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  1. #166
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V (ordered 9.21)

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    Really nice looking car. that was my second choice but not yet available when I ordered mine. Didn't want to wait!

  2. #167
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuna View Post
    That is a beautiful car!

    Thank you Capt. Tuna

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder View Post
    Really nice looking car. that was my second choice but not yet available when I ordered mine. Didn't want to wait!
    Thank you "Speeder"

  3. #168
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    After five days and 250 miles I have found a few things to whine about with my new Blue BMW Buster.

    First, I had breakfast at Hardee's/Karl's Jr the other day and parked next to a Lexus. I was comparing the paint finish quality of the two cars and noticed some areas on the little -V's exterior where the paint had modest orange peel, where as the Lexus' exterior looked reall nice. Then, three days later, I stopped at my favorite local burger emporium and saw another Lexus parked there, this time it was one of those new "F" cars which are supposed to compete with the V-series. Its exterior has about the same level of orange peel as my new V. Finally, several days after that, I parked next to a new Mercedes and even it had a tiny bit of peel. Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes...seems everyone has a few problems with orange peel.

    Recently, I had a conversation with a GM Field Service Engineer and I mentioned at I thought the paint job on my new V was a little orange-peeled in spots. He pointed out that GM has Assembly Facilities in various states in the U.S. and each state has it's own set of environmental standards for painting vehicles. In fact, there are states where GM does not assemble cars and trucks because of stringent air quality standards which preclude painting vehicles in a manufacturing environment. There are also standards at the Federal level, but it's the state standards which sometimes influence exterior finish quality and, for that reason, some GM cars have better paint quality than others.

    Nevertheless, I think the paint shop at the GM Lansing Grand River Assembly, where ATSes are made, has room for improvement. If they can't get to no orange peel, at least have less than I can see on my '16 ATS-V 2-door...especially considering Vector Blue costs 495 bucks extra.

    Secondly, I'm bummed to have to say that my new, ATS-V Coupe makes a similar buzzing/rumble noise and vibration as does my Wife's 4-door, but rather than being a subdued noise/vibration, it's more noticable and is downright annoying in a premium compact car such as the Cadillac ATS-V.

    The conditions under which this noise occurs in my new Coupe are different than what happens with the Wife's Sedan. First, it is noticeable at 60-mph as well as in the 78-82-mph range I hear/feel it in the Sedan. Of the two peaks, the 60-mph peak is louder. Second, I hear/feel it during aceleration and deceleration, but not in between the two which engineers call "coast". Finally, where the Sedan's noise/vibe is the same regardless of accel, decel or coasting and is the same regardless of what gear the transmission is in, with the Coupe, if I run the car in fifth gear the noise/vibration is most noticeable. In fourth gear, you can't. feel it. In sixth gear you can feel it but not as much as you can in fifth.

    Last Monday, Chris Williams, the Fixed-Ops Manager at Bunnin Cadillac, called me to say he'd decided to request GM send out a Field Service Engineer to test drive "Pearl" our Sedan and experience the vibration problem. That's supposed to happen Friday 22 July. At the same time, I'll get the Engineer to ride in our Coupe.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 02-04-2018 at 01:07 PM. Reason: edited existing content, added new content
    Hib Halverson
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    2Vs+3Zs

  4. #169
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    Last Friday (22 July), we had both ATS-Vs at Bunnin Cadillac. The GM Field Service Engineer was there first thing in the morning. After an interview with me about the vibrations made by both cars, we began test drives.

    The first road test was in Pearl, my Wife, Sandy's, 4-door automatic. The FSE instrumented the car with a PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit which is a combination of the PicoScope software running on a laptop and PicoDiagnostics' 3-Axis Accelerometer and the "NVH Interface Unit" which processes the accelerometer data then sends it to the laptop. The PicoDiagnostics NVH kit works in tandem with a Bosch Diagnostics GM MDI scan tool so the vibration data can be displayed in synchronization with engine controls data.


    It took 15-minutes or so for the GM guy and Tony Espinoza, Bunnin's top service tech to instrument the car. The PicoDiagnostics accelerometer is attached to one of the front seat bolts and the NVH Interface is set on the floor ahead of the passenger seat. I was the test driver and the GM engineer cautioned me to obey all traffic laws, but, in order to do this road test, we would have to exceed the speed limit, so I accepted that risk in the interest of learning more about the problem. We all piled into Pearl. The GM engineer rode shotgun with the laptop and we all went for a 20-mile run south on US101 then back to Bunnin.


    The vibration is subdued but I can hear it when the vehicle speed is about 80-mph. Its frequency is about 50-hz but it's amplitude is low, sometimes so low it displayed on the engineer's laptop in micrograms (millionths of a gram) of acceleration, which isn't much. The noise/vibration peaks between 78 and 82-mph and is present regardless of access or decel or regardless of being in sixth, seventh or eighth gear.


    During the test drive the engineer and I engaged in a long discussion about vibration, its causes and humans' sensitivity to them. He explained to me that, while this vibration can be felt by someone such as myself who has unusually good vibration sensitivity, it's not typical of a quality problem with a component or system. It's one of those cases where in a "perfect world" one would not feel any vibration other than what came though the tires from the road, however, the world is not perfect. Like our imperfect world, ATS-Vs are not perfect, either, so this one makes a subdued vibration.


    I took the car on a long drive four days later and felt that the vibration at 78-82-mph has become even more subdued since the first time I noticed it on a road trip over to Las Vegas shortly after we took delivery of the car 11 months ago. It could be whatever is making the vibration "break-in" related and may, eventually, be undetectable. Then, on the other hand, maybe my perception has changed do to my psychological need to not feel it.


    In any event, at this point, with the noise and vibes problem, as it relates to Pearl, our ATS-V four-door, it's: "case closed".


    Now, with our ATS-V two-door, the Blue BMW Buster, there is a different story. The vibration from that car is about the same frequency, 50-hz or so, but occurs in two different speed ranges, 58-62-mph and again at 78-82 mph. Additionally, it most noticeable at the lower speed range and has the highest amplitude in fifth, rather than sixth gear. Finally, it's present during acceleration and deceleration but not during coast. If I had to give an example of something which sounds like it, I'd say this vibration sounds like a distant, multi-engine turboprop airplane such as a C-130.


    The GM Field Service Engineer and Bunnin's Tony Espinoza instrumented the car the same way as before, then he, Tony and I we went for a test on the same stretches of US 101, however, this time, the PicoDiagnostics software clearly showed the vibration was much more pronounced than was the one from the 4-door. After driving a distance shorter than we went on the first test, the FSE said he had enough data and we could return to Bunnin Cadillac.


    At the conclusion of the test drive in the Blue BMW Buster, the GM engineer said that he was going to make some calls to GM in Michigan and that whatever decision is made about eliminating the vibration would be communicated to Bunnin's Director of Fixed-Operations, Chris Williams.


    So...stay tuned for the bottom line on this.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 02-04-2018 at 01:07 PM. Reason: updated content

  5. #170
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe

    Default The Road To My ATS-V

    My story in owning my ATS starts from the day GM unveiled the coupe model, and then I wondered "Oh what if they make a V-series for it?" Thankfully they did, and my dream car became real when I saw it from the first moment.

    But as it would be the case, I'd have to be patient. I was in a lease on a 2014 Impala LTZ (probably the best Chevy has done for a luxury sedan in two decades).

    Fast forward to three days ago, my Impala lease is 8 months away from being over and I am about break even on it. I also saw some additional incentives offered this month from GM to try and close out the 2016 ATS-V models, so combined with all that knowledge and a GMS discount (my father is an employee), I started getting specifics with the dealer that had the car I wanted, well...close enough.

    A 5 hour stay at the dealer (better than the Impala, we battled for an additional two hours on my trade in) and they put the keys in my hands. There were some very funny exchanges, my favorite being that I said something to the effect of being a very young Cadillac owner (I am 35) and the sales manager said "the ATS-V is designed with people under 40 in mind." I said, "Really? Because if I thought of the first 200 friends I have only two of them besides me who have succeeded enough in life to even consider leasing this car, much less buying it." His response was, "Oh you are easily the youngest person we've sold an ATS-V to." I finished with "Well, Cadillac might have intended the car for people under 40, but as you just stated, that's not who you are selling them to."

    Not a tense moment or anything, but a highlight in a number of moments where the salesperson drub runs into reality. We got all the papers signed and out the door I went.

    After 2.5 days I am still giddy but the response of other people is also fun but concerning: I am about up to a dozen utterances of two statements: "That's a Cadillac?" or "Why don't they advertise this car?"

    Which at least tells me here in Saint Louis the car is poorly marketed. Granted, a vast majority of this metro area could not afford the car, not reasonably, but the simple fact people cannot recognize it is a blessing if you're an owner (makes me feel like I've truly captured something rare) but speaks badly of the car in terms of sales. If no one knows what it is, you cannot hope to sell even what you project to sell, and eventually will decide it's not worth the effort (Every Pontiac G8 owner I've ever met loves their car, hates GM). I don't think it will wholesale go away, but somehow I just have a sneaking feeling GM will do something to effectively make what the ATS-V is right now no more. The CTS-V lives in its sedan and it's great, but the coupe is gone. With the advent of the XT5/CT6 models, it's logical to think that minimally the car will be realigned to the new name standard (AT6? AT5?)

