AD #1541 – BMW & VW Team Up, Cadillac Announces Future Plans, Rainbow Warrior Calls it Quits

January 23rd, 2015 at 11:59am

Runtime: 8:37

- EV Sales Fall Way Short of Million Mark
- BMW & VW Team On EV Charging Stations
- Cadillac Announces Future Plans
- Vietnam’s Booming Sales
- Audi Forced to Eat Alphabet Soup
- Audi to Make New Full-Size SUV
- Rainbow Warrior Calls it Quits
- Are Turbo 4′s Becoming the Norm?

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62 Comments to “AD #1541 – BMW & VW Team Up, Cadillac Announces Future Plans, Rainbow Warrior Calls it Quits”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Re the turbo 4′s becoming the norm, that is what every tech is hoping for, more potential income in the future from all the broken down turbos and extra engine wear because of them.

  2. HtG Says:

    Uh oh, Sean, you said the “O” word.

    Take cover

  3. Sean McElroy Says:

    #2 – I’ll be hiding out under my desk the rest of the day.

  4. Dan Says:

    I’m not a big fan of turbo 4s. I’d love to see some automakers reintroduce smaller V-6s. Today, most V-6s are 3.5-3.6 liter engines but there was a time when 2.5-3.0 liter engines were the norm. Let’s see a very smooth 2.5 V-6 with variable displacement and all the other tricks compete with these turbo 4s. If nothing else, it would be a way for an automaker to stand out from the crowd.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Wards really likes 3 cylinder turbos. Two of them are sold in the U.S. market, and both of them are in their “10 Best Engines” list.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 It seems that small V6′s get lousy gas mileage. At least the one current example I can think of, the Lexus IS250 gets lousy gas mileage for its power output.

  7. HtG Says:

    Gas here was 2.10 this morning. I’ll have a turbo with that, please.

    racing wretches might like to watch a 2.5 hour race from Daytona this afternoon. 1:45 eastern time at

  8. Brett Says:

    With the heavy rains slated to come in around 2:30 this afternoon, it should be quite the race. I can hear the cars practicing from where I work.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 It’s 1.999 a few places here, the first I’ve seen it under $2.00.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Mustang I tested out with the V6 seemed to be very thirsty, then again, I had just spent 5 days with a very frugal Focus, plus the Mustang was driven “hard” for our review.

  11. Dan Says:

    6 I think that’s because it’s an older design. Look what GM has been able to do with its LS/LT V-8s. Variable displacement can make a BIG difference when it comes to highway mpg ratings. I bet even on a packaging basis that a small V-6 could be competitive. All the plumbing needed for turbos takes up a lot of space. And I’d rather have a normally aspirated motor if I was planning on keeping a vehicle for a long time. Can you imagine the repair bills on these turbos?

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    CVT,DCT and 6 and 8 speed transmissions also help to get higher mpg’s in the highway, I noticed very low RPM’s on those cars so equipped that I have recently spent some time in.

  13. w l simpson Says:

    S alabama Walmart–$1.94

    I,ve put over 200k on my 3 GM 2.4,s , no problems , 1 timing chain recall
    Extremely satisfied

  14. Dan Says:

    13 But are those turbo motors? I think they’re normally aspirated which is the point I’m making. Those engines tend to last for the long haul.

    N GA – $1.84 in several places, even cheaper in Chattanooga, TN

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Yeah, the IS250 engine has been around a while. Funny you mention the GM V8′s. I checked CR’s and EPA gas mileage of the Corvette and IS250. In CR’s tests, the IS did 1 mpg better “overall” than the Corvette, and 2 mpg better combined EPA rating.

    The thing is, the best of the “big” V6′s do very well. The Accord V6 automatic did 5 mpg better than the IS250 in CR’s test, and has 3 mpg better EPA numbers, while being substantially quicker than the IS. These comparisons aren’t quite “fair” because the IS tested by CR was AWD, but still…

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Anybody knows why those GM 3800 V6′s and 4 speed automatics had the reputation for being so reliable and durable? Were they an older design, simple engineering built into them?

