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About GM-midsize-guy

  • Rank
  • Birthday 12/17/1959


  • Biography
    Have done lots of things
  • Location
    West Coast; previously many other places
  • Interests
    Anything related to transportation and travel
  • Occupation
    It's complicated
  1. Can a person deactivate their membership to On-Star and then get it back if they don't touch or remove anything on the car related to On-Star? If they're moving to an area with more thefts, stuff like that?
  2. I got the basic Safe and Sound On-Star package on my 2008 LaCrosse. It started at 18.95 a month, then it went to 19.95 a month, and I just glanced at my statement and it has gone to 24.95 a month. I thought that maybe I hit the wrong button on line and accidentally updated. Nope. They have revised the plans and enhanced the basic one. That's a 25% increase - that's fairly drastic. Do you have On-Star? Any suggestions as to whether to keep it or drop it? I have AAA as it is.
  3. Hi: My 2008 LaCrosse CX came with all the power accessories on it (windows, locks, seats). My early 90s Regal did not (the locks were standard, but mine had manual windows and manual seats). I didn't want to deal with any hassles. My 84 Cutlass Supreme (RWD) had several problems with both the power windows and the power seat as it got older and I was not at all happy with that. Have the power accessories on W-bodies gotten better and more reliable? I would think so. Now even more basic cars like Chevy Cruzes and Ford Focuses come with power windows standard. Any feedback from folks with W-bodies from 1995 to 2005 as to how power accessories which you couldn't work around manually (such as windows) have been holding up? Thanks.
  4. One thing I have noticed since my car was new, over 7 years ago, is that the rear tires bowed out a little bit. You could see this when approaching the car from the rear. I was told it was normal, by both the dealer and by tire stores. I never studied Grand Prixs or Monte Carlos of the same year to see if the tires did that. That seemed to be the case on some LaCrosses. The tires wore well for the first 30,000 miles and I'm sure I knocked out the alignment somewhere along the way. They are wearing faster now. I will need to replace them and get an alignment at the same time. I sure didn't get the 60,000 miles advertised for this OEM tire. My last W-body's original tires went 80,000 miles. Question: Is this bowing out of the rear tires normal for some W-body makes? Is this the sort of situation where shims will need to be added when I get a 4 wheel alignment? I've never seem them insert shims during a wheel alignment on any car I've owned. "Bonus" question: If you were going to go into some high quality Michelin tires, would you also replace the struts or do that a little later? I've heard OEM struts typically last 50,000 to 60,000 miles, on average. Your input is highly appreciated. Thanks!
  5. I think you're right. With the weather warmer and staying at 50F or more, the check engine light is off. However, I expect this situation to rear its ugly ahead another time or two, because it's still winter. I'll go ahead, get some estimates, and get it done. I know it's an easy fix but I don't like fumbling around the engine compartments of newer cars with advanced electronics. I changed the thermostats on 2 of my dad's cars, one with a 250 c.i. (Chevy built) inline 6 and another with a 260 c.i. (Olds built) small block V8. Piece of cake: just plug wires and a few vacuum hoses in those cars that he kept forever, sitting right up front and looking straight at you, almost begging to be changed. Thanks for pointing this out.
  6. I am not a fan of that fuel system service GM dealers try to sell - from $75 to $99, where they put some cleaning compound through the fuel and induction system. Right now, on a 2008 LaCrosse with a 3800 V6, I use branded fuel (Chevron, Shell, Texaco) some 90% of the time, don't let the tank go below 1/4 (because the fuel filter is in the tank),* and put in a bottle of Chevron Techron f.i. cleaner or STP concentrated f.i. cleaner every 5,000. So far, at under 50,000 miles, I'm still getting the EPA 30 mpg on the open road. Therefore, I told them I don't want this service. The last service adviser cleared all the recommended service items off my roster because I told him to do that and he knows I keep the car well maintained. I wasn't even this diligent with my last Buick 3800 and the injectors went for as long as I owned it - about 275,000 miles. Questions: - Am I doing this right, as far as fuel and fuel injector cleaner? - Can I put in the fuel injector cleaner more often - say every 3,000 miles, or is that excessive? - What's up with those fuel system service packages? I'm worried they might send too much cleaner through the system and mess with the injectors. Has anyone had that service done? Thanks.
  7. I'm back with an update/question, and it sounds like the last 2 posters had the same issue, with sensor lights that went away. I got that p0128 code about 2 months ago, when I first posted. It then went away. It's related to the either the coolant temperature sensor or the thermostat is (partially) stuck open. It has come back twice ... and gone away twice. It went away today after being on for about 3 days. It seems like, when it's over 50 degrees F outside, it stays off. I'm going to ignore it. The coolant temp. gauge looks very normal. The coolant was flushed a year ago. Would you ignore your sensor light if it was intermittent and it didn't affect drivability in the least?
