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Buick LaCrosse

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  • I have an '05 LaCrosse. In the last year or so after the car is warmed up, when I turn the steering wheel a squeaking noise is heard; not loud but audible just the same. It's sounds like dry metal moving against rubber. Is there someplace I should apply some lubricant? Thanks!
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    From reading through the Buick LaCrosse and Malibu forums, it sounds like you've been bitten by what seems to be by now "infamous GM intermediate shaft problem". Malibus, 03 and up. This part has been redesigned recently and I'd say go to dealer. Make sure you get the new one. I'm not certain that the new one is perfect though.
  • kplacerkplacer Posts: 94
    I just got back from an long road trip and my '09 LaCrosse CXL was just wonderful on the highway. That is really its best environment and it handles it with great comfort, quiet and stability. Even the gas mileage is pretty good on the highway, unlike around town where it really does guzzle a lot of fuel. Good car on the open road. I'd love to take this car on an extended vacation sometime.
  • kplacerkplacer Posts: 94
    This is not quite as long as your initial follow-up but still very late. However, the only thing that had been bothering me about my '09 was a plasticky rattle that my ear was telling me was coming from the underside of the dash, possibly right-center. I had also found that it only happened when the heater controls were directing air to the dash vents, as the sound disappeared when it was set to floor-only. I feared a problem with the heater box air distribution mechanism under the dash, something that would be very dicey to ask a dealer to fix properly.

    Last week I discovered the issue and that I had been fooled by the location. The center dash air vents each have a roller wheel that controls whether or not the vents are sending full velocity of air to the passengers, are closed entirely, or somewhere in between. The roller wheel controls go to the top to open the vents entirely, but there is a detent and if you push it thru that they lock into the full open position. Mine was at the detent but had not been pushed past it. For some reason that was the cause of the rattle. I could roll the wheel down slightly and the rattle would disappear, or push it past the detent into the full-open locked position and also lose the rattle. It was just that one spot where it rattled. I felt both relieved and a bit silly to think that I had feared this rattle would drive me nuts for years. Hope this helps.
  • Thank you for the info!! My wife is on a road trip with the car. I am going to call her and have her try your suggestions. In the past, I have tried messing with the vent postions but it did not seem to have an effect. However, the "detent" aspect may provide some relief if only in the locked position.
  • edoggy777edoggy777 Posts: 5
    I have a fully loaded CXS and I'm getting an occasional humming sound from the steering system. It almost sounds like its low on fluid (which its not). Usually happens when i'm parking or maneuvering at very slow speeds. Just wondering if anyone had a similar experience. Love the car and everything else is working great.
  • The car is back home now and my wife advises she fixed the rattle/buzz near the vent to the left of the steering column and when she fixed that, the rattle/buzz in the center vents disappeared also (sound transfer?). Her solution was to insert a large silver paper clip length-wise between the silver trim strip and dash---very close to the vent located left of the steering column. No noise for the 1300 miles she traveled after she inserted the paper clip. The clip fits flush with the trim strip, barely noticeable.
  • kplacerkplacer Posts: 94
    I'm glad the noise is gone! I think there may be some issues with that dash design. Last Friday someone got into the passenger seat and rode with me for a short time. After they departed I heard a small but annoying rattle somewhere on that side. I got in, couldn't find it, so resorted to just thumping with my hand all the surfaces he could have disturbed. Whatever it was, it fixed it as the rattle went away.
  • I suspect you are correct: design issues with the dash which create these noises. I have read of similar problems on other websites. Something akin to not having the proper fasteners or spacers or washers whereby after a while, something becomes a little loose and the vibrations begin. Then, by us owners resorting to paper clips and hand-thumping, we are able to re-seat whatever it was which was loose. However, I expect our fixes are not permanent. I will make sure I have several paper clips and a rubber mallet in the trunk.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    "......After they departed I heard a small but annoying rattle somewhere on that side. I got in, couldn't find it,"

    Sometimes, in a situation like that, it could be as simple as the person getting out and the metal latch on the seat belt resting up against some plastic trim. You got in, and just by brushing up against the seat belt moved it, and no more rattle.
  • I'm occasionally getting the same sound from the steering at slow speeds, mostly when maneuvering in a parking lot. The dealership can't duplicate it, so they say they can't fix it. My son is a Lexus technician. He drove it and made it happen 3 times in about 5 minutes, but then neither of us could duplicate it again.
  • Hi Bart,