    But, I am speculating of course and hope I end up being wrong. For now, I am happy grinning ATS-V owning bastard.

    Shared album - Singularity 80 - Google Photos

  6. #171
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    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    A couple of weeks ago, the Blue BMW Buster went past the 1000 mile mark.

    I prefer to run new engines about 1000 miles, then do a first oil and filter change. My reasoning? First, by 1000 miles, any manufacturing debris will have been trapped by the oil filter so it's a good time to get the filter off, cut it open and examine its media looking for residue. It's, also, a good time to get a sample of drain oil for analysis. As a way of detecting potential or actual problems, I like to do spectrographic oil analysis once new engines enter the latter stages of break-in.

    Factory fill in the LF4 twin-turbo V6 is Dexos 1, a "semisynthetic" oil made with a mix of Group-II and Group-III base stocks. While there is no confusion about Group-II base stocks being refined crude oil, there is some differences of opinion on Group-III bases being "synthetic". For the most part, marketing "wizards" at oil companies insist that Group-III base stocks, which are highly-refined petroleum products produced by the hydrocracking process, are "synthetic" but, in a practical sense, they are really not. Crude-oil-based products are crude-oil-based, no matter how much they are refined or how they are marketed.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-11-jpg

    I prefer fully-synthetic engine oils, made from either Group-IV or Group-V base stocks because they are more stable under high-temperature (HTHS) conditions. My "thousand-mile oil change" is a good time to replace a factory fill semi-synthetic with Gibbs Driven LS-30, a Group-IV, mPAO-based, full-synthetic, 5W30 engine oil which I prefer run in the LF4 engines in our two ATS-Vs. Known as "SpectraSyn Elite" by its maker, ExxonMobil, "metallocene polyalphaolefin" or "mPAO" is described as: a high-performance polyalphaolefin (PAO) designed to provide better blending efficiency and performance capabilities than conventional synthetic PAO. These capabilities include: improved viscosity index, for high performance at a wide temperature range; enhanced shear stability, for long drain intervals and better low-temperature properties, for cold-start capability and fluidity. Ironically, ExxonMobil does not use its mPAO base stock in the Mobil 1 products it markets in North America. The mass-marketed Mobil 1 uses a Group III base stock.

    Compared to Dexos 1's petroleum base, Driven LS-30's mPAO base stock performs better under HTHS conditions which may exist in high-performance, turbocharged engines when they are driven aggressively in hot weather. Additionally, because of LS-30s more robust base stock and premium additive package, drain interval can be extended as long as the filter change interval remains unchanged or is shortened.

    Changing the oil in an ATS-V's LF4 is an easy DIY task. Place your drain pan under the oil pan, remove the drain plug, drain the oil then replace the drain plug. Changing the filter is a little more difficult because of the front cradle shear plate which is between the front lower control arm pick-up pints and right below the filter. To keep from covering the top of that plate with filter drain oil, take a piece of 6x8 or 8x10 cardboard, bend it into a V, unfold it, then place it below the filter but above the plate and incline it slightly. Finally, remove the filter. Any oil from the filter will drain onto your cardboard then into the drain pan.

    The other fluid I changed on the Triple-B was the rear axle lubricant. A little under a year ago, working on our other ATS-V, the Chrystal White Tricoat four-door we call "Pearl", I drained the rear axle of its factory-fill "Dexron-LS", which is another of those GM "semi-synthetic" products. I was surprised by the amount of fine metal debris in the drain oil. I realize that hypoid rear axle gears produce quite a bit of wear metal during break-in, but I had no idea it was that much. What bothers me is not the high wear rate during break-in, but that rear axles don't have filters and it takes a while for a magnetic drain plug to pick-up all that stuff. I decided to do the same, 1000-mile rear axle lube drain for the BMW Buster.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-09-jpg


    I think a full-snythetic gear lube is a better choice in a rear end which, from time to time, gets driven hard in hot weather. The GL5 rear axle lubricant I use is Gibbs Driven 75W110, a racing-derived axle lubricant for rear ends with standard or "open", locking or locked differentials. ATS-Vs have open differentials inside their rear axle assemblies. Rather than a traditional limited-slip differential, ATS-Vs, along with CTS-Vs, some C7 Corvettes and sixth-generation Camaros with the 1LE option have an external, electronically-controlled, hydraulically-actuated clutch assembly which controls the speed differential between the two rear axle shafts. Known as an "electronic limited slip differential" or "eLSD" it's this external clutch which determines the level of "slip" between the two rear drive wheels. The eLSD can apply any level of slip between "all slip" (open diff.) to "no slip" (locked diff.) and any level of limited slip in between those extremes. Because the ATS-V's eLSD is external and has its own lubrication system, there is no need to use an axle lubricant designed for "internal" limited slip s, hence my choice of Driven 75W110. How often do I change rear axle lube? About every 3-years or 36,000 miles

    After the car went past 1000 miles and I had better engine oil in its LF4, I started to beat on the engine a bit. I have to say that, to date, my experience with high-performance turbocharged engines and manual transmissions has been limited to some short road test experiences. The other ATS-V we own is an 8-spd automatic and, generally, automatics work better with turbos than do manuals, however, with the LF4, there seems little difference in perceptible "turbo-lag" between an 8-spd ATS-V and a 6-spd car. Kudos to GM's efforts to reduce the intake volume and shorten the distance between the turbo compressor outlets, the charge air cooler and heads along with its use of titanium-aluminide exhaust turbines which, because of their lower mass, allow the turbos accelerate or “spool-up” more quickly. Those two design features definitely make a difference. So, far my favorite gear is third. I like how the combination of the LF4's 464-hp, third gear, the 3.73 axle ratio have the car pulling hard into three-digit speeds.

    And now...my first "kill' story
    The other day, I was a couple car lengths behind a Mazda 3 coming up to a green light at the top of an overpass over US101. I could tell the Mazda was modified by its really wide tires and two huge exhaust pipes making loud ricer noises. This onramp is a sweeping, 270 right hander, with the first part downhill and the last part having a decreasing radius. The Mazda got a head start and, with his exhaust blowing black smoke, the chase was on. That Mazda's big tires had some grip, but as we neared the second apex of the onramp, I was moving left to pass on the outside. I was so close, if this was NASCAR, I could have turned him. As the ramp straightened, he floored it, but the Mazda's engine was so rich at wide-open-throttle, it was like he checked-up. The guy needed a "tune" for sure. I went left to pass, but then–silly me–I hit the rev limiter in second gear. I could't believe how quickly the car red-lined in second. Guess I need a little more seat time in an ATS-V manual. By the time I shifted, the Mazda was back out in front, but, with my Caddy pulling hard in third, it didn't take long before I blew by him. I looked over as I went by. The Mazda guy didn't look very happy.

    That was too easy. I need some more challenging match ups.

    Right now, this angle is my favorite view of the Blue BMW Buster

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-10-jpg

    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 08-28-2016 at 04:18 PM.
    Hib Halverson
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  7. #172
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    Finally! I had follow-up contact from my dealer, Bunnin Chevrolet/Cadillac, in regards to the noise and vibration made by the "Blue BMW Buster". The car exhibits this problem at 75-mph in fifth gear and it is loud enough that, on a smooth road, it can be heard when the windows are down and the radio is on. Its frequency is about 50-Hz and it sounds like a distant C-130 at cruise altitude.

    The GM Field Service Engineer who road tested my car three weeks ago called Chris Williams, Fixed Operations Manager at Bunnin, to say that my noise and vibration problem has been kicked back to him.

    The FSE told Williams that the parties at Cadillac with which the he spoke claims there are "no reports" of such a problem. The FSE, also, said he contacted Tremec, which makes the T6060 six-speed manual trans, and was told it has no reports of a problem.

    My bottom line in this remains the same...
    Just because General Motors or Tremec have no reports of a problem does not mean there is no problem.

    Further, the FSE suggested that we locate a second ATS-V manual to use in a comparison test using the "PicoScope" software we used to take data during the FSE's road test of my car three weeks ago. There is more discussion of "PicoScope" in earlier post I made to this Blog.

    The folks at Bunnin Cadillac, who, to date, have done a great job working with me on this problem, have no leads on another car. To be honest, I don't think Bunnin Cadillac should have to acquire a car to accomplish this test. ATS-V manuals are comparatively rare, so finding one is going to be difficult.

    If we do locate a second ATS-V manual to test and we find both ATS-Vs make the noise, then my opinion would be that GM has a assembly plant quality problem because it's hard for me to believe that Cadillac Chief Engineer Dave Leone's ATS-V Development Team (V-Series Chief Engineer, Tony Roma and ATS-V Program Manager, John Barrick) would allow the car to go to production with such a noise and vibes problem. I should attempt to contact some of those gentlemen though Cadillac's Communications Team to ask them their views on the noise and vibes work they did during the ATS-V project, but...I digress.

    If the comparison car we find makes no noise, then I still have a problem with an unacceptable level of noise and vibration which, to date, GM seems very slow to address.

    Check back later because, this is not over...yet.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 02-04-2018 at 01:14 PM. Reason: removed double spaced paragraphs, added content, edited content
    Hib Halverson
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  8. #173
    Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    Been spending some time over the last couple of days reading service information about certain maintenance processes.

