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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

Back in June, My 2015 Cruze 1.4 Automatic had the infamous PCV breakdown while driving on the highway. CEL P0171, P0103 - No high temp light
I got the vehicle back to my garage for inspection. The PCV was sucking air, the intake manifold orange nipple was gone. Also found P0302 - misfire
I was familiar with this since I owned a 2012, and had the same issues. This was June of 2019 this year before I had received the new "PCV" notice Chevy sent out in July.
Upon inspection the vehicle, I realized the breakdown caused a bunch of the usual issues , Oil back pressured into the intake, seals blown, oil cooler seals, turbo, a few of the heater hoses and such. Same exact stuff that happened with the 2012 Cruze . Since I was at around 118,000 miles and at the time out of warranty. I took it one step at a time and replaced the damaged parts & issues with new OEM replacements. After replacing the Cam Shaft Cover, I put in the Intake Manifold, then the Turbo & did the oil cooler seals and replaced the oil cooler lines. At this point I then changed the crank shaft pulley outer seal, Also damaged was the Engine Coolant water outlet, a few of the heater hoses, cleaned out the throttle body, the coolers.
Replaced all spark plugs, and cleaned out the wells. They were newer plugs and when removed I could tell they were heated up good looking white unfortunately this all occurred on a busy highway and had no breakdown lane so I had to get to the exit a few miles up for safety.
Finally upon start up I had to let the car idle for at least a half hour or more to clear out all the left over oil in the system. Slowly the smoke cleared and after a very short test drive as I noticed a slight hiccup with shifting for good measure I double checked my gaps to 28-30 range and put in a new coil pack.
After the repairs completed, bringing me to the beginning of October. The Cruze seemed back to normal accept seemed to be burning oil, I basically kept it garaged at this point since I suspected that the valve seals might have gotten fried and needed replacing explaining the slow oil dissipation.
I took it out for a test run, it seemed to be running well, great pick up and acceleration, shifting well, though possible still some oil in the system had to be cleared out
Then on the highway between 60-65 accelerating to pass a truck, traction control illuminates CEL comes back p0302.
Back to my garage- I re-check the plugs,gaps and the coil pack, test the injectors and notice the idle pulley still intact, but the outer bolt missing so I order a replacement and install. Also with this CEL I notice the electric is fluky, I would turn ignition key on and the Fan would start, I check all the grounds and any start up the p0302 would come back along with p0340 Cam sensor.
At this point I do a compression test and find cylinder 2 = ZERO.
I make an appointment with a dealer I had dealt with before , drop off the vehicle for diagnostic, I get a call a few hours later the service manager says he thinks I need a new engine. That they did a compression test and had zero on cylinder 2, and THINKS the piston is broke or something.
I had called Chevy Customer Service to see if this would all be covered under the extended warranty on the PCV I received in July and supposed to hear back from a senior person by Friday or Monday. The Service Manager from the dealership had called me back saying they had submitted for assistance for me and the Chevy offered to pay 10% toward a new engine equating out to $500 toward the install leaving me to owe about $4500. As it is I still owe about $7000 on the loan and certainly don't have $4500 laying around.
I have looked at used engines and it seems I can get one with decent mileage between $850-$1400 and even saw a few with either 3 or 5 year warranty.
I know if I get the same exact engine I have the ability to do the install myself.
My other option would be to find a salvage auction vehicle possible with rear end damage, swap in that engine, get any other parts I need or want then get a few hundred for the scrap. I like this option because it possible get me a bunch of different replacement parts, but it could amount to be he same price range in order to bid on salvage I need to go through a broker who gets $250 or 5 % whichever is higher, plus the auction people get a few different fees I estimate another $250,
and transport probably another couple hundred so with the fees it seems that could be cost prohibitive depending on the final auction price I get.
Now I haven't heard from the Chevy Senior Rep yet, But I have started filling out the reimbursement form and gathering receipts for all the above repairs related to the failed PCV and add up the reasonable labor and parts for since the notice came after most repairs were completed.
From when it happened I have taken tons of photos to document everything, along with that the On-star Chevrolet monthly diagnostic reports, all oil changes and filters synthetic oil, the engine was well taken care of. When this occurred the oil life was still at 85%.
Also has anyone ever looked into a class action over this well know issue that has been documented by so many of us.
I believe the failure of the PCV does not illuminate a CEL right away and who knows about the check valve in the Intake. Either way each time it happens I believe it contributes to damaging the engine and the different components of our cars.
Any suggestions or ideas are welcome in regard to what might be the best step to get this puppy back on the road. The problem I recognize with the diagnoses I received verbally is that it doesn't seem conclusive and is based on the fact he "thinks" it is the cylinder, but doesn't seem any visual with a scope was done and no looking into the electric anomalies I reported, which I am sure may be related to the sensor circuits.

Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
16,663 Posts
The PCV system definitely causes issues with oil leak and gaskets. The pistons crack around the rings resulting in a "dead" cylinder on the 1.4T. I don't know if it is or is not related to the PCV; I think it is more likely just a case of low-speed preignition. The other possibility is a burned valve - seen it happen to a higher-mileage one, will also result in zero compression, but it isn't super common.

In any case, it's not super uncommon, and I think a used engine with lower mileage would be the way to go here. You can pull something out of anything more recent too - 2015+ Encore, Trax, Sonic, etc - as long as they aren't the LE2 engine from the newer Cruze.

Used engine with a turbo would also be nice to have around when you inevitably get a P0299 code for turbo underboost.

30 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks I appreciate the opinion, I was leaning that way as well. I always see and have read your posts which are always dead on.
The turbo I have now is brand new and I still have the old one so your right if I can I will try to find one with another attached still. Can't hurt to have the backups handy. I am hoping Chevy will at least reimburse me for some of the new stuff I put in already.
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