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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am original owner of a 2013 Cruze 1LT RS 1.4T Current odometer reading is 51,703.

In the last two months or so I have started to experience hesitation and rough running but nothing that set the MIL or could be consistently duplicated. I had no current, stored or pending codes. After searching the forums, I started at the beginning with a spark plug removal and inspection. The ground hook on the plugs were beveled at a 45degree angle and were badly worn. Ah Ha! simple and easy I thought. Read the forum opinions on plugs and replaced with NGK V-Power coppers. No joy, intermittent hesitation and missing still present.

I drove the car for a few hundred miles on the new plugs and finally the problem started getting more consistent and worse. Never thought I would be happy to see a MIL illuminate. The MIL started flashing and the "Service Stabilitrak" and "Service Traction Control" messages appeared. I went straight to the dealer the next morning. They said no codes and nothing wrong with the car... I was dumb founded...

I have some trust issues with dealer service in general but the car is under powertrain warranty. I have had a great service writer experience but I don't trust what happens behind the closed doors of the service bays and not just this dealer but my experiences have been lack luster across many brands and many dealerships. That said, moving on.

I could get the symptom to repeat nearly daily but without a common theme. I checked with my own scantool and there were no codes, even when the lights were illuminated and the MIL flashing. I decided to get a better scantool, which I had been putting off. I purchased an Autel MD808 Pro with Mode 6 data as I wanted to see the cylinder misfire data.

The misfire data was informative. Cyl#1 thru 3 had zero to 2 misfires in the drive cycle and Cyl#4 had a count of 594 misfires in about 5 miles when the error messages were active. Again, Ah Ha! Cyl#4, back to the dealer with my new found information. The dealer dismissed it as being low misfire counts and no MIL and no Codes. "Car is fine" was the determination...

I researched the CruzeTalk forum and found a good bit of info related to the Stabilitak messages and the PCV system. I do NOT have the whistle or air suction at the valve cover. I looked and the Orange nub IS present and accounted for in the intake as visible through the breather hose, I have had no radio, instrument cluster or other electrical anomalies so I wasn't leaning towards the negative battery cable.

Finally, 2 days ago, the MIL was flashing AND it remained lit this time! Back to the dealer with P0304.

They had the car all day and came back with I needed an extensive upper intake cleaning at a cost of $450 to me. They said it was badly carbon-ed up and it was a maintenance issue not a warranty issue. I asked if I paid for this service and it didn't fix anything then would I get a refund, take an educated guess on how that line of questioning went...

I am a 4000mile oil changer and I let the dealer do it to keep the history in their system for warranty proof. I run a bottle of Techron with a tank of gas monthly and I use premium gas from known brands such as BP, Shell & Marathon. I am having a hard time believing that my engine is carbon-ed up so bad that one lone cylinder is misfiring. They actually suggested that the carbon might be so bad as to keep the valves from closing properly. I see that as unlikely as well as not an intermittent problem.

My BS alarm is buzzing at this point. Since only Cyl#4 is exhibiting the symptom, I am thinking something more specific to Cyl#4. My mechanical prowess says you need the following for combustion: fuel, air, compression & spark. A common intake runner makes me think it highly unlikely for Cyl#4 not to be getting air while the other Cyls are. That leaves Fuel, compression and spark. Plugs looked even across the board and no visible carbon tracking etc but the Ignition coil could still be suspect. I have been told the module can not be bench tested. Fuel injector could be suspect. A tech could watch for uneven fuel pressure drops on the pressurized rail by firing a single injector at a time, but those tools are not in my toolbox. My compression gauge is a flexible hose style and I can't get a good seal down the spark plug hole, compression hasn't been tested by the dealer either.

I think the most likely causes are either an ignition coil/module or compression related. I think if the dealer would do a compression test, we could rule that out or have definitive evidence to go further into a hard mechanical engine problem. I have seen posts about cracked pistons...

