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2006 CTS w/ 25k original miles (Sand Storm 3.6L)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Although I've yet to do a proper pedal to the metal of my CTS, I do have the urge to test out just powerful the 3.6L engine is. Is it advisable to occasionally drive it like I stole it? Just don't want to put too much strain on a low-mileage 9-year-old engine though I am now starting to hear that doing it every once in a while is actually beneficial for the engine.

Regarding coolant, I'd feel comfortable topping my coolant off although I have no idea whether it was ever flushed. The dealer wanted almost $200 to flush the coolant, which I won't even consider for a such a simple, cheap task. Would there be any potential issues if I simply top it off rather than giving it a full flush?

Just want my CTS to run as perfectly as possible for another 25k miles :bouncy:. What a fantastic car it is!

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Also, might as well ask whether flushing the transmission and power steering fluids are imperative or if they can just be topped off as well?

Thanks, all.
 

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'05 CTS-V
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Although I've yet to do a proper petal to the medal of my CTS, I do have the urge to test out just powerful the 3.6L engine is. Is it advisable to occasionally drive it like I stole it? Just don't want to put too much strain on a low-mileage 9-year-old engine though I am now starting to hear that doing it every once in a while is actually beneficial for the engine.
I think the idea that it's actually beneficial may be an old wives' tale (old gearhead's tale?). The old line was that it was good to get on it occasionally to "burn the carbon out" of the combustion chambers. With modern fuels that have better detergent packages and much more refined fuel delivery (fuel injection or even direct injection vs carbs), I don't think that deposits are as big an issue. So, with that said, it may not be truly beneficial, but it's certainly not going to hurt anything if you occasionally use the engine as it has been designed to be used. I mean, if it's never had the oil changed in 9 years and is 3 quarts low, running it to 6000rpm isn't a good thing :p, but assuming the routine maintenance has been done, the engine will be perfectly fine if you wind it to redline leaving a stoplight or merging onto the highway. (I wish more Americans would learn to do so when conditions call for it. I can't count the number of times I've been on a highway on-ramp behind someone in a 276hp Camry that for some reason can't get up over 45mph before we hit the highway merge. :mad: Put your frakkin' right foot down and accelerate, dammit!! :mad2: :p)

Regarding coolant, I'd feel comfortable topping my coolant off although I have no idea whether it was ever flushed. The dealer wanted almost $200 to flush the coolant, which I won't even consider for a such a simple, cheap task. Would there be any potential issues if I simply top it off rather than giving it a full flush?
Recommended service intervals vary depending on the auto manufacturer, what coolant they use, etc, but I would say after 9 years the cooling system should be flushed. The chemical condition of coolant degrades over time, and if it's not "healthy" it won't maintain the proper pH and won't inhibit corrosion as it's supposed to. Just keeping the level topped off is not the same thing as a flush, nor is doing a simple drain and refill (since just draining the fluid won't remove corrosion deposits that may have developed). You can buy a coolant flush kit to do it yourself (like so), but then you have to deal with the waste fluids that are generated. Probably easiest just to pay someone to do it; find a reputable local mechanic and I imagine you can get it done for less than the dealer wanted to charge you.

Just want my CTS to run as perfectly as possible for another 25k miles :bouncy:.
I'm pretty sure it'll handle much more than that without too much trouble!

Also, might as well ask whether flushing the transmission and power steering fluids are imperative or if they can just be topped off as well?
Tranny fluid isn't quite as straightforward, as you will find lots of opinions about whether it's good or bad to flush an automatic transmission. I think the conventional wisdom is that you don't want to do a flush on an "old" transmission (like 100k+ miles), so in that regard you're OK. I'm sure you'd get all sorts of opinions on whether or not it needs a flush (or just a drain and refill) after 9 years but only 25k miles. My inclination would be to say that there's no reason to mess with it if the fluid on the dipstick looks clean (assuming it has a dipstick; I don't know if it does) and the transmission is operating properly.

I wouldn't worry too much about the PS fluid, unless it looks really filthy or the pump is making noises. The PS system shouldn't need to be flushed, but there's really not an easy way to just drain and fill. One technique folks use is to suck all of the old fluid out of the reservoir (or as much as you can get out), top it off with clean fluid, start the engine to circulate the fluid through the rack, shut the engine off, repeat a couple/few times. That's not really replacing the fluid, though, you're just freshening the fluid by diluting the old fluid with new fluid. There's another method that's a bit more involved, but more effective, that I can describe if you want to do a bit more work.
 
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