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NOISY LUCERNE CX disappointing


LucerneOwner

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I recently bought a Lucerne CX, believing quality/luxury equate to QUIET, and buying into the QUIET-TUNING hype – although it’s indeed quiet on the highway, I am disappointed that it is not nearly as quiet in stop/go city driving as my previous 1999 LeSabre Ltd – the CX has poor engine noise isolation & annoying drive train shudder/growl under startup acceleration conditions - dealer improved situation by replacing one engine mount (defective design) & realigning engine to mounts, but engine noise isolation still not acceptable - wind/road noise isolation good, but 2 out of 3 not good enough. Is there ANY way I can get better engine noise isolation? I'd be willing to pay for custom service in this regard, because I like the car otherwise, but no one seems to have a solution. Dealer apparently has done all he can ... he can only act on info (technical bulletins) that Buick gives him, and he's ALREADY done that.

UPDATE (April 6, 2007) - See post #55 of this Topic - PROBLEM FINALLY SOLVED!!!

Edited by LucerneOwner
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My father has a Lucerne CX and I've driven it a few times: it's so quiet I couldn't tell it was running from inside. Quiet Tuning is not 'hype'.

Understand your frustration, but it sounds like an assembly error or defective part- the former something a TSB would not be addressing. It's not something anyone who hasn't had the problem & resolved it is going to be able to make a suggestion about.

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My father has a Lucerne CX and I've driven it a few times: it's so quiet I couldn't tell it was running from inside. Quiet Tuning is not 'hype'.

Understand your frustration, but it sounds like an assembly error or defective part- the former something a TSB would not be addressing. It's not something anyone who hasn't had the problem & resolved it is going to be able to make a suggestion about.

Your experience is puzzling to me. I've been reading elsewhere in this C&G forum and find that frequent visitor Sajeev Mehta has hit the nail on the head regarding the noisy/growly/gruff Lucerne engine under acceleration. He seems to have angered a lot of other visitors with his criticisms and comparison of engine noise in the Lexus ES vs Lucerne, but I find his conclusion valid that you can't legitimately claim QUIET-TUNING in a Lucerne unless you get better engine noise isolation. My dealer is aware of the problem, but has not been able to make significant improvement other than by replacing a so called defectively designed engine mount (just 1 ???) and realigning the engine to all 4 mounts (separate visit). I'm beginning to feel the problem is endemic to the DTS chassis, inasmuch as I have experienced it in 2 rental Lucernes, and inasmuch as DTS Cadillacs are also accused of having engine noise problems, and inasmuch as the same (?) Buick V6 was in my 1999 LeSabre Ltd, which had the quietest engine (under acceleration) of any car I've ever owned. So, it would seem with the DTS chassis that one needs a extra measure of effort that Buick has not given to isolate engine noise/vibration from the cabin.

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I own a Park Avenue which shares this platform and uses the SC3800. I have experienced no such issue. I've driven the Lucerne and ES350. I do not find the Lucerne louder than the ES350. The article you are referring to by Sajeev Mehta was posted on C&G last year. You commented on this issue in that topic and it was discussed in that topic. Is there a particular reason you wish to discuss this issue again after all these months? As much as I appreciate your enthusiasm over the Lucerne, I can't help but notice that all six of your posts on C&G are nearly identical. It sounds like your particular Lucerne has a problem. I'm sorry that your dealer has been unable to resolve it, but exaggerating the issue and alluding to it now being a "chassis" issue universally impacting all G-platform vehicles is an absurd conclusion. I do not see your problem as an engineering flaw. It sounds like there is a part (or parts) that may be defective and may need a more knowledgeable dealer to examine it. I want your experience with the Lucerne to be positive, but you've owned it for about eight months now. I would move your Lucerne's issue up on the priority list and take it elsewhere to be inspected.

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I own a Park Avenue which shares this platform and uses the SC3800. I have experienced no such issue. I've driven the Lucerne and ES350. I do not find the Lucerne louder than the ES350. The article you are referring to by Sajeev Mehta was posted on C&G last year. You commented on this issue in that topic and it was discussed in that topic. Is there a particular reason you wish to discuss this issue again after all these months? As much as I appreciate your enthusiasm over the Lucerne, I can't help but notice that all six of your posts on C&G are nearly identical. It sounds like your particular Lucerne has a problem. I'm sorry that your dealer has been unable to resolve it, but exaggerating the issue and alluding to it now being a "chassis" issue universally impacting all G-platform vehicles is an absurd conclusion. I do not see your problem as an engineering flaw. It sounds like there is a part (or parts) that may be defective and may need a more knowledgeable dealer to examine it. I want your experience with the Lucerne to be positive, but you've owned it for about eight months now. I would move your Lucerne's issue up on the priority list and take it elsewhere to be inspected.