    I usually put
    Odyssey Batteries in all my cars because they have noticeably higher pulse current flow ratings and have outstanding durability compared to most original equipment batteries. In the past, it's been a case of disconnect the existing battery, remove the hold down, lift the stock battery out, put an Odyssey in it's place, reinstall the hold down, then reconnect the cables.

    Well...not so with an ATS-V Coupe. The battery is in the trunk, inside a cavity behind the trunk side trim and can be viewed by removing a cover plate, however, you cannot remove and install the battery though that opening. You have to remove the driver-side trunk side trim, but to do that, you have to remove the rear end trim finish panel along the bottom of the trunk lid opening, then you have to fuss with the rear seat back Once you do that, you can access all the fasteners which hold the driver side trim and, with that out of the way....(sigh)...you can change the battery. GM engineers must believe batteries last forever.

    Also, I usually install colder spark plugs in high-performance engines. I do this because the heat range of most OE spark plugs is not usually selected for spark plug performance at high load. They are selected such that there will be minimal chance for fouling in the worst case scenario which is frequent starts without warm-up. That type of duty is typical of frequent "short trips" or of cars which sit on dealer lots for a while and only get run long enough to move from one spot to another on the lot or of Cars which are never driven aggressively. Because starts without warm-ups never occur in my driving, nor is lack of aggressive driving a problem, I can get away with a slightly colder spark plug which may perform better during periods of wide open throttle. My favorite spark plug is the
    Denso Iridium Power, so I ordered a set of Denso ITV-22s.

    But then...I read the procedure to change the plugs. The LF4 uses coil on plug ignition, which is no big deal. You remove the coil retaining bolt, pull off the coil then change the plug. That's the easy part. What's likely to be a royal PIA is that you have to remove most of the plumbing between the turbo compressor outlets and the intake manifold along with a fair amount of the PCV and evap hoses and lines in order to get access to the coils. Looks like changing plugs on the LF4 will take several hours.

    I guess, sometime soon, I'll have to set aside a weekend to put an Odyssey battery and a set of Denso plugs in the car.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 02-04-2018 at 01:14 PM.

  9. #174
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    A couple of days ago, I took the "Blue BMW Buster" on a trip into the greater L.A. area. I visited Transhine Auto Detailing so they could apply Xpel Ultimate paint protection film (PPF) to the "Triple-B's" forward facing surfaces as well as those exposed to road debris kicked-up by the tires.

    This post to the Little V-Blog is mainly to emphasize a key point we made in the Xpel Ultimate product evaluation elsewhere on the V-Net: that an Xpel Ultimate installation on an ATS-V, or any V-series Cadillac for that matter, is usually not a DIY task. Unless you have the proper training and some experience with PPF, I suggest you leave installing Xpel "clear bras" to professionals.

    I arrived at Transhine in Wittier California, about 16 miles southeast of downtown L.A., at 7:00 AM. The guys at Transhine started by washing the car. Then, they spiffed up the interior and finally, they waxed our ATS-V Two-Door, using C-Magic "World Class Wax" which we provided. About ten years ago, my work for one of the Torque Network's other sites, the "Corvette Action Center", introduced me to C-Magic car care products. Since then, I've used C-Magic exclusively on all my cars, Corvettes, Camaro, Blazer, HHR, Cadillac ATS-Vs and whatever. C-Magic was originally developed by a an entrepreneurial Corvette owner who wanted something special with which to wax his Vettes. Since that beginning in the early-'00s, C-Magic has developed a small, but intensely devoted, following in the Corvette hobby. C-Magic is also popular in the Ferrari and Rolls Royce communities.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-12-jpgA Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-13-jpg


    The famed National Corvette Museum (NCM), purchases C-Magic in five-gallon pails to use in preparing cars for delivery to Corvette customers who order their new Vettes with the "R8C Museum Delivery Option". The NCM continues to by C-Magic in spite of the Museum receiving hundreds of samples of wax each year from car care product companies wanting the Museum Delivery Program's prestigious endorsement. In the last 15 years or so, there's never been another product which met the finish expectations of the Museum Delivery staff, so the NCM continues to buy C-Magic and regularly refuses long-term offers of free product from makers of car care products in the U.S. and abroad.

    Once Transhine's detailing specialists were finished putting a C-Magic World Class shine on the the car, it was time to move the the Blue BMW Buster from the wash/detail stalls at Transhine to the separate facility where all Transhine's PPF installations are done.

    Xpel Ultimate, is one of the better paint protection film brands on the market and we base that statement on a longer and more detailed discussion of the product which is elsewhere on this web site.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-14-jpg


    Most of the installation went quite well as have Xpel installations we done in the past, however, we did run into one problem. Where this PPF installation separated the men from the boys, was when Transhine's owner and PPF Installer, Bill "The Shiner" DeBever, reached the point where the Xpel Ultimate Rocker Panel Kit is applied. Our ATS-V Coupe was ordered with the RPO CFZ "Carbon Fiber Package". Turns out that Xpel does not have a PPF pattern for a Two-Door with the Carbon Package. The problem caused by this is that the film cut with the pattern for a Coupe without CFZ will not fit a Coupe with CFZ.

    In situations like this an experienced PPF installer is invaluable. With his 20 years of experience working with paint protection film, Bill DeBever was able to look at the rocker panel area of the car's exterior, compare that with the shape of the film cut from Xpel's "no-Carbon" pattern and then decide he could modify the film with a PPF cutting tool as he applied the film. The end result was a "custom-made" section of PPF which was a perfect fit to the rocker panels of an ATS-V Coupe with the Carbon Package. Cutting the film to shape during installation is not a task for the inexperienced or faint-of-heart because one little mistake with the very sharp film cutter and the car's exterior will be scratched at least though the paint and maybe even to the metal. Cutting the rocker panel film sections to fit properly took some extra time, but doing so resulted in an Xpel Ultimate installation that has full rocker panel coverage and looked like it was cut from a pattern rather than "freeform".

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-15-jpg


    With the Xpel Ultimate installation complete, we bid farewell to Bill "Shiner" and Transhine and made the 125-mile trip back to the V-Net "West Coast Technical Facility".

    For more information see the Transhine Auto Detailing web site and the Xpel web site.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 09-05-2016 at 01:37 PM.
    Hib Halverson
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  10. #175
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    Out with the Old...In with the New

    For 15 years, my everyday car was a 2001 Camaro with a V6. When I bought it, I was still dating my future Wife and doing a weekly, 250 mile round trip to where she lived. Four days in the greater L.A. area where my office/shop was located and three days with her, 125 miles away where we both live now, in Goleta, California. That commute in mind, I wanted something that got reasonable mileage but was fun to drive. I ordered the Camaro with the 200-hp, "3800 Series 2" V6, a five-speed manual, the uplevel "Monsoon" stereo and the Y99 package–which got me quick ratio steering, stiffer suspension, dual exhaust and a limited slip. I planned to modify from there.


    In fact, that Camaro ended up a project that lasted the whole 15 years I owned the car. I substantially modified the engine with a cam, headwork, headers, Flowmaster exhaust, ported intake plenum, nitrous and a custom tune. The chassis had subframe connectors, coil-over-double-adjustable shocks in the front, aftermarket rear arms, torque beam and track bar and double adjustable shocks in the rear. It was fitted with C5 Corvette Z06 tires on Fikse wheels. The brakes were stock calipers with street/track brake pads and drilled/slotted rotors. That's just the major changes and there were many other small ones too numerous to mention. Once it was done, with 300-hp (400 on nitrous) and all that chassis stuff, the car was just a blast to drive around town. On the track, it handled and stopped well but, clearly, once the nitrous bottle ran dry–which wasn't long on the track–it had more chassis than motor.

    I produced a number of technical articles about this car which were published in three different magazines during the -'00s and posted on two web sites. The most recent version of the series is on the Netmotive site. Click here for that. The series does not include one of my favorite kill stores abou tracing a six-liter GTO on the famed Angeles Crest outside of L.A. We beat him like a rented mule. You can find that story, by clicking here.

    In the Spring of '15, I decided it was time for my Wife, the Fairest Sandra the Red, who'd been driving an '07 Chevy HHR for eight years, to have a new car. Her dream was a BMW but...we don't do German cars in our family. The year before, she test drove a standard ATS with the two-liter-turbo and liked the car's looks along with it's interior and performance. When scuttlebutt about an ATS-V started around the Internet, I decided the four-door version would the perfect choice for a couple who needs a four-door, wants a performance car, but refuses to consider foreign engineered and developed products. Right after GM began taking orders, I put down a deposit and we took delivery of a Crystal White, ATS-V, eight-speed one year ago, today.

