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2013 ATS 3.6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I recently replaced my 2011 SRX with a 2013 ATS. It has the 3.6 Engine and AWD with 80,000 miles on it. My SRX needed its timing chains replaced and buying the ATS was a heat of the moment thing. I am now wondering if I made the right choice. I am the fourth owner of the car and the carfax looks clean. The cars interior looks brand new and that’s what gave me the confidence to buy it. Does anyone have a similar high mileage car, if so what problems should I be looking out for, especially mechanical. Should I buy a warranty that covers the engine and the transmission? Are there any telltale signs I should keep an eye out for common problems on this car?
Thanks in advance for reading my post and for possible answers!
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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Check the rear axles seals for leaks, it is a pretty common issue. GM updated the timing chain hardware with the 3.6 after your SRX was built and I wouldn't expect any time chain issues with this mileage on a 3.6 unless a previous owner completely ignored required oil changes. The first gen direct injection version of the 3.6 had some issues with timing chain tensioner design that was exacerbated by the ridiculously long (up to 20,000 mile) change intervals with the original OLM programming for that model when run with the required synthetic oil. GM changed the OLM parameters for that engine and provided a special warranty problem to cover timing chain repair.
 
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2013 ATS 3.6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #3
Check the rear axles seals for leaks, it is a pretty common issue. GM updated the timing chain hardware with the 3.6 after your SRX was built and I wouldn't expect any time chain issues with this mileage on a 3.6 unless a previous owner completely ignored required oil changes. The first gen direct injection version of the 3.6 had some issues with timing chain tensioner design that was exacerbated by the ridiculously long (up to 20,000 mile) change intervals with the original OLM programming for that model when run with the required synthetic oil. GM changed the OLM parameters for that engine and provided a special warranty problem to cover timing chain repair.
Thank you for your response!
The carfax shows that all previous owners performed regular oil and filter changes. The pinion seals were replaced at around 27,500 miles. Do you think they are probably nearing another replacement? Are there any other common problems which could justify buying a warranty? The warranties look pretty expensive and I don’t know if they are worth it.
Again, thanks for taking the time to responsd!
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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You are welcome. I don't know what is up with the axle seals on this GM platform because they have far more problems than they should. I check mine every time I do an oil change and they have been fine but as far as I know GM hasn't updated the seals (or admitted as to what causes them to be a problem) so I would continue to keep an eye on them. The only other recent platform where there is something of an issue is the tendency for the Corvette axle seals to leak in extremely cold weather and I believe that GM did resolve that issue with a different seal material.

An extended warranty is an insurance policy and the cost is based upon expected losses across the coverage class plus a hefty profit so generally they are going to be pretty expensive and especially if the model has a history of significant and expensive failures. The basic powertrain is solid but there are nagging areas including CUE screen issues (expensive if you don't feel up to replacing the screen yourself), self-leveling headlights, and axle seals.

I prefer to self-insure because if absolutely necessary I can handle these common repairs myself and an unexpected large expense will be an annoyance but not a serious issue. If you decide to get an extended warranty, I would go with one of the GM plans because they are good about actually covering repairs unlike many places that are excellent at avoiding paying for what the customer expected to be a covered repair. I don't have any personal experience but a lot of people on the Corvette forums buy through Dennis Fichtner who is with a GM dealership out west, in Montana I believe. He sells GM plans for all the GM lines and he is extremely price competitive so google and contact him for a quote before you buy from your local dealership. There are probably some good aftermarket plans but it is risky given the very poor regulation of this industry and the world is full of sob stories from people who bought a warranty and then found out it was worthless.
 

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2013 ATS 3.6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #5
You are welcome. I don't know what is up with the axle seals on this GM platform because they have far more problems than they should. I check mine every time I do an oil change and they have been fine but as far as I know GM hasn't updated the seals (or admitted as to what causes them to be a problem) so I would continue to keep an eye on them. The only other recent platform where there is something of an issue is the tendency for the Corvette axle seals to leak in extremely cold weather and I believe that GM did resolve that issue with a different seal material.

An extended warranty is an insurance policy and the cost is based upon expected losses across the coverage class plus a hefty profit so generally they are going to be pretty expensive and especially if the model has a history of significant and expensive failures. The basic powertrain is solid but there are nagging areas including CUE screen issues (expensive if you don't feel up to replacing the screen yourself), self-leveling headlights, and axle seals.

