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engine noise and knock on a '16 'test drive' - a couple questions...

1037 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Ragtop 99
Hi, I've already gotten good input here about my concern over the CUE system as I am looking
very hard at a late model ATS Coupe, '15 or '16. I've test-driven a few, most recently a '16 2.0T,
one-owner trade-in at a reputable local dealership with only about 21k miles on it.
Price is pretty decent at around 21k.

Last weekendI dropped in to test drive it. The salesperson had to throw some gas in it for me
first. My impressions were these. Engine noise was noticeably louder than other ATS Coupes I'd
driven - and louder than any Cadillac should be IMO.
The major thing though is that it seemed like it wasn't downshifting enough to keep the engine
from lugging. So, overall the shifting didn't seem as smooth as I'd expect. I don't think this
was a transmission issue. The next day i started reading up on the forums about the fact that this
model requires Premium gas. I assume that whoever ran out to fill it first just used Regular.
(This is not on a Caddy dealership lot FWIW). For that matter, have no idea if the previous owner
routinely used Premium - and on that point, whether not having done so could cause any
significant damage to the engine?

Later the same afternoon, I test drove a '15 ATS 2.0T at another dealership.
I found that engine noise way quieter, and the shifting very smooth and normal.
I realize this '15 is a 6 vs 8-speed and frankly i thought it was a much more satisfying
experience than that of the '16 ATS. If the '15 didn't have triple the miles on it
i might've made an offer on it.

So i guess this all boils down to whether the gas thing could've actually been a factor in
how the '16 ran?

Meantime I've asked to take it for another test drive if they will put Premium gas in it for
me and if they aren't BS'ing me - and actually want to try and sell a car, it supposedly will
be ready for me to do that on Saturday. Will they bleed out all the Regular beforehand?
Maybe not: )

I welcome and appreciate any thoughts on this and thanks for your time!

Mike in Mich
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Thanks, I appreciate that info. Some of what I might be noticing is an 8-speed in a 4 cyl turbo. To me a
6-speed matches up better with that engine. On the 8-speed it seems like you can't just smoothly give it
some gas. I normally am used to a downshift every time I accelerate. Instead of shifting into a high RPM
this ATS i mentioned lugs. Could just be a timing adjustment? This was supposedly fully serviced in
December though so if it still seems rough when i drive it again, they need to pull it back in for service.
Yes it sounds like the one you drove has issues. I always run the cheap gas. The owners manual says thats ok, but premium is prefered. My 2017 2.0T runs great, no lugging. The trans was shifting a little hard, but the dealer put some special trans fluid in it at the last service per a bulletin and now it shifts very smoothly.

Thanks. I drove it again with some Premium in it over the weekend. Maybe a little smoother, but still noticed a lug in the 3-4th gear range on acceleration -kinda like the tranny couldn't decide what it wanted to do there. Made sure all the modes were off - traction-control, Auto stop, tested it in both Touring and Sport. Still felt this sort of rough shift at lower speed gear changes - esp. accelerating from a stop gradually up to mid-range speed. Didn't do it every single time, but almost. Smooth in the higher gear range based on the 45 mins or so i drove it.

Took it back in to the sales rep who suggested taking it across the street to the Cadillac dealer which had serviced it under previous owner. The service mgr. on duty looked it up. It had at least one item related to transmission repaired. He also said that he had seen this complaint and issue a number of times in general with the 8-speed, 2016 2.0T - vs the 2015 6-speed.

I've kind of nixed this deal based on this experience and talking to the service guy about this model... too bad because the car is excellent in all other respects and a pretty good price on it for an off-lease. You do make me wonder about it now that you mention your special trans fluid, though still not sure that is all that it is. If that were to totally resolve the slipping thing, I'd def. consider it again.
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Appreciate the replies. Yep, no shortage of ATS sedans tho I am looking for the Coupe and finding that somewhat harder to find than the 4-doors in the price range I prefer to be at for this particular buy - at least that is if i want to find something locally vs nationwide search.

I wish this 8-speed worked out but there is just something off about it in the 2.4L. The 6-speed just seems better matched to this engine in the test drives I've done recently. Maybe some new part and different fluid would resolve the problem but hard to buy the car without knowing that for certain.

Honestly I'm kind of preferring a 2015 2.0T coupe at this point, and will probably roll with that if/when the right deal comes along.
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