    Both the Wife and I quickly became ATS-V converts–so much so that, since I could rarely talk Sandy out of "her" ATS-V "Pearl", I decided to sell one of our four Vettes and order an ATS-V to replace my aging hot rod V6 Camaro. Our second ATS-V was a stunning Vector Blue, six-speed Coupe with the Carbon Package and an HUD. As much as I loved my Camaro, it took me about a day to decide I probably wouldn't miss my long-time project car.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-750-45-jpg
    ---
    Out with the Old---
    -A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-18-jpg
    -In with the New

    Any self-respecting, owner of a performance car the likes of an ATS-V has "favorite roads" in the vicinity of where he/she lives. We drive them regularly and have learned them well. Near where I live, I have a favorite "handling test section" which is a short straight, leading into 2/3-rds. of a traffic circle which connects, via a short straight, to a high-speed right turn and then a long freeway on-ramp. I used to drive that all the time in my Camaro which has stiff springs and stabilizer bars, QA1 double-adjustable shocks, a completely revised rear suspension with a Global West TrackLinc replacing the stock torque arm and an adjustable track bar replacing the stock unit. The Camaro, also, has a lot of lateral grip by virtue of its low-tread-depth, 265/40ZR17 Goodyear F1 Supercar tires. The ATS-V is even more fun because, with 160 more horsepower, it's a quicker down the short straight between the traffic circle and the freeway, it's better in transitions because of Magnaride and it seems easier to control in 230 steady-state left hander part of the traffic circle perhaps because of its electronic limited slip differential. The ATS-V being better in my handing test section than the Camaro is in spite of the Cadillac weighing 400 pounds more.


    While I'm not going to turn my ATS-V into a 15-year project, I am going to make a few improvements to my "Blue BMW Buster". The first was installation of an Odyssey Performance Battery (PN 48-720T) which has performance slightly exceeding that of the stock Delco and better durability. I've used Odysseys for a number of years in a variety of cars. There are three key features I like about Odysseys: first, their service life. In my experience, an Odyssey has outlasted any other battery I've ever used in the last dozen years or so; second: their reliability, specifically tolerance for deep cycles–where you run the battery down low or dead then charge it back up, again. Do that several times with your typical, mass-marketed battery and you'll kill it in short order and third: their high "hot pulse cranking amps" (HPCA) rating which makes for quick and reliable hot starts. The Odyssey's cold cranking amps (CCA) rating (723) is virtually the same as the stock battery (700). We'll have a full product review of the Odyssey Performance Battery available in the Product Evaluation section of the V-Net very soon.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-17-jpg

    Another improvement I plan is enhancing the efficiency of the LF4's charge air cooler system (CAC). To make big changes there requires different hardware, a significant project which is not in the cards. One can make a modest improvement in the efficiency of the existing system by increasing the ability of the charge air coolant to absorb heat. Factory fill in the ATS-V's CAC is a 50/50 mix of Dexcool and water. Since antifreeze is a less efficient coolant than water, if we alter the mix to 10/90, there will be a modest increase in the performance of the charge air cooler. I'll maintain the coolant's anticorrosive properties by adding some of Gibbs Driven's CST coolant additive. Ten percent antifreeze will protect us down to about 20F which is adequate for where this car is operated in Southern California. This idea is on hold for now because I lack the special equipment necessary to fill then bleed air from the system.

    I want to use a colder spark plug. I was thinking about that the other day when I took the "Triple B", to another of my "test sections," this time a four lane highway I use for wide-open throttle calibration. It's a long, steep grade and is really good for hard pulls in third gear. I went up there to better understand how much boost is present in the intake manifold–as opposed to how much boost the turbochargers can generate. During two third gear accelerations from 1500 to 6500 rpm, I never saw more than 12-psi which means the intake system between the compressor outlets and the intake valves is "using-up" 5-pounds of that boost. As I made those two maximum acceleration tests up that hill, I got to thinking the engine would probably "like" colder plugs because virtually all factory heat range choices take into account "pre-delivery starts without warm-ups" in order to prevent after sale warranty claims for fouled spark plugs. Of course, a car like my ATS-V is not going to be subjected to starts-without-warm-ups, so I can go colder on my spark plug selection. I've used Denso Iridium Power plugs for a number of years and, while Denso does not yet list plugs for the LF4, a little research indicates the Denso ITV-22 is likely the plug to use. Changing the plugs in an LF4 is a big job because the intake plumbing between the turbos and the intake plenum has to be partially disassembled to gain access to the oil-on-plug assemblies.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-16-jpg

    I guess this gives me some "homework" for the next few weeks.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 03-15-2017 at 11:28 AM.

  11. #176
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    I hate BMW's.

    Ok. I respect them...sometimes, but I freakin' hate those overpriced, overly complex sports coupes and sedans driven by smirking hipsters.

    Today, I had to dust off my old Chevy Blazer for my Wife to drive while we take her ATS-V Sedan in to the dealer for some maintenance. After getting all the spider webs off it with a soft broom, hosing it down then checking the fluids and washing the windows, I drove it over to the 76 station to fill it with gas.

    I'm standing there, leaning against the rear fender, holding the pump nozzle wide open when a black BMW coupe with an "M3" license plate frame pull up next to the pump behind me. The guy sits inside texting like a madman on his Galaxy smartphone. I'm thinking, "Oh s&%t. I hope is phone doesn't catch fire while were all here getting gas.


    I reached down with my finger and put the nozzle on automatic stop and slowly went for a stroll looking at this car which was obviously not really an M-car. I walked all the way around looking at the little tires and wheels and the single pair of exhasut pipes and began to chuckle.


    What a phony, insecure dude to put fake M3 badges on a regular BMW Coupe. And the "M3" license plate frame was hilarious.

    I so wished I was driving my "Blue BMW Buster". I would have loved to demonstrate what a real sports coupe...an American sports coupe...is like.

    Ok enough bluster.

    How 'bout a shout-out to
    Rockauto.com which has started carrying the unique air filters (PN A3202C) used by LF4 engines in ATS-Vs. Finally, a place to buy those filters at reasonable cost! If you have one of the little Vs and you due for an air filter replacement, you can get the filters by looking at the bottom of this web page.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 02-04-2018 at 01:15 PM.

  12. #177
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    This weekend, I took the "Blue BMW Buster" on three 2 and 1/2 hour drives through different parts of the greater Los Angeles area. Such a long period of highway travel and some congested traffic driving had me thinking about why I like my ATS-V Coupe as a driver's car on long trips.

    In the past, I've Bloged about the acceleration from the LF4, the car's handing, how the eLSD helps gets the car off turns quicker. Now, I want to talk about how the car's comfort, ride, audio system and other stuff.


    In both the ATS-Vs I write about in this Blog, I ordered the Recaros, and they are totally worth the extra money!


    Not only do they offer excellent side support for track use or aggressive street driving, once you get all the adjustments set, those seats are really comfortable for long duration highway trips. Not only did I run a total of 7 1/2 hours in three trips this weekend, but I've driven the ATS-V Sedan to Las Vegas and back (total of 12-hours) on a weekend had had the same comfort. I get out of the car with no stiffness or aches.


    With the Recaros' adjustability, the power adjustable steering column and the HUDs height adjustment, driving long periods is just a pleasure. Some complain about the ATS-V instrumentation. Heck, I like it, well...except that the coolant temperature gage has no graduations and the digital displays do not support engine coolant temperature. With that exception, there's plenty of vehicle info available and, while some feel the IP lacks style and a look appropriate for a luxury car, I like its look.


    At first, with CUE, I was a hater who was "...gonna, hate, hate, hate.."
    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-19-jpg
    Now I just love and, sometimes, hate it.

    Admittedly, I do not have CUE with navigation, so maybe that's why I kinda love "just-plain-old-CUE" like a older sister who is a mean girl sometimes. Now, that I've learned how to run it, I'm comfortable with using CUE to program the car's personalization features, to control the sound system and to control the HVAC. It does a good job of all those, most of the time. The two main CUE problems I have are: 1) it's awkward to use when driving and 2) when I pair my mobile phone with CUE and attempt to use the voice recognition function to place calls, it does not work well at all. I tell "Bitching Betty" loudly, slowly and clearly to dial a number and, once in a while, she "hears" me correctly then dials it. Other times, she'll ask me to say a command, again, or she'll say that the command was not understood. Man, I'm gonna get that bitch a hearing aid. If Betty hears the dial command and numbers, she repeats the number back and asks, "Is this correct?". I say "Yes." and I have to keep saying it, sometimes half a dozen times. Occasionally she hears. More often, she complains that she did not get a response or she says the command was not understood. Then she hangs up the call and I have to start over again. Sometimes it takes four tries to get Bitching Betty to actually put a call through. So...yeah, sometimes I love CUE. Sometimes I hate it.


    A lot of people despise transmissions the congested traffic which has made Los Angeles area freeways famous. I have no problem with the Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual on in freeway traffic. Driving a stick in bumper-to-bumper congestion doesn't bother me at all. The ATS-V's clutch and shift efforts are low. The clutch engagement curve and feel are perfect. I never tired of or get annoyed by shifting in traffic when I drive the Blue BMW Buster


    I will admit that the ATS-Vs ride on the crappy surfaces of some freeways around L.A. is a bit harsh at times, even with the miracle of MagnaRide. I actually like a firm ride, so the ride doesn't bother me. Admittedly, to reduce harshness a tad, I do run lower tire pressures for normal driving around town and on the highway. I run 27-28-psi cold which gets up to 31-32-psi when the tires warm up on the road. The 31-32 psi makes for less harshness than the 37-39-psi, I see if I set the tires at 35-psi, cold, which is the tire door sticker recomendation.