Thanks for your comments. I bring up this issue again only because I'm hoping eventually to stumble upon someone here besides Sajeev Mehta who has experienced and understands my same problem and, even better, has a suggested solution. Inasmuch as my dealer can't seem to help further, I don't know what else to do. They're ordinarily pretty good, and my family has been with them many years, so I have no particular reason to believe I would get better service elsewhere, and I wouldn't have any idea where that might be. Maybe I'll give them one more chance. Sigh! At this point, I'm pretty much disillusioned with Buick, worn down, and an unhappy camper. This will probably end up being my last Buick. Now, I just wish I could have a new 1999 LeSabre Ltd, like my last one. That would make me a happy camper.

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bob.lutz@gm.com

Send Uncle Bob an email.

Make sure it's nice and professional. Give him your best description of the problem, and describe evrything you have tried to correct this problem. Make sure to mention that this could be your last Buick, and you wish it was just as reliable and satisfactory as your LeSabre.

Who knows if he will respond, and what he will say or do if he does, but it's just another outlet for you to voice your complaints. GM needs all the satisfied customers they can get, and if you aren't satisfied, they should hear about it.

That... or if worse comes to worse, you and the Lucerne can drive to Detroit and have the head office hear it for themselves. :AH-HA_wink:

Good Luck. :thumbsup:

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bob.lutz@gm.com

Send Uncle Bob an email.

Make sure it's nice and professional. Give him your best description of the problem, and describe evrything you have tried to correct this problem. Make sure to mention that this could be your last Buick, and you wish it was just as reliable and satisfactory as your LeSabre.

Who knows if he will respond, and what he will say or do if he does, but it's just another outlet for you to voice your complaints. GM needs all the satisfied customers they can get, and if you aren't satisfied, they should hear about it.

That... or if worse comes to worse, you and the Lucerne can drive to Detroit and have the head office hear it for themselves. :AH-HA_wink:

Good Luck. :thumbsup:

Thanks, maybe I'll write to Bob Lutz after giving my dealer one more chance. It's strange, though, that more complaints like mine haven't surfaced in this Forum, as I've read similar complaints on other web sites. The road test reviewer for CR, for instance, lists the "coarse engine" as one of the "low points" for the Lucerne and sez the "V6 is rough and sounds harsh when pushed", altho he indicates it is "unobtrusive". Maybe so, for most people, but that is a subjective matter. For someone like me, for whom silence is so very golden and who was spoiled by the extraordinary silence of my previous 1999 LeSabre Ltd, this gruff engine is not so unobtrusive. For me it's very annoying. Another reviewer said the engine makes the Lucerne sound like a generic airport rental sedan, which may be an overstatement, but I read in all of this that my situation is NOT unique and may well be endemic to the car itself, just not a point of contention for non-perfectionists and those not spoiled by previous experience.

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Bob Lutz isn't going to take care of the problem. If the dealer can't fix it, contact Buick costumer service and make them do something about the problem.

Thanks, I've done that, and their canned answer was, "We here at the Customer Assistance Center are not able, nor equipped to make any specific or conclusive diagnosis over the internet as to how your engine's volume can be decreased. It is for this reason that we rely heavily on the Service Staff at Buick dealerships to provide our customers with any type of mechanical diagnosis .....". In other words, there is no such thing as corporate customer service. As mentioned earlier, I've gone the dealership service route, with limited success, but will try once more. I'm very disappointed in this cop-out from BUICK.COM ... you'd think they could run this by their R&D/design experts and/or the people at Buick who create/issue the Technical Service Bulletins to the dealerships.

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The road test reviewer for CR, for instance, lists the "coarse engine" as one of the "low points" for the Lucerne and sez the "V6 is rough and sounds harsh when pushed", altho he indicates it is "unobtrusive".

That is CR's way of saying "Pushrods suck". Keep in mind that the method's that CR uses to test cars...especially domestic cars...is not going to be anything remotely similar to normal driving.

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>>"That is CR's way of saying "Pushrods suck". "<<

It; in a nutshell. Go check on what they said about your '99, that was undoubtedly "coarse" also.

Northstar has the best advice IMO; contact the regional service manager. And for your 'final' service visit, take your car to another dealership- obviously a Cadillac store is also a possibility. Sometimes a different set of eyes finds the problem right off.

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That is CR's way of saying "Pushrods suck". Keep in mind that the method's that CR uses to test cars...especially domestic cars...is not going to be anything remotely similar to normal driving.

.... and yet I find their assessments of pros and cons to be pretty much in line with those of my own experience as a conservative driver (average 24.3 MPG, 1st 8000 miles, balanced city/highway), so why do you judge them so harshly?

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.... and yet I find their assessments of pros and cons to be pretty much in line with those of my own experience as a conservative driver (average 24.3 MPG, 1st 8000 miles, balanced city/highway), so why do you judge them so harshly?

