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1.8L and 1.6L P0011 and P0016, Oil check valve replacement thread.

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I'm starting this thread to document a resolution to code P0011, P0016.

this primarily affects the intake cam phaser resulting in a CEL with a P0011( cam phaser performance ) accompanied by P0014 (cam phaser too slow), and p0016 ( cam phaser cant adjust for). this can be an elusive problem to fix and most often presents during cold starts.

so far since purchase of this 1.8l LS just about last year. I've changed out the oil cooler for maintenance, typically there's a check style valve inside, that the oil filter depresses. this valve can fail leading to oil bypassing the filter and dumping back into the oil pan. pending on the severity there may be a low oil light on at idle.

next thing replaced on the car was a timing belt kit, sometimes the tensioners can go out and put extra strain on the plastic cam lock, too many slips and locking becomes unpredictable... while I was changing the belt it allowed me to see that the previous owner tried to fix said issue with a new cam phaser, belt and a horrible seal job(that I theorize is causing current problem) so that is something I will have to revisit.


next was the cam solenoid a "DOORMAN" unit was installed. I went to the local wreckers and was able to get a oem solenoid and albeit the system worked just that tinny bit better, it was still no dice.

at that point I cam across how todays topic formed. this little check valve. This valve is responsible for the oil passage to the cam phasers, both in restricting oil flow and stopping the oil from draining back out while the engine is off another step in ironing out this p0011 issue


Handwriting Product Font Drawing Diagram



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(Note the blue check valve is for between the head and block for the cam shafts. GM# xxxx)

(video retrieved from youtube by "Coyote_Osornio" )

this video recently came across my youtube homepage, the user is just using the screw to hold the valve


(video retrieved from youtube by "Los Especialistas Automotrices" )

this video highlights the oil passeges for the whole engine
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
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Okay to start I'd take a firm couple days for this project, I managed to do it in one. First you will need to remove the filter box, throttle body, intake manifold, and alternator to gain full access to the access plug. plug comes out with a #8 allen, but is soft aluminum so be careful about stripping it. at this point you want to guage the depth of the valve so you know how far to insert. I didn't check if there was a recess to stop the valve, but if there isn't there is more than enough depth to lose the valve in the oil galley.


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All the way in there. From the video above I tried using a #8 wood screw, but only proved helpful for breaking the orange plastic. once the plastic is out you'll need to fish out the ball, in my case I magnetized a slotted screw driver to get it out.


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Main tool off the day a piece of 3/8" threaded rod, 3 nuts, and a washer. I tore apart another tool for a threaded shaft that was easier to customize into an extractor. nontheless the same can be done with the threaded rod and file widdeling the end into a point that will thread into the valve sleeve. two nuts on the end tightened together for grip, and the third nut with washer some where in the middle of the threaded rod. once the rod is threaded into the valve sleeve, this may take a while as oil will do its thing to lubricate, hold the two tightened nuts and thread the third nut against the washer, against the engine block. this will pull the sleeve out.

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now folks take proper precautions and let the starter run the motor till the oil pushes out any potential debris. follow it up with a q-tip or four and make sure there's no metal paste or shavings left behind. now I looked in the fuse box for the fuel pump fuse.... and then the fuel pump relay.... and, well nothing corresponded to their locations. I didn't find where either one was so I hooked the fuel line back up to the fuel rail before turning the engine over, or gas would of come out as soon as the ignition turns on.


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installing the valve. the wood screw was a good aid in positioning the valve in the hole. once situated start using a 5/16" socket and extension to hammer the valve in, once in drop a size in socket to finish seating the valve and referencing the depth taken in the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
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Looks just like the other one, but it's a beautiful sight. At this point another feel with a Q-tip or two and everything should be good for reassembly.

