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Like it says, I'm the new guy with a 2020 3LT Traverse. I'll give you a little background, before I ask a few questions.... My wife spent 20 years and 300,000 miles ( 2000 to 2012 and 2012 to 2020) in Chevy Tahoe's and was ready for something different. All the Tahoe's survived the 300k miles with everything they left the factory with and went that distance with only maintenance items like oil and filters and consumables like tires and brakes. Fingers crossed on the Traverse. I never thought I would own a V6, D.I. engine / FWD vehicle, yet here I am. I own two Duramax's, a 2005 w/ 325k miles and a 2011 with 118k miles.

She really wanted the 2nd row bench, so our local dealer swapped cars with a dealer up in Lompoc. Our car arrived with 280 miles on the clock. First impression was good. It's a real jump in technology from the 2012 Tahoe! It's quite zippy and it sounds a bit F1-ish as the 9 speed bangs through the gears. It also has the tow package.

So I get it home and give it the once over. ( I've been a heavy equipment / crane mechanic for 30 years so I always inspect everything, even brand new cars) First thing, the engine oil dipstick shows dry. Zero.... Nada. Well that sucks. Rather than add some, I drain it out instead. 5 quarts come out plus the little bit in the filter so it was just a little low. What was concerning was the oil itself. I use Mobil 1 in everything I own . In the Tahoe's I always went 8k miles before changing it. Well, at 280 miles the oil in the Traverse looks worse than the Tahoe at 5k miles..... no joke! It was dark and nasty. I removed the oil filter and cut it open. It had some kind of debris in it. It was a factory Delco filter, which is made by Champion Labs... a company with known quality control issues. This is a photo of the actual filter. See that crap? WTF is it? Who knows.....
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So I swap out that filter for a Amsoil oil filter. I think Amsoil itself is a over-hyped product, but their filters are no joke. 20 micron filtration at 98.7% efficiency beats anything on the market. Hopefully the M1 5w/30 + the Amsoil filter let the timing chains live a long and trouble free life. Since swapping out the garbage oil and filter the Wifey has driven 1000+ miles. No oil consumption has been noted and the oil color is still amber / honey clear...thank goodness. The Wifey also thinks the engine has quieted down some with the M-1 oil....

But now I'm all paranoid about the ATF. The 2020 has no dipstick, you use sight plugs to determine the fluid level, so this weekend I am swapping that out too for the Valvoline synthetic Dex VI ATF. Hopefully, there are no surprizes there. For both the engine and transmission drain plugs I am swapping them out for magnetic ones. Every car I own (11 total, I own a construction company + 2 kids cars) has magnetic drain plugs and every one of them is covered in super fine particles that the filter has missed....Some say these particles are too small to hurt anything, but these 3 timing chains have me a bit nervous so I'm thinking every little bit helps.

This D.I. also has me a bit nervous too. Horror stories about gunked up intake valves and ports abound on the internet. Well, both my diesels are D.I. engines too, and run seemingly forever with out worry. Some say Gas D.I. engines are much different than diesels and if you dont put a catch can in the PVC system you're a fool. So, Who's driven 100k miles without a catch can and no issues, or who has put a catch can on a late model Traverse and is shocked by all the crud it's catching? Any one?

I'll let everyone know how the ATF swap goes... but so far the Traverse appears to be a winner.... Thanks for having me.
 

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Great first post. Excellent information also. Thank you!
Welcome to the Traverse community.
 

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The Tahoe is my next vehicule on my list with the new rear suspension it will be a winner. Cannot afford an Escalade but the Tahoe yes. Your Traverse looks very nice in white and it is the best color choice to be seen. Welcome.
 

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Nice purchase... I probably would have documented the oil level with the dealer before changing it, one of those worst case scenario you have documentation kind of things.

I think replacing the ATF is overkill but can certainly respect you wanting to do it, have at it!

I don't think I've heard of a 2nd gen with carbon buildup problems... GM updated the 3.6 in 2013 and the occurrences seem to have decreased dramatically. The 2nd gen got another update on the 3.6, I haven't heard any complaints with it yet. I think you could hold off a couple months and do more research on the newest 3.6 , possibly run a boroscope down the intake every couple months to check on buildup.
 

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Nice write up and welcome.

I have always changed my own oil but my 2019 Traverse had a free first oil change and when second change was due there was a big rebate on M1 so I had them do it. On the second change I could barely see oil on the dip stick (hate these new cylindrical dip sticks) - it was a quart low from the dealer. This vehicle takes 6-quarts they probably only added 5 (wonder if this was your issue)! So beware.
 

