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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was talking with my dad about this. Cadillacs get a Mobil 1 factory fill in their 3.6 engines, so why not the Traverse? Is the Traverse piston-ring package different enough that synthetic is not a great idea at first?

Both people I've talked to at the dealership service department suggested I wait until at least 6K before switching. I'm wondering how many timing chain issues the Mobil 1 engines have had or if the timing chain design has changed enough to cause these issues people are seeing.

With 4500 miles on it, our engine is probably as broken-in as it's going to get after our trip last week. Mobil 1 will be coming in another 1500 miles for sure.
 

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I have not heard about this? I used Mobil 1 synthetic at 5,000 Miles, we now have just over 7,000, no issues. Would like to hear if anyone has any input on this, but I imagine I will have no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's the thing--I don't think it's an issue at all. I just wonder why a service department would tell me that I should hold off on using a synthetic motor oil that would no doubt benefit this engine.
 

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Years ago they wanted to wait to use synthetic so the rings could seat properly....some people still believe this is the case, but if they can put synthetic in the FF you will be OK.

As for non-Cadillacs getting dino, my guess would be cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with your assessment of ring-seating years ago before a switch-over. Maybe the same issues still exist today. I don't know if factory fill synthetic is cost prohibitive in this engine since we're talking about a Cadillac (the Performance trim-level, the lowest trim-level CTS to get a 3.6) with an MSRP $400 less than my LTZ before adding options to either vehicle.

Now for more of my take on this.

Is the line drawn at the badge on the car? Is the Traverse not one of GMs upper-echelon names? Because price should "work" to the advantage of the Traverse here.

Remember in 1986 when the Buick Grand National (or 3.8 liter turbo T-Type) was the quickest production American car? GM (Chevrolet more-so) didn't like "America's Sports Car" getting that kind of negative press, so the Buick had to be rated (published) less in horsepower than the Corvette. The Buick actually put our closer to 300 HP those two years versus the Corvette's 240 HP. Are we dealing with more of the same here since the Traverse isn't a Cadillac?

Chevy uses Mobil 1 for the Corvette (and has for years) and the Camaro, so the oil is readily available. And the 3.6 liter V-6 probably needs to have it from the start.

Thanks for reading and adding additional points/counterpoints to this argument.
 

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Toddzilla67 said:
Is the line drawn at the badge on the car? Is the Traverse not one of GMs upper-echelon names? Because price should "work" to the advantage of the Traverse here.

Remember in 1986 when the Buick Grand National (or 3.8 liter turbo T-Type) was the quickest production American car? GM (Chevrolet more-so) didn't like "America's Sports Car" getting that kind of negative press, so the Buick had to be rated (published) less in horsepower than the Corvette. The Buick actually put our closer to 300 HP those two years versus the Corvette's 240 HP. Are we dealing with more of the same here since the Traverse isn't a Cadillac?

Chevy uses Mobil 1 for the Corvette (and has for years) and the Camaro, so the oil is readily available. And the 3.6 liter V-6 probably needs to have it from the start.

Thanks for reading and adding additional points/counterpoints to this argument.
Kind of off topic, but since you brought up the grand national. I had a 2002 camaro SS with the LS1 v8, same engine as the C5 Corvette. GM did not want the baby brother car beating or being as fast as the much more expensive Corvette. They added this ridiculous air box that made air flow go through different channel's, thus restricting air flow, thus hurting overall power on the Camaro. Chevrolet is GM's base model brand, they have been doing things like that forever.

My sister has an LT1 Acadia, we have an LTZ Traverse.... many people think the GMC is more equipped, or cost more, simply because it is a GMC when in reality our LTZ is better equipped and cost more.

Not sure this added any substance to his post topic, but oh well :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Then you understand where I'm coming from. And I'm glad you bring up the problems with the Corvette ego. Don't get me wrong, I love Corvettes and have for over 35 years. I would love to have one. The Buick guys (including myself) got upset when Pontiac "borrowed" the 3.8 turbo for the 1989 Trans Am Pace Car. That was the last year that engine would be used.

I realize Chevy may be GM's base brand, but why is a GMC-model of the same Chevy more expensive? Why is it perceived to be a better vehicle?
 

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Toddzilla67 said:
Why is it perceived to be a better vehicle?
Marketing I guess. Obviously GM wants to fit into everyone's budget when it comes to cars. I guess that is why the make so many different brands/cars... Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to make them all Chevy? But then some snob may not want it so they change the lights and badge it something else. I guess it is a status thing, some brands i.e. Buick, Cadillac, gmc, Saab (when they owned it) are perceived to be better, or more expensive. Same way a Saturn was perceived to be not as nice, I know people that liked the way the outlook looked when it first came out, but would not buy it because it was Saturn.

Bottom line, as it pertains to this thread I am glad I switched to Mobil 1 and plan on continuing to use it in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will also be glad when I make the switch. Thanks for your insight.
 

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Simply because there is no proof that regular oil is bad for your car? Sure there are a lot of salesmen from synthetic oil companies that try darn hard to make you think so, but it's not true. Sure Synthetic is better, but not enough to warrant the cost. Unless you buy an over-price luxury car, like a Caddy, then the cost is nothing, right?
 

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Narg said:
Sure Synthetic is better, but not enough to warrant the cost.
If you keep your eyes open you can secure quality synthetics at bargain basement prices....very much comparable to a regular priced dino oil.
 

