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I have an '11 Cruze with 92000 miles that recently has been diagnosed with piston ring failure which ended up ruining my engine due to it sucking oil. I did not take to my dealer as it is out of powertrain warranty and they are ridiculously expensive. I put around $1000 in various repairs at the end of last year and was planning on trading this August. My mechanic found a used engine with 66,000 miles on that he can install for $3000.

By the way, oil changed regularly at dealer, all recalls/TSBs taken care of, and repairs completed at dealer. I changed spark plugs and ignition coil recently due to sheared boot. I was going to have the PCV replaced this week but the engine took crap first.

Was hoping to get some opinions on if this is worth having done?

Would I be able to sell this car for even say $4000 after this?

If worth it, what other parts should I have inspected to make sure they aren't shot before going through with this?

We are considering scrapping the car and looking at other options. Rather disgusted at the moment, but I know stuff happens.

Thanks for any input.

Kyle
 

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The 2011 1.4T is known to have an issue with cracked pistons, but I don't know as there's any extended coverage for it.

As for being worth it - I'd suggest checking KBB.com and some other sites to see what the trade-in or private transaction value is. I did a quick check for a LT of your mileage in "good" condition and $4000 trade-in seems do-able.
 
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But why spend three grand to maybe make one grand? Sell off some parts and send the rest to the boneyard for a few hundred. For less effort, assuming you install the motor, you can make about the same.
 

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I have an '11 Cruze with 92000 miles that recently has been diagnosed with piston ring failure which ended up ruining my engine due to it sucking oil. I did not take to my dealer as it is out of powertrain warranty and they are ridiculously expensive. I put around $1000 in various repairs at the end of last year and was planning on trading this August. My mechanic found a used engine with 66,000 miles on that he can install for $3000.

By the way, oil changed regularly at dealer, all recalls/TSBs taken care of, and repairs completed at dealer. I changed spark plugs and ignition coil recently due to sheared boot. I was going to have the PCV replaced this week but the engine took crap first.

Was hoping to get some opinions on if this is worth having done?

Would I be able to sell this car for even say $4000 after this?

If worth it, what other parts should I have inspected to make sure they aren't shot before going through with this?

We are considering scrapping the car and looking at other options. Rather disgusted at the moment, but I know stuff happens.

Thanks for any input.

Kyle
I think anybody who has this happen whether it is in warranty or not needs to file a complaint with the NHTSA.
This is a known manufacturing defect and should not be happening. This is the same thing with the toyota oil consumption issue where they were finally made to do tests and replace the lower end of the engine. What if this happens when you step on it to pass an 18 wheeler on the highway or get out of its way.

Here is the link:

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

This will be me. GM should do a recall of these piston ring failures. Guess it will take a lawsuit. If we take care of a car we should be able to get more than 6 years and 92,000 miles out of it.

I would sell what you could off of it and boneyard it. Then I would write a letter to every insurance company and every officer in GM personally and tell them your story. This is total BS that a car cannot last more than 6 years because of a manufacturing defect.

What happened to the 4 million mile testing that GM claimed to do when the cruze first came out.
 

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If it still runs at all under its own power without horrid noises, drive that heap somewhere, trade it in, and wash your hands of it.
What is funny I kept getting emails and calls from salesman at my dealer about trading in my cruze for a new one right around the 5 year mark.

I told them I wanted sticker which was $20,000 something because I haven't been able to get more than 20,000 miles out of a water pump. So to me the car is defective.

He said he would call me back and needless to say I never heard back from him again or gotten any calls or emails since then.

I am starting to believe they try to keep customers out of fear that their current car will break and they need a new fancy one. Something the mafia does.

I wonder how many water pumps they went through in the 4 million mile testing.
 

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I wonder how many water pumps they went through in the 4 million mile testing.

Lmao. Or valve covers.
I wonder how many thermal cycles you can go though in 4 million mile testing? Some things are more sensitive to thermal cycles. I'm sure the water outlet would be a good candidate. Plastic seems to withstand only so many expansion/contraction cycles. Witness the plastic tanks on radiators. They always seem to fail on the engine outlet side.
 

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I wonder how many thermal cycles you can go though in 4 million mile testing? Some things are more sensitive to thermal cycles. I'm sure the water outlet would be a good candidate. Plastic seems to withstand only so many expansion/contraction cycles. Witness the plastic tanks on radiators. They always seem to fail on the engine outlet side.
Yeah. Some mfrs do extensive hot/cold cold/hot start or varied accel/decel cycle testing (probably mostly in truck applications, though). I wonder if they just ran the snot out of these engines on a stand for a long number of hours and called it good. Nearly everything that leaks on these engines seems to be a result of the thermal cycling - the couriers that have 4-500K on these haven't had too many issues with coolant leaks or water pumps.
 