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I'm a new owner myself and read your comments with interest. I have a 2012 Camaro with the LFX 3.6L V6. I have debated for 8 years whether or not to put a catch can on it--still haven't--and it now has just under 50K miles. I haven't noticed any change in performance, no loss of apparent power, no stumbling or misfires, no erratic idle, etc. I haven't pulled the intake nor run a borescope to look at the intake valves, but I have no indication that anything is amiss. (Maybe I just have my head in the sand.) I look forward to hearing further regarding your ATF results.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Regarding the ATF.... I have allot of experience with Dex VI, and its not a great fluid. It's biggest claim to fame is its low viscosity to eek out every last drop of fuel mileage. It's what I have to use for now.... to keep the warranty intact. The INSTANT the warranty is gone, I'm switching over to Mobil Delvac 1 ATF, which is a TES-295 fluid. Here is a brief description of it....

In severe truck applications, Dex VI has a 12,000 mile service life where Delvac 1 has a 150,000 service life. Under normal service conditions, Delvac 1 can go 300,000 miles! When GM designed the new 9 speed, it crammed 3 more "gears" into the same space the 6 speed took. This is a highly stressed unit with sealed filtration. If it ever starts making metal, the filter plugs and the trans is toast. Obviously keeping this from happening is the goal, and I believe a TES-295 fluid like Delvac 1 is the right choice. It's compatible with Dex VI applications. I have it in every GM vehicle I own, even the GM licensed transmission in my daughters BMW. In every case the shift quality improved as well. In my 2005 Duramax I just dumped it out to service it after 75,000 miles of use. The fluid looked great, and the pan was spotless! ( A small disclaimer: The Allison 1000 transmission uses a spin on oil filter, much like a engine does, so it's fluid typically looks pretty good.)
So my Traverse it's Dex VI for now...... reluctantly.
 

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While I don't disagree with your comments about Dex6, I think you are the first person I have seen use anything other than Dex6 or one of the "catch all" ATFs like MaxLife. I wish you the best of luck when that time comes, I don't know enough about transmissions and what matters in their fluids to say whether I agree or disagree with what you are doing (not that you care).

I am interested, what BMW uses a GM based transmission? I am usually pretty well versed in the oddball parts sharing that's happened over the years but I don't remember this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Same tranny that comes in Caddy's..... it's in my daughters 328i. With the factory fill ( German equal to Dex VI) the paddle shifters were laggy and the overall feel was lazy. About 500 miles after the warranty was up and the Delvac went it, the paddle shifting tightened up and the over all "around town" drivability improved.
 

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Welcome! Hey be careful using non GM oil filters with your oil changes. I read somewhere there were probs with using non OE filters and Chevy wouldn't honor the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

They cannot prevent you from using a aftermarket filter. If their ever is an issue, the burden is on them to prove the aftermarket filter was the issue. The powertrain warranty is 5 year / 60,000 miles. I'm not running that crappy Delco filter for 60,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This filter is rated at 20 microns..... which is a 50% improvement over the Delco at 30 microns. Its also more efficient at 98.7% at the 20 micron particle size than the 90% at 30 microns for the Delco. Lastly, its physically bigger and has a projected lifespan of up to 25,000 miles. I will never run one that long, but it has the filter media area to do so. It's all about keeping those 3 timing chains ,the tensioners, and the cam phasers happy.
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This filter is rated at 20 microns..... which is a 50% improvement over the Delco at 30 microns. Its also more efficient at 98.7% at the 20 micron particle size than the 90% at 30 microns for the Delco. Lastly, its physically bigger and has a projected lifespan of up to 25,000 miles. I will never run one that long, but it has the filter media area to do so. It's all about keeping those 3 timing chains ,the tensioners, and the cam phasers happy.
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I'm with you brother... Just saw some red flags on the forums regarding this...https://www.traverseforum.com/threads/2018-oil-change.14594/post-136793
 

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I'm with you brother... Just saw some red flags on the forums regarding this...https://www.traverseforum.com/threads/2018-oil-change.14594/post-136793
Jjtraverse - I think you're confused. The post you linked to is about an after-market filter, NOT the AC Delco one that GM wants you to use. The AlisoBob post you quoted in your post was talking about an aftermarket filter by Amsoil (see his pic).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you guys are reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeealy bored tonight...... follow this link to a oil filter shootout I did for Duramax diesels.
It really made me lose faith in most all 'consumer' grade oil filters, except for the Baldwin and the Amsoil. The Fram was utter junk...... shockingly bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some of you might get the Mobil 1 filter at Walmart while your picking up some cheap dog food. Both are pretty poor choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Also... for those of you who take you Traverse to one of those "Quicky" oil change places. If you can hang in long enough to get deep enough into the shootout I cut open the oil filters those kinds of places use. They are about the cheapest filter you can make and are doing your Traverse no favors. Take your own quality filter when you go in for a service, and have them install it for you.
 

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Some of you might get the Mobil 1 filter at Walmart while your picking up some cheap dog food. Both are pretty poor choices.
Well thanks for telling me a day after I bought a M1 oil filter for my Traverse... I've used the M1 filters almost exclusively with M1 oil.

What other life choices do I need to reevaluate?
 

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AC Delco PF63E and Pennzoil Platinum at Walmart for us...a recipe that got us 135K miles out of our 2010 LTZ (no engine issues) before we traded it for the 2019 Premier.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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