First start everything worked as it should and no problems yet, letting the car sit overnight should confirm the repair.

my take away, carbon. when I extracted the sleeve there was carbon deposits on the end of the threaded rod, also there was carbon deposits on one of the fingers inside the valve. upon analysis the valve is a restricting check valve only allowing for a minute movement of the ball. if the ball cant fully go back oil gets restricted and the P0011 issue comes up and if it cant seat the passage drains and P0016 come up, also the spring itself is very soft, soft enough to close the valve but not much to fight gravity when tapping the check valve upside down.

in the future or maybe for others peoples benefit getting a can of brake cleaner and sticking the little hose into the valve and giving it a squirt may rid the carbon and may avoid needing to replace the valve all together, but that spring.... is an issue.



@Blasirl @JLL
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
400km since the repair CEL is out, no cam slap on cold start and no reduced power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
600km cam slap is back but oil pressure is right there so is only slapping for the first couple rotations of the crank, every other couple starts. Cel won't go out yet

I'm following it up with a new cam gear, if there's no improvement, burning it 😂





Been compiling link and searching more on the P0011. Seems Holden Australia had a P0011-14 P0011-16 solve by removing the secondary solenoid screens as engineers deemed they were only needed for break in.

Hi,
I was wondering if anyone has removed the arc shaped filter screens on VVT solenoids? I read here there is a common problem of them clogging up, presumably higher mileage engines and when neglecting oil changes.

Holden has responded as follows...

"A formal Holden service fix has been released to solve this issue. It instructs technicians to remove the filters out of the solenoids entirely. To remove the solenoid, remove the filter, clean the solenoid and refit it without the filter. This is because the Holden engineers have deemed the filters unnecessary for any engine that is past being run in. Which means in essentially any road car with these symptoms, they can be removed."

When I did an oil change at 8k mile interval (99,000 km odometer), I noticed what could be described as a flat spot during certain rpm ranges during acceleration improved. This does not always happen on my 1.8l Holden Cruze and tends to be worse if the AC is on.

I was considering doing the above as preventative maintenance and I change my oil at 7-8k miles so not worried about dirty oil entering the solenoid.

Removal at least does not seem hard, just don't drop the bolt.


There are other videos that show how to clean it before replacing it. I will probably just use 100% isopropyl alcohol and let it dry for 20 minutes.

Let me know what you think.
 

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We have a z18xer on an Astra. For years, on cold morning first-start, the car had the dieseling sound for a few seconds.

Last month, we tightened the oil filter cap "a bit more", and that stopped the dieseling sound. We are not sure why but one guess is that the oil check valve system does not work properly if the oil system is not sealed? No idea to be honest.

We do NOT have the P0011, P0016 type codes but I suppose the dieseling sound is a step towards those issues.

More detail

- Some Astra owners were complaining about oil filter cap o-rings not properly sealing (allowing oil to seep out of the filter housing). I think the tell-tale is oil staining on the BACK of the metal oil filter housing. The front of our housing was clean and shiny but the back had gobs of old oil which we could see with a mirror and remove with rags.

- Cranking down on a plastic oil filter cap beyond GM specs is a bad idea. The o-ring should seal independently of how much the cap is is torqued. Cranking down risks distorting and/or fracturing the oil filter cap and/or metal filter housing. Also these plastic housings get brittle over time and distorted by monsters at oil change shops. That is a recipe for a new engine.

- Previously we used only Wix & AC Delco oil filters purchased from a reliable local wholesaler (not amazon etc.). A few Astra folks complained about the AC Delco o-rings. For our 2013 Toyota Camry, Wix included an incorrectly sized o-ring. So these companies are not perfect IMHO.

- We purchased a new OEM plastic oil filter cap & oil filter from the Chevy dealer. We will only purchase oil filters from the dealer going forward.

- The z18xer (especially the vvt system) is very picky about oil. Must use DEXOS full synthetic, and 5k mile changes are prudent (no more than 1 year). The morning dieseling sound typically stops for us for several months after an oil change.