  17. MJB Says:

    #7. Gas is $1.67 her in Detroit. ($1.98 in metro Detroit)

  18. Dan Says:

    15. Not really surprising since those vehicles are so different in so many ways.

    BTW, the Honda V-6 does off variable displacement. It is an older design at this point though.

  19. Rob Says:

    Seems all the development is going into either high HP V8s or tiny I3 and I4 turbo engines. V6s appear to be getting phased out. With the exception of the Ford twin turbo V6 in the F-series and Diesel applications.

  20. MJB Says:

    19. Ironic. We thought it was limited to people, but this proves that even in engine size, the middle-class(V6) continues to get shafted! HA!

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 The Accord is a different type of car, being front drive rather than rear drive or AWD like the IS. The BMW 3 series is very similar to the IS in powertrain layout, though, and only a little lighter weight, but the BMW is much more fuel efficient, and even the 4 cylinder turbo 3 series is much quicker than the IS250, even if both have AWD. I’d trust the reliability of the IS a lot farther, though.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 The GM 3800 dates back to ’61 or ’62, where it was used in the Buick Special. The early ones were uneven firing, and were very rough running at low rpm under load. I think even the early ones were fairly reliable.

    In the late 1970′s, they started using splayed crank pins to get even firing, and later in life, they added a balance shaft to make the engine smoother. I’m pretty sure all of these engines had cast iron blocks and heads.

  23. Dan Says:

    21. The rear drive IS is rated at 24 combined vs 26 for the Accord with a much larger motor. I think that’s down to the variable displacement and newer technology. FWD vs RWD shouldn’t make any difference other than better handling for RWD. But imagine if you build a new engine of only 2.5 liters displacement and used all the new combustion designs and friction reduction strategies that they’re putting into the new 4 cylinders. You’d probably get close to the 3.5 liters in total output and even better fuel economy. And the real treat would be that is runs substantially smoother and would probably last a lot longer than a forced induction 4 cylinder.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Transverse engine front drive power trains are a little more efficient than rear drive layouts, because they don’t have any bevel gears which are inefficient. Yeah, the difference would be small. It seems that no one wants to build small sixes, because similar size fours are a little more efficient, and a lot cheaper to make. I like inline sixes for their smoothness, but even BMW has quit selling non-turbo I6′s, at least in the U.S.

  25. Roger Blose Says:

    For added entertainment, check out Ecoboost Problems on YouTube. Turbo mania will quickly drop the “U.S. average car life from 11 years to 36,200 miles” once the folks see the repair costs they face.

  26. JBD Says:

    Anybody else notice christy schwiensburg roll her eyes to the back of her head when drew winter jumped in and answered her question. She’s such a hottie. Oh and yea turboing all these engines now days is going to really change the industry as far as repairs frequency/ cost and reliability issues as soon as some of these turbo models start getting some age and mileage on them. Just thinking about a ten year old turbo 4cyl makes me nervous. Just look back to all the goofy things automakers did during the oil embargo era to try and make vehicles to fit the market and now we look back and laugh at some of that crap. Will we look back on cars from this era the same way?

  27. Brett Says:

    I’ve been applying Sean’s advice about running Premium on occasion. I’m buying it at my neighborhood Sunoco station for $2.29 a gallon.

    Seems to help a bit. I’m doing it every couple of tank-fulls because, in 85k of running, I never did it, so I figure I’ve got some catching up to do.

    That 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander with a manual is a peppy little spud on Premium. :)

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My EcoBoost Dodge Caravan has gone almost 25 years with the original turbo, but it has only about 70K miles.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sean, if you are out there, should I use premium in my Prius occasionally?

  30. HtG Says:

    27 Come on now, Kit, you’re going to confuse the Ford social media monitors.

    28 I thought Sean was talking about using TopTier fuel with its higher level of cleaners.

  31. HtG Says:

    The thing is, and I’ve checked some of those Ecoboost vids, any added cleaners in your gas are never going to reach the valve stems on Fords direct injection motors.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 I probably use Top Tier about half the time. I suspect the Prius engine isn’t too picky anyway. At least I haven’t seen mention of carbony valves, etc. on Prius Chat which I check occasionally.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    Around these parts, if you shop carefully, you find top tier gas for the same price as the bargain stuff now that gas has dropped so much.