    The only highway ride characteristic of my ATS-V Coupe I do not like
    is the droning-rumble I hear and sometimes feel at between 60-80-mph in fifth or sixth gears.I'm going to address that in a separate Blog post at a later date.

    The two ATS-Vs we have were ordered without any of what I call "aid for distracted drivers" and others call "nannies" such as "Lane Change Alert", "Lane Departure Warning", "Keep Lane Assist", "Rear Cross-Traffic Alert" or "Blind Zone Alert", all of which come with the "Safety/Security" package costing almost two grand. I'm one who prides himself on good driving skills and paying attention when I drive so I don't need all that costly technology to keep me from running someone else off the road or backing into cross traffic.


    I ordered my Coupe with no navigation system because the option is expensive, the updates are costly and my opinion is that the CUE's navi is no better than, and in some cases not as good as a Garmin handheld I can get at Costco and, hell, I still have good maps. That suits me just fine.


    I like audio portion of the Blue BMW Buster's CUE a lot. Once you get the system set the way you like and the radio presets entered, the UQA base-level 9-speaker Bose system is pretty darn good. Yeah, the 12-speaker system would probably be nicer but to get it, you have to add navi to CUE that the package price of that was a budget breaker.


    To make a long story short, I love my, low-option, ATS-V Coupe for long highway trips. It's comfortable, easy to drive in traffic and suits my needs and attitudes about driving just right.


    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 02-04-2018 at 01:15 PM. Reason: fixed unnecessary double space
    Hib Halverson
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  13. #178
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    ATS-V Ownership: a Love/Hate Thing?
    Apparently So.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-20-jpg
    American as Red, White and Blue. Image: Author

    "A Little-V Blog" regulars know I'm an ATS-V fanboy, but some may have sensed my devotion to the only American rear-drive, high-performance, compact coupes and sedans is not blind. In more than a year of owning Cadillac's littlest V, I have developing concerns about build quality and after-sale support beyond what General Motors allows its dealers to render. The Cadillac V-Net is not the only media spotlighting Cadillac quality. Week before last, "Consumer Reports" released its 2016 "Annual Brand Reliability Study." Cadillac was up four spots, but only to 21st place out of 29. Considering the changes Cadillac President, Johan de Nysschen, has made at GM luxury brand to date; it is surprising that Cadillac did not score higher.

    Build-quality should be at a high level with any Cadillac, V or otherwise. While the ATS-V's performance, ride and handling is the current benchmark of the segment and the car's exterior design, especially the Coupe, is eye-candy par excellence; sadly ATS-V quality does not match that of its competitors. Evidence of this is a variety of quality issues we have with the two, 2016 ATS-Vs we use for this Blog.

    Flopping Tabs, Buzzing Panels, Phony Pressure Warnings, Howling Tires and Other "Little" Stuff
    A month or so after taking delivery of our first ATS-V in late September 2015, the Chrystal White Tincoat Sedan my Wife named "Pearl"; weatherstrip tabs on both front doors came loose and flopped around anytime a door was open. These tabs are common to all ATS four-doors and GM attached them with a black, non-hardening, adhesive putty. Since it never sets and its adhesive strength is inadequate, with movement and thermal cycling, the weatherstrip came loose from the door skin. Once these tabs, which are the "anchor points" for weatherstrip along the rear edge of the front doors, are flopping loose, the larger section of that weatherstrip above the beltline may, also, work loose. Repeatedly, we tried to "restick" the tabs to the putty, but, in a matter of days, they were loose, again. Loose weatherstrip on a new car costing north of 70-large is disappointing. Even more disconcerting is that, this week, we drove a 2017 ATS-V Sedan out of GM's Southern California VIP/Media fleet. Early in our three-day test of the Cadillac "PR car" we opened the front doors and looked at those tabs. Both were loose and flopping. Observing the same quality problem with two cars built 18-months apart is indicative of quality control which is, well–out of control.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-21-jpg
    ____________A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-22-jpg
    Floppy Tab (left) and one of the two we fixed with Permatex adhesive. Image: Author.

    What GM should have used on those tabs was a stronger adhesive. After we discovered our sedan's floppy weatherstrip, we brought this to the attention of our dealer, Bunnin Cadillac of Santa Barbara, California. There was no factory service information on how to address such a problem without using more putty which was unacceptable, so, after a couple of weeks, we rebonded the weatherstrip tabs using a Permatex, urethane-based adhesive/sealant. So far, in five months held with a different adhesive; we have no loose weatherstrips.

    Our ATS-Vs, the sedan with 19119 miles and a coupe with 3800 miles, have driver-side door panels which sometimes buzz. The noise comes from beneath the panel at the base of the side glass. Sometimes our coupe has a similar noise coming from inside the headliner. When driving on a rough or rippled surface, we sometimes hear these noises.

    The Sedan's Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has occasional bouts with insanity. Every so often, the low tire pressure warning light will come on when there is no problem with tires. When that light is on, if I put the tire pressure display on the DIC, sometimes there will be one or two tires which are one psi low or they will be all the same. In fact, just the other day, using a digital tire gauge, I set all four tires at 29-psi. Then I started the car and put the tire pressure display in the DIC. It showed the fronts both at 28-psi and the rears both at 29-psi. The tire pressure warning light was on and the TPMS displayed the right front as being too low. Go figure. If we must have TPMSes, why can't they be both accurate and reliable?

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-39-jpg
    Our TPMS has a bout with insanity.

    Speaking of tires, the Sedan's rear tires, 275/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sports, make noise. We hear the characteristic howl of bad tires from 30-mph on up to about 80-mph. We pulled both rear tires and were surprised to see that, after only 19,119 miles, wear bars between the two inner tread blocks are showing, whereas elsewhere there is legal tread depth. We, also, noticed that the inside-middle tread block on each tire is starting to cup and suspect that cupping is the source of the noise. It's disappointing that rear tires on a car with less than 20,000 miles and which has never been to the track nor has been driven aggressively are cupping and are near worn out. We requested our dealer advise us as to whether or not the tires can be replaced, on a pro-rated basis, under either the GM or the Michelin warranty.

    The Coupe's glove box door sometimes does not latch properly. The doors have two latches–one, left and one, right. Unless I push on the center of the door and close it forcibly, some of the time, only the left latch engages. When the right latch does not engage, the right side of the door hangs low. To get both to latch, I either have almost slam it or close it normally, then reach over and push the door's left upper corner until it latches.

    When GM catches these little quality boo-boos, occasionally, it issues "Service Update Campaigns". A while back, GM announced that some early 2016 ATS-Vs had LF4 engines with improperly positioned main engine controls wiring harnesses. These harnesses were chafing against the bolt which retains the upper front corner of the passenger side cam cover. If the harness' insulation and conduit are damaged by chafing, the engine and antilock braking system could be affected. Our Sedan was an early ATS-V and we visually verified that the harness was improperly position such that it touched that bolt. Bunnin Cadillac performed the required update which added additional protection to the harness insulation along with repositioning of that harness away from the cam cover bolt. What was frustrating is that GM would not approve the warranty claim because, while our sedan was below the VIN breakpoint given in the original bulletin and obviously had the out-of-position harness, our car was not shown on the specific VIN listing GM uses to determine if a car is eligible for a warranty repair. Our car got fixed, but the dealer ate the labor. We asked to pay the shop time but Bunnin Cadillac graciously demurred. Bunnin Cadillac did a good job, but GM did a poor job

    The above are comparatively minor build-quality problems, but here are some major ones:


    Smoke but no Mirrors
    Back in the first quarter of 2016, when our ATS-V Sedan had 7250 miles on it, the exhaust began emitting oil smoke for a short time immediately after cold starts.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-27-jpg
    Smells like oil smoke, too! Image: Author

    By July, the problem was chronic and we began to shoot video footage of the smoky cold starts. The frequency of occurrence gradually increased since then. The severity of the oil smoke is inconsistent. Sometimes there is only a little. Sometimes there is a big cloud. Between early July and mid-October we shot 34 video clips of smoky starts, put six of the most characteristic into a compilation video and gave that to Bunnin Cadillac when we dropped the car off for repair. The dealer said that, while they appreciated our diligence in creating the video, GM requires a dealer duplicate and document any problem before warranty repair will be rendered. Over the next 10 days, Bunnin Cadillac, following GM's mandates, duplicated the characteristic and shot video of the car smoking. At that point, Bunnin Cadillac contacted me asking for the engine's oil change records. I supplied them along with the results of the engine's most recent spectrographic oil analysis. Our dealer contacted GM's "Technical Assistance Center", affectionately known to dealers as "TAC," and was told to put dye in the oil–which can be seen under ultraviolet light–run the engine then pull the spark plugs for inspection.