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I think anybody who has this happen whether it is in warranty or not needs to file a complaint with the NHTSA.
This is a known manufacturing defect and should not be happening. This is the same thing with the toyota oil consumption issue where they were finally made to do tests and replace the lower end of the engine. What if this happens when you step on it to pass an 18 wheeler on the highway or get out of its way.

Here is the link:

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

This will be me. GM should do a recall of these piston ring failures. Guess it will take a lawsuit. If we take care of a car we should be able to get more than 6 years and 92,000 miles out of it.

I would sell what you could off of it and boneyard it. Then I would write a letter to every insurance company and every officer in GM personally and tell them your story. This is total BS that a car cannot last more than 6 years because of a manufacturing defect.

What happened to the 4 million mile testing that GM claimed to do when the cruze first came out.
I will respectfully disagree, GM provided the best warranty of any domestic manufacturer at that time. Should an engine last longer being dealer serviced, for sure yes. I would take to a Chevy deLer and maybe they make an exception and cover but I sure don't think they are obligated too.

$3000 for a used engine with that many miles seems a bit high to me.
 
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I will respectfully disagree, GM provided the best warranty of any domestic manufacturer at that time. Should an engine last longer being dealer serviced, for sure yes. I would take to a Chevy deLer and maybe they make an exception and cover but I sure don't think they are obligated too.

$3000 for a used engine with that many miles seems a bit high to me.

Didn't know it was anything to disagree and really has nothing to do with warranty. It was a manufacturing defect and it should be corrected. Not really sure what there is to argue about unless there is more information like is it the owner that is causing it and if so what did the owner do for the piston rings to fail.

If you changed the oil regularly something like piston rings should never fail. Eventually everything fails but something like this and main bearings and piston rods should last the lifetime of the car if the oil is changed according to the owners manual and the car wasn't abused.

The PCV stuff I can halfway understand but stuff like bearings and pistons should last a lot longer than 6 years. Water pumps should last a lot longer than 6 years. I haven't gotten more than 20,000 miles out of my water pumps and I am on my fourth one and GM has acknowledged there was a problem with those and I would think they would do the same thing with the piston rings. I am currently at 54,000 miles. I have changed the oil religiously with the best oil on the planet IMO and if my piston rings failed this year I would be driving it into the dealer.

I would like at least a statement from GM saying something on the subject. At least how to avoid it or what have they found with the ring failure.
 

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Didn't know it was anything to disagree and really has nothing to do with warranty. It was a manufacturing defect and it should be corrected. Not really sure what there is to argue about unless there is more information like is it the owner that is causing it and if so what did the owner do for the piston rings to fail.

If you changed the oil regularly something like piston rings should never fail. Eventually everything fails but something like this and main bearings and piston rods should last the lifetime of the car if the oil is changed according to the owners manual and the car wasn't abused.

The PCV stuff I can halfway understand but stuff like bearings and pistons should last a lot longer than 6 years. Water pumps should last a lot longer than 6 years. I haven't gotten more than 20,000 miles out of my water pumps and I am on my fourth one and GM has acknowledged there was a problem with those and I would think they would do the same thing with the piston rings. I am currently at 54,000 miles. I have changed the oil religiously with the best oil on the planet IMO and if my piston rings failed this year I would be driving it into the dealer.

I would like at least a statement from GM saying something on the subject. At least how to avoid it or what have they found with the ring failure.
The purpose of a warranty is to give a customer peace of mind that for a period of time the item is covered. Piston rings do wear out and engine problems occur. I would be disappointed if a water pump on any car only lasted 20k miles. I would sell the car if that occurred to me. Just for the record, I am not arguing in any way shape or form. Owned many cars and I don't expect the manufacturer to cover anything outside of warranty. From the sounds of it 2011 Cruzes are known to have engine issues, specifically cracked pistons etc. how many years do you expect in this case for GM to cover this? I think 5 years and 100k miles is fair. Obviously you may think different which is fine.
 
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The purpose of a warranty is to give a customer peace of mind that for a period of time the item is covered. Piston rings do wear out and engine problems occur. I would be disappointed if a water pump on any car only lasted 20k miles. I would sell the car if that occurred to me. Just for the record, I am not arguing in any way shape or form. Owned many cars and I don't expect the manufacturer to cover anything outside of warranty. From the sounds of it 2011 Cruzes are known to have engine issues, specifically cracked pistons etc. how many years do you expect in this case for GM to cover this? I think 5 years and 100k miles is fair. Obviously you may think different which is fine.
GM went back and recalled 3800 (can't remember if 3100/3400 were included) V6 engines for LIM gasket failure for cars that were 10+ years old and fixed em free of charge. Toyota extended warranties and rebuilt engines on their 2.4L oil burners that often had problems with piston rings if they failed an oil consumption test, up to 150K. I think Honda did something similar on 3.5 V6's that burned oil like crazy. Ford sorta halfway "goodwill" paid for blown-out or stripped spark plugs threads on their 5.4L Triton motors.