    I have an answer for you. I was able to duplicate it with my dealer. Apparently GM/Buick is aware of the problem but does not have a solution just yet. Ask your dealer to look up #PI0172 (thats a zero). When I took my LaCrosse in they added more power steering fluid (above the full line). It helped reduce the instances of the noise. The way I was able to duplicate it was making a sharp left turn then with a sudden stop, putting the car in revers and turning the steering wheel to the right. I know its a little confusing but it worked for me. Additionally, there is a Document ID with the notice: 2498553. They should be able to look that up. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
  • This is a known problem on the car with magnetic steering assist. Your dealer should check it out but basically they won't do anything till they have it figured - which they probably do and are trying to find the cheapest solution.
    Check my posts. Several others have the same issue. :mad:
  • had the same issue but the dealership was able to reroute the line to the steering. Worked great no more noise in steering. Problem I now am experiencing with noise is rear squeaking in suspension going over bumps or making turns. Dealership is saying its normal body noise on this model. Which really has me angry considering what this car cost it should not have these phantom noises. Anyone else experiencing same thing? :shades:
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Or something loose in glovebox, side pocket, etc.
  • tom2246tom2246 Posts: 29
    I lost track of this thread and just got that your dealer "fixed" the issue? Who is your dealer?
    There are 2 issues with the steering; the one you described and the one where that fix doesn't work. Both issues are descrbed in GM's technical write-up.

    Please post the dearlers name so I can check myself.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Somewhere I previously posted about the possibility of a small amount of air trapped in the system. If they had to disconnect the hose to re-route and did the proper procedure afterwards, it might have been air all along. And for those not finding this a cure, maybe they are not doing the cycling of the system.

    That is to raise front end and slowly turn steering from limit to limit several times, engine running.
  • Hi Alice, I posted this a few weeks ago for another owner who was having the same steering whine/squawk:

    "I have an answer for you. I was able to duplicate it with my dealer. Apparently GM/Buick is aware of the problem but does not have a solution just yet. Ask your dealer to look up #PI0172 (thats a zero). When I took my LaCrosse in they added more power steering fluid (above the full line). It helped reduce the instances of the noise. The way I was able to duplicate it was making a sharp left turn then with a sudden stop, putting the car in revers and turning the steering wheel to the right. I know its a little confusing but it worked for me. Additionally, there is a Document ID with the notice: 2498553. They should be able to look that up. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!"

    My dealer is Thorson Buick -GMC in Pasadena CA. I also contacted Buick Customer service. They too are aware of the problem and gave me the same line that the "Buick engineers are diligently working on the problem." Good Luck!
  • Until yesterday,I've been a happy LaCrosse owner looking forward to only one more year of car payments and another 5 years of driving without a monthly payment (I usually keep my cars for about 10 years). I've had one annoying, recurring steering wheel problem (the intermediate steering wheel shaft) that sounds similar to the discussion messages about a whining sound with the steering. When I had this issue addressed for the 4th time, the dealer found several other expensive repairs (no longer under warrante). They are: worn front hub bearings ($1100), all tires wearing unevenly that need to be replaced (probably due to the worn hub bearings), and missing wheel center caps (made from plastic vs. metal, and probably came off). The rear brake pads also need to be replaced; however, that is probably normal wear for 41,000 miles. These other issues seem outrageous for a 4 yr. old Buick with 41,000 miles and $5000 remaining in payments. GM only paid for half of the steering wheel shaft replacement when this has been a recurring problem since the car was new. I would like to know if others have had these problems. I will contact GM and want to be armed with further information. Thanks very much. Skooter2
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,804
    The intermediate steering shaft has nothing to do with a whining sound, so forget that.

    The center caps are strictly cosmetic. If they have come off, it's because someone didn't put them back on correctly.

    Uneven tire wear may be caused by front wheel bearings, but it is unlikely, and that would only affect the front tires anyway. Front tire wear would be caused by worn suspension parts, like ball joints, control arm bushings, that sort of thing. The only way that all 4 tires would be worn would be due to poor alignment and lack of tire rotation. If they are the original tires, they would likely have been worn out at 40,000 miles regardless.

    That leaves us with the front wheel bearing issue. They have been known to be a problem on this car and other similar GM chassis, so the question is, what symptoms are you experiencing? If they are worn, do not get the dealer to replace them. Have the work done at an independent garage you trust. The cost will be much less.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • Thank you very much for your thoughts. If the wheel bearings have a known problem on this car, has GM offered to fix it? I haven't noticed symptoms, however, an independent repair place saw that there was wear and some looseness.

    On the tires and center caps, the tires have been aligned and rotated at the dealer. If they were not done properly, then the dealer did that.

    Does that provide further useful information?

