2nd Feb 2007, 19:26

This discussion of the very excellent CTS got a bit sidetracked, and in reading the comments I wanted to address the original comment that apparently started this other line of discussion. A commenter asked about buying a used CTS. A reply suggested a rental fleet vehicle, and things sort of took off from there. I'd like to address the original question of buying a used CTS. First off, the great majority of CTS's have the 2.8 or 3.6 V-6 engines. These engines are very rugged and reliable engines of a proven design. They run on regular 87 octane unleaded fuel.

As for purchasing one from a rental agency, I'd have to say I highly recommend doing just that. One needs to remember that people renting a CTS are not teenagers or abusive drivers. They are refined, generally successful and mature business people who opt to pay more for a more luxurious rental vehicle. In all likelihood a rental driver of a CTS would treat it no differently than a private owner, especially if (as has been pointed out) the private owner had abusive teenage drivers in the family.

As for gas, there appears to be some confusion about that. I had personally never even heard of "bad gas" until I read thru these comments. I think many areas of the country don't have independent refinieries. I know in my area ALL gas is brand-name gas. There are no independent gas companies here. The only difference is the octane rating, and the CTS uses 87 octane, so that is of no concern.

Now, with regard to oil changes, one needs to remember that cars sold by rental companies are generally sold with no more than 30,000 miles on them, and in some cases as low as 10,000. Since cars come with factory oil they won't even require a first change until 7000 miles (I'm basing that on the recommended change interval of our three vehicles owner's manuals. Since 2 are GM I'm sure the CTS has the same change interval). That means that even if a rental car had as much as 30,000 miles on it, it would have gone no more than 23,000 miles using "cheap oil". Considering that you could probably run the rugged CTS V-6 for that short a time with used COOKING OIL in the crankcase and burning CHEAP WHISKEY for fuel without harming it, I fail to see how a rental car company could POSSIBLY do any harm to one. Even "cheap oil" will fully protect an engine very adequately for that short a period of time.

As for this argument that a degree in engineering is required to change oil, I find that laughable!! My WIFE can change her own oil. It is a highly complicated procedure. It involves placing a high-tech tool (a wrench) on a plug and rotating it counter-clockwise until it comes out, and placing another modern marvel (a filter wrench) on the filter and turning it counter-clockwise until it comes off. Real rocket-science stuff. My DOG could probably do it if she had a strong enough grip.

I realize European cars such as BMW are much more fragile and prone to problems that a Cadillac, but the discussion was about the CTS, not BMW. In the VERY SHORT time a car is used as a rental car the ONLY maintenance it should ever require is AT MOST 3 oil changes, and absolutely NOTHING ELSE. Domestic vehicles are incredibly maintenance free. I just performed an oil change on one of my GM cars a few weeks ago and it occurred to me that in the 58,000 miles I had driven the car I had NEVER EVEN CHECKED the power steering fluid, coolant, transmission fluid or brake fluid (it still has the original brake pads, and they are barely worn). I did check all the fluids then and they were all OK. Since I do all my own maintenance no one but me (or my wife) ever so much as opens the hood on our vehicles.

I think many people vastly underestimate just how durable and maintenance free modern domestic vehicles are. None of ours (in 35 years of driving) has EVER had a mechanical problem, including several that went over 200,000 miles and 1 (a Ford) that went over 320,000 miles.

With that said, I can't imagine any damage being done to the rugged CTS by being driven a mere 30,000 miles by business executives, attorneys or doctors travelling on business. I have known a number of people who have purchased upscale rental vehicles (including 2 in my own family) and they have been as reliable as any other vehicle, as well as having every conceivable option. I cast my vote FOR the rental CTS. Go for it.

3rd Feb 2007, 09:34

19:26, as usual, simply evades the issues.

No one said mechanics needed to attend university. I did say they needed be certified. But, according to you, you need ZERO training or certification since it's so easy to be a mechanic. Funny, the good garages around here brag about their mechanics being ASE certified and the tech schools are running continuous ads telling people how to get training to work on cars.

And, as usual, you haven't answered any of the salient points:

- If all gas is the same why does the concept of knocking and pinging exist when you are using the recommended octane?

- What is the purpose of synthetic oil, recommended by posters here, if all oil is the same?

- Why is it better to have 100's of unknown people abusing a car before you buy it than one owner that you can meet and know about?

- Cadillac engines aren't as bulletproof as you think they are. Just read the comments here about the Northstar (8 cylinder). Now this is obviously a sensitive engine that is easily abused.

- BMW and other good manufacturers build high quality engines that will last forever if taken care of properly. That does not mean trips to Jiffy Lube.

3rd Feb 2007, 10:46

Just wondering how all these (nontrained) people at Enterprise and other rental agencies handle a situation where a CTS comes in with diagnostic codes popping up. Do they simply unplug the battery to eliminate the code and then sell the car to an unsuspecting customer?

After all, these cars are soooo simple to work on. What do they do?

3rd Feb 2007, 13:52

Please try to read a little more carefully, as it was already stated above that there is a difference between synthetic and non-synthetic oil.

Perhaps you can tell us the location of BMW's private oil well, from which they pump their superior grade of oil that nobody else has. Some mysterious location in Siberia? The North Sea? The Gulf of Niger? Please, do tell!

4th Feb 2007, 09:05

I did read carefully. Somehow all gas is the same and modern engines are not sophisticated in any way since they can take any gas short of water - yet suddenly synthetic oil is somehow better than regular oil.

Makes no sense. But neither does buying an abused luxury rental car.

4th Feb 2007, 10:51

Maybe the High Priest of BMW comes to bless the oil change, and sanctifies the turning of the filter.

I've got some news for you. Most manufacturers, whether Japanese, German, or American, build high quality engines that will last forever if maintained properly. The 12 domestic vehicles that went to over 200,000 miles that my family has owned will attest to that. We did all oil changes ourselves, generally not on time, and generally using the cheapest oil. Are you saying that BMW is so fragile that it requires certain, special oil and a complicated process to change that can only be performed by highly trained service reps? What you are describing is a product known to economists as a "Geffen Good", that is, a style of marketing ploy by which people are convinced that an otherwise unremarkable product must be better and more desirable simply because it is ludicrously overpriced. They are only too glad to pay the exorbitant price in order to feel secure in the "knowledge" that they have purchased the very finest.