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Discussion Starter #1
Well... count me as another victim of the "Bad Casting" porous spot in the head during manufacturing. Vehicle just ran out of extended Buick warranty 7 years 100K. It's over 7 years but our Buick only has 91K in miles. It was our first GM purchase and we went with the top of the line Buick Enclave CXL loaded. Added the Buick / GM 100K warranty for peace of mind. Serviced the Buick at GM for 7 years.

Dealer confirmed that the Check Engine Light was due to oil in the spark plug tubes due to a manufacturing defect - a bad casing. It's been discussed on this forum quite a bit and in the TSB (copied below). The dealer contacted GM and they said because the vehicle is over 7 years, they are not interested in helping. Dealership said it would be $4,000 for the fix. The vehicle is worth $11-12$K according to KBB.

I was communicating with @rbarrios on the Acadia and this forum and he's been so helpful at trying different things like Techron etc. I was hoping it was a carbon issue and not the casting issue. I see in the Recent Discussion on the right hand side ... a question "Should I buy an Enclave?". On the one hand, we love the vehicle but it's very disappointing to encounter such a huge issue at this point in the vehicles life.

What do we do now?


TSB
Fluid in Spark Plug Tubes

March 25, 2013
A Check Engine light may be illuminated with misfire DTCs set, or a possible oil or coolant leak may be found, on some
2010-2013 Enclave, LaCrosse, CTS, SRX, Camaro, Equinox, Traverse, Acadia, Terrain;
2012-2013 Caprice PPV, Captiva, Impala; 2013 ATS and XTS models equipped with 3.0L and 3.6L (RPOs LF1, LFW, LLT, LFX) HFV6 engines.

On inspection, coolant or oil may be found in a spark plug tube. Determine if the oil or coolant is coming from the spark plug tube and not leaking into it from above. If the spark plug tube is leaking, replace the cylinder head, spark plug and coil.

Porous spots in the head created during manufacturing cause the leak. The spark plug tubes are permanently sealed into the head and are not replaceable.

If a cylinder head is replaced for this condition, mark the faulty spark plug tube before sending the head in for warranty or core so GM Engineering or the re-manufacturing facility can identify it.
 

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I'm sorry for your issue. I just experienced spending over $6K last year in keeping my Enclave running. Auto manufacturers seem to use their customers as beta-testers for new technology, some more than others. That's why now as a rule for new car purchases I will buy after a mid-cycle refresh or the last model year before a complete refresh which is even better. Sure maybe it's not the latest and greatest model, but heck if all the kinks are worked out you will have a much more reliable vehicle.

$4K is a lot of coin, but far cheaper than a new $40K vehicle...When I spent the money last year I looked at it as being a year of car payments...
 

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sorry to hear that it turned out to be the porous metal.

It is interesting that initially took 90,000 miles.
then suddenly it seeps into the hole- at a much faster rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
UPDATE: So @rbarrios comment "interesting that initially it took 90,000 miles..." got me thinking. Dealer said they used a boroscope and it was the porous issue. $4,000 and oil in the spark plug wells.

I decided to check the spark plug wells myself. I took the manifold off ... this time it took me 35 minutes vs. hours. The first time I did it took me a long time as it was my first time and I installed Bosch double iridum platinum plugs. Opened her up, took a look inside and guess what? One tube had a tiny bit of dried up oil in it. Tiny bit! The other tubes were crystal clean. There was no oil on the plugs. But I had two misfires as errors on the CEL in the same cylinders as before.

I removed the Bosch spark plugs and installed the new OEM AC Delco iridium plugs properly gapped at .43. I reset the CEL and no problem. No CEL. Have driven it 100 miles. Thinking it may be the carbon that @rbarrios told me about. I added Seafoam to the gas tank. I used the Seafoam in the throttle body. This procedure - in the throttle body caused more codes. I had the dreaded Stabilitrak error and the Throttle body learning errors and a CEL go on. I did the re-learn procedure several times to no avail. Drove the Buick for 10 miles (over 44 mph) and reset the CEL twice. CEL kept coming on. The RPMS were in perfect range but the CEL kept appearing. The Stabilitrak error and warnings disappeared. I then pulled over, reset the P2176 code and quickly turned the engine off. I then turned the engine back on. CEL is gone. The car is running super smooth. Engine is smooth and CEL has remained off after about 50 more miles. The car sounds brand new.

I'm either the luckiest person in the world and it was the spark plugs and the carbon build up that was the true problem... or the CEL and misfires will return and it truly is the porous head. I will let you all know if it comes back on. But right now, I'm hopeful. Thanks to this forum! You guys are really great no matter what happens.
 

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I hope it all works out for you. Looks like the dealer may have wanted a $4,000 payday. Plugs and coils are really easy to do on this engine, even if you have to take off the intake manifold. No need to pay a dealer. One other thing that causes misfires are the coils. I learned to only buy ACDelco OEM - and make sure it's OEM. ACDelco sells a cheaper "made in China" coils that are way cheaper but last about 25,000 miles. Ask me how I know...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Truth be told I used Duralast 6 coils for $189 or so when I changed the plugs originally and used the Bosch platinums. I kept my original coils as I really thought it was the spark plugs initially. I hope the Duralast last. They do have a lifetime warranty. But I’ll look out for this... just hoping my misfires don’t return.
 

