• May 27, 2010
2010 Cadillac SRX 2.8T – Click above for high-res image gallery

In a completely expected move, General Motors has just recalled 2010 Cadillac SRX crossovers that are equipped with the turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 engine due to the possibility of engine failure. The problem stems from the misuse of gasoline with lower than the required 91 octane rating. If driven aggressively with non-premium fuel, pre-ignition may be induced.

Such cases of pre-ignition can be very serious, with broken pistons or connecting rods standing out as possible results... as was found out not long ago by Automobiles De Luxe after mistakenly filling Caddy's latest 'ute with 88 octane fuel instead of the required 91 octane.

Owners of the 547 affected vehicles are being directed to get their Engine Control Modules reprogrammed free of charge from their favored dealer. More information can be found in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's notice after the break.



[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]
Show full PR text
Vehicle Make / Model: CADILLAC / SRX Model Year(s): 2010

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V223000

Summary:
GENERAL MOTORS IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2010 CADILLAC SRX EQUIPPED WITH A 2.8L V6 ENGINE. IF LOW OCTANE (REGULAR) FUEL IS USED IN THE VEHICLE INSTEAD OF THE REQUIRED HIGH OCTANE (PREMIUM) FUEL AS STATED IN THE OWNER MANUAL AND ON THE FUEL FILLER DOOR, THE COMBINATION OF REGULAR FUEL USAGE AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING MANEUVERS MAY INDUCE PRE-IGNITION. IF PRE-IGNITION OCCURS, YOU MAY HEAR A PINGING OR KNOCKING SOUND FROM THE ENGINE.

Consequence:
IF THE VEHICLE CONTINUES TO BE DRIVEN AFTER THE ONSET OF THIS NOISE, A CONNECTING ROD OR PISTON MAY BREAK, RESULTING IN ENGINE DAMAGE, AND PERHAPS ENGINE FAILURE, WHICH WOULD DISABLE THE VEHICLE INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:
DEALERS WILL REPROGRAM THE ENGINE CONTROL MODULE FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE JUNE 11, 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT THE CADILLAC CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-866-982-2339 OR AT THE OWNER CENTER AT WWW.GMOWNERCENTER.COM.

Notes:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 69 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Jason:

      They definitely should have caught this in testing. I'm actually really surprised this an issue because I thought it was pretty standard these days to have ECUs pull out some timing when the knock sensors get lit up. Seems like cheap insurance against warranty claims coming in due to bad gas or user error.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you're using a lower octane fuel that what the car requires, what should you expect!?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This engine was designed for 98RON (93AKI, which you can't get in California)
      and can work down to 95RON (90AKI, which is why they say to fill up with 91AKI, just in case the gas station was short changed by the tanker)

      If this engine had direct injection, and utilized the split stroke injection, then it could make full power with only 95RON. (leaving compression ratio unchanged)

      What is wrong with making a durable product? It has two knock sensors, use them.
      What if someone else fills up your vehicle, do you pay for an engine replacement?
      What if the gas station has bad gas? Will they pay?

      Who pays for your lost time, and inconvenience?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jalopnik got the info from GM. This engine was never available in a premium-only tune (98 RON) in Europe. It was a regular-gas car in Europe. Here it was tuned for premium (91 AKI).

        Yes, it would be best if the engine didn't blow up if you use regular gas in it. Which is why they fixed it in a rolling change and are fixing it for past customers free of charge.

        GM says that the situation experienced by Jalopnik was unusual and not just caused by regular gas. So hopefully no one else experienced the problem.
        • 4 Years Ago


        One of the guys I work for has a 16 foot Isuzu diesel. His driver pumped gas in there, supposely by "accident". Lucky for him the driver noticed it and pulled over. There was some diesel in the tank and gas floats on the top mostly. That could have destroyed the engine, who knows it may have been the gas attendant. Yeah, sometimes it happens. That's why I don't let them near my truck I pump it myself. In fact I'm going to get locking caps soon because sometimes these jerks take it upon themselves to fill it up for you without asking. Like if you go inside first, never do that. Get the fuel first.



        MARC
      • 4 Years Ago
      Consumers are idiots. If you're told to run high octane, you should run high octane.
      ESPECIALLY, if it has forced induction.
      Now, GM will get negative publicity when it's owners stupidity that's really the issue.

      Can this car detect the octane level on the gas?
      Or, does it just pull timing when it detects pinging?