They have a history of favoring foreign brands over domestic ones...... even when the cars come off the same assembly line. When one displays bias like that it is hard to deem the rest of the information as reliable.

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They have a history of favoring foreign brands over domestic ones...... even when the cars come off the same assembly line. When one displays bias like that it is hard to deem the rest of the information as reliable.

I haven't kept up with CR's reviews over the years, but I wouldn't be surprised that they favored certain foreign brands, especially Toyota/Lexus. My take on the domestic car industry is that they became complacent, uncompetitive and unresponsive to the public's needs & desires. Finally they got the message and some domestics have made significant strides getting back into the game, but the stiff competition is still there. I can't find online what CR had to say about my old 1999 LeSabre. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have liked the wallowy ride or handling, but that is of little consequence to me, as handling is not an issue for a very conservative driver like me. For me, silence is golden, and I can't imagine CR would have anything disparaging to say about engine noise in the 1999 .... maybe high speed wind noise, but not low speed engine noise, even under acceleration. it was, simply, an amazing car in that respect, as my friends who rode in it can attest, so it is most disappointing to me that Buick took a step backwards in this one respect.

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I haven't kept up with CR's reviews over the years, but I wouldn't be surprised that they favored certain foreign brands, especially Toyota/Lexus. My take on the domestic car industry is that they became complacent, uncompetitive and unresponsive to the public's needs & desires. Finally they got the message and some domestics have made significant strides getting back into the game, but the stiff competition is still there. I can't find online what CR had to say about my old 1999 LeSabre. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have liked the wallowy ride or handling, but that is of little consequence to me, as handling is not an issue for a very conservative driver like me. For me, silence is golden, and I can't imagine CR would have anything disparaging to say about engine noise in the 1999 .... maybe high speed wind noise, but not low speed engine noise, even under acceleration. it was, simply, an amazing car in that respect, as my friends who rode in it can attest, so it is most disappointing to me that Buick took a step backwards in this one respect.

I think I'm with the rest of the forum who has posted here that you got a bum ride. Call Buick's regional manager and take it to a different dealer.

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.... and yet I find their assessments of pros and cons to be pretty much in line with those of my own experience as a conservative driver (average 24.3 MPG, 1st 8000 miles, balanced city/highway), so why do you judge them so harshly?

Because they are bias and unfair in their tests.

Consumer Reports: Child seat test faulty

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Because they are bias and unfair in their tests.

Consumer Reports: Child seat test faulty

I loved my friends' reactions when I showed them that article as they rely heavily on CR for their purchases.
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I have driven several Lucerne 3800's and have had a lot of experience with G-body LeSabres and Park Aves and the older 90's H-body LeSabres and Bonnevilles. When comparing the H-body cars like the Bonneville and LeSabre, I did find that the Buick and Olds versions were quieter overall due to different exhaust tuning. GM also investing some money into the 3800 during the 1999 model year with new heads and injectors that resulted in a smoother and lower idle and noticeably quieter operation. The raspiness of the 95-early 99 3800's gave way to a muted moan that was more pleasing to the ears. Fast forward to the G-body LeSabre/Park Ave. My 2000 LeSabre did exhibit a slight shudder and roughness when first accelerating but was smooth thereafter. A few 2001-2002 Park Aves didn't seem to do this. I had a 2005 LeSabre for a rental and it was easily the smoothest and quietest of the 3800 G-bodies I have driven. No shudder or roughness at all. Imagine my surprise then when all 3 Lucernes I test drove had what I can only describe as untypical 3800 noise. They all exhibited the off idle shudder, were noisy when floored and had raspy sounding exhausts with the car in park, drivers door open and foot nudging the gas pedal revving the engine. This leaves me to believe that the exhaust design on this car is definately one factor in the dissapointing amount of noise this engine exhibits along with the engine mount design. It is a known fact that Buick V6 engines are very sensative and partial to good motor mount design. The old carbed Buick 3.8(231 CID) V6's of the 80's were notorious for killing motor mounts. Litterally every one I drove or owned or sold through our old dealership had a broken drivers side engine mount which caused a major shudder as the engine lifted upon accelleration. Napa made an aftermarket hard rubber replacement mount that made a big difference in the way this engine felt when driving and accelerating. The carbed 3.0 liter V6 from 1982-1985 in the front drive cars required a special mounting system to obtain an acceptable smoothness compared to the Chevy 60 degree 2.8 of the same era. Not that we can really compare todays 3800 Series III to the old carbed V6's but it is interesting to note that even though this engine has been totally revamped compared to that time era, it still suffers if the mounting setup and exhausts aren't perfectly setup. I would definately pursue the exhaust and mounting system in your Lucerne and possibly take it to several different dealers until an acceptable remedy is reached.

Edited by ponchoman49
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Something tells I need to pay the "troll" before crossing the bridge.

Exactly. Seems like it to me, my apologies if I am mistaken.

Edited by Sixty8panther
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