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Buick Lucerne Vibration Problems



  • Michelin Harmonys stopped my vibration issues. This was on a Lesabre, same platform.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    If they replaced Continentals with Continentals, I'm not surprised. In the past GM learned that Michelins are better and were replacing them on Park AVenus having vibration transmission problems.

    I'd suggest the Harmonys also, which I put on my 98 LeSabre after the X-Ones wore out. I have Symmetrys from the factory on the 03 LeSabre (that's why I wanted the Celebration package). They are not rated as long in tire life (there are two Symmetrys, the GM spec in size 225x60x16 if that's the size you have) but I would go with Harmonys.

    I'm debating replacing my two more worn tires on the symmetry-equipped 03 with two Harmonys for winter. The Symmetrys are good in snow, however.

    You should have them road force balanced by a knowledgeable technician, preferably a GM dealer who has worked with the stiffness transmission of vibration from tires long enough they know how to use the machine for "fine" adjustments of balance.

    Once you get good round-rolling tires on it and you get over looking for the little vibrations that are normal historically, you'll love the tires.

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

  • jbrichjbrich Posts: 23
    It wasn't my post that said they kept replacing Continentals with Continentals. I only had mine replaced once - with Michelins - was happy with them until the front ones started to feather. That shouts alignment issues to me. I had the road force balancing and every other possible thing done and this still happened. Just got it back Friday - they aligned it and rotated the tires. Much smoother but we'll see if it stays that way.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507

    Feathered edges were the first thing my service manager looked at on Symmetrys when initial road force balancing helped greatly but I reported some vibration coming and going based on pull of front wheels up long smoothly-paved hills but not on downhills or level. Turns out the rear wheels were out of toein setting. Fronts were slightly off. Alignment has held through 30K miles.

    Also I get the feelng from my 40K miles on the tires now that they become more forgiving as they roll up to about 15K miles. Perhaps the flexing of the belt and sidewalls softens them.

    Advice: Two cents worth. Keep rotating tires regularly at 8K or earlier. It keeps them evenly wearing.

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

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    For what it is worth: I have rotated the Symmetrys on my 2002 Seville at 6000 to 8000 mile intervals, and they are still running smoothly. I still have the original factory balance, except for the tire that went flat. I assume that they who repaired the tire rebalanced.
  • I just purchased Lucerne 2007. Bad vibration i gas pedal and stearing wheel when on highway 60-75 m/h. Dealer can not fix the problem, trying to get rid of the car and buy something else. Buick gives run around and procrastinating.
    I am going with lawyer to get car replaced or get money back.
    Very frastrated with Lucerne. Stay away from this car!!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    Sounds like you need a different dealer for starts.

    The procedure is clear: check rims for roundness (haven't hit a curb or giant pothole), check tires and rims for road force variation on Hunter 9700 Road Force balancer, check alignment and reset to middle of settings(even though a setting may be within tolerance but not at optimum). This assumes all other potential causes have been checked.

    The 60-75 range sounds exactly like tires/wheels. A vibration analyzer tool can be taken for a ride and used by a knowledgeable technician to determine the source of the vibration by analyzing the rate and harmonics of the vibration.

    I've read many comments about vibrations through several different vehicles on Edmunds. They are not unique. The stiffness of the chassis and the lighness of suspension parts that move with the wheels allow these vibrations which are usually from poor tires to transmit to the chassis.

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

  • Do we realize we are driving a $30,000+ car that is rolling on $50 tires? (That's what we would pay, GM gets them for much less!)
  • My vibration feels like vibration of cellphone in vibration mode. Even when driving 30-40 m/h especially uphill. Dealer replaced motor mounts 2 times, same result. Then he told me that all 2007 Lucernes do the same. After driving for 2 hours and keeping foot on a gas pedal which vibrates like this, foot goes numb. I will try to make GM to buy this car back under lemon law.
    Unfortunatelly Buick has nothing else compatible. I will go to another manufacturer.
  • fcoxfcox Posts: 7
    Would you believe dealer costs on the Conti's are about $22 each... What a rip.. Yet you call into a dealership and advise them of the issue, they play the "idiot" game with "We've never heard of other problems before".. Ironically, if they added up the man hours wasted on RoadForce testing, rotations, etc. the warranty brokers would quickly realize they are getting taken by the dealerships, the dealerships are wasting man hours on servicing more customers, and we would ALL be happy with a new set of Michelins.. Case closed.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    I don't own a Lucerne, but have driven all three models, each having different tires and suspension calibrations. I found the vibrations in the two top models unacceptable, and while the base model was smooth, its steering was too flabby. I can only conclude, and I base this on having driven lots of cars that used to have smooth rides, that the push to stiffer suspensions and the use of low profile tires are the culprits. A Buick should never have a tire lower than 60 profile. Has anyone tried the Goodyear Comfortred? I put them on my Marquis and now the car sounds and rides like I thought it was supposed to. Tires are like shoes: they make all the difference.
  • Thanks, I really appreciate your input. I also think this is tires issue, but I will let GM to resolve this problem. I really fed up with them. At this point I just want my money back and will go buy something else...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    I'll bet the lower model has standard tires 70 series and were inflated at 28-30 pounds. Inflate them to 33 or put on better tires that aren't oriented to soft ride and you'll have a world of difference.