      I assume this "re-tune" is just going to pul timing and make the car slower???

      Are you better off NOT dong the retune and just running high octane?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The vehicle can't determine the octane of the fuel. It just pulls timing when (KR), when knock is detected. If it's like pretty much any other ECU out there, it will put it back in after a pretty short interval.

        Even if the gas is bad, stale, or of insufficient octane rating to begin with,you might not have any timing pulled, depending on what you're doing with your vehicle. Conversely, depending on the temperature and what you're doing with your vehicle (like towing), you can get some pinging even with the proper fuel.

        • 4 Years Ago
        A woman that i know who is in her sixties walked up to me a a party, grabbed my arm, and said:

        "You know about cars; you don't really have to change oil, that's just something to get you to spend money isn't it?"

        She is a college graduate that made a very good salary and was referring to her two year old Honda that had over FORTY THOUSAND MILES ON IT.

        That is the state of the average consumer.

        I tell my wife all the time I would never want to make a product for the average consumer; they could poke their eye out with a cotten ball.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes your right if I did have this POS I would not get the so called fix.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought they were already working on that one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey AB, you DO realize that there's a difference between detonation and pre-ignition, right?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Despite this, there will be tons of people happily stating that they'll use Regular fuel in their Premium fuel vehicles because the car has a knock sensor that will protect it.

      Once again, if that were the case, they wouldn't require Premium fuel. manufacturers don't require its use just for sh!ts and giggles. The knock sensor is there to protect the engine yes, but not so that you can run Regular fuel all the time. It's to keep the engine from killing itself when lower octane fuel is used.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @superx1919 - lmao, good idea. I don't get people who put 87 or whatever in their premium car. a) why'd u buy a car that takes premium gas, if ur budgets that tight, get a kia, the new ones are nice. b) it's not THAT much more per fill up. c) people who are deliberately obstinate and source some sort of pride and self worth from doing stupid crap to be obstinate need to find something better to be proud of.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They should give the Knock Sensor a feedback Mini-esque voice: "You have chosen to put cheap fuel in. Now driving at 50% power until you fix it, tightwad."
      nokabosh
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder if the caddy engine is designed for use of any octane fuel? Guess not if GM has to make a change to the PCM module. But if you do put regular gas (but high combustion) octane gas in a car that takes ONLY premium fuel, watch out! Usually, it's the other way around. People think putting premium gas in a car designed for regular gas is a treat for the engine. Wrong! Premium gas burns slower than regular and will make carbon deposits. People just don't know the difference between a hi-compression engine that runs on premium and a low compression engine that runs on regular. In a high compression engine the piston comes farther up the cylinder wall for a longer power down stroke when the fuel ignites. Premium gas burns slower to prevent damage to the piston head and rods. Regular gas in a hi-compression engine designed only for premium would blow a hole in the piston or bend the rods unless the computer is programmed to change the valve timing to compensate. Regular gas in a car that normally uses premium will result in less power to the wheels when the computer adjusts the engine valve timing to compensate for regular. I am surpised that anyone who makes hi-compression engines wouldn't design it for the dolt who wants to use regular. Caddy nneds to make the design fool-proof.

      • 4 Years Ago
      This is BS. If you fill up a premium-required car/engine with regular and the engine detonates, IT'S YOUR FAULT!!

      Morons should man up and take the hit.

      I once broke a forged piston on a crate LS6 350/370hp corvette engine even with using premium gasoline (GM said the piston failed due to detonation..D'Oh!) ...do you think GM would even pay me for the cost of fixing the engine ($175 including labor in 1970!!). Nope..and insult to injury it took 90 days to get a piston! GM may suck, but the nanny state is getting too much to bear.

      BTW....That was the last GM car/product I ever bought.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Direct injection would have fixed this- and made more power.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Properly done DI would have fixed this. DI done with poor software/calibration wouldn't have. Of course, if this engine were done properly without DI it also would have fixed it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My 2010 Equinox has an annoying road noise(not tires),so I tested the SRX. Same noise, to a lesser degree. Salesman says of course! They share the same platform! Biggest diff was startstop button, no key.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Hello, this is Onstar and we detect regular unleaded fuel in this vehicle. We will cut ignition in 30 seconds so please pull safely to the side of the road and wait for the tow vehicle which is being routed to your exact location."

      There, fixed.
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