I prefer to self-insure because if absolutely necessary I can handle these common repairs myself and an unexpected large expense will be an annoyance but not a serious issue. If you decide to get an extended warranty, I would go with one of the GM plans because they are good about actually covering repairs unlike many places that are excellent at avoiding paying for what the customer expected to be a covered repair. I don't have any personal experience but a lot of people on the Corvette forums buy through Dennis Fichtner who is with a GM dealership out west, in Montana I believe. He sells GM plans for all the GM lines and he is extremely price competitive so google and contact him for a quote before you buy from your local dealership. There are probably some good aftermarket plans but it is risky given the very poor regulation of this industry and the world is full of sob stories from people who bought a warranty and then found out it was worthless.
I will definitely keep an eye on those axle seals! My main concern for the car is mechanical issues as I have had a bad experience with my SRX. As for the interior electrics I can work on them myself if anything were to go bad.
I was reading through some posts and saw that the engine mounts can be a problem. I performed a power brake ‘test’ and did not see any noticeable movement of the engine. I do however feel a slight vibration at idle. With no rattling noises or any noise out of the ordinary and no CEP I am hoping I am just being paranoid about the vibrations.
I plan on replacing the engine and transmission mounts when I get to 100K miles. Do you know of any other common reason for in cabin vibrations? I have noticed that sometimes on ignition the car shakes a bit.
Thank you for suggesting Mr. Fichtner for the warranty, I have asked him for a quote.
Thanks again for your responses!
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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Cadillac has tried a couple of different versions of engine mounts to provide less vibration transmission from the 3.6 at idle but as far as mounts actually failing that isn't common with this platform. Direct injection engines tend to have a somewhat less stable idle than the older port injected (and other indirect injection methods) and the 3.6 has a lower than typical idle speed which combine to provide a little bit of a rolling idle. Some of the Japanese manufacturers have experimented with combined direct plus port injection systems which does provide a smoother idle, GM uses a combined system with their latest LT5 (supercharged V8 in the ZR1 variant of the Corvette) but the port injection is only operating at very wide throttle opening and is utilized because the direct injection system cannot flow sufficient fuel at maximum power level of this 755 HP engine and I suspect the idle is about the same as the 650 HP direct injection only version in my Z06.

I never had the mounts updated on my ATS because it didn't bother me but I believe you could probably still have it done under warranty. If the earlier owner wasn't using "top tier" fuel then your engine may benefit from running a couple of tanks of fuel with Techron added to it. Among its other properties, Techron is a pretty good injector cleaner and Techron is the primary additive that is required for a supplier to use the top tier fuel label. As injectors develop some buildup a rougher idle at cold start is a common symptom.

Like pretty much every modern car, a true cold start is going to have a somewhat rougher rolling idle because the engine will be over-fueled along with abnormally retarded timing in order to dump some raw fuel into the cats which heats them quickly and allows the car to meet EPA cold start emissions requirements. It is one of the many oddities of being "green", with gas powered cars you purposefully run an extra-rich mixture at startup and with diesel vehicles every so often raw fuel is dumped into the exhaust stream to start a soot incinerating regen cycle in the particulate filter. Both strategies attack one aspect of emissions while creating others so the total outcome probably isn't nearly as environmentally friendly once you look at the forest instead of the trees.

Compared to the rolling idle of the 6.2L V8 in my Z06 the Cadillac idle isn't bothersome to me although strangely enough the smoothest idling engine I own is the 6.6L turbo diesel in my 2018 GMC pickup which starts with a dead steady idle with no perceptible change in RPM or vibration whether at cold or hot idle.
 

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2013 ATS 3.6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #7
I looked at a couple of warranties and the cheapest one I found was from Endurance Warranty. They are giving me a 5 year / 75000 mile warranty for 75/month.
At 80,000 miles currently, I am a little scared of not having a warranty but I am on the fence because of the added price of the warranty.
Should I go for a warranty? I am mostly concerned about the mechanical parts of the car as I can work on the interior electronics myself.
Thanks in advance for the responses.
 

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Most warranty talk is about getting a GM warranty before the factory warranty runs out.

If that is $75 a month for 5 years, that is $4500 total. I can't advise on a aftermarket warranty. My concern is will they be
around if you need them.

Update your profile with your ATS.
 

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Most warranty talk is about getting a GM warranty before the factory warranty runs out.

If that is $75 a month for 5 years, that is $4500 total. I can't advise on a aftermarket warranty. My concern is will they be
around if you need them.

Update your profile with your ATS.
I have an Ally Auto Major Guard extended service contract. Paid $2000 dollars for 4 year/48,000 miles.
I used it to replace my CUE system which almost returned on my investment ($1500), then I used it to service my rear differential ($600) which got me my investment back.
My ESC is good through 2020 or 98,000 miles (got 76,000 on ODO now).

Cheers
 
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