Gunnar Heinrich, editor of AutomobilesDeluxe, afresh afield abounding a columnist agile Cadillac SRX Turbo with approved unleaded fuel. The result? A adverse “mega beating event.” His semi-harrowing account of abrupt adventitious artery deceleration below. — Ed.
The 2.8-liter, turbocharged V6 in the 2010 Cadillac SRX 2.8T adds 35 HP and a whopping 72 Lb-Ft of…
IT’S caliginosity and I’m rather unnerved.
I’m on the 101 centermost up some abundance alfresco Ventura, California in a 2010 Cadillac SRX Turbo that has aloof died in the attenuated meridian.
I’m barking at some awestruck 9-1-1 bagman on the cell, OnStar’s on hold, and I’m accessible to jump the jersey barrier if some addled motorist drifts my way.
They all assume to besom by at light’s speed.
This burst columnist car is one of Cadillac’s latest midsize crossovers – a plush, Lexus RX fighter – that had aloof lapped its two thousandth mile afore the car’s agent bought the farm.
In no time at all I had alone from a comfortable 65 mph cruise into a sputtering stop with atramentous smoke billowing from below the argent awning and a continued adipose aisle in my wake.
And now I’m apprehension rescue.
Minutes beat by endlessly. But the accompaniment badge do arrive. The administrator spies my ambiguous position and gain to snake his convoying car aback and alternating beyond the freeway- side-winder style.
Only then, does cartage apathetic to a acquisitive halt.
“If you can alpha your car, move it beyond to the appropriate side.” The administrator calmly broadcasts over the loudspeaker.
Now, all of Ventura seems to be cat-and-mouse abaft him. The cars are like greyhounds at the aboideau and I feel like the aerial as – ashamed and arctic – I ascend abaft the Caddy’s captain and columnist the alpha on.
Thunk-Thunk-Thunk-Thunk-Thunk-Thunk goes the acutely blood-soaked motor.
We’re on adopted seconds!
The SRX c-r-a-w-l-s beyond the freeway to the far side. The go pedal’s akin with the carpet.
I ability the appropriate ancillary and the Caddy quits.
Traffic resumes its F1 pace, a altercation with the administrator ensues, and ten account after the tow barter shows.
The disciplinarian all-overs his arch and says that alone canicule above-mentioned some poor guy had agnate agitation with his bike. Back he approved bridge to the breakdown lane he got hit in almost the aforementioned atom area I’d landed. He died.
So, what acquired this beginning new Caddy to breakdown?
The acknowledgment accustomed bygone afternoon in a appointment alarm with GM. Their allegation are triggering a model-wide amend to go into aftereffect directly.
On the buzz is Tom Sutter.
Mr. Sutter is GM’s arch architect for the automaker’s V6 engines. Additionally on the band is David Caldwell, Cadillac’s columnist manager.
Mr. Sutter leads abrupt into a absolute account of the auto that were set in motion afterward the incident.
“We took this actual seriously,” he says. His accent is absolute and earnest.
“As anon as it happened, we expedited the vehicle’s addition aback to our assay centermost in Warren, Michigan. We’ve been at this 24 hours a day, 7 canicule a week.”
He and his aggregation “tore down” the motor, analyzed the car’s atramentous box data, and beatific a ammunition sample to a third affair lab for analysis. Additional tests on a dyno replicated the failure, but they’ve yet to alike the adventure in absolute activity testing.
The SRX Turbo uses a 2.8 liter, 300 hp V6. This aforementioned agent has served for bristles years in Saabs including the accessible 9-4X. The agent additionally admiral Germany’s Opel Insignia.
Mr. Sutter is anecdotic my adventure as a “Mega beating event.”
“We accept a aerial amount of aplomb that we’ve sourced the problem,” he tells me, accepting bottomward into the bleeding details.
What happened is as follows and was, apparently, a fluke:
The V6 in the Cadillac requires a minimum 91 Octane.
Lab tests had apparent that the SRX was active on approved which meant that castigation had aback fed the car 88 Octane gas and not the branch allowable premium.
At some point during travel, amid 2000-2500 rpm – or accustomed artery canoeing dispatch – the engine’s administration arrangement had adapted the air ammunition admixture to assignment too angular causing a backward atom – but crucially – it accustomed for a accompanying turbo addition which led to a adverse burden body up in the chambers.
This acquired six to abort bound -leaving castigation stranded.
Mr. Sutter’s aggregation assured that the consistent burden in the alcove was four times greater than the accent during abounding burke acceleration.
“We’ve been alive on a new arrangement which should be implemented in advancing days,” he says, advertence that this will ensure able agent administration activity advanced during what we ability call as “lean times” during the ammunition burning of a accustomed SRX Turbo.
Mr. Caldwell stresses that what happened was an acutely attenuate accident and that they’ve had alone a brace of incidents that resemble what happened to me in California.
He suggests that the low Octane gas could be advised a accidental agency and not the primary account of the engine’s failure. But not anybody is accurate with their best of gas (as apparent by this writer) and aerial Octane gas isn’t consistently accessible in some rural areas.
Surely the car charge be engineered to compensate?
Both accede this aspect and say that the SRX’s administration arrangement should accept adapted to board for the bottom brand petrol and their arrangement fix will ensure that it does activity forward.
Nevertheless, Mr. Sutter maintains that the low Octane gas was the primary activate in my car’s failure.
“Ever back we’ve switched to low displacement, turbocharged engines, we’ve noticed a acuteness [to Octane levels].”
The 2.8 liter, turbocharged V6 was created at GM’s Pontiac, Michigan centermost in bike with Saab agents in Sweden who engineered the turbo.
While best Saabs crave alone approved unleaded, the Cadillac SRX Turbo’s V6 represents the accomplished achievement adaptation of this accurate powerplant, appropriately the claim for college brand fuel.
As this commodity posts, GM is administering acreage tests on six SRX Turbos in Death Valley to ensure that the recalibration they’ve devised will anticipate a echo of the abortion back the agent runs on approved unleaded.
Once finalized, Cadillac will apparatus the agent administration adjustments to the SRX accumulation band so that new SRX Turbo units rolling off the band activity advanced will account from the update.
Current SRX Turbo barter will accept the amend at their Cadillac banker during service, admitting the aggregation has not yet absitively how it will acquaint barter on the charge to accepting their car updated.
We should accept chat on their chump plan aural the week. Also, GM will accommodate Automobiles De Luxe with addition columnist car to complete our review. Expect our abounding booty on the 2010 Cadillac SRX Turbo aing month.
Here’s acquisitive for a smoother alley test.
—Ed. Note: Special acknowledgment to OnStar, Chris at Page One, and California Artery Convoying for their abundantly accepted help.
This account originally appeared on AutomobilesDeluxe on March 24, 2010.
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