So the fix? Switch to semi-synthetic ASAP. Change oil every 6K miles/6 months. Ignore the computers and change the oil religiously at those intervals. Semi-synthetic costs about twice as much per change, but you change it half as often.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,106
    2012 3.7L V6 Acura engines didn't come with synthetic oil. Of course the dealer will sell it to you -- but if you don't ask you will get non-syn when the oil change indicator comes on (which is at 15%).

    I have used 100% synthetic oil from the first change forward. I change the oil damn near the instant the 15% indicator comes on -- and, of course, I always use a new filter. I bring my oil into the dealer, since at the beginning I didn't know if they actually even had syn oil.

    Are you saying that synthetic oil has a shorter (in miles or time) life span of "protection" but that semi-syn is better in that regard? I thought that one of the hallmarks of 100% synthetic was that it was able to hold more dirt and crud in suspension than non-synthetic oils (meaning, I assume) that you could use synthetic oil for longer intervals without engine damage or for shorter intervals for even better protection than non-synthetic oils.

    I've not heard the argument to use semi-syn; it seems if half synthetic is good, that full synthetic would be better still. :confuse:
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,549
    Yeah, I had same thoughts. The comment on synthetic simply didn't add up to me either. Knowing that European brands/models and all other brands marketed across the Pond (that includes GM, Ford, Honda et al.) come with synthetic-only maintenance with intervals 12-20 thousand miles, depending on the brand (they did that about a bit less than 10 years ago). You have to use specific brand (or approved brands), or you void your warranty, but the idea is to cut into number of visits in garages. Seems it didn't catch up in the US because the dealers would rather see you four times per year, so they can always find something to do. In exchange, you get cheapest oil they can buy, but since you change it every three months, it doesn't matter that much (in their mind anyway). It would be an outrage if customers suddenly stopped coming just because the oil got better and doesn't need to be changed, wouldn't it? Not in this country, we don't allow things like that. ;)

    Plekto's short synthetic life comment make no sense to me. Even oil companies today sell full syntetic oil with indicated intervals on the box north of 10 thousand miles. They woudn't do that, if the product didn't meet that. They have interest in selling more stuff, not less.

    The advantage of synthetics is supposed oil particle size and chemistry, which in turn is supposed to provide both better lubrication and lifespan.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,677
    edited March 2013
    I always thought synthetic was only useful for engines that 'used' it; akin to premium fuel...only engines that ran hot (turbo's, etc) benefited. The life of the oil wasn't necessarily greater.

    Suppose it doesn't matter...to maintain your warranty you need to use what the manufacturer specifies anyway; hopefully they get it right :)
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,189
    Oil commentary from edmunds- yes edmunds

    http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/top-7-urban-legends-about-motor-oil.html

    My favorite line is "Synthetic oil is better for your car's engine and it improves your fuel economy. Myth"

    For those of you who are leasing- and put synthetic in the car even though its not mandated I would think 2x before spending the extra coin on a car you don't own- for those of you who get the "free" BMW oil changes who cares on the 3 changes you will need.

    I own my car - I do 2 oil changes a year and use a synthetic blend- no real reason why I choose it - it's cheaper then full synthetic and cost 10 bux more a change vs the regular and it makes me feel good for some odd reason-
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,626
    I would have to check the manual, but I assumed my Acura (2013 RDX with the 3.5l) used semi-syn. I know my 2007 Volvo S40 uses that (I asked when I took it in for the first time last year).

    but for the Acura, it will get what they put in it, since the dealer will be doing it.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited March 2013
    Are you saying that synthetic oil has a shorter (in miles or time) life span of "protection" but that semi-syn is better in that regard? I thought that one of the hallmarks of 100% synthetic was that it was able to hold more dirt and crud in suspension than non-synthetic oils (meaning, I assume) that you could use synthetic oil for longer intervals without engine damage or for shorter intervals for even better protection than non-synthetic oils.

    No, it doesn't have a shorter life span. It's more than double, in fact. The issue is what happens when both are put under stress or are reaching the end of their lifespans.

    Synthetic oil is slippery goo that is only protecting the engine's internals due to the anti-wear additives that are part of it. When those run out, the goo essentially has the protection of water, or close to it. If you are near the end of its life and, say, it's a cold winter day, the synthetic has all gone down into the crankcase other than a thin film left on the internal parts. If the levels of anti-wear additives are too low, you're in trouble as there is nothing to fall back on.