    Bunnin's top service technician added the dye, started the engine–almost no smoke this time–drove it into a work stall. He pulled the spark plugs and noted no unusual deposits or coloring on them, and, under UV light, no dye. Then he borescoped the combustion chambers. No significant oil residue was seen in them, however, a couple of chambers had damp-appearing, black deposits on small areas of their walls. During a second borescope session, this time using a different orientation of the lens of the device, Bunnin's top service tech was able to see the backside of two intake valves. They and their ports were covered with heavy coke deposits. The heavy coke deposits tend to refute some of GM's previous claims about intake valve coking, an industry-wide problem with direct injected engines, having been greatly reduced. Additional contact with TAC had it ordering Bunnin Cadillac to do an oil consumption test which will take a month or so. While our dealer is doing a great job with this problem, we're not happy with the orders TAC is giving. We've already documented that the car is burning oil after cold-starts with video and our dealer has, too. We've already submitted detailed records on oil use and oil changes from when the car was new until now. We also submitted engine oil analysis results. We don't see the value in delaying repair of this vehicle in order to run an oil use test. We think General Motors needs to approve action to repair this vehicle not waste more time with more diagnosis.

    Dronin' an' a Rumbln'
    Both our ATS-Vs have problems with noise and vibration. The problem is a low-frequency "droning rumble" which I can always hear and sometimes feel. It sounds like the droning made by high-bypass-ratio turbofan engines on large jet aircraft at cruise altitude or during descent. Both cars have had the problem since they were delivered. The Sedan's vibration is not as bad as that of the Coupe. With each, the noise/vibration manifests itself in a slightly different manner.

    With the Sedan, the noise/vibration peaks between 78- and 82-mph. The amplitude is such that you hear it much more than it can be felt. The noise occurs during acceleration, deceleration and highway cruising. The noise occurs in sixth, seventh and eighth gears. The noise occurs during coast down when the transmission is in neutral, however, when no torque is applied to the driveline, either way; there is no noise.

    Bunnin Cadillac road-force balanced the sedan's tires twice. It, also, rotated the tires twice as part of Cadillac's "Premium Care Maintenance Program". The balancing and rotation had no effect on the noise, but we appreciate Bunnin's diligence in carrying out the tasks as a way to rule-out tires as the cause of the problem. Bunnin's service staff also road tested the car. Its top service technician rode in the back wth me driving and told me that he thought he could hear an unusual noise from the left rear of the car but was unable to be more conclusive. Bunnin's Fixed Operations Manager, the most senior person in its Service Department, also rode in the car and stated he could not hear the noise. Bunnin's Service Department personnel spent quite a bit of time trying to pinpoint the noise and I appreciated their efforts.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-26-jpg
    Image: Bunnin Cadillac


    No Love From TAC
    Bunnin Cadillac, also, contacted TAC about the sedan's "noise and vibes" problem on more than one occasion. TAC told Bunnin that there are no reports of noise or vibration problems with ATS-Vs. One contact with TAC resulted in a Bunnin employee being told that the customer (me) "...should not be driving that fast." That is a ridiculous response considering there are public highways in many states with speed limits of 70- and 75-miles per hour. Six states have 80-mph limits and in Texas, the maximum is 85-mph. What’s more–Cadillac markets the ATS-V as "track capable" and, starting in the 2017 model year, Cadillac sends ATS-V buyers to a performance driving school in Nevada. ATS-V owners who use the car's "track capable" performance or go to Cadillac's new "V Performance Academy" will be driving a lot faster than the 80-mph TAC feels is "...too fast." Finally, let's not forget: GM developed the ATS-V's ride-and-handling at Nurburgring in Germany and at the Milford Road Course on its own Proving Ground in Michigan, that is: from the get-go, the car was intended to be driven fast–meaning: well over 80-mph.

    Our responses to some of TAC's statements? Well...1) Just because there are no reports of a problem, does not mean no problem exists, 2) It seems as if the Technical Assistance Center is out-of-touch with how the V-Series Cadillacs are used by some of their owners, and 3) We aren't driving too fast, thank you very much.

    Bunnin Cadillac requested a Field Service Engineer (FSE) visit the dealership and road test the droning sedan. As coincidence would have it, the coupe was delivered in mid-July, 2016, right after the FSE's visit was scheduled. In the first few dozen miles after taking delivery, I noted the car made an annoying noise similar to that of the the Sedan, only much worse. I was disappointed that we now had two vibrating ATS-Vs.

    With our second ATS-V, the Vector Blue Coupe we named "The Blue BMW Buster, the noise/vibration becomes noticeable at 60-mph in sixth gear. By 78-mph, its amplitude becomes highest in fifth gear and lower In sixth. Its frequency and amplitude rise with vehicle speed. Also, for a given vehicle speed, the amplitude seems to rise somewhat as engine load increases. The fastest we have road tested that car for noise is 90-mph. In fifth gear, this vibration's amplitude is higher than that of the vibration emitted by the sedan. It can be heard, sometimes even with the radio on and the windows down. The vibration can be felt through the driver seat and sometimes the shift lever. The noise occurs during acceleration, deceleration and cruising, however, when there is no torque being applied either way to the driveline; there is no noise. The noise/vibration amplitude is slightly higher when decelerating than when accelerating. If you coast in neutral, the noise/vibration stops. If you coast in neutral and hold the engine rpm where it would be if the car was in fifth gear, the noise/vibration is not present. The problem exists only if the car is in gear and the clutch is engaged. While in fifth gear at 80-mph, you can even turn off the ignition and hear the noise as you coast down.

    I contacted Bunnin Cadillac and suggested the FSE test both cars and Bunnin agreed.

    PicoScope Road Testing
    An FSE for the southwestern U.S., visited Bunnin Cadillac on 8 August 2016 and road tested both cars. The FSE had Bunnin install its PicoScope "NVH Diagnostic Kit", which is an essential tool (PN CH-51450-A) owned by all GM dealers. The NVH Kit is used at the field level to measure and graphically display vibration from a vehicle. This equipment consists of PicoScope's world-renowned, oscilloscope software running on a Windows PC which was connected, via USB, to a four-channel PicoScope oscilloscope module which, in turn, connects to a 3-axis accelerometer module. Either an acceleration sensor or a microphone can be connected to the accelerometer module. PicoScope can record data to the PC's hard drive, however, in this case, the FSE chose not to save any data which seemed unusual. He, also, chose not to use the PicoScope kit's microphone to record audio data which, also, seemed strange to us because, for the most part, the problem was more noise than vibration. The PicoScope three-axis accelerometer was mounted on the driver seat's left, rear mounting bolt.

    During a 59-mile road test of our ATS-V sedan with me driving, the FSE in the passenger seat observing PicoScope on Bunnin's laptop and the dealer's top service technician riding in the back, at 80-mph in 6th, 7th or 8th gear, I could hear the noise. The FSE said a vibration such as what I described above was displayed by PicoScope on the laptop screen, but said it was below the level General Motors considers to be problematic. His report to GM was that there was no noise-and-vibration problem with that car. I was disappointed with the FSE’s findings because, while I agree that the vibration is noticeable but not significant, I do not believe that the ATS-V development team wouild have allowed a car to go to production making a making such a noise at highway speeds.

    During a second, 36-mile road test of our ATS-V Coupe with the PicoScope sensor on same seat mount, me driving, the FSE in the passenger seat and Bunnin's top tech in the back, between 60 to 80-mph, mostly in 5th gear, I could hear the noise and feel the vibration. The FSE said a vibration was displayed by PicoScope. He said that its characteristics differed from what he viewed during the sedan road test. After 18 miles, he said that he had, "...enough data." and asked that we return to Bunnin Cadillac. He added that he needed to contact GM in Michigan to discuss his findings. The FSE said that, at a later date, he'd communicate with Bunnin concerning his conversation with GM.

    The description of these road tests begs the question: why was I (the customer) driving? Because, the droning vibration becomes most noticeable starting at 78-mph, a speed 13-mph above the speed limit, no one at Bunnin Cadillac nor the FSE could be expected to risk exceeding the posted speed limit. I was more than happy to risk speeding tickets to facilitate a road test analysis of the two cars' droning vibration.

    The Tony Roma Interview
    While waiting to hear about the Field Service Engineer’s follow-up communication with my dealer, I contacted Steve Martin, Cadillac's Communications Specialist for the ATS, CTS and Cadillac Racing. I requested an interview with ATS-V Chief Engineer, Tony Roma, who could speak to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues. Steve was kind enough to set up a conference call between Tony, himself and me to discuss "noise-and-vibes" development. Roma told the "A A Little V-Blog" that, during the development process, the ATS and ATS-V were no more difficult an NVH challenge than other Cadillac passenger car platforms had been. "A problem with noise and vibration work on any performance car," Roma stated, "is that, once you have an optimal interior NVH level, you then have to find ways to bring desirable performance car noises–exhaust, induction and so forth into the cabin." On that subject, Tony gave us a short, but fascinating explanation of how the car's sound system is used to attenuate "bad" noises.

    Tony told us that, above 3000-rpm at high throttle openings, the sound system amplifies some of the "good" noises. He also told us that this feature is active any time the ignition is on, whether the driver has the system turned "on" or "off". Roma then offered this fun fact, "A driver who is lucky enough to be able to drive both body styles, will notice that sedans sound better than coupes when the exhaust bypasses open up. Because of the difference in locations of the cabin pressure relief valves in the two bodies, sedans are more advantageous to transmitting exhaust noise into the interior." In fact, because we own an example of both, we have noticed that the Sedan always sounds better when you're hard on the LF4 above 3000 rpm.