In conclusion, we will try an easy "long-term fix" with OEM plastic filter cap, OEM oil filter, DEXOS full synthetic oil. It may not work for us or anyone else, but is worth a shot as it is cheap and easy. And could be some preventative maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We have a z18xer on an Astra. For years, on cold morning first-start, the car had the dieseling sound for a few seconds.

Last month, we tightened the oil filter cap "a bit more", and that stopped the dieseling sound. We are not sure why but one guess is that the oil check valve system does not work properly if the oil system is not sealed? No idea to be honest.

We do NOT have the P0011, P0016 type codes but I suppose the dieseling sound is a step towards those issues.

More detail

- Some Astra owners were complaining about oil filter cap o-rings not properly sealing (allowing oil to seep out of the filter housing). I think the tell-tale is oil staining on the BACK of the metal oil filter housing. The front of our housing was clean and shiny but the back had gobs of old oil which we could see with a mirror and remove with rags.

- Cranking down on a plastic oil filter cap beyond GM specs is a bad idea. The o-ring should seal independently of how much the cap is is torqued. Cranking down risks distorting and/or fracturing the oil filter cap and/or metal filter housing. Also these plastic housings get brittle over time and distorted by monsters at oil change shops. That is a recipe for a new engine.

- Previously we used only Wix & AC Delco oil filters purchased from a reliable local wholesaler (not amazon etc.). A few Astra folks complained about the AC Delco o-rings. For our 2013 Toyota Camry, Wix included an incorrectly sized o-ring. So these companies are not perfect IMHO.

- We purchased a new OEM plastic oil filter cap & oil filter from the Chevy dealer. We will only purchase oil filters from the dealer going forward.

- The z18xer (especially the vvt system) is very picky about oil. Must use DEXOS full synthetic, and 5k mile changes are prudent (no more than 1 year). The morning dieseling sound typically stops for us for several months after an oil change.

In conclusion, we will try an easy "long-term fix" with OEM plastic filter cap, OEM oil filter, DEXOS full synthetic oil. It may not work for us or anyone else, but is worth a shot as it is cheap and easy. And could be some preventative maintenance.
When the cold weather hits it's usually the dual mass flywheel chattering like that, if you're manual gearbox.

The issues present in the oil cooler is the bypass valve at the bottom not seating and allowing oil to bleed out cussing low pressure.


I've put on a new oil cooler prior and that momentarily helped, a new check valve here. And a far better response but still popping the CEL.

My next round of options is to disassemble the cam gears reseal the top cam cap, and reassemble with a new intake cam gear. Research I've done suggests that the little plastic piece that inserts into the cam gear prior to the cam. has to be tight or it won't reach lock consistently.


Still running with the P0011 occasionally CEL goes out. OCI is about 5-7000km
 

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When the cold weather hits it's usually the dual mass flywheel chattering like that, if you're manual gearbox.
Auto gear box on our car.

Typo corrected. It is first morning start with the dieseling sound. Sound will happen any season, although we suspect it might be more common in the winter (but not sure).

On the Astra forums, we see replacement of the "Cam actuator phaser" gears is the typical fix to the dieseling sound. But as you note, this may not address the root cause of the valvetrain noise, but rather something like the oil check valve.

The leaky cam gears' top cap seal is a popular failure for the Astra too.

As is the leaky valve cover gasket (and failing silicone PCV valve built into the gasket valve cover.

GM issued a service note to remove the orange filters from the cam actuator phasers on some z18xer engines. There was also a recall program and Saturn replaced one actuator (the replacement actuator was a different design; but I can't remember if the part number was changed). I'm not sure if that service note covers some Chevy Cruze models. Removing the orange filters increases oil flow and prevents broken orange filter parts from clogging oil passages (Pine Hollow Auto Diagnostics recently had a video where a broken filter bit clogged the cam actuator phaser; I can't rememer if that was on a Cruze or a different GM engine). Removing the orange oil filters reduced the startup dieseling sound for us...for a while.

