3.9 liter V6 vs 3.6 liter V6 - Chevy Impala Forums
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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3.9 liter V6 vs 3.6 liter V6

I recently drove a rental '12 Impala LTZ and the 3.6 engine combined with the 6 speed automatic seems to have a lot of pep. Definitely better response than my 3.9/4 speed auto combination. However, I heard that some of these 3.6 liter overhead cam engines may have oil burning issues and are not as durable as the 3.9 liter push rod engine. I am not sure how true this is. Any comments?

I thought about trading in my car on a new '012 LTZ, but the resale value is very disappointing - after 3 years/34k miles, my car is worth about $ 12k on trade. This for a car with $ 31k sticker. The car is now worth a whopping 40 % of its original retail price! This is truly ridiculous! A 3 year old low mileage Honda Accord would be worth at least 75% of its original sticker price.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 04:14 PM
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Price is what attracted me to even look at an Impala.

Found my '08 in Sept '09 - had about 40,000 miles on it - figured it had just rotated out of a rental fleet. Got to wondering how a rental could get 40,000 miles on it in a year, then concluded that it was probably bought in late '07 so that the rental company could get almost two calendar years' worth out of it and still sell it while it was only one model year old.

Dealer had it on the lot since July, had dropped the price to $14,900, and that included the brand new set of RS-A tires complete with the manufacturing whiskers still on them, which I figured was about $1,000 worth of tires. The car was immaculate - leather was clean without any creasing, paint was perfect - for all purposes, it looked new. Pfffft, for a year-old full-size vehicle, too hard at the time not to take a chance on.

The attraction diminished greatly in the following months as the various problems popped up - three of the four wheel bearings failing, two power door lock assembly failures, evap purge solenoid failure, power mirror switch failure, A/C compressor failure, as well as the rear alignment issues typical for that model year.

But, back on topic - have been pleased with the 3.9L. The DOD still works fine, and oil consumption is still above 3,500 miles per quart. It does amaze me that the 3.6L is rated for nearly the same horsepower as the 5.3L, although I suspect the 3.6L really has to get busy with the RPMs to hit max horsepower.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z71 View Post

I thought about trading in my car on a new '012 LTZ, but the resale value is very disappointing - after 3 years/34k miles, my car is worth about $ 12k on trade. This for a car with $ 31k sticker. The car is now worth a whopping 40 % of its original retail price! This is truly ridiculous! A 3 year old low mileage Honda Accord would be worth at least 75% of its original sticker price.

Seems any car the the "car and driver turtle neck guys" brand as a basic transportation, or has less following hype drops price in 3 years to much below the others.......and is why it is the only vehicles I purchase when 3 years old.

Look at the old Grand Marquis. After 20 K miles with grandma driving, who wanted a used one, and look how much car you got for the money.

Car pricing is based on what is popular or brand following (Honda Accord), not necessarily real value.

2008 3.9 LT, 2013 LTZ
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Anybody can comment on the engine issues (3.9 vs 3.6 and on the oil usage rumor for the 3.6 engine)?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 07:51 AM
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Re: 3.9 liter V6 vs 3.6 liter V6

I see a lot posted online on different forums about the 3.6 using oil and the response is always 1 quart oil usage is normal yada yada but I don't own a 3.6 or 3.9 so I don't have any first hand experience for you.

Your best bet would be to Google it and do some research


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 11:23 AM
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While I don't have any experience with the 3.6 or the other 6 cyl's, I can say that the oil consumption issue is rather common. I even have the same issue with my LS4 5.3L. I drove it back up to RI back in January, and it needed a quart because it'd consume it.