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copperbeech said:
If you keep your eyes open you can secure quality synthetics at bargain basement prices....very much comparable to a regular priced dino oil.
The way oil prices are going, I'm sure that's going to be true across the board sometime soon. But for now, I'd be concerned that the "bargin" synthetics are any good at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I never suggested regular dino oil was bad. That was the only choice people had for decades. If people kept routine maintenance a priority regular motor oil was fine--it probably still is in alot of cars. But more and more cars these days (especially these VVT, high-revving engines) are way more complicated than they were even 10 years ago. I've driven a few, but never owned a vehicle with a 7000 RPM redline. In my opinion, this 3.6 liter V-6 should have a synthetic motor oil from the beginning and across all brands.

I do think synthetic offers benefits not available with conventional motor oil--cold start-up protection especially in the winter months, holds up better at higher temperatures, etc. And I will spend maybe another $80 a year for synthetic oil in the engine. Is that worth it to most people? Probably not. Is it worth it to me? Every penny.

Price point of the car is a moot point here and we're talking about a less than $20 difference between regular motor oil and Mobil 1 before the car ever leaves the factory.

Looking closer though, the Caddy (before options and shipping) is about $250 more than our Traverse (before options and shipping) so I'll have to retract that one. I still think price is not a factor in this situation though.

We're not talking about a $65K CTS-V here with a 558 HP LS9. We're talking about a middle-of-the-road, nothing special Cadillac with the same 3.6 liter engine you and I have. And the Caddy is hauling around 1200 pounds less of a car and (certainly) has a better coefficient of drag.

Now I did suggest that the timing chain problems we're seeing may lie within the design of the timing components themselves. The motor oil will probably have little impact in these premature failures. But I also raised the question (one that will be tough to answer) as to how many engines running Mobil 1 have had a timing chain failure. I haven't lurked around any Cadillac forums to see. So my suggestion that the oil played any part in these failures was off-base.
 

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Narg said:
The way oil prices are going, I'm sure that's going to be true across the board sometime soon. But for now, I'd be concerned that the "bargin" synthetics are any good at all?
I'm not sure what you mean. Each week, somewhere, there are high quality synthetics (M1/Pennzoil Platinum/etc) being offered at significant sale price

Or alternatively there are manufacturer rebates or promotions. When you see such a "sale" just stock up and then you are good to go for a year of inexpensive oil changes (of course depending on your OCI).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
At present, the only two synthetic oils I would consider using would be Mobil 1 or Amsoil. I can get really good deals ($22 a five-quart bottle) on Mobil 1 at Walmart from time to time.
 

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Toddzilla67 said:
At present, the only two synthetic oils I would consider using would be Mobil 1 or Amsoil.
Of course both of these are quality oils but you might consider expanding your horizons as there are (many) other brands which are at the least comparable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Absolutely, there are other brands worth considering. Castrol, Lucas, Pennzoil, Royal Purple, and Valvoline make good stuff, too. And perhaps I seem narrow-minded in this respect (and probably a few others). But I've never had a reason to use anything else. Since the dealership is doing oil changes for me, Mobil 1 is already on their shelf.
 

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Toddzilla67 said:
But more and more cars these days (especially these VVT, high-revving engines) are way more complicated than they were even 10 years ago. I've driven a few, but never owned a vehicle with a 7000 RPM redline.
Actually, it's the other way around. They are actually in many ways more simple than 10 years ago. Modern engines are built with better handling of oil, so they they lubricate better and last longer. Hence the 100K mile warranty today, AND the ability to get higher redlines and higher compression ratios. They base the ability of the engine to do this on normal oil, not special oils. Engineering has brought a lot of change to newer engines.

About the only plus you'll get out of synthetic oil is better extreme performance (cold weather etc...) and slightly higher cleaning ability. But not enough plus for most of us to warrant the higher costs yet. As you also stated.

If you want some good reading about engines, read about the Toyota "sludge" problem. There were some very terribly designed engines, I don't think even synthetic would have helped. Thank goodness GM knows how to build engines, and build them well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, we live in Colorado and had a spell right after we bought the Traverse (like we usually do) where the overnight temps dip into the negative teens and highs may see 5 or 10 above. We usually get this for a week or so in January and still see lows of zero (or below) and highs in the 20s and 30s. Then we'll see 30-40 days in a row of 90+ degree heat in the summer, many of those days approaching 100 degrees. Most of the miles put on our Traverse are trips that are less than 5 miles with lots of cold-starts and extended warm-up time in the winter--this pretty much qualifies as extreme duty which at least requires a short oil change interval. We don't do much freeway driving.

Now, we don't live near the Arctic Circle or the Mojave Desert. And the Traverse isn't a vehicle designed to be an extreme performance car (i.e. a Z06/ZR1 Corvette, a Porsche 911 GT2, a Nissan GT-R, an Audi R-8, a Ford GT, etc.). I agree that most engines are designed to use conventional motor oil--I could write a laundry list of engines that use synthetic motor oil from the factory and need to have it because of the performance capabilities of those vehicles.

Although we have four seasons here, we do see periods of more extreme weather conditions. Having the weather and the short driving cycle we do is enough reason for me to run quality synthetic fluids in any vehicle I own.

Anyone have any idea of what type of fluid the Lambda transmission uses? Because if it's Dexron VI (the latest GM standard as far as I know) then it's a synthetic transmission fluid.
 
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