  34. BobD Says:

    One disadvantage of the V6 over an I4 is weight which influences the MPG. You add a disproportionate amount of lbs/displacement when you go to a V configuration. Once there, you might as well go to a V-8 which is only an incremental increase of weight/displacement.

  35. G.A.Branigan Says:

    As I’ve mentioned before,my wife and I are very interested in the new Ram Promaster city wagon SLT.I talked to my local dealer this afternoon as to when I could test drive one.They won’t be in the dealers till April or so.I also did some research on the 2.4L Tigershark I4.It has port injection,not DI.That is a big plus to me.I’m really looking forward to the test drive etc.

  36. C-Tech Says:

    @ 30 HtG if you use the pour-in-tank cleaners such as Chevron Techron or BG which mix with your fuel, you’ll clean those valve stems and your tank.

    @ 34 I am curious about the Promaster City (what a clunky name!) and how it will drive too.

    As far as dealers vs. independents, after working for both, it comes down to management (and greed) at both. If a dealer or independent is well managed, they will have a good reputation. Many independent shops went opened by disgruntled mechanics and managers. Dealers do generally have the newer and better diagnostic equipment for their specific brand – the OEM’s force the equipment on them. To me, with better built vehicles lasting longer, and needing less maintenance, there are too many shops chasing too few dollars. If you ask around you will find a shop that people will recommend and with the internet, checking BBB and Yelp is a good start. In my travels the better shops are those who specialize in a particular brand, or model, or particular area (such as transmission or a/c).

  37. HtG Says:

    35 how does this work in a direct injection motor unless there’s a supplementary fuel stream that spritzes the the valve stems via the intake runners?

  38. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Fuel conditioners don’t help much with intake valves in direct injection engines. The problem occurs when pcv fumes that get scavenged are sent back through the intake to be burned and some get baked on the intake valves. Since the fuel injection (on DDI) injects directly into the combustion chamber, the cleaners don’t get to properly wash the valves (I’ve heard from a GM engineer that there is some back-wash of intake charge that cleans the intake valves), it is not an ideal situation. “CRC” makes an intake valve cleaner (I have not tried it so I can’t endorse it though I’ve heard that it works); the spray is introduced after the mass air flow sensor and does wash the intake valves (to an extent). Here’s a link if you want to read more:

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    Scotty Kilmer who has a YouTube weekly Q&A podcast as well as responding to auto repair questions says that both Turbo and Direct injection are just trouble down the road, he has already repaired many DGI equipped vehicles and VW seems to be the most problem prone motor out there.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW may have more GDI engines out there, at least older ones with the 2.0 turbo that has been used for several years in GTi and various other VW and Audis.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just found that VW has been selling DGI engines in the U.S. since 2005 model year. The first was a 3.2 litre V6 in Audis. The 2.0 liter GDI turbo four that they use in about everything arrived for the 2006 model year.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    I guess all this new technology is good for better mileage and or performance, but in order to save a few bucks now on gas, you may be paying a lot in repairs in the future and seeing how long car loans are nowadays, most people will want their cars to last until it’s paid off before they have to trade away.

  43. HtG Says:

    41 I really hope you’re wrong about those costs, Pedro, but I think you’re right.

    Dateline Daytona24

    Mark Reuss is at the race, was talking to RadioLeMans. Says it’s his favorite race. GM in racing because it’s important to customers, which is what it’s all about.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 It seems like neither GDI nor turbo, or both in the same engine give much real world advantage in fuel economy. I can give multiple examples for comparison, but the best comparison is the non-turbo, non GDI Accord V6 vs the Fusion 2.0 “ecoboost.” The Honda is quicker, and more fuel efficient. What’s the point of all the complexity of the Ford’s engine.