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Regarding the coils, the factory ACDelco OEM are different than the regular "made in China" ones. That mistake cost me $1800 as I took my car to the dealer since it happened while going to work and I needed to get the car fixed. I got ripped off big time, but there was nothing I could do as the dealer had the whole thing apart. They did do an excellent job, but they should have for what I paid. That's why I try to maintain my vehicles myself as the dealer is ready to rip you off whenever they can. They even told me my struts were leaking, and they were, but after that I chose to do the struts myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update: 175 miles since spark plug change to OEM AC Delco and Seafoam throttle body spray. No CEL light or misfires so far. {{fingers crossed}}
 

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I know there are guys on here that will stomp there feet at me telling you to use a higher grade of fuel to help keep the motor clean. I don't run high test all the time but i do run it. There a fuels that use different additives that help to keep the engine running clean. Shell uses Techron. Chevron uses Techron. Costco uses its own additives that it puts in at the pump. That i use all the time. Techron is probably the best additive on the market today. I have had many of these 3.6 DI motors with 80000+ miles and never changed plugs or had any problems with how they ran. So you may hear all kind of arguments why you should not use high test. I have been problem free when it comes to these motors. So in the long run it has worked for me, when you hear all the problems others have had.
 

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Ok, I see he cleaned his intake and it probably wasn't a bad casting to begin with. Regardless, super unleaded doesn't make a difference. Anecdotal evidence that "I haven't had problems" aside. I've only ever run 87 in mine and I don't have a problem. See the circular logic?

I've also run nothing but 91 and most of the time 93 in my VW 2.0T since it's tuned to actually use super unleaded and it still had to be de-carboned at 70k. The carbon was so bad the shop had to use a combination of solvent, picks and media blasting to get it all out of the intake and valves.
 

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LOL... now 91 is going to fix bad castings in the head? Dude, just stop.
Dude don't put words in my mouth, NOBODY said anything about 91 fixing bad casting. Did you even read it.
 

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Ok, I see he cleaned his intake and it probably wasn't a bad casting to begin with. Regardless, super unleaded doesn't make a difference. Anecdotal evidence that "I haven't had problems" aside. I've only ever run 87 in mine and I don't have a problem. See the circular logic?

I've also run nothing but 91 and most of the time 93 in my VW 2.0T since it's tuned to actually use super unleaded and it still had to be de-carboned at 70k. The carbon was so bad the shop had to use a combination of solvent, picks and media blasting to get it all out of the intake and valves.
VW are the very worst when it comes to DI motors......And I'm sure you run the cheapest 91 you can find. So you need to stop with your propaganda. Read the manual. Octane, 87 or HIGHER!!!! Don't be afraid to spend a buck. Cant take it with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Almost 300 miles since spark plug change and no CEL. Since I used Seafoam on the throttle body, I had this thing in my head to change the oil. So I had an oil change... used the Penzoil High Mileage vs. the Blend. Enclave is running so smooth and no misfires. I don't know how long until I know I'm clear from the oil in tube/misfires that I and the dealer thought was due to porosity? Is is 500 miles or 1000 miles? Oh, I did fill her up with 93 at the last fill up. I had run Seafoam in the gas and I figured it couldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well guys, 400 miles since spark plug change. Dreaded Check Engine Light has returned. I'll run the codes tonight and see what they are. I'm sure it will be cylinder misfires again. Ugghh... I mean I keep wanting it not to be the porosity which = $4,000.

Could the serpentine belt cause misfires in cylinders? Could oxygen sensors cause it? I don't believe the OBD shows the cause - just the misfire result. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ran the OBD and I have one misfire P0301 Cylinder 3. Permanent P0300 and P0301

Hmm???

Well guys, 400 miles since spark plug change. Dreaded Check Engine Light has returned. I'll run the codes tonight and see what they are. I'm sure it will be cylinder misfires again. Ugghh... I mean I keep wanting it not to be the porosity which = $4,000.

Could the serpentine belt cause misfires in cylinders? Could oxygen sensors cause it? I don't believe the OBD shows the cause - just the misfire result. Thoughts?
 

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Change the plugs, coils of the offending cylinders, clear the codes and trade it. Dealer will have to give it a 30 day warranty to the next owner so the only one who will get screwed is the dealer, and they screw enough people every day that I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Lol. Maybe I’ll look back on this suggestion and wish I did it. I just installed new tires on it. So, perhaps I’ll try and Seafoam the top engine or CRC it again, then install a new coil on cylinder 3.

Based on forum research, appears that if it were timing chain or O2 sensor, the code would be different from P0301 so... I’ll keep trying. I do need to get an inspection soon. Hope I can clear code long enough to clear inspection MA
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Amazing that in this day and age, an OBD reader can’t really tell us more than the cylinder number and it’s a misfire vs. why there was a misfire...what part caused it.
 
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