    Thanks. Skooter2
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    I would look to an independant shop that you can trust for a second opinion on the repairs. Even if they are required, aftermarket parts may be less expensive than GM parts, making the job less expensive.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Use an abundance of caution when buying aftermarket parts. Bearings were a big problem just a few years ago, which I learned when purchasing idler pulleys. Many stores had only 30 days warranty. Looking at the seal on the bearing told me why. Its design would allow debris in and destroy the bearing in short time. NAPA faired better but the pulley itself was different, stamped steel vs. the OE being cast plastic. A big job, pulling motor mounts and other parts to get at replacing. With the OE design, you could change the serpentine belt by slipping over end of pulley. Not so with the aftermarket. You'd have to go through the pulley replacement procedure to change the belt.
    I replaced wheel bearing on 96 Aurora. I ordered it and saved some bucks. Not sure if these would be same design, but it was a big roller bearing pressed into the hub with speed sensor attached. To press new bearing in would likely have destroyed the sensor. Changing is not a hard job.
  • pat122pat122 Posts: 1
    Previously I got a low oil level warning (approx. 31K mi) and oil life was at 9% so I just decided to get the oil changed and did not worry about it. This week (38K mi) the low oil level came on again when oil life is at 42%!! I checked the level and I am down over a quart. No signs of a leak in my garage so I am thinking the engine is burning oil. Anyone else have this problem?
  • bekins2bekins2 Posts: 29
    I did in my 06 turned out to be the original head gasket made by GM was like a cork substance.It was changed to a metal one and never had the problem again.Cant give you price cause it was done under Carmax warranty.Hope this helps the tech at the Chevy (closer then Buick) said he sees this alll the time,cause of the cheap OE gasket.No damage was done to the heads themselves tho.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I would start with making sure oil was filled at change.
    There are some places oil might leak without it puddling in garage. The main crankshaft seals are suspect as they will sling oil while engine is running but not so much when parked.
    Internally, it might be getting past rings or valve seals. Bad oil might be suspect, that is excessive wear or sticking rings. Pennzoil has been known for one of the best detergent packages for many decades. You might try switching to it for awhile and see if it makes a difference. Beware if you have a cruddy engine you should probably change early until it is cleaned. Watch the change on the dipstick. I think GM has a special additive for freeing stuck rings and there may be a number of additives available that are also supposed to do that. GM seems to recommend against additives, but at your own risk it is cheaper than a reguild so you might want to try, but I'd do the oil first.
    As to cork gaskets, they are pretty much a thing of the past and definitely not ever used as a head gasket. Places that used cork in the past are valve covers, oil pan, and transmission pans.
    Head gaskets are metal and usually multi-layer at critical points such as around each cylinder. Not to say you did not have one that was nearly eaten away possibly by bad coolant.
    How long is the warranty on the engine?
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    According to your post, you now have 7,000 miles since your last oil change and are now adding a quart, correct?

    If so, 2 quarts in that period of time would be considered "normal" oil consumption. If you do any amount of high speed driving (with the engine speed over 3000 rpm) it is perfectly ok for the engine to burn a small amount of oil.

    IIRC, if you can't see any visible leaks, 1 qt per 1,000 miles is considered normal, so 2 in 7,000 is nothing to worry about.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited January 2011
    I would personally like to see the full details of GM claim that using that amount of oil is OK. I suspect that is a very old spec dating back to sometime pre-catalytic converter.
    That amount of oil was deemed OK during breakin way back then, but you could see blue exhaust often when it pushed that much oil through. Catalytic converters probably burn it. I'm suspicious of how long it might last having to do the extra work.
    But far worse is the pollution taking place. All those chemicals and heavy metals in old oil are being sprayed into the air we breathe. I'm not sure who put the stop on asbestos brake pads, but they should be looking at that specification saying it is OK.
    BTW something does not sound correct. 2008, I'd guess it has 3.8 or 3.9L. The mileages refer to 7000 mile difference, but has 42% life left?????
    I feel certain that with 7000 miles the life would be closer to 0% on that engine and 4 speed tranny meaning more revs per mile.

    To pat122, how many times have you had oil changed in this vehicle since new?
    If you are well documented, you may have some warranty. Please post back.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    edited January 2011
    Rider & cooter:
    We used to note on 3.8L GM engines that oil consumption increased with two factors:1)engine age and 2)oil change interval. Consequently, at 3-5000 miles most of our vehicles "asked" for an oil change by being one quart or so low. The mileage interval changed by model but the overall pattern did not. We adopted an oil change schedule around this pattern - 3-5000 miles and found that we had to add very little new oil to old we just added all new oil with the filter once we got the interval established, Seems like very inexpensive preventive maintenance for a $30,000+ car that we keep for 8-13 years if the car cooperates .
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