Lastly, if the thought was truly a dirty intake problem, why would I spend $450 for "snake oil" to clean it instead of replacing it? A complete manifold assembly Part#55577314 comes with the intake, throttle body, fuel rail, injectors, MAP sensor and purge valve for $250 to $300 depending on source. An hour labor to replace it and I am at the same cost as their "Cleaning". If a compression test showed OK and I was going to pour my own money down a blind hole for a "maybe" fix, then it seems best to first drop $70 for a coil. Next would be the intake assembly at $250 instead of cleaning.

I am asking for the compression test to no avail thus far. I am thinking about buying my own tool with a rigid adapter and again doing their job to troubleshoot. The compression tools I have found with rigid tubes to thread in are professional units like the ATD-5639 for $120...

I ask the forum members, "What are your thoughts?"

Thanks,
Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Funny thing happened on the way home from work, I called my brother and he had the exact same advice...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Spark plug Auto part Automotive ignition part Automotive engine part Spark plug Auto part Automotive ignition part Automotive engine part

I had an epiphany last night. I was re-inspecting the plugs that I replaced. I had been so focused on the color, the carbon, the ground hook wear, if they were evenly burnt, etc. that I missed the obvious. The plug from cylinder #4 has rust/corrosion on the base of it. I think the problem is the coil pack connection to plug#4. I believe there has been water intrusion into the spark plug well and not only corroded the plug base but likely the coil contact up inside the boot. I have not had a chance to pull the coil to confirm yet. I leave for business travel and won't get to for a week...

Anybody know if there is just a boot and spring set like I have used on other vehicles? I didn't find one on Rockauto or from a quick google search.

I also want to thank a forum member who PM'd me and suggested a corroded coil contact or bad coil boot as a possibility.
 

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View attachment 238354 View attachment 238362

I had an epiphany last night. I was re-inspecting the plugs that I replaced. I had been so focused on the color, the carbon, the ground hook wear, if they were evenly burnt, etc. that I missed the obvious. The plug from cylinder #4 has rust/corrosion on the base of it. I think the problem is the coil pack connection to plug#4. I believe there has been water intrusion into the spark plug well and not only corroded the plug base but likely the coil contact up inside the boot. I have not had a chance to pull the coil to confirm yet. I leave for business travel and won't get to for a week...

Anybody know if there is just a boot and spring set like I have used on other vehicles? I didn't find one on Rockauto or from a quick google search.

I also want to thank a forum member who PM'd me and suggested a corroded coil contact or bad coil boot as a possibility.
You can buy just the boots but I'm not sure if it comes with the spring and such from inside. You could also have a bad coil pack too which would also cause misfires. I just replaced mine for misfiring and it cost $80 for a whole new one on rockauto.
 

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Adding to my response, you can buy a boot and it comes with the spring piece from oreilly auto.

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/bwd-3123/ignition---tune-up-16776/coil-boot-13143/coil-on-plug-boot/spb251/2613806/2014/chevrolet/cruze?q=SPB251
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Adding to my response, you can buy a boot and it comes with the spring piece from oreilly auto.

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/.../spb251/2613806/2014/chevrolet/cruze?q=SPB251
Thanks for the info.

That is interesting. The Oreilly Auto site shows the BWD SPB251 boot as fitment correct for 2014 Cruze 1.4T but not 2013. The coil packs for both years are the same part# though. Likely just a part catalog thing. The price is good at only $5.99 but they want a special $7.00 extra shipping charge and a week to get it.

In further crossing that part, I came up with Standard Motor Products SPP188E but can not get a picture for it to confirm it is correct. The ignition coils and boots are different between the 1.8NA motor vs. the 1.4T and I am not positive the SPP188E is for 1.4T.

There is also an AC Delco boot but it is only for 1.8NA motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
NAPA Beldon Part#BEL 702571 is another part option I found for just the boot & spring. NAPA didn't want special shipping and had some 1 or 2 days away at a distribution center.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


And there it is! Green crap on the spring contact.

I want a full coil replacement as the contact point of the coil itself is corroded. Will likely just happen again, things like that don't heal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I returned from work travel and took the car to the dealer and had a chat with the service manager. They replaced the coil pack. They also indicated that the coil pack was not covered under the 5yr 100K power-train warranty. The service manager apologized, placed the car with a more senior tech and is not charging me for the coil replacement. Drove home and things instantly were better and the car appears to be running as it should.
 