If it is a serious defect, some sort of extended warranty is not unheard of, and is good faith for a manufacturer to fix a known defect so word doesn't spread around that "GM can't make an engine that doesn't blow pistons". They don't have an excellent track record between this, the new 1.5, or the 2.0T Regal/ATS/Malibu.
 

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GM went back and recalled 3800 (can't remember if 3100/3400 were included) V6 engines for LIM gasket failure for cars that were 10+ years old and fixed em free of charge. Toyota extended warranties and rebuilt engines on their 2.4L oil burners that often had problems with piston rings if they failed an oil consumption test, up to 150K. I think Honda did something similar on 3.5 V6's that burned oil like crazy. If it is a serious defect, some sort of extended warranty is not unheard of, and is good faith for a manufacturer to fix a known defect so word doesn't spread around that "GM can't make an engine that doesn't blow pistons". They don't have an excellent track record between this, the new 1.5, or the 2.0T Regal/ATS/Malibu.
I agree with you, it can be a good thing to do to do in good faith, my only thought is not required to do so. GM reduced drivetrain warranty in 2016 to match most other manufacturers. The op in 2011 had better warranty on drivetrain included than your new 2016 you recently purchased. My only point is we all know when warranty is up on a car, fridge, whatever the item is if something fails the consumer is likely to be on the hook.
 

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The purpose of a warranty is to give a customer peace of mind that for a period of time the item is covered. Piston rings do wear out and engine problems occur. I would be disappointed if a water pump on any car only lasted 20k miles. I would sell the car if that occurred to me. Just for the record, I am not arguing in any way shape or form. Owned many cars and I don't expect the manufacturer to cover anything outside of warranty. From the sounds of it 2011 Cruzes are known to have engine issues, specifically cracked pistons etc. how many years do you expect in this case for GM to cover this? I think 5 years and 100k miles is fair. Obviously you may think different which is fine.
I don't expect them to cover anything. What I do expect is when I spend 20,000 on a car it should be free from manufacturing defects.
I just can't afford to get rid of cars every 4 years and go in debt because a manufacturer makes a shoddy product.

The point being is they have a known defect and just expect the customer to cover it when the warranty expires. I didn't pay 20,000 dollars for known defects. I expect a manufacturer to stand behind their product like they did with the water pump. Water pump by the way costs what 200 to 300 to pay out of pocket. That is a little different than a new engine or repairing piston rings. By the way if my dealer repairs a water pump and I pay for it they cover it for as long as I own the car so the water pump is really nothing but PR. Warranties are to cover known manufacturer defects and have the manufacturer repair them. If they know about a defect and just let it go and just hope the majority of them don't break during warranty period then that is dishonest. Meanwhile we have a car that nobody will buy used or will be worth nothing when we go to trade it in because of these known defects that didn't get fixed.
 

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I don't expect them to cover anything. What I do expect is when I spend 20,000 on a car it should be free from manufacturing defects.
I just can't afford to get rid of cars every 4 years and go in debt because a manufacturer makes a shoddy product.

The point being is they have a known defect and just expect the customer to cover it when the warranty expires. I didn't pay 20,000 dollars for known defects. I expect a manufacturer to stand behind their product like they did with the water pump. Water pump by the way costs what 200 to 300 to pay out of pocket. That is a little different than a new engine or repairing piston rings. By the way if my dealer repairs a water pump and I pay for it they cover it for as long as I own the car so the water pump is really nothing but PR. Warranties are to cover known manufacturer defects and have the manufacturer repair them. If they know about a defect and just let it go and just hope the majority of them don't break during warranty period then that is dishonest. Meanwhile we have a car that nobody will buy used or will be worth nothing when we go to trade it in because of these known defects that didn't get fixed.
Very short and simple, GM covers for 5 years or 100k miles. That's a great warranty, they back the warranty. That's standing tall in my book. Anything can happen after those conditions and it's NOT their responsibility to cover. You may be better served buying a car that is more reliable than the Cruze and pay $5000 or less and not borrow money. I have an older f150 that has a v8 engine that requires service like any car or truck but the engine will outlast the truck. I wouldn't put the Cruze gas engine in that category. Doesn't mean the Cruze is a bad car, but it isn't common for that engine to go 250k miles without issues. We disagree and just see it different which is fine.
 

