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2010+ Buick Lacrosse Engine and Powertrain Problems

e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
edited September 2014 in Buick


  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    My drive is on a slight incline. I usually drive up it, brake, and park.
    Because of your post I gave it a check.
    Going forward, brake applied RPM drops maybe 150 RPM. Foot off brake, engine speeds back up, but is barely enough to hold vehicle.
    I backed into driveway and noticed the same RPM behavior, but with foot off brake in reverse the vehicle rolls forward.
  • bobinorbobinor Posts: 63
    I was in heavy freeway traffic yesterday in my 2011 CXS FWD with my shifter in auto. While moving uphill behind a semi at about 3 mph I had my foot on the accelerator very slowly increasing speed to about 7 mph when the traffic slowed and I lifted my foot. The car lurched suddenly before downshifting to a lower(?) gear. When it happened I looked at the DIC speed display and it read 6 mph. Now maybe the transmission was in 1st gear all along (as I think it should have been at those speeds) but it surely felt like it was looking for a lower gear when my foot came off the pedal. Anyone with a similar experience?

    I also feel some other odd shifting going on. It seems like I am in 3rd gear even before I hit 25 mph with the engine never revving higher than 2,300 rpm before shifting. I drove a 5-speed Honda for 14 years and never took it out of 2nd until 35 mph or 3800 rpm. My 2001 Regal GS shifted more smoothly than this. The "odd" points occur mostly in downshifting at low speeds under 30 mph. They just don't seem smooth.

    I am still under 600 miles so am just beginning the break-in period. Will this performance improve or does it need to be looked at or is this just the way it is?

    I will Google it but does anyone know of a source to get the shifting sequence at rpm's for this 6-speed?
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    If I am understanding you correctly, it is possible that the incline in your driveway is such that the engine isn't producing enough torque at idle to keep the car from rolling downhill opposite the gear it is in.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited October 2010
    That is correct with backing up the incline.
    If someone tries trailering with this vehicle they will likely have very serious issue.
  • bobinorbobinor Posts: 63
    I don't usually reply to my own posts but after Googling around a bit I found this interesting exchange link title in the Enclave section of the Buick threads in this town hall forum.

    I would have thought that Buick would have corrected by now what is reported there in 2008 and 2009 model year vehicles. The descriptions of downshifting,etc. are very similar to what I have been experiencing. Has anyone with a 2010 LaCrosse had this issue corrected by a transmission recalibration?

    I plan to do quite a bit of high altitude driving in my 2011 and would hate to be challenged by a balky transmission as has been reported by Enclave owners.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I did experience what sounds the same on a 09 Malibu a few times. Slowly accelerating and just as I took foot off accelerator it upshifted and lurched a bit. Sort of like slamming into a higher gear before RPM had a chance to drop. It only happened a few times and then seemed to quit maybe because it needed breaking in.
    But also the computer learns your driving technique,
    The biggest tranny complaint on that vehicle seemed to be its downshift pattern from 6th gear. Many claimed it was dropping two gears at the same time and giving too much acceleration along with revs. For me, I believe it was only dropping one gear and releasing the TCC giving the feeling of a downshift of two gears. Also I learned the sweet spot on the accelerator that made the difference of just a downshift and a bit more accelerator to add the TCC release for more acceleration. Because of the complexity of a transmission, it only takes very minor differences during manufacture to make two identical transmissions behave differently.

    I strongly recommend staying back behind other vehicles enough to overcome such a lurch. And then give it some time to see if break-in or driving habits alter the situation.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Have you taken your vehicle in to the dealer? I would definitely recommend reading the owners manual 9-17 Breaking-In the vehicle. Please e-mail me with any questions you have. Thank you.
    GM Customer Service
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    "....If someone tries trailering with this vehicle they will likely have very serious issue. "

    As an owner of a camper and car trailer, I say that's what trucks are for.
  • No, I think it is premature to visit the dealer for this. I need more experience with it as I still have less than 500 miles on it. I have been careful to not violate the 9-17 precautions but am going to find it difficult during my upcoming long road trip. At 68 mph top speed I fear I will be run over by big rigs. I'll just stay in the right lane with flashers on. ;-) But I will continue to monitor the transmission performance in the event it continues to act up and then I can report experiences to the dealer when I return, if necessary.