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And there it is! Green crap on the spring contact.

I want a full coil replacement as the contact point of the coil itself is corroded. Will likely just happen again, things like that don't heal.
That's how mine looked as well on #4. Dealership replaced under warranty since it only had 53,000Kms on it. Got a new valve cover gasket at the same because I told them i thought i heard hissing lol

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 

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I have been grappling with the same issue on my 2014 Cruze 1.4L Eco, 117k miles. It's actually been a great car, very reliable overall.
At 99k miles (just a hair below my 100k warranty !), it stared to have the low power under load (esp on hills) issue, with stumbling, poor acceleration, and the Stabilitrak and Traction Control error messages. The dealer replaced the entire intake manifold assy, and the car ran great for the next 16k miles.
But then the low power under load, stumbling, poor acceleration issue started to return again (with the same Stabilitrak and Traction Control error messages). With no warranty remaining, I went after it myself this time.
I found the #3 coil spring was dirty, very similar to your picture above. I also bought a code reader - cylinder #3 misfire was indicated, but no codes.
I replaced the #3 coil spring and boot - this helped, but did not eliminate the problem.
I then replaced the #3 plug with an AC Delco Iridium - helped a bit more, but the problem is still there.
I have a coil pack on order now, due tomorrow (Feb 4, 2019); I will let you know how it turns out.
 

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Please private message me and let me know if this fixes the problem, Having the same issue and i have replaced everything except the throttle body and the coil pack. If i can save the $ on the throttle body that would be great. Thanks!

I have been grappling with the same issue on my 2014 Cruze 1.4L Eco, 117k miles. It's actually been a great car, very reliable overall.
At 99k miles (just a hair below my 100k warranty !), it stared to have the low power under load (esp on hills) issue, with stumbling, poor acceleration, and the Stabilitrak and Traction Control error messages. The dealer replaced the entire intake manifold assy, and the car ran great for the next 16k miles.
But then the low power under load, stumbling, poor acceleration issue started to return again (with the same Stabilitrak and Traction Control error messages). With no warranty remaining, I went after it myself this time.
I found the #3 coil spring was dirty, very similar to your picture above. I also bought a code reader - cylinder #3 misfire was indicated, but no codes.
I replaced the #3 coil spring and boot - this helped, but did not eliminate the problem.
I then replaced the #3 plug with an AC Delco Iridium - helped a bit more, but the problem is still there.
I have a coil pack on order now, due tomorrow (Feb 4, 2019); I will let you know how it turns out.
 

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FYI. There is also a TSB to replace the coil pack connector for heat failures. Just something to think about if you go the coil route.

Please private message me and let me know if this fixes the problem, Having the same issue and i have replaced everything except the throttle body and the coil pack. If i can save the $ on the throttle body that would be great. Thanks!
 

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Good to hear. I replaced the throttle body this morning because the 3 P codes coming up all had to to with Throttle body/Throttle body sensor. Already replaced Plugs/Boots/throttle body/gasket. So far runs great and no issues. If the messages pop up again i will replace the ignition coil pack since that's the only thing left to replace.

Update; I installed the new coil pack ($70, Amazon Prime) and the car runs GREAT now.
 

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Same problem here 2015 Cruze, 105k miles. Loss of power under load usually going up a hill. Throws check engine light with stabilitrack and traction control errors. OBD scanner reads either misfire in 1st cyl or sometimes random misfire. So far I’ve replaced spark plugs, installed new coil pack, checked PCV valve removed and inspected valve cover gasket and all intake hose clamp fittings. Still experiencing same problems. Next step will be look at the throttle body and change its position sensor?
 

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Welcome Aboard!(y)

I would remove the plugs again, set them for .028, no anti-seize, 18 ft-lbs torque, make sure the springs are free and clear in the boots and check for rips/tears and holes in the boots. This is the cheap start.

Read Hesitation...GONE! for plug recommendations.

Remeber to introduce yourself and your Cruze here.
 
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