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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, I have a 2011 Cruze LTZ with 72000 miles. Recently out of powertrain warranty. It has a manufacturing defect the dealer just made me aware of. I had a miss at 75 MPH but no codes. Next day my wife said it had a Stabilitrac service indicator on. I took it in to the dealer expecting the well known intake manifold problem. I fell off my chair when the dealer said I need a new cylinder head ! It never overheated and I have a mechanical background. I went there and asked to speak to the mechanic which they allowed (great dealership). He showed me the problem which was unbelievable. The aluminum casting of the head is full of air spaces allowing hot coolant and oil to weep through the metal and slowly accumulate in the bore where the spark plug is housed (on top of the head, not in the combustion chamber). Fluid builds up and eventually floods the spark plug bore and shorts the spark plug center electrode to the cylinder wall (ground) causing the miss fire. The GM mechanic said he has seen four of these himself. Some under warranty and some not. He said one had a leak in the block and the other three were cylinder heads. Unfortunately GM has not issued a (silent) recall for this so I am facing a $3800.00 repair bill to replace a cylinder head that is working perfectly if not for a manufacturing defect. The mechanic told me they have re designed the head but what about my aluminum block? will it be next? I have owned many Chevrolet's and this is really concerning. We love the car but now I don't trust it. Has anyone else had this problem? I am sick about this.
 

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That's disturbing. You can try contacting Chevy Customer service here. Since this appears to be a clear case of manufacturing defect rather then wear, they might be willing to help you out.

What about a cheaper fix - perhaps a thin layer of something to seal off the sparkplug bore? JB Weld?
 

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Was this an Austrian built engine? Do you have the original window sticker? Some 2011s were built with overseas engines before Flint was churning them out full tilt.

I recall the early years of Civics having this issue, but with the engine block.
 

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great as if the piston rings aren't enough of a worry now we have to worry about the head castings. total bs they do a redesign and not tell the existing customers of the problem.
Isn't the block just cast iron lined and aluminum?
Weren't all 2011's Austrian built engines and mexico assembled transmissions? Is there anything not wrong with these engines?
Were you losing any noticeable oil or coolant?


gonna have people knocking my door down wanting to buy my cruze.

good job!

I know I should not have bought a first year car blah blah blah.
 

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If it took 72,000 miles to leak enough fluid to cause a problem, can't you just clean it out every 25k miles or so and live with it? Unless it is getting worse, then I 2nd what ChevyGuy said. Sucks anyway. I am in a similar (expired waranty, cracked piston) boat with my 2011 @ 42k
Good luck.
 

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If it took 72,000 miles to leak enough fluid to cause a problem, can't you just clean it out every 25k miles or so and live with it? Unless it is getting worse, then I 2nd what ChevyGuy said. Sucks anyway. I am in a similar (expired waranty, cracked piston) boat with my 2011 @ 42k
Good luck.
Get Chevrolet involved with this one as well by virtue of a rather high piston land failure that occured with the 2011 build.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would like to contact Chevy. I looked all over the site but could not find a link. How would I contact them?
 

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I went through a similar problem with my 5.3L V8 in my 2004 Silverado. GM used a company called Castech to make the aluminum heads on some of their engines. At 119K miles I noticed coolant loss with no leak & also a collapsed lifter. Pulled the valve covers and heads were full of coolant and oil pudding. I ended up replacing the heads and left the bottom end alone. Google GM Castech head problem. You think GM would learn....
 

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You can call at 800-222-1020.

However, I do want to let you know. I am 99% sure they will not do assistance due to the age of the vehicle. But you can still call and ask.
 

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However, I do want to let you know. I am 99% sure they will not do assistance due to the age of the vehicle. But you can still call and ask.
In most cases, you're probably right. But Robby's message indicates differently. And he's got experience in this area.
 

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If a situation arises, such as this porous head diagnosis, with unusually low mileage such as the this poster describes, the Chevrolet District Service Manager is in a position to provide a 'Customer Satisfaction' arrangement.
This could be in the form of a full warranty payment or a partial payment.

But you get nothing without asking the dealer to get the DSM involved and ideally the owner should be available directly or by phone if the DSM wishes to discuss the concern.
Notice I said the dealer must initiate the request, so don't bother rattling Chevrolets cage. The folks on the phones are not in a position to over ride warranty or make case by case decisions.

Make certain you have good records of service to support your request.

Rob
 

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I am not saying don't try. That won't hurt anything. I am just saying do not get your hopes up. lol
 

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I agree with some here, if it's undeniably a casting quality issue then I'd like GM to step up for it. Even if it's out of warranty, it's not of such age or mileage that anything like this should be happening. However I'd not be dissatisfied if it takes a while to get to the right people to rectify the situation.
 

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Hi All, I have a 2011 Cruze LTZ with 72000 miles. Recently out of powertrain warranty. It has a manufacturing defect the dealer just made me aware of. I had a miss at 75 MPH but no codes. Next day my wife said it had a Stabilitrac service indicator on. I took it in to the dealer expecting the well known intake manifold problem. I fell off my chair when the dealer said I need a new cylinder head ! It never overheated and I have a mechanical background. I went there and asked to speak to the mechanic which they allowed (great dealership). He showed me the problem which was unbelievable. The aluminum casting of the head is full of air spaces allowing hot coolant and oil to weep through the metal and slowly accumulate in the bore where the spark plug is housed (on top of the head, not in the combustion chamber). Fluid builds up and eventually floods the spark plug bore and shorts the spark plug center electrode to the cylinder wall (ground) causing the miss fire. The GM mechanic said he has seen four of these himself. Some under warranty and some not. He said one had a leak in the block and the other three were cylinder heads. Unfortunately GM has not issued a (silent) recall for this so I am facing a $3800.00 repair bill to replace a cylinder head that is working perfectly if not for a manufacturing defect. The mechanic told me they have re designed the head but what about my aluminum block? will it be next? I have owned many Chevrolet's and this is really concerning. We love the car but now I don't trust it. Has anyone else had this problem? I am sick about this.
Hello Barnowl,

I regret to hear that you are experiencing this concern, and would love the chance to look into your situation further. At your earliest convenience, please send a private message with your VIN, current mileage, the name of the dealership you’re working with, and your full contact information.

Best,
Cecil J.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Major cause of aluminum head failure is over heating, porosity is rare, but what is the real problem? Loose head bolt? Never know until you look, and the head has to be removed first to do this.

New head runs about $500.00, head gasket $13.00, head bolts, $35.00, shop manual says 12 hours for labor, well under $3,800.00. While crushing unibodies are great for passenger protection, not good for repairs, plenty of low mileage engines on the market in the $500.00 range. Easier to replace it than attempt to repair it inside of the hood. Just some alternative if all else fails.

One of my kids let an overhead cam aluminum head engine overheat, was repairable, heliarc the crack, did a valve job while I was at it, little extra, had to remove the timing belt first, but a simple four cylinder, with a new water pump, head gasket, bolts, was less than $80.00 and a pleasant way to spend a Saturday. Told her to keep a closer eye on that temperature gauge.

Another alternative, but if porosity, signs of a poor casting, would feel GM should do a goodwill thing. Block should have a good flush, coolant and oil do not mix very well.
 
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