  45. HtG Says:

    And on the other end, weight goes up because of safety regulations. Tough job for carcos. Plus, customers demand power.

    What’s that book CK would bring up, No Brow? One thing the author argued was that we Americans like technical overkill for its own sake. People wearing parkas in Atlanta, was an example.

  46. cwolf Says:

    I admire you guys because I would not have given a second thought about the effectiveness of cleaners in direct injection engines. The nice thing about our group is regardless of our knowledge or lack there of, there is always one of us with a sound answer to the question or adds enough input to create another question. Now I wonder why and how you know of these traits?

  47. G.A.Branigan Says:

    No induction cleaners are recommended for any of the ford ecoboost engines.Even their techs are warned not to do it.Ford’s answer to the carbon problem,’change the head(s).No joke.

  48. G.A.Branigan Says:

    here’s a youtube link that gives you everything you wanted to know about the egoboost carbon problems.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    47 It looks like, in addition to carbon formation on valves, you get a lot of spark plug erosion with those boosted engines making higher torque at lower rpm, with fewer cylinders than a naturally aspirated V8 making near the same power.

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Like I’ve been saying for a long, long time, I’d rather get a little worse mileage everyday than to have a huge repair bill later on,with all these new-fangled technologies I hold on to my cars a very long time, so long term reliability is crucial for me.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    There are a bunch of youtube videos just showing how much trouble those Ford egoboost engines have been giving their owners, like Kit has said here, better off with a normally aspirated motor. Especially when the turbos cost more to begin with.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50 The thing is, they provide neither efficiency nor performance advantages over the better of the non-turbo, non GDI engine.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    You said it, the better non-turbo, non-GDI motors, that is why OEM’s like Honda and Toyota have resisted both turbos and GDI in their mainstream motors and get hammered by the auto press for doing so. But this is precisely why most experienced techs warn you against buying such new technologies.

  54. C-Tech Says:

    @ #37 I stand corrected, I did not correctly read HtG’s post. The spray-in fuel cleaners (BG, WYNN, 3M, off hand) are the only ones which could clean valves in GDI engines and there is the added plumbing complications in turbo and supercharged engines. I have not seen many problems out of the Hyundai and Kia GDI engines. Turbodiesels have been around longer and have racked up many miles. The better metals in bearings and modern electronics will help the turbos and direct injection last longer.

  55. C-Tech Says:

    Still the gdi and turbos are expensive to repair. We will see how these affect used car values in the next few years.

  56. C-Tech Says:

    An 8 year old turbo / direct injection / HID headlamp / CVT trans vehicle could be a financial disaster for someone

  57. HtG Says:

    Too bad the Ford F-150 didn’t get huge mpg improvement. Savings in the high volume low mileage end of the fleet is where the big fuel/CO2 improvements are as a percentage. An extra mpg on a Civic? Whoopee doo

  58. HtG Says:

    Mazda Skyactive injection

    Here’s a YT video on their motor. If you look at the video at ~1min it looks like the injector is located in a spot that bathes the inlet valve as it’s lowered into the cylinder.

    I guess the exhaust intention explains the unique layout in the engine compartment, with the tubes facing the passenger compartment.

  59. HtG Says:

    58 Ecoboost has some simlilarities

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    55 Funny you mention HID headlights. A friend has a high trim level 2nd generation Prius with HID lights, and it had one problem during the first 200K miles, a headlight. It wasn’t cheap, I think he said almost $400 to fix.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    C-Tech, do you know how the non-turbo GDI GM 3.6 engines are doing? Most of those engines have been GDI since 2008 or so.

  62. C-Tech Says:

    From what I have seen in inspections and rental car fleets, the 3.6L V6 has not had many problems with the injection system or the engine overall. I have seen a few early models (08-09)have problems with oil leaking from the front cover due to a faulty application of sealer (a real B***H of a repair in a Chevy Traverse or Buick Enclave). I thought the weak spot might be the high pressure fuel pump but I have only seen 1 failure of a pump.