In the UK forums we have seen some people with blocked oil intake filters; cleaning requires dropping the oil pan. One way to clog those filters was adding silicone during the oil cooler repair, some of which eventually migrates to the oil pan filter. I don't know if other things would cause that clog for well-maintained z18xer engines.


Hope this helps you get to the bottom of your problem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thank you.


yeah i have a cam gear and bolt on stand by, but want to see if there are things i can do first like remove the screens from the solenoid as I inadvertently broke the timing cover to get into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Yeah both screens being wrecked is inspiring.

Fingered the hole and there was bits in there, so cased the area in rags and cycled the motor once, with the injectors unplugged. Didn't find anything amongst the mess of oil. Threw the solenoid back in without the screen... casings.

Waiting to see.
 

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Oh dear. Not sure where the plastic and metal bits from screens end up in the engine. A few ideas:

  • The oil filter
  • Plastic strainer in the oil pickup (which requires removing the oil pan)
  • A few check valves in the engine (including the one referred to above)
  • Inside the solenoids
  • etc.

Anyways, I would remove both the intake and exhaust solenoids for cleaning and testing:

- Manually clear out what you can.

- You can run 12v from a power supply to the solenoids in rapid bursts only; see if they sound the same and seem to be working.

- You can try flushing the solenoids in clean oil (and while rapidly bursting 12v a few times)

- You can test the resistance with an ohm meter (5-10 ohms seems typical but I don't know what factory spec is for your parts).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did a test drive, and same o'l schnitzel.

So these cam phasers are a consumable item then? Looking at the new one I have in hand it seems the plastic is to assist in making a seal, but once it spins it's toast. Possible to make a steel insert that has a tighter tolerance but finding a machine shop? Will take some research once I figure out how the phaser works.
 

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There is a Latin American mechanic battling P0011 ect on a Cruze z18xer on youtube. He did a ton of work trying to nail down the problem, including some plastic sleeve work. This was for a friend, so the amount of diagnosis work was more than one would typically do.

There are a about 4 videos in the series. If you don't understand the Spanish, you can select "closed captions" and auto translate to English.

I hope this helps.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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So in this case maybe this sleeve should be metal, or have better support. The phaser gear I have the plastic is firmly in place enough to pick up the gear by it. I can see if this part moved by say a jet of oil that things can happen. Either way the other side of that sleeve leads to vanes.


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The bolt would head would cover that.

Then inside
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More vanes. But also oil exit... Might be on to something. It's winter so I don't feel like timing belt work right now.



every time the code sets the freeze frame data shows a rpm of around 2200-2600rpm when the malfunction occurs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, what ever I did got it out of constant low power mode and idles better with the exhaust leak I currently have



I'll post after work, but a YouTube VW mechanic posted a golf M7 cam phaser issue and well just highlights I need to change out the phaser gear.
 

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Changing the sprockets on that VW looks like an expensive root canal.

On your z18xer, I was thinking at least you could change the timing belt/tensioner/pulley. But you just did that lol.

I see that you had some Doorman parts in the system. And the used part might have been failing too. So don't discount that possibility.

The cam sprockets/accutators/sensors in this engine are uber-sensitive as we see some issues in the Euro forums and videos not resolved with third-party parts (but fixed redoing the work with OEM parts). That is a pain but you should consider it.

IIRC the Pine Hollow Auto Diagnostics guy had a recent video with a bad "new" third party Sprocket(or was it an accutator?) on a Cruze or Volvo. That was fixed with "OEM" (or maybe AC Delco).

FYI - some scope readings that might help albeit P0014 on Euro z18xer. The Euro engine might be a decent baseline but has some differences (different o2 scheme, higher operating temperature, some don't have MAF sensor, different fuel & emissions schemes...).

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah the only thing left to do is change the phaser or oil pump...as there's a new oil cooler, check valve, and swapped the solenoid to a used OEM. Conditions have improved with each tinker the car stumbles every now and then instead of 50% time at idle...

If I get my snow tires in I may have to drive to a buddies drive in shed, but the cold lol.
 
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