    Natural oil has anti-wear additives as well(to help with higher rpms and pressures), but when it reaches the end of its life, the oil itself retains a fair amount of low rpm/starting anti-wear properties as long as it hasn't suffered thermal breakdown.(synthetic oils are better in this regard) In fact, oil will retain most of this natural level of protection even when it has been reduced to sludge.

    The reason you should run semi-synthetic, as GM is now recommending, though not openly (new Dexos standard), is because when the synthetic runs close to the end of its lifespan, there is something to fall back on. Semi-synthetic works for pretty much all engines and is incredibly resistant to abuse as well. That it's cheaper is also a huge plus.

    And, yes, almost all other manufacturers have their oil life sensors tweaked to be very sensitive with a massive safety margin if the car is running on pure synthetic. You'll never have an issue with a Honda because the synthetic isn't even halfway to its real end of life. (use it in a lawnmower or whatever if you drain it yourself - it'll still work for that just fine, even used)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    And... nothing in that article is counter to what I was saying. :P

    #1 is about 3K oil changes. This is of course, about *oil*, which has a certain amount of natural lubrication ability no matter how old it gets. I use conventional oil in my "commuter" car (It's almost 15 years old now) and routinely run 4 or 5 thousand miles in it with no problems. My Dad's CTS is showing that it's time to change it at about 5-7 months, typically, which correlates with what the service center mechanics now recommend.

    Not a huge difference, well, other than price.... I sometimes get the feeling that we're getting scammed into buying new technology.

    #2 - #5 are common sense, IMO.

    #6 is absolutely correct in that you can swap right over to semi-synthetic for the extra level of protection that it affords if you forget to change the oil. Semi-synthetic is awesome stuff, IMO, that gives you the best of both worlds for hardly any more money.

    #7 also was touched on in my post, though indirectly. Conventional oil is not inferior to synthetic oils in normal driving conditions. The video that the article links to on this assumes that synthetic is always superior other than price, though. Most of the press also assumes this. Nearly every claim about synthetic oil being superior is based upon racing or extreme conditions, as well, where it does make a difference.

    If you are racing the car or are using a high revving engine (7-8k+ RPMs), there might be some added protection. But it's going to make no difference in your Jeep or Civic.

    http://autos.aol.com/article/gm-engine-oil/
    "Further, GM says that if a customer has an engine failure that is traced to oil or lubrication issues, and if the customer does not use dexos 1 oil in their gasoline-powered GM vehicle, that act alone could void the warranty."

    Note - Cadillac originally mandated Mobil 1 full synthetic in the CTS. That they would change from full to a blend and make it mandatory is telling.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,549
    If you are racing the car or are using a high revving engine (7-8k+ RPMs),

    So if you have a new crop turbo engine (revs are 20K+), if the turbine bearings are lubricated by same motor oil, you better get a synthetic - which is a usual recommendation by manufacturers. The conventional oil could coke on those quicker than 3K miles.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Obviously. This also affected Porsche, Mazda (RX-8), the Honda S2000, and several other cars with high revving engines. Conventional oils simply couldn't take the punishment. And as engines get to be smaller and higher revving, with more turbos in the mix, you'd need a synthetic blend as a minimum.

    Look, synthetics are superior to conventional oils in every way but one. The base stock of both oils is not the same. While the synthetic has vastly superior properties in most aspects, it's also so highly refined that it provides little protection by itself (almost watery with no viscosity). Conventional oil does to a degree. Then they add the additives to it to make it the oil you and I buy. This isn't an issue at all until you get to a scenario where the oil gets too old.

    In essence, there is no failure mode for synthetics. They work perfectly until they don't and the engine blows up. So "whatever, I'll change it in another month" simply is asking for trouble over time. Conventional oils just sludge up and while that's a huge separate problem, your bottom end bearings usually won't grind themselves into oblivion.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,189
    Wasn't saying it was a counter- just a really short and quick and easy to read- btw I posted this before your post as a general information for those who care.

    Wordy posts are hard to concentrate on- like the beak of the TL- a select few like them.

    I think all cars should have oil and that oil should be maintained correctly.

    Drive like you live.
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