Edmunds.com seems to offer a different opinion.
Edmunds.com is about as useful for reviews as a Sears catalog. Out of all
the domestic cars I have looked up on there, they gave most of them shit
reports. Hell, a lot of them have great reviews from *owners* yet terrible
ones from Edmunds. Even the owners that rated the Lucerne at Edmunds gave it
an average of 9.3 out of 10, yet, it's still crap to Edmunds.
Sorry, but no one can tell anyone what to buy. A car *I* may find
astounding, someone else may find terrible. And Edmunds bitching about the
seat warmers? Give me a break. What do they want? It warms your ass, which
means folks, that yes, it has to get warm.
Ranks up with Car and Driver. If it does not handle like a Corvette or
Porsche or high end Mercedes, it is crap. I don't know about the Lucerne,
but my Le Sabre has two heat setting on the seat and neither burns your ass.
OTOH, the drivers side broke and they want $560 to repair it.
wow, $560. Maybe get a repair manual and fix it yourself. Unplug the
battery first. Might be a broken wire somewhere (probably closer to the
seat than the fuse box/relays). Or perhaps the warming elements might
need to be changed (but I doubt that). Or there might be some
thermostat type thingy that's bad.
You can't buy just the element, you replace the entire seat bottom. Does
that make sense? Yes, it is a broken wire as I've had a hot spot just
before it stopped working. Probably the same element as a $7 toaster in
WalMart. I got less than two winters out of it. Buick is working hard to get
me to buy an import.
Then anyone complaining about a hot ass is nuts. I recall Edmunds knocking
the older model (97 or so) Le Sabre because it had both a holder on the
cover for the gas cap and a lanyard attached to the cap. Now, if you have
to pick on that as a "problem" you want to make a car look like it has a lot
of negatives. Two years later, when the lanyard breaks, the other holder is
nice to have.
I got a chance to drive my Dad's 8-cyl last week. It's a beautiful,
comfortable, quiet, powerful car. His has magnetic damped ride-control
which GM just licensed to Ferrari I think. It works wonderfully.
I recall Edmunds complaining about the four-speed. Let me tell you; that
tranny is as close to CV as you're likely to get. It's been proven in
generations of Caddies and Olds Auroras. I'd rather have a 4T80E than the
latest flavor of 5-6-7-whatever speed.
The latest ridiculous event in car reviewing comes to us in the form of
CNET. They've been doing half-assed reviews of technology products for
years...heavy emphasis on baiting the viewer into clicking onto their
"review", only to find out it's really just a shopping site portal. What
makes these weenies think they're qualified to do any kind of automotive
I blame Consumer Reports for everything.
You are SO spot-on about the GM 4-speed transmission. An outstanding
piece of work. It's not "upscale" enough these days, I suppose, but it
works, and works extremely well. A lot more than can be said for the 6
and 7 speed wonders that shift CONSTANTLY and are never at a loss for
the wrong gear.
I'm going to have to delurk for this. I'm a lifelong GM man, to the bone.
But I have got to say that the 4T80E in my '99 Olds Aurora is a serious
disappointment. It has the "viscous converter clutch". Or as I've named
it, the blue haired old ladys torque converter clutch. It's designed with a
silicone fluid embedded among two sets of clutch fingers and absorbs all
shock upon engagement. Unfortunately, it's also prone to slip excessively
and once it starts this, the converter is ruined in a few hundred miles
according to what the service bulletin on this problem states. Also, the
pulse width modulated VCC (viscous conv. clutch) control valve oscillates at
around 30 cyc. per second when it's controlling the converter. The bore is
aluminum and wears out, and this is also another situation where the VCC
will slip excessively. Once the PCM senses excessive slip, it sets DTC
P0741 and turns on the serv. eng. soon light. Now you can't pass the state
vehicle emissions inspection since that particular code is related to
emissions. With it slipping as it is now, I've lost about 3 mpg also.
Also, when I changed the oil last week, it had a puddle of trans. fluid
underneath and it's coming from the front seal. It's going to cost me
approx. $2000 or more to get this transmission replaced and I'll have to get
it fixed right so I can pass emissions. I can clear the codes as I have a
good Genisys scan tool, but by the time all the monitors set, the VCC slip
has set the P0741 again. I'm basically screwed on this. I've always had
nothing but good luck with all my GM cars and pickups, but this particular
transmission is badly designed, in my opinion. Just my .02.
I'll bet there are plenty of owners of '99 Olds Auroras that have trouble
free trannys. One must realize not every owner provide the proper
maintenance required for their vehicles and some, on occasion, will fail
Exactly. I kept clean fluid in the tranny. Changed at never more than
30,000 with a filter. My wife drives the car mostly and drives it very,
very easy. If you'll look at the IATN archives, you'll find that the P0741
VCC slippage is a very common problem with this 4T80E transmission. It's
badly designed, and that's the bottom line. The viscous converter clutch is
weak, and the VCC control valve bore should have never, ever have been
designed without a hardened sleeve in the aluminum. The people at Sonnax
make a kit to fix that problem that was part of the design with a reamer
and a hardened sleeve. I take excellent care of all my vehicles, almost to
the point of obsesseiveness. And they've all served me well, until this
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