  8. I have my tires rotated about every 6,000 miles. Since I began driving, I've always had them rotated front to back on the same side of the vehicle. The dealership is happy to do it this way with the original tires. However, with other care I've had, Costco has varied by its stores. Most of them have done front to back either as their policy or because that's what I asked for. One time, the tire store manager practically got into an argument with me. I took it to another store, told them the story, the rotated them front to back, and even hinted that the guy at the other store can be sort of heavy handed. I will soon be looking at replacing the original tires. The Costco closest to where I live talked about diagonal rotation. They also said every 7,500 whereas another Costco said every 5,000. Either way, it's free. So, is it fine to do a diagonal rotation with the new Michelin Defender tire or should I continue asking for front to back? Is there any data, such as tire info or some link, that would support which way they should be rotated?
  9. I've got a 2008 base Buick LaCrosse with a 3800 Series III V6 and under 50,000 miles. I got an oil change last week. The next day, the check engine light went on. I was wondering what they might have messed with at the dealership that possibly loosened a connection or knocked out a sensor. It was purely a coincidence. I went to an auto parts store. They scanned it with the OBD II device as a courtesy and it kicked out code p0128. This means "Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature." I was thinking that, most likely, I would be replacing the ECT sensor (not an expensive sensor) or the thermostat was stuck open. Tonight, when I drove off, the checking engine light went off. And it has stayed off. When the light went on, we had had a cold snap. Today, it was about 20 degrees F warmer outside. I'm wondering if this had anything to do with it and if I can ignore the issue. What do you think? Have you had check engine lights that came off and then sort of went away? Also, have you heard of this particular issue and could it have been caused a big drop in the temperature outside?
  10. No, not too terribly cold here. The Gilligan's Island comment is funny. I think I will go ahead and replace it soon. Thanks for all the input supporting that decision.
  11. My 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX with a 3800 V6 has its original battery. It is approaching 7 years as OEM. The driver information center mostly gives me a reading of 14.2 to 14.4 volts, which is good. So here's the question. After passing the 7 year mark, and even if it's giving good voltage readings, would you just replace it prior to a long distance interstate trip / possible relocation? One could argue that the long road trip will keep it charged and it shouldn't fail en route. One could also argue that it's better to just do it once you've hit 7+ years to avoid surprises. On my last car, another W body, the original battery went for about 8 years and 2 months ... and then KAPUT. What would you do? Also, would you just go to the dealership when they have a coupon or a special and get the AC-Delco battery with the most cold cranking amps for that model?
  12. Thank you. I had forgotten Centuries and Cieras were A-bodies. I had a Century with a 3300 in Denver and the nearby Rockies for an extended weekend. I loved it. The exhaust note from the 3300 was so quiet and it was strong yet economical. I just thought the styling on the Centuries was too geriatric. Of the A-body stable, the only one I liked was the Pontiac 6000. I have NEVER seen a 2200 under their hood IRL, and I suspect few were ordered. That would have been a fascinating sight. I have seen that listed in old brochures. I wonder how those held up compared to the old school 2.5 L4. In Consumer Reports, it appears that old Centuries are reviewed with V6s for the most part. Interesting to know about the Buick Riviera. So, it sounds like some kind of accommodation to baffle sound or vibration was employed. Do you know which vintage Riviera this was? I find the 91, 92 Rivieras and Toronados to be very attractive vehicles. I have never ridden in one, but I'm sure they did everything to keep them hushed. As for 3800 V6s, my 2008, sitting at a light, seems like the engine is off. There is no vibration or exhaust sound whatsoever. I just wish it was easier on oil. It's not really THAT bad, but it should be tighter than how it was built. It has been babied, too.
  13. Why the oh boy? Ok, well, there's some good info here, especially on the engine balance wiki article. Thanks. Correct. I completely forgot the 90 degree Shortstar 3.5 V6 in the Intrigue. I didn't mind renting them, but I wouldn't have wanted to own one. While some 3800s that made it into Intrigues were plagued with head gasket problems, the 3.5s in Intrigues have been real big hits and misses with their owners. It was definitely a chopped off version of the all-aluminum (Cadillac?) V8s, just as the 4.3 Chevy V6, cast iron block and heads, (at 262 cu. in.) is exactly 75% of the displacement of their Chevy 350 V8 engine, and thus another lop off. Gosh, I loved those when they came out and had only simple TBI. The engine compartment appeared to be so tidy.
  14. One post on a thread of mine mentioned how sturdy 60 degree V6s can be. I've read that, too. That would mean Chevy produced V6s in W-bodies such as the 3100, 3400, 3500, and 3900, among others. That would really leave only the 3800 as the only 90 degree V6 in W-body cars. I'm thinking the Buick 3300 usually made it into older Centuries/Cieras and Skylarks of the early 90s, which were not W-bodies. (BTW, the little 3300 was a sweet little engine, which ran a little quieter than the 3800, got good gas mileage, and also lasted a long time). In all the Chevy V6 powered cars I've rented, I can honestly say that they sound "different" from a 90 degree Buick V6 and they also have a little more horsepower (211 for 3500 and 242 for 3900, versus 200 for 3800). So, what is it that makes the 60 degree Chevy V6s quieter and more dynamically balanced?
  15. I learned the word "ply" with reference to ships plying the open ocean or rough seas. Ships ply the ocean, and cars and trucks ply the interstates! Thanks for all the input. Interesting to see that there is some oil consumption in some Chevy produced V6s.
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