Drive Type: Automatic
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Bagged Patina Shop Truck Slammed Air Ride
Citrus Heights, California, United States
The days of changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles are long gone thanks to most cars having automatic oil monitoring systems, but about 800,000 General Motors vehicles apparently have incorrect monitoring software that is leading to premature engine component wear. According to Autoweek, certain 2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain models equipped with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines could be going too long in between oil changes resulting in a higher-than-normal number of warranty claims for the engine's balance chain. The balance chain links the balance shaft to the crankshaft, and a worn one can produce higher noise levels.
As a fix, GM dealers will be reprogramming the software for the monitors in an effort to reduce the interval between oil changes, which varies based on driving habits and conditions. Through February 2015, the software update will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, but since this is not a recall, after that point, it will be up to the discretion of dealers as to whether or not they will charge for the service. What isn't immediately clear is whether GM plans on giving assistance to out-of-warranty customers who are experiencing engine issues from the worn chain.
When are stripes more than just stripes? Follow up question: Is the product development team at Chevrolet really cocky enough to hide the next C7 Corvette variant in plain sight? This very recently spotted, and ostensibly obscured C7 asks a lot more questions than it answers, but there's at least some evidence to support that it might be the next Corvette Grand Sport.
The first and most obvious tip-off that something is up with this 'Vette revolves around those silver stripes. Obviously the stripes themselves don't necessarily denote a new model. However, when Chevy recently launched its "colorizer" website for the Stingray, there was no provision made for racing stripes - solid colors only.
Grand Sport exhibit number two is actually an incriminating lack of badges. The production Corvettes we've seen to date have all carried Stingray badges on their fenders, just behind the vent. The car seen in these images has no such badges, which is an intriguing omission on an car that looks like a production-spec vehicle otherwise.
Consumer Reports has taken aim at at small-displacement, forced-induction engines, saying the powerplants don't manage to deliver on automaker fuel economy claims. Manufacturers have long held that smaller, turbocharged engines pack all power of their larger displacement cousins with significantly better fuel economy, but the research organization says that despite scoring high EPA economy numbers, the engines are no better than conventional drivetrains in both categories. Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, says the forced induction options "are often slower and less fuel efficient than larger four and six-cylinder engines."
Specifically, CR calls out the new Ford Fusion equipped with the automaker's Ecoboost 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The institute's researchers found the engine, which is a $795 option over the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, fails to match competitors in acceleration and served up 25 miles per gallon in testing, putting the sedan dead last among other midsize options.
The Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Sonata Turbo and Ford Escape 2.0T all got dinged for the same troubles, though Consumer Reports has found the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the BMW 328i does deliver on its promises. You can check out the full press release below. You can also read the full study on the Consumer Reports site, or scroll down for a short video recap.