    The only insight Tony Roma offered to powertrain vibration was that his group, "...spent a lot of time on (the development of) engine mounts, rear cradle mounts and the rear drive unit (RDU) mounts to make sure they transmit minimal noise into the cabin." He, also, said that, from a noise-and-vibes standpoint, the 8L90, eight-speed automatic was the more difficult of the two transmissions to quiet because of the number of gears, drums, shafts, bearings and other moving parts inside it. He finished the discussion of ATS-V powertrain-related noise by telling us that, in the field, there has been trouble with noise from the transmission and rear axle cooling lines running beneath the car. The characteristics of the noise made by our two cars do not match the reported characteristics of cooling line noise. In a follow up email question, we asked Roma about how the sound system might affect problems like droning rumbles. He stated the system cannot attenuate that type of noise.

    Based on our discussions with Tony Roma, we have an even stronger feeling that the noise/vibration problems we have with our ATS-Vs are not "production-intent." The V-Net is grateful for the opportunity to speak with Tony Roma.

    We Pound Sand
    After several weeks, the Field Service Engineer contacted Bunnin Chevrolet. He said that GM had no complaints of vibration with ATS-Vs and that GM does not consider the droning rumble made by our ATS-V coupe a problem. As a result, General Motors will not authorize further diagnosis or any repair related to those noise/vibration characteristics under the vehicle warranty. The Cadillac V-Net is disappointed in GM's decision because–to restate–we do not believe that the car was intended to make a droning, rumbling vibration at highway speed which is so great that you can easily hear it.

    Our Very Own PicoScope
    On his own volition and not as a GM contractor, the FSE was kind enough to suggest that, if either a dealer or the car's owner could locate a second, low-mileage ATS-V manual, it could be instrumented with PicoScope and data from that test could be compared with a second PicoScope test of the V-Net's Coupe. The result of such testing might be additional, useful information about ATS-V noise and vibration.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-47-jpg
    The Pico 4225 Oscilloscope (top) and
    the Pico NVH Kit (bottom). Images: Pico Technology


    Just before this article was posted to the V-Net, we acquired a PicoScope PS4425 four-channel oscilloscope system (PN 921) along with the PicoScope NVH Kit (PP986) which, other than minor accessories, is the same as the GM Essential Tool (PN CH-51450-A) version of PicoScope. We instrumented our ATS-V Coupe, but, rather than the three-axis accelerometer, we connected the NVH Kit's microphone and configured the software to display and record sounds inside the interior. At 78-mph, on a smooth highway, with the widows up, HVAC on and the radio off, there was a 45.5-Hertz drone which was the most noticeable noise in the cabin. Next, we connected PicoScope's three-axis accelerometer and road tested again. From 80- to 90-mph, we recorded a vibration of 47-53-Hz with an acceleration of between 18 and 34-millig (.018-.034-g). At this writing, no additional action has been taken on this noise and vibration situation, but stay tuned–we'll revisit this story if and when we have more to post.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-28-jpg
    Screen shot from our PicoScope road testing. Image: Author


    Chevy Can but Caddy Can't?
    Proof that GM can build cars which do not have annoying vibrations are the other GM vehicles my Wife and I own: 2001 Chevy Camaro, 2004 and 2012 Corvette Z06es and the '07 HHR which our ATS-V Sedan replaced. None of those vehicles makes or has ever made an annoying droning rumble at highway speed, yet our two ATS-Vs, particularly the coupe, do it. Rather than releasing a clothing line and opening "Cadillac House", perhaps, Cadillac ought to concentrate on solving its obvious problems with inconsistent quality. If GM can build vibration-free, Chevys and put Buick third in Consumer Reports' Reliability Study; it ought to be able to do that with Cadillacs. With 2.8 billion dollars in earnings in Q3 2016, up a whopping 104% from the same quarter in 2015, "The General" can certainly spend more on building better ATS-Vs.

    While it is unacceptable for a car costing upwards of seventy thousand dollars to have such build-quality problems, making the problem seem worse is the unpleasant experience some owners have when pursuing after-sale service beyond what GM will allow its dealers to render. In our opinion, the problem is not at the dealer level. In our case, Bunnin Cadillac, has bent over backwards to help, but can only assist customers to the limit that the control General Motors exercises over dealers will allow. GM management needs to rein-in its over-regulating, underachieving, warranty-administration bureaucracy. If it doesn't, its brands with market share challenges, such as Cadillac, will continue to suffer.

    Finally, I was asked by Bunnin Cadillac if I'm considering asking GM to buy back the car. I replied, "No way am I interested in a 'buy-back'". I like ATS-Vs. I like that it's American. I totally like the exterior design, the performance, the ride-and-handling, heck, I'm even learning love CUE...sorta. I just want General Motors to stop the freakin' oil smoke and fix the darn vibration.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 03-08-2017 at 06:41 PM. Reason: edited some content, added new content added images
    Hib Halverson
    I'net Tech Writer
    2Vs+3Zs

  14. #179
    Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

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    Still more...
    ATS-V Ownership: a Love/Hate Thing?

    Apparently So.

    Time for an update on the our attempts to convince General Motors to agree to warranty repairs of the oil smoke and vibration problems with the V-Net's two ATS-Vs.

    Still Smokin' After all These Months
    With our 2016 Sedan which blows oil smoke out the exhaust on most cold starts, there has been no news since the minions at GM's Technical Assistance Center (TAC) told our dealer, Bunnin Cadillac, to begin an oil consumption test–see the previous post for details. Once a week, we bring the car to Bunnin's Service Department so they can record its oil level and the mileage. We've been doing this for a month with no word from Bunnin that it has been given the go-ahead by GM to finally fix the problem. The latest from Bunnin is that TAC has decided to have a Field Service Engineer (FSE) visit the dealership on either 20 or 21 December to review the situation with our smoking ATS-V Sedan, so...we continue to wait for resolution of this problem.

    In the meantime, I am baffled as to why GM won't repair the LF4 in that car. We have video evidence which clearly shows the oil smoke after cold starts is a regular occurrence. Our dealer also has video. By ordering Bunnin to, first, put dye in the oil to see if it gets on the spark plugs, then look at some cylinders with a borescope and, now, an oil consumption test; I think just delays a solution. If you reading this GM, enough already! It's time to fix the engine in this car. Plus, for the inconvenience and stress you've created, you ought to just put a whole new motor in it. Take the original back to the Global Propulsion Systems mothership in Pontiac, tear it down, figure out what went wrong and learn from it.

    Noise and Vibes News
    Conversely, since my last post to A Little V-Blog, a lot has transpired on the noise and vibration front. No–General Motors has not changed its position. IT continues to refuse to repair our droning 2016 ATS-V Coupe under warranty, but we hope it will change its position on that eventually.

    In the meantime, GM is making the experience of getting warranty repairs accomplished both time consuming and unpleasant. What a way to win Cadillac customers, eh? I think they ought to send me one of those nifty "V-Series" T-shirts for all my trouble...uh...maybe one of those Cadillac Racing hoodies, too.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-44-jpg
    I'll take one of each, please.
    Image: Cadillac Collection.

    Three months ago, GM declared the noise made by the our ATS-V Coupe was "normal" and has stuck to that decision regardless of my continuing to express concern and asking for warranty service. I've said in this Blog before and I'll say it again: the Cadillac V-Net disagrees with GM's assessment. The idea that such an annoying noise could have been "designed into" the Cadillac ATS-V by Tony Roma's development team is unrealistic. Nevertheless, GM saying that such a noise and vibration is "normal" tied the hands of our dealer, Bunnin Cadillac, as far as the warranty paying for further diagnosis. If we wanted the vibration problem solved, I was going to have to spend my own time and money to prove to the satisfaction of the TAC's minions that this problem is not normal then, once again, demand repair.

    The first step to that end was do our own noise and vibes measurements. No dealer was going to loan us an "essential tool" all GM dealers are required to possess: the Pico Technologies, CH-51450-A "Oscilloscope Diagnostic Kit with NVH". Us borrowing it to disprove GM's declaration that noise and vibration are "normal" in ATS-Vs would not be a very attractive scenario for any dealer, so we purchased our own Pico equipment.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-45-jpg
    The Pico accelerometer (left), the Pico accelerometer on the seat bolt (center)
    Pico Oscilloscope (top right) and Pico NVH interface (lower right) on the floor behind
    the driver seat. Image: Author.

    To help convince the powers-that-be at the General that the vibration coming from the "Blue BMW Buster" is not normal, in early November, we did several days work with our "Pico 3-Axis NVH Accelerometer Kit" (PN 986) which is an accessory to our "PicoScope 4425 4-channel Oscilloscope" (PN 921). The combination of the two, with the exception of a few less extra attachments, is the same as GM's CH-51450-A.

