Ada, Oklahoma, 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.
For the 2015-model-year, Chevrolet introduces Valet Mode for the Corvette, an enhancement to the Performance Data Recorder (PDR) already available and to your peace of mind. The PDR already captures 720p HD video with a windshield-mounted camera, records interior audio with a cabin microphone and gathers telemetry data using GPS, saving the data to an SD card in the glovebox. You can then watch your track-day antics with various information overlays on the center console screen.
Valet Mode will let you hit 'Replay' when your car gets pulled up front smelling vaguely of fricasseed clutch. Turned on by entering a four-digit code, it also locks the interior storage spaces and turns off the infotainment system. It can't be turned off until the code is re-entered. There's a press release below with more information as well as a video that explains how it works, with the obligatory dig at the 'Vette's biggest foe.
The Z06 is just about everything we got in the last ZR1, but better.
After a bright-yellow false start, here is the real thing: the fourth-generation, 2015 Corvette Z06. If Chevrolet makes a ZR1 version of the C7 Corvette, it's going to be absolutely mega, because the Z06 is just about everything we got in the last ZR1, but better.