I just had the oil change done at the dealer (because I couldn't get the damn drain plug off, and I don't have a jack or the place to change it...), and the service tech said that it's a common thing for the newer engines to consume a quart every so often.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 01:14 PM
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The 3.9 L is a pushrod engine that puts out 242 HP with a 4 speed transmission, while the 3.6 L is an overhead cam engine that puts out 300 HP with a 6 speed transmission. The 3.9 L is a very durable engine and has plenty of power, with just a few mods. I dont have DOD. Only time will tell how durable the overhead cam engine is.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 06:49 AM
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have 33,000 miles on 12ltz no loss of oil at all between oil changes, can't talk to 3.9 engine

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 01:23 PM
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Have had my '12 almost a year now. Typically change the oil and filter every 3 months or 5,000 miles max. When I took delivery, it had 88 km on the odometer.

The first oil change I did at 2,000 km. My idea of "break in" is a modified version of this one

Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power

Through the government fleet I get access to, I have performed this on dozens of new pickup trucks and SUV's, all with uniformly excellent results. Bit more power, bit better fuel economy, zero oil consumption past break in.

The first oil change, my 3.6 was down about halfway between full and add. Every other oil change, including one at 7,500 km with the OLM claiming 47% remaining, has been ZERO oil consumption.

First two oil changes were complimentary by the dealership, they refilled with Dexos Goodwrench oil. I paid them to do another oil change, then about two weeks ago did it myself. Used the dealership oil filter and Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5W-30.

Am waiting to hear back on the oil analysis.

I did have a rental 2012 that burned oil. On cold start, a puff of blue smoke came out. When I picked it up, I popped the hood and checked the oil with the rental person claiming they had already checked everything. Oil was barely on the stick.

"What? It burned 4 litres sitting here in your parking lot?"

That Impala, I had to add a litre of oil every fill up. Really scared me off the new engine, until our fleet maintenance manager told me the problem was too long oil changes, and not using a Dexos rated motor oil.

We have 7 of the 2012 Impala and they have had zero issues. A lot really depends on how well they are maintained. Direct injected gasoline motors put a lot of soot in the oil. They specify Dexos for a reason, and I personally would NEVER stretch past 3 months or 5,000 miles.

Unless I ran a bypass oil filter to capture all that soot

The 3.9 seemed to be a good motor. No comparison in hp and torque to the new 3.6.

2012 Chevy Impala LS, 3.6 direct injection
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 06:38 PM
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^Agreed.

The 3.9L was an adequate engine.

This 3.6L is a real sweetheart. Power delivery is ridiculous. Gas mileage is excellent. I've only had my 2012 for a few weeks now, but I absolutely love it, mainly due to the 6speed automatic and the 3.6L.

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 11:26 PM
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I found a 2012 Impala LT with just under 25K miles for just under $14K. Which based on my recent searches is a pretty good deal. I put a hold on it at the dealer and have a tentative test drive and anticipate purchasing tomorrow. It is a Chevy Certified Used vehicle (from what I understand that means it still has the original warranty in place). As I was continuing my research into the specific vehicle I found out it was previously a rental vehicle and the front wheel bearings were replaced (assuming part of the certification inspection process). My questions is whether I need to be extra wary of this car because it was previously a rental vehicle, or if the Certified Used car tag trumps my worries? Any info is greatly appreciated...This would be my first chevy car (I've had a couple Dodge Trucks and a Chrysler Van, a Nissan and some other foreign cars). I'm not completely stupid when it comes to repairs, but don't want something that is going to constantly be in disrepair.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 10:52 AM
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Optimus Primal Bear, please let me know if you have any questions along the way! It's great you're thinking about an Impala, and I'd be happy to provide its build sheet and existing warranty information, if you like. I'm happy to help where I can and am available via private message for further assistance.

Best,

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 11:02 AM
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It only has 25k on it, so if there is any wear and tear going on I would move on. Not to say the hubs are a red flag, they are a common failure on these cars, so that could be nothing. As long as everything feels nice and tight on the test drive, I wouldn't worry too much.

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 09:51 PM
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My 2008 LTZ w/ the 3.9 (& AFM of course!) burned 1.5 qts. over 3,400 miles!! Just completed an oil-cons. test at my dealer, so it's documented.

The kicker here....it's only got 30,100 miles as of today...!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 09:59 PM
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Oil consumption seems to be common with those broski

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