    My post was to find out if others had similar issues and whether they may have been cured over time. That is until I found the thread about transmission problems in the Enclave.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I agree, but that don't mean someone won't try.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Not too many years back, they said it was best not to drive at a constant speed for sustained periods during breakin. It does not state that, but it says not to drive faster than 68 for more than 10 minutes at a time. That statement could imply the prior.
  • Yeah, the break-in guides on 9-17 of the manual says >68 only for 5 minute spurts for less than 3000 miles, if over 600 miles. Maybe this is the purpose for the timer in the DIC. I'll have to use it on my trip. The constant speed precaution is for the first 500 miles - I'm almost there!
  • I didn't see another thread but since the front wheels are at the end of the drivetrain I'll put it here. This is my first experience with low-profile, wide tires and I wonder if what happened today is due to them. It seems if there is any tilt to the road the car pulls in the direction of the tilt when braking. Now maybe my other cars did this to some slight extent but I really thought today it was exaggerated. I intentionally pulled into a flat parking lot and braked a few times at about the same speed and no pull. Are the wide wheels/tires (I have the GY RS-A 245/40R19's) influenced by the slant of the road more than say the 235/60R16's I had on my Regal?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited November 2010
    Thanks for correcting my time, 5 min instead of 10 minutes.
    This vehicle has undoubtably the longest break in I've ever seen.
    It also leaves open to interpretation just how often you can run faster than 68.
    One minute at 67, then pedal to the metal for five?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    That is a good question. It would seem to make the wide tires less safe on some surfaces if true. Also I would think those same surfaces would impact torque steer. Are you saying it pulls up the tilt or down?
    Has the alignment been checked? Just a curiosity that could affect issue.
    Also minute play in wheel bearing will effect contact of brake pads to rotor and the difference from left to right might induce a pull. How many miles currently?\
    You seem to have a watchful eye for irregularities and hope all works out for you. You may or may not have noticed my post concerning rotation of these RSA tires. The manual suggests 7500 miles. From what I've learned about many of the lower profile tires GM uses from GY and tire shop, it seems 5000 miles would be a better time to do it. They have had a lot of problems with cupping and uneven wear, especially if they are run a little low on air. At 5K there will be a better chance of catching before it gets bad. But then you have to way that against the OE warranty which I think expires at 7500 miles.
  • gberpagberpa Posts: 44
    I had a vibration issue (CXS w/18" tires) at over 55 mph and had my dealer do standard balancing and then road force when the former didn't work. So, I'm checking road feel carefully, maybe more than usual. Vibration issue is solved.

    What I do notice is at highway speeds say on a 3 lane road, if in the left and I loosen grip on the steering wheel, it slightly "drifts" left, if in the center it holds course, in the right lane it slightly"drifts" right. I believe this is due to the natural "crown" effect of the road and is probably normal for wider profile tires (I don't recall this on a previous vehicle with narrower-225/60/R16- tires). I assume (but didn't do it yet due to traffic on the road and safety concerns), that if I applied the brakes, that it would pull in said directions.
  • The "pull" experience I posted about was in the direction of the road slope. I only have 570 miles on it so, no, I haven't had the alignment checked. I just want to continue to monitor all road handling before I take it in. So far, handling under power has been exceptional. I love taking it on winding country roads.

    Thanks for the heads up on rotation. I'll keep that in mind. I looked at the DOT site and didn't find anything to warn about these GY tires. At least nothing that has risen to that level. I've seen the various complaints on Google searches but I take those with a grain of salt. But at ~$400 a pop it's worth to keep an eye out.

    OE warranty? Never got one, did you? Goodyear site says they don't warrant for mileage tires they distribute to auto manufacturers. Tire dealers may provide mileage warranties on tires they sell.
  • Yeah, that was my impression, too. The wider tires seem to follow slopes/crowns more readily than the narrower ones. Might just be something to adjust to. If anyone has data that shows this to NOT be the case, please advise. I might need more than a head adjustment then.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    The slope goes two directions, up and down.
    I don't know much about DOT site and you might check if the GY LS or LS2 are listed. I've had mechanics at dealers tell me they have had to replace a lot of them because of bad wear, cupping, and being unable to get good balance presumably after the wear. I don't know if such issues rise to the level of DOT intervention.
    I drove on wet road for the first time the other day. These RSA are not as sticky as 235/60R16 Khumo Ecsta I had on Aurora. According to weight sheets the LaX is a couple of hundred pounds heavier which is opposite of what I thought when comparing ride.