    The first task we accomplished was to instrument our car the same way as did the Field Service Engineer (FSE) who road tested our two ATS-Vs back in early August–for information about that see the previous blog post. When taking noise and vibration measurements with the Pico NVH Kit, Service Technicians and FSEs are instructed to attach the 3-axis accelerometer to the driver seat's left rear seat mounting bolt, so that's what we did. A powerful magnet holds the accelerometer in place on any ferrous metal surface. We connected the accelerometer to the "Pico NVH Interface", then connected that to the Pico 4425 Oscilloscope and finally, connected the 4425's USB cable to our Panasonic ToughBook laptop PC. Next, we configured the software, then went road testing. Our analysis was conducted on a newly-paved section of U.S. Highway 101. We drove back and forth over the same section four times, recording each "run". A screen shot of our Toughbook's display shows the level of vibration typical of what we measured. The spike at 47-Hz is what causes the annoying drone we can hear–sometimes, even with the windows down and the radio on.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-31-jpg
    In this screen shot, the noise is caused
    by the 46.93-Hz vibration. Image: Author

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-30-jpg
    This screen shot is from a recording done with the windows down and the radio on. You may wonder how the drone can be heard over other, louder noise lower in the frequency spectrum shown. That is because those louder sounds are 12-Hz to 25-Hz, frequencies at or below the low limit (about 20-Hz) of most humans' ability to hear; whereas the 45-Hz drone can be easily heard.

    The next measurement characterized the noise made by this vibration. Back in August, the GM Field Service Engineer neglected to do that. We found that omission strange because our main complaint has always been noise rather than the vibration which causes it. "NVH" stands for "noise, vibration and harshness" and for the "noise" part, the Pico NVH Kit comes with a microphone which can be attached to the NVH interface box. With the mic installed, the PicoScope software to displays sound power in decibels and frequency. We did this test with windows up and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) turned off. We ran it on the same stretch of U.S. 101 discussed above. At 80-mph, the 45-Hz drone was the loudest noise in the interior.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-28-jpg
    In this screen shot of an interior noise recording, the 45.74-Hz noise
    is the loudest low freqency noise in the interior. Image: Author.

    Proving Abnormality
    The next step was to find another ATS-V to evaluated for noise and vibration, preferably one like our Blue BMW Buster with low mileage and a six-speed manual. We gained access to a perfect example of what an ATS-V should be: a 2017 ATS-V six-speed with 3250 miles on it owned by General Motors. The car was assigned to GM's media/VIP loan fleet in Carson, California and we arranged a three-day media loan of the car.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-36-jpg
    The GM press car we used for a
    noise and vibes comparison. Image: Author.

    An ATS-V owned and maintained by GM is the perfect vehicle to use in a determination of whether or not our car's vibration is "normal". We installed and configured the Pico NVH kit exactly the way we did in our road test of "Triple-B" then drove the GM press car over the same stretch of highway used previously. The noise was about 15 times less loud and the vibration was about a third of the amplitude of what we measured from the V-Net's Coupe. Those results are shown below and seem to corroborate my contention that the level of noise and vibration present with our droning ATS-V Coupe is, in reality, abnormal.

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-29-jpg
    The same noise in the Cadillac press car
    was signicantly less loud. Image: Author.

    The final session of testing we did with our Pico equipment was to determine what component in the car's powertrain was vibrating enough to make that annoying drone. First we instrumented the engine/ transmission combination with the Pico accelerometer. Road testing over the same section of highway used before showed that neither the engine nor the trans were emitting such a vibration. Then, we put the accelerometer on the rear drive unit (RDU) and road tested again. Whoa–we found our vibration. At 81-mph, we recorded a 47-Hz, 315-millig vibration from the RDU. We also measured a 70-Hz, 340-millig, first order vibration from the propeller shaft. Both those amplitude numbers are "huge". Clearly, either the Triple-B's RDU or its prop shaft or both are faulty. It's hardly likely that level of vibration from those components is "normal".

    A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience-811-46-jpg
    This is the "money shot". The Blue BMW Buster's vibration, when measured at the RDU, is huge. Below is an image showing how we mounted the accelerometer on the RDU. Image: Author.

    What have we done with all this data? We made the Fixed Operations Manager at Bunnin Cadillac aware of our test results. Based on our conference call back in September with Steve Martin, Cadillac's Communications Specialist for the ATS, CTS and Cadillac Racing and ATS-V Chief Engineer, Tony Roma, I, also, decided to send our data to Steve in hopes that he could share it with Roma and that Tony would offer us some feedback on our noise-and-vibes measurements. We emailed Martin the data 12 days ago and, as yet, neither he nor Roma has responded. Finally, we sent our data to GM's Customer Engagement Center which, late last August, opened a case on our vibration complaints.

    Engagement Without Substance
    Four years ago, GM moved it's customer call center work in-house and centralized all the advisors at the Tech Center in Warren. This new facility, with 300 advisors and 35 managers, was named the "Customer Engagement Center". According to GM spokesperson, Klaus-Peter Martin, moving the Customer Engagement Center to the Tech Center, "...enables customer feedback to quickly reach product developers. Advisors identify customer feedback that most benefits GM’s product teams. A “Listening Lounge” in the Center allows product development personnel to listen-in on customer calls without interfering with the advisor. The Engagement Center encourages creativity and collaboration among advisors as they listen and respond to customer needs."

    Alicia Boler-Davis, then GM's Senior Vice President for Global Customer Experience and Product Quality, told media, "We recognize that our front line of customer advisors is directly connected to our bottom line. Instead of focusing on closing cases as quickly as possible, we’re focused on listening to our customers and satisfying them as quickly as possible.
    “This engagement center exemplifies our customer-centric focus, using robust agent training and an all-new case-management process that greatly reduces the time it takes to satisfy a customer. It’s another example of how we’re looking at every customer contact as an opportunity to create long-lasting relationships.”

    Ah, well...I'm not sure our contact with the Customer Engagement Center has been to that end. Indeed, the Center has had regular communication with me about my case. Our Advisor has frequently called us and we appreciate the regular follow-up as far as it went in satisfying a Cadillac customer who, in 14 months, purchased about $140,000 worth of ATS-Vs and has significant problems with the two cars which, three months later, still lack resolution. As for the "Listening Lounge", I wish some of the ATS-V development team had been in that lounge when we've had conversations with our Engagement Center Advisor. If they had been, maybe they'd have taken an interest in our plight.

    A couple of observations from our interaction with the Engagement Center: 1) it asks to record every call, but refuses customer requests to record calls and 2) the Engagement Center will never put anything it says to a customer about a case in an email or in writing. Those policies may make it difficult for a customer, if he or she has to take "Step Three" listed in Owner's Manuals for solving satisfaction problems which is: filing with the "Council of Better Business Bureaus' "Auto Line Program." Auto Line is available to GM customers nationwide and is a no-cost, informal, dispute resolution program. It is the final option for dissatisfied customers before lawyering-up.

    I think some who believe GM's Customer Engagement Center is there to assist customers will be disappointed if they expect that the Engagement Center is going to, "...greatly reduce the time it takes to satisfy a customer," and be, "...another example of how (GM looks) at every customer contact as an opportunity to create long-lasting relationships.” So far, my interaction with the Engagement Center has done little to reduce the time it takes achieve satisfaction and, while it has created a "long-lasting relationship" in the sense that I've talked with my Advisor regularly for over three months, it has not done that in the context which GM's VP Global Customer Experience made the statement.

    At this writing, General Motors' position on our Coupe's vibration problem is unchanged. That position was restated to me just before Thanksgiving in a telephone conversation with the Engagement Center in which I was reminded that my car's problem is "normal". My Advisor also said that the Pico NVH data I sent the Engagement Center has been forwarded to persons in GM who will understand the information. Right now, it's unknown whether or not our efforts to prove the Blue BMW Buster has a serious and abnormal vibration problem will result in a fix under warranty.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 03-08-2017 at 06:37 PM. Reason: added images

  15. #180
    Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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    This Just In...

    OMG! There's light at the end of the tunnel and...it may not be an oncoming train!

    This morning,GM's Customer Engagement Center called to say that a new propeller shaft for my droning ATS-V Coupe is on the way to my dealer, Bunnin Cadillac. This was a stunning reversal by GM considering that, just two weeks ago, the Engagement Center reminded me that the car's level of noise and vibration was "normal."

    The Customer Advisor who called said that "engineering" had ordered the new shaft specifically for our car and it was shipping to Bunnin Cadillac directly from the supplier. This turn of events is all the more surprising considering that our dealer did not request a new shaft. In fact, up to now, Bunnin Cadillac was prevented from taking action on warranty repair for the car's long-standing vibration problem because the Technical Assistance Center insisted the car had no problem with noise-and-vibes.

    On the basis of the data we accumulated with our Pico Technologies NVH kit, in our last post to "A Little V-Blog", we stated that we believed the Blue BMW Buster had either a faulty rear drive unit (RDU), a faulty prop shaft or both. We even posted the data to illustrate our belief. While we felt a faulty prop shaft was the least likely–because the vibration is worst in fifth, rather than sixth, and there is no vibration during coast down in neutral–it's certainly possible. Perhaps someone at GM, in a position to make a new prop shaft happen, was reading this Blog, saw our data and decided to take action. Some of that is speculation on our part, but no matter what drove GM's change of heart; if a new shaft solves the problem–we'll take it.

    When the new shaft arrives, we'll take the Blue BMW Buster into Bunnin for the installation and we'll get some images as the new shaft goes in. Then, we'll put our Pico stuff in the car and road test again to compare how the car is with the new prop shaft to what it was like with the old one.

    We're totally X-ing our fingers that a new shaft will end our four-month-long, vibration nightmare.
    Stay Tuned.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 12-06-2016 at 11:25 AM. Reason: edited content

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