V6 durability - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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V6 durability

Hi, new to the forum
Just bought a 2008 LTZ with the v6 VVT motor. Is there any feedback on long term reliability of this motor? My last car with a 3.8 motor went over 700k kilometre. The car sees mainly freeway at 2.2k rpm. Is there any repair I should anticipate?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 10:35 AM
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Re: V6 durability

The 3.6L DOHC motor has only one major issue that can crop up. Namely using cheap oil and going long intervals between oil changes can lead to stretched timing chains, which is costly outside of warranty. Over time it will eat cheap oil and the resulting deprivation causes the oil-pressure driven chain tensioners to slack, and the chain will skip teeth.

The V6 needs synthetic oil like Mobil 1 and 4k-6k mile oil change intervals. The manual also recommends 89 octane for best performance and fuel economy, not regular. It runs noticeably more poorly on 87 octane. Take care of it and it will be rock solid, as well as achieve better than advertised fuel economy.


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2009 2LT V6 Red Jewel
w/Factory Fogs, Lip Spoiler, Black Calipers, Chrome-Tech 18s,
GM Performance STB, Amsoil Cone Intake
HPTuners - Tune In Progress (V4.12) - 14.36 @ 98 mph
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 03:53 PM
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Cool Re: V6 durability

Quote:
Originally Posted by cp-the-nerd View Post
The 3.6L DOHC motor has only one major issue that can crop up. Namely using cheap oil and going long intervals between oil changes can lead to stretched timing chains, which is costly outside of warranty. Over time it will eat cheap oil and the resulting deprivation causes the oil-pressure driven chain tensioners to slack, and the chain will skip teeth.

The V6 needs synthetic oil like Mobil 1 and 4k-6k mile oil change intervals. The manual also recommends 89 octane for best performance and fuel economy, not regular. It runs noticeably more poorly on 87 octane. Take care of it and it will be rock solid, as well as achieve better than advertised fuel economy.
I woulda said what he just said but he said it first, so I'll just second it.


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'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS

V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof

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Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 10:55 AM
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Re: V6 durability

We're about to cross over 150,000 on our 08 LTZ V6 and couldn't be happier. I use Mobil 1 every 5,000 miles and have never had an issue with this engine. The engine has no leaks and runs just as smooth as the day we bought it.

I do run 87 octane gas and have never noticed any difference. On several occations I've run 89 and even 93 but the results for our car have been marginal at best.

For us the car averages 24.5-26,mpg with about 80/20 hiway city driving. We have gotten as high as 32 on long interstate hauls. So maybe the octane rating is not as important in hiway use.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 01:09 PM
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Re: V6 durability

The 3.6 is a solid engine, as mentioned above do regular oil changes, I do mine at 5K intervals with synthetic, and I also run 89 gas


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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 03:56 PM
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Re: V6 durability

I think my area just switched off of winter blend. I drove to my girlfriend's place over the weekend, 237 miles round trip after all was said and done, and got 27.9 mpg overall (hand calculated and corroborated by the DIC).

I was trying to be scientific about it to see what the car was capable of so here's the breakdown:

165 miles highway - cruise set at 65 to 72 mph depending on speed limit. Average speed showed 68 mph. No hypermiling or intentional drafting.

72 miles mixed city/hwy. Tried to drive light footed, but kept up with traffic.

Car has K&N panel filter, Mobil 1 5W-30, and 93 octane (I'm aware its not necessary).


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2009 2LT V6 Red Jewel
w/Factory Fogs, Lip Spoiler, Black Calipers, Chrome-Tech 18s,
GM Performance STB, Amsoil Cone Intake
HPTuners - Tune In Progress (V4.12) - 14.36 @ 98 mph

Last edited by cp-the-nerd; 03-04-2013 at 10:51 PM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 06:37 AM
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Re: V6 durability

The 09 requires synthetic per GM?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:09 AM
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Re: V6 durability

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Originally Posted by douglas92000 View Post
The 09 requires synthetic per GM?
No. dexos 1 was not used until the '11 MY. From the '09 manual:

Usage Fluid/Lubricant
Engine Oil
Engine oil which meets GM
Standard GM6094M and displays
the American Petroleum Institute
Certified for Gasoline Engines
starburst symbol. To determine the
proper viscosity for your vehicle’s
engine, see Engine Oil on page 5-15.

GM6094M
Use only an oil that meets GM Standard GM6094M.
• SAE 5W-30
SAE 5W-30 is best for the vehicle. These numbers
on an oil container show its viscosity, or thickness.
Do not use other viscosity oils such as SAE 20W-50.
• American Petroleum Institute (API) starburst symbol
Oils meeting these
requirements should
have the starburst
symbol on the container.
This symbol indicates that
the oil has been certified by
the American Petroleum
Institute (API).
Notice: Use only engine oil identified as meeting
GM Standard GM6094M and showing the American
Petroleum Institute Certified For Gasoline Engines
starburst symbol. Failure to use the recommended
oil can result in engine damage not covered by
the vehicle warranty.
Cold Temperature Operation
If in an area of extreme cold, where the temperature
falls below −20°F (−29°C), use either an SAE 5W-30
synthetic oil or an SAE 0W-30 engine oil. Both provide
easier cold starting for the engine at extremely low
temperatures. Always use an oil that meets the required
specification, GM6094M. See “What Kind of Engine
Oil to Use” for more information

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:24 AM
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Re: V6 durability

@GolfTango - There's a reason GM changed over to Dexos certified oil. That recommendation is retroactive, they did not change anything about the engine. Running conventional cheap oil in the 3.6L increases the risk of the timing chains problem. They changed the recommendation for the same reason they altered the Oil Life Monitor for shorter intervals.

So the answer to Douglas92000's question is yes, GM recommends using Dexos 1 Certified oil in the V6. There are a list of approved brands or you can ask the dealer for a Dexos 1 oil change.


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2009 2LT V6 Red Jewel
w/Factory Fogs, Lip Spoiler, Black Calipers, Chrome-Tech 18s,
GM Performance STB, Amsoil Cone Intake
HPTuners - Tune In Progress (V4.12) - 14.36 @ 98 mph

Last edited by cp-the-nerd; 03-05-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 03:18 PM
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Re: V6 durability

I just bought dexos Pennzoil 5W-30 for $16.27 5 Qt jug, just $3 more than my normal name brand oil.
As far as the 3.6 chain goes, poor design, I think it has been changes 4 time already.
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