    The other models have 16/17 wheels with stiffer profile tires on them along with tighter suspension. The feel of the road and the tires is all fixable. But go buy whatever you want of course. There are many vehicles in Edmunds that have some tire/vibration issues and some of those can't be fixed based on what I've read in some discussions. That's a shame.

    If I'm buying a specific car I'd want any dealer to fix the wheel balance before I purchased the vehicle.

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

  • gsabensgsabens Posts: 10
    I have an 04 VW New Beetle with Contis under it and they are so smooth running that I must keep an eye on the speedo to watch my speed. I paid $10,000 more for my Lucerne and can feel the vibration level changing with even a small change in speed. VW's Contis $83, Buick's Contis $48 at Tire Rack.

    Pricing aside, I think Bruneau1 has the answer, the Buick is a much heavier car. The fix is obvious GM!!!
  • First let me say that I can change my mind for another 27 days on this Used 2006 Lucerne CX V6 3.8L. Man I love the car and it is right down to what I would have ordered if I were to buy it new. I really really do not want to have to go for something another 2006 Lucerne but can If I need to. This car has 10,500 miles and is as smooth a ride I have ever had. My previous cars were a 97 Century and a 99 Century. Both were smooth too, but no way as smooth as this Lucerne at all speeds. After driving this Lucerne for 4 days or about 200 miles here are some things I don't think are normal and want to pass along here and see if other Lucerne owners have experienced or are experiencing similar "anomalies".

    First Concern: If I accelerate from a complete stop with just a little more gas than a slow acceleration there is a vibration that can be felt through the floor board fro the 1st second or so of the acceleration. Sort of like a cell phone vibration. It is audible too but not real aloud. My wife noticed it right away while sitting on the passenger side. As I accelerate it feels like I am accelerating through the vibration and within a second or so everything is smooth as can be. This has nothing to do with the tires. It is definitely something under the hood. I have felt this type of vibration in my wife's new model Jetta when turning on her air conditioner.

    Second concern: Maybe a little off topic under this discussion but thought I would ask so perhaps I can my answers in one place. This car definitely has "cold engine ping" Once it is warmed up (doesn't take long as I live in Hawaii) the engine is smooth as can be. In fact it will stay that way all day even after being parked for 8 hours at work. Pings only on first start in the morning.

    My last two car a used 97 Buick Century and a used 99 Buick Century Custom both had cold engine ping. I bought the 99 with 28,000 miles and it had cold engine ping the whole time I owned it up to 94,500 miles and I had no problems due to the ping. I used 92 octane too... so, I wondering if the cold engine ping is something that can be lived with on the Lucerne too.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Fred Schulz
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    Do you mean you get a ping once when it just starts? Or do you mean the 3800 pings continually as it's running. If so, that's probably a ping sensor that's not kicking in to retard the spark...

    What happen if you use 89 octane (is that the regular octane for your location?) Give it a couple of tank fulls... I wonder if you're using 92 if that's confusing the sensors.

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

  • I DO get that one snapping ping when it starts. Was wonndering if that was normal too.

    I also get the continous ping ONLY for less than 5 minutes when I first start the car in the morning. ONLY in the morning too. If the car sets 8 continous hours at work when I start it at the end of the workday there is NO continous pinging for a few minutes.

    If the car sets over night... in the garage or out of the garage when I start it in the morning there is a pinging for abvout three to five minutes. Once the car is "warmed up" there is absolutley no continous ping for the rest of the day and into the night. The car rides like it is on air for all speeds except for that little cell phone vibration feeling I feel when initially accelerating. It is felt on the floorboard and also on the steering wheel. In no way does it have anything to do with the tires as it lasts only a second and it has more to do with RPM's than speed.

    As fop the Pinging for a few minutes after starting, my 97 and 99 Century behaved this way too.

    This might sound silly but I have only had the car since Thursday Evening and tomorrow will be the first time I fill it up. It came with a full tank of gas. The posts are just concerns I have noticed over the first few days of owning it and I wanted to find out about these "anomalies" as soon as possible.

    Thanks for the response! and please add more, especially about the pinging after starting in the morning for 3 to 5 minutes and that One snapping ping that occurs when the car is started.