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Very short and simple, GM covers for 5 years or 100k miles. That's a great warranty, they back the warranty. That's standing tall in my book. Anything can happen after those conditions and it's NOT their responsibility to cover. You may be better served buying a car that is more reliable than the Cruze and pay $5000 or less and not borrow money. I have an older f150 that has a v8 engine that requires service like any car or truck but the engine will outlast the truck. I wouldn't put the Cruze gas engine in that category. Doesn't mean the Cruze is a bad car, but it isn't common for that engine to go 250k miles without issues. We disagree and just see it different which is fine.
I understand anything can happen after the warranty expires. My point is there is a manufacturing defect. Do you think your f150 would of made it that far if it had a manufacturer defect on it's piston rings? How I buy my cars has nothing to do with the subject so don't tell me how or what car to buy that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. I buy new cars because I know how they have been treated and maintained and I expect that there are no manufacturing defects when I buy them because they are brand new and then I keep them for a long time usually about 10 to 15 years or maybe more because I don't put a lot of miles on them.

"Doesn't mean the Cruze is a bad car, but it isn't common for that engine to go 250k miles without issues" Well before I bought the cruze gm cars generally had that reputation. But I was wanting to put my money behind GM because I liked the Cruze and I thought they were maybe going to turn things around with their 4 million miles of testing.

We have a 2007 mazda 3s with 107000 miles and it doesn't burn a drop a oil and runs just like the day we bought it brand new. Do you think it would of made it this far if it had a manufacturing defect with its piston rings?

I think the Cruze engine can go 250 thousand miles without any issues but if it has defective piston rings then the odds are it won't. I consider pcv stuff and water pumps not show stopper items but I shouldn't be on my fourth water pump at 54,000 miles. Who knows maybe it will be my last and hopefully they solved the problem ( I won't hold my breath).
 

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I understand anything can happen after the warranty expires. My point is there is a manufacturing defect. Do you think your f150 would of made it that far if it had a manufacturer defect on it's piston rings? How I buy my cars has nothing to do with the subject so don't tell me how or what car to buy that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. I buy new cars because I know how they have been treated and maintained and I expect that there are no manufacturing defects when I buy them because they are brand new and then I keep them for a long time usually about 10 to 15 years or maybe more because I don't put a lot of miles on them.

"Doesn't mean the Cruze is a bad car, but it isn't common for that engine to go 250k miles without issues" Well before I bought the cruze gm cars generally had that reputation. But I was wanting to put my money behind GM because I liked the Cruze and I thought they were maybe going to turn things around with their 4 million miles of testing.

We have a 2007 mazda 3s with 107000 miles and it doesn't burn a drop a oil and runs just like the day we bought it brand new. Do you think it would of made it this far if it had a manufacturing defect with its piston rings?

I think the Cruze engine can go 250 thousand miles without any issues but if it has defective piston rings then the odds are it won't. I consider pcv stuff and water pumps not show stopper items but I shouldn't be on my fourth water pump at 54,000 miles. Who knows maybe it will be my last and hopefully they solved the problem ( I won't hold my breath).
We just think differently, I don't listen to any manufacturer and their marketing claims, talk is really cheap, you don't have an ounce of evidence GM did 4million miles of testing, I don't have any evidence they didn't. I normally research the specific car and engine prior to purchase. I will wish you well, nothing you have said will change how I think and it's not likely I will change how you think. Good luck to you.
 

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Geeez - pardon me for butting in, but lighten up! As far as the bum pistons go, it would be nice to have GM extend the warranty like they did on the water pump but you have your 5/100 powertrain warranty like the rest of us and, theoretically, if you bought a first-year model it shouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility for there to be a quirk. Go out and give it some spirited drives while under warranty to see if you can get the known defective part to give up > get it warrantied. I have one year and 14K left on my powertrain warranty and have put the car through its paces enough already that if something lets go at 105K I won't feel cheated - I know my Cruze's weak spots and they don't concern me so much that I want to offload it to a car lot before they become my problem. Dunno how, but my water pump has lasted 86,000 miles, and if it goes out tomorrow a dealership is 5 miles away and I darned well intend to get satisfactory warranty service if I have to take it in there. If they prove they can't do it right I'll do it right myself, along with all my other non-warranty maintenance and repairs, and keep on enjoying the miles by the tens of thousands.
 

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And ditto, indydiesel, about doing your homework prior to buying the car. I did on the Cruze, then signed up here to keep track of the post-purchase R&D database courtesy of the hundreds of owners here.

Now I know my car is new enough to have good pistons, the updated PCV valve, and updated turbo oil feed line, but that it needs Amsoil in the transmission and won't respond well to long OCI's on poor oil - duly noted. GM isn't my friend and is also not in the business of selling cars that always last a quarter of a million miles, so in some ways a buyer who wants to own a car for much over 150,000 miles needs to find ways to circumvent the manufacturer's intentions in order to do so. I'm shooting for 300K on every car I maintain, so my viewpoint isn't repair cost vs. blue book - it's repair cost vs. what do I have to spend to get something I trust more than this car, that I already know inside and out, after it's fixed?
 
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