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Old 05-17-2021, 01:17 AM   #1
thinkpad4by3
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Default Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

Hi guys,

I've wanted an XR 3.6 for a long time, but between the LY7 and 6T70 I'm just thinking this is gunna be a nightmare in frustration of timing chains and wave plates. I see most wave plate failures on like the SUVs, but they were also much more popular. How reliable are these cars and is it a bad idea to pick one up?
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

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Originally Posted by thinkpad4by3 View Post
Hi guys,

I've wanted an XR 3.6 for a long time, but between the LY7 and 6T70 I'm just thinking this is gunna be a nightmare in frustration of timing chains and wave plates. I see most wave plate failures on like the SUVs, but they were also much more popular. How reliable are these cars and is it a bad idea to pick one up?
The used car market is insane right now. I wouldn't be shopping for a new ride just yet, because the prices are high. These cars aren't that popular, and once used inventory starts getting back to normal the prices will drop. I'd check back in 6 months.

Having said all that, I inherited a low mileage 2008 in 2019. Since then I've put about 12,000 miles on it, mostly highway trips to see family. When I first got it, it needed several things fixed so I spent a lot of money on alternator, water pump, brakes, tires, and other things. Since then, I haven't had any problems with it.

I would look for the 2009 model year, because they had gotten some of the earlier issues with the 6T70 wave plates fixed. Also, look for a low mileage example with a ton of maintenance records of the oil changes. From reading other peoples comments on this board, frequent oil changes (5,000 miles) are good for keeping the timing chain happy. You should be good for a while.

One last thing - a lot of the 2009 XRs I see are the 4 cylinder version, which I think was a 2009-only variant. If you want the LY7, make sure that the car has that before you go any further.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Last edited by JimRice; 05-17-2021 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

I have a 3.6 in a Caddy SRX and while it uses a lot of oil (quart a thousand miles) I think they are OK if you maintain the level. I'd be nervous about any car that you couldn't verify the maintenance. As for the trans, a good candidate might be one that had the trans replaced already.

But these cars are definitely at the age where either an engine or trans failure means the car is scrap unless you can do your own labor.
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Old 05-17-2021, 12:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

Anything up to a medium level repair I can say I'd comfortably do in my driveway. No engine swaps or trans swaps, but alternators, suspension parts, steering parts, etc.

I'm not looking for a car right now, so waiting 6 months isn't a huge deal.

I know someone with not just 1 but 2 LY7's (Buick Rendevous and SRX) and neither has blown up yet so I should ask them.

Yep, I make sure to see the 3.6 badge on the back. Also digital climate control was very rare in the 2.4 and much more common in the 3.6 from what I can tell.

I've also heard about the "2009.5" Aura's...what is that all about?
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

I worked for Saturn and never heard of them being called that.. Only thing I can think of is after they knew there days were numbered they got heavy into rentals and made a couple small changes including tire sizes.
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

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I've also heard about the "2009.5" Aura's...what is that all about?
I googled this and the only thing I found is that one of the sibling cars to this, the Pontiac G6, had a 2009.5 where they got a new front bumper and a better radio with Bluetooth. I *think* 2009 Saturns already had the radio. Whether that was an option or standard, I don't know.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

Yes. Mine has given me headaches over and over again. Just had to have it towed last month.
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is getting an XR 3.6 a bad idea?

My boy has had a 2009 Aura XR with the 4 cylinder and 6 speed auto for several years. I'm the one who gets to maintain it.....what a nightmare. Lots of wiring issues.....brakes, turn signals, door locks, third light, power windows. It was fun installing a new headlight bulb.....had to remove the front bumper! Lots of misfiring.....replaced the coil pack, fuel injector and spark plugs before it would run right. And oh yes the famous wavvy washer went bad in the 6 speed tranny. Wavvy washers aint cheap....$3500 hard earned bucks. Other than those issues, it's a nice riding little car for a small family that gets decent but not great gas milage. Good luck
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