    Aloha and mahalo!

    Fred Schulz
  • wr_guywr_guy Posts: 13
    I also noticed a little vibration in the gas pedal of the 6cly i tested just as you describe.

    I get a little something like that in the CXS 8 I bought from time to time too. You need to remember as Buick reduced outside noise everything that goes on inside seems much louder. I've had my car fixed for a rattling headliner and a sqeaking in the passasnger seat. I still get a little interior noise from time to time but the car is really quiet and smooth compared to everthing else I've driven even a MB 420 SEL.

    As for the pinging it is most likely a fuel mixture issue. Engines run leaner when they are cold and a car tuned on the edge for economy emissions and performance might very well ping when cold. As long as it's not constant then I would not worry about it. Keep in mind the knock sensor "should" retard any pinging as soon as it happens.
  • I just recently purchased a cxl model on dec 26. The dealer has had the car longer than i. It wants to run off the road to the right side. the dealer claims that a defect on the motor mounts was the problem. still not fixed after one month, totally unhappy . car also vibrates at higher speeds. Has anyone had these problems?
  • I live in Michigan and I bought an 06 Lucerne CX a few months ago. I have been experienceing a knocking/pinging sound under acceleration which seems to go away after the car warms up(5-10 min). I took it to the dealer and they replaced an engine mount. The sound seems to not be as loud, but it is still annoying. I have no other complaints about the car, but I would love to eliminate the knocking sound.
  • I have been trying to resolve the vibration and high speed issues since August and i'm still very unhappy. I went to the executives to get GM to put on new tires. The tires help the low speed issue but not the high speed. GM Engineering will tell you that the high speed shimmy is a normal characteristic of the vehicle.
    I tried to fine another car without this condition to ask GM to trade me but the ones on the dealer lot were worse than mine. my next step is to contact Rick Wagner GM CEO. I would check out lemon law in your state in PA it takes 7 months to get a court date.
  • OK, here is what I found on my 06 CX. I did a search on Service Bulletins for the Lucerne and ended up here.

    You will have to change the year to 2006 for the 2006 Service Bulletins as it defaults to 2007.

    In any case I found these two bulletins on the Lucerne which match my problems exactly. I took it to the dealer and they have had it two weeks now. Hoping ot get it back soon.

    Here are the two bulletins I found amongst many others.

    The pinging and knocking had three listings and the vibration had one listing.

    Date added to datbase: 20060315

    Date added to datbase: 20060314

    Date added to datbase: 20051024


    MFG Bulletin Date: 19010101
    Date added to datbase: 20060124

    Hope this helps

    Fred Schulz
  • I owne the CXS model; the gas pedal transmits vibration over rough surfaces at all speeds. I suspect the tires, but has anyone gone to the trouble of replacing Bridgestone Turanza tires that come stock? Did it eliminate the vibration. My son told me that Buick is putting Continentals on the CXS model? Does anyone know if this is due to vibration complaints? Thanks,

  • Just to clarify my note above--my son told me that the Buick Lucerne CXS now comes with Continental tires, not the Bridgestone Turanza. Is Buick replacing the Bridgestone tires with Continentals because of vibration? Does the car perform better with different tires? I don't want to push GM on this, unless it will fix the problem. I'm so tired of going to the dealer. The car has been vibrating since I bought it and the dealer has no answere or says it's supposed to do it. And it has been in the shop 5 times for other mechanical problems. They are wearing me out!
  • I feel that the entire V6 drivetrain is very well isolated from the vehicle structure except during initial gas pedal "tip-in" from idle. It is heard more than felt, and only for that first moment. Another strange characteristic that this engine (3.8L) has is the loud "banging" noise it makes as the engine catches at start-up. I hear the same noise in my neighbor's '03 LeSabre.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    >noise it makes as the engine catches at start-up.

    Is it like an initial ping. Try a different brand of fuel. OR try the premium grade.

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

  • eecneeecne Posts: 13
    The only noise that I hear from my car is after I start it. I hear a motor running for a couple of seconds in the back. The dealer said that its the air ride system. However, the manual said that it the ABS system checking itself. Does anyone have a definite answer?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    What kind of noise? When?

    If it's a low rumble sound after about 30 seconds of switch on (with or witout motor running) it's the air pump checking the automatic leveling system and pumping air into the rear shock absorbers.

    if it's as you start moving at about 10 mph or more for the first time after starting the car, it's the ABS doing a self test. You might feel it in the brake pedal if it's depressed slightly.

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

  • eecneeecne Posts: 13
    Its a low rumble after 30 seconds of turning on the car. So it must be the automatic leveling system, thanks!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    Try turning the key to "on" and standing by the rear of the car for 40 seconds. You'll hear it from under the car, probably on the back right side. Do not start the engine.

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

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