    As to OE warranty on tire, look in your owners packet. I think tires, rotors, and some other wear parts are covered to 7500 miles by GM. After that they are yours.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    They might generally but not so on Aurora. P235/60R16 is only one size narrower than these GY. I believe it mostly was taken care of by the unique suspension under that vehicle which seemed to automatically correct for any forces applied. Example, say a vehicle or semi passes you. You could feel the force of air on your vehicle and it might shift a little to one side from pressure, but you never had to move steering wheel to correct for it. And that was true for forces from the road as well. I think the secret was those huge rubber doughnuts used at suspension to frame attachments along with some precise geometry as to placement of those doughnuts and likely special design of them so they act like variable ratio spring.
    (Aurora was Riviera under Buick. 2 door only and different drive train.)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    That stability when under pressure by the wind from one side is a factor of the shape of the car as well as the weight distribution of the car, along with couple of other factors. If the shape is such that the pressure from a gust cause by a semi or by going through an open area with a side wind is centered about where the weight distribution of the car is located, the car doesn't change angle by much due to the pressure from the sideways wind.

    A factor with the weight distribtuion is how the front tires compared to the back tires resist sideways movement with their grip.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Sure, slopes go in both directions but cars generally will roll down a hill rather than up.

    No OEM warranties on anything in my packets. Have I been "taken"?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Update on tire warranty. It appears there have been some changes compared to what was on 09 Malibu or my memory blew it.
    In the warranty booklet it shows 12000 miles for tires at 100%. But at 12001 you loose about a 1/3.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Was there not a small warranty booklet in your packet?
    I took a look into mine and rather surprised what was not covered under the powertrain.
  • Yes, the Buick Limited Warranty and Owner info booklet has the GM warranty schedule for tires. I had not seen that before. Thanks for pointing me to it. However, what I had become accustomed to from past new vehicle purchases was a warranty from the tire manufacturer. That's what I was looking for and did not see. Car manufacturers used to not want to get into the tire warranty business and shifted all claims to the tire supplier. Times change. Guess I should buy cars less than 10 years apart.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I'm glad that helped.
    I took a look at the OnStar terms and conditions booklet this morning. It is longer than the user book and just about has me freaked after only reading a little more than half. It is enough to have me considering cancelling even the free portion. Maybe a Philidelphia lawyer can advise but it seems to have more loopholes and whose accountable, yet limits them severely statements than I can imagine necessary for having such a feature.
    Having the system active you agree to much I'm not sure I comprehend, but it sounds like that would give them permission to monitor voice for keywords via super computers that would catch keywords or phrases. Example mention buying or shopping new camera and you are suddenly inundated with junk mail offers/deals for cameras. Even snail mail since they have your address.
    And the way I read it, if someone wants money from them because of this post, they can pay it and charge me for it, possibly under the part mentioning reputation.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I was at the alldata site a few days ago. One of their features is being able to get recall, TSB, etc, info. But to get the full details you have to have a subscription for that vehicle. And unfortunately it looks like they could be two years away from having a subscription available for the 2011. So what I got to see is that there is some sort of TSB concerning tranny and shifting.
    Anyone having tranny issues besides the guy who needed a rebuild in only about 1000 miles?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Just past 1600 miles mine did it for the first time. It is quite loud and sounds like someone hit something metal with a small hammer. It seemed that it came from the front.
    I glanced around the left bank of engine (front) and did not see an outright reason. I did notice that there might be an early stage catalytic converter right at the manifold. This might be making exhaust gases downstream extra hot. Assuming the right bank is the same, perhaps it comes from sudden heating. Although dual exhaust I doubt it is two pipes straight to the rear without some sort of crossover or Y pipe. And then there is that section of pipe just after the early stage converter that is ribbed. Possibly intended to take up expansion.
    Stories of replacing entire exhaust system seem like overkill. Possibly shotgunning the problem until the real nature is learned.

    Does anyone know the real fix?
    Is it possibly related to ambient temperature?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    My curiosity has come up with why is BP not on the Top Tier List?

    Has anyone been using BP?

    There is some interesting info including a statement from BP that there fuel is better than Top Tier but to be on the list they had to submit a package of their additives for review and then be bound to use them for at least one year. Their choice was not to be told what to add to their fuel, they claim.

    Also BP has been recommended in some Ford vehicles and the BP logo is actually on the gas cap.

    I did run across that Ford is apparently in part ownership of some of BP's area of expertise. It may have been in LPG marketing and I'd have to double check that.
    Anolther statement claims GM is behind the Top Tier and that Ford and Chrysler were not involved.
    I would like to hear what GM says concerning BP's claim they are better than top tier.
This discussion has been closed.