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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advice. After our 2012 Cruze's 1.4 engine reaches operating temperature, the engine begins to surge and lose a significant amount of engine power. In fact, the engine can't even maintain speed with cruise control engaged. Sometimes the CEL illuminates and other times it just flashes. In addition, the center display will sometimes display service traction control, power steering and/or brakes. Hooking up my OBD tool I get misfire codes for both the number 1 and 3 cylinders. Now, we've had the same issue with the car 4 times in the past, and each previous time my diagnostic tool would display the misfire codes. But when we took it into the dealership for troubleshooting and repair, the fix was always too replace a faulty PCV which would require the entire intake manifold to be replaced. BTW, we have 130K miles on the car.

With this occurrence, I figured it was going to be the same issue and sent it back to the dealership. This time, since its only been 2000 miles since my last PCV change, we were hoping it would be covered under warranty. Well yesterday, they were able to troubleshoot it to the following:

INOP/Intermittent Engine Ignition Coil Pack - (this has never been changed before)
Worn Spark Plugs - (40K miles since last changed)
Recommend cleaning the engine system - (not sure what this is and when I asked the service advisor I was told it was an intense tune-up)
Engine Control Module software upgrade - (I don't believe this was ever done in the past)

The total for all of this is $1,250.00!!! I do not have the funds to repair this car at the dealership so I'm going to have to pay the $145 diagnostic fee and replace the coil pack and plugs (I was able to purchase both for 140 bucks total at a local auto parts store) myself at home. I was told the firmware upgrade for the ECM is needed for the car to run properly and the cost for the upgrade is $175. Do you think its worth getting this upgrade done before taking the car home? If so, do you think the dealership would accept the $145 diagnostic fee toward the ECM software upgrade?

Appreciate any help...
 

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Has this car had the product update/negative battery cable replacement?

The original cable would develop high resistance and set off the various dash lights and no communication codes as you have described.
Look up 'Special Coverage 14311' and see if this somewhat describes your situation.

I'd replace it anyway just to prove to myself that it isn't causing these concerns.....(IMO, dealer should have done this several services ago), before you start shoveling any real money at it.

Forget that 'cleaning the engine system' business....that is a dealer created service.

Set of plugs wouldn't hurt a thing but save it (and coil replacement) till after this cable business is resolved.

This 'Firmware Upgrade' is another dealer created service, however, there was a recall for ecm recalibration a few years ago.....I don't know if your 2012 is involved......my 2012 eco was. Since that was a recall it is to be performed at no charge regardless of mileage or ownership.....recalls are forever and always no charge.

Might want to persue that before taking the car out.....maybe they'll eat the diagnostics since they haven't been doing their legwork regarding policy and recalls.

Best suggestions at this distance.....please follow up.

Rob
 

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After our 2012 Cruze's 1.4 engine reaches operating temperature, the engine begins to ....
It sounds like a problem when the engine goes into "closed loop" where the O2 sensors start trying to control the engine's mixture. Until the engine reaches operating temperature, the engine is in "open loop" and the mixture is set as a guess from "memory".

The battery cable would be a wise idea, but I'd also look at the other threads here about PCV and how to test/diagnose. I think those are fairly easy tests to do and would rule that problem (if that's the cause). It would also give you something to show the service writer if you do try to go back for a repair warranty.

The manifold test involves looking down into the manifold and looking for an orange nub. The valve cover involves listening for a hissing sound.

While you're under there, keep an eye out for any vacuum leaks -same deal. Unmetered air is getting into the engine and confusing the computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Robby and ChevyGuy, thanks for your advice and help! Its a long story, but here is the short of it. The dealership (actually to be fair, I can only say the service advisor) was unaware of special coverage 14311. So after a short conversation, armed with the information from Robby and ChevyGuy, I was able to get my service advisor to look into the battery cable. After a few hours, I was told that the warnings that were present earlier when we had the car towed in are now NOT displaying on the DIC. Because of this, they were unable to confirm the battery cable to be the cause of the different random service warnings. I was then told that the special coverage is only valid for out of warranty repair up to 120K miles and mine is 10K over limit. I asked what the charge would be for a new cable and was quoted a total of $251 ($45 for the cable, $12 for a bolt, tax and 1 hour labor.) As for the ECM software upgrade I was able to convince them to use the $145 diagnostic service fee toward the $175 ECM upgrade fee. BTW, how can they get away with charging 1 hour labor for the battery cable replacement out of warranty but under warranty (per special coverage 14311) they can only charge 0.3 hours!!!

The good news is that my car is now running great. I ended up picking up the battery cable at our local auto parts store, but they didn't have the bolt so I had to purchase that ridiculously expensive $12 bolt from the dealership. With the help of a youtube video,my daughter and I installed the new battery cable, coil pack and all four spark plugs. How a dealership could charge 2 hours labor to change 4 spark plugs and coil pack is just plain wrong! It was still cheaper for us to just eat the diagnostic fee rather then the $380 ($190 x 2 hrs) for the labor charge alone. My service advisor would not budge on those numbers...Anyway, thanks for all the help and we are Cruzing Happy Again!
 

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gibear2k5:

I worked for a dealership for almost 8 years and that sounds about right. They charge by whatever the system/book tells them. As far as labor rate goes, 190/hr seems high but that could be the norm or you area. Ours was right around 100/hr.

As far as warranty work goes, from a tech standpoint it usually pays about half of time it takes. Once in a great while you may come out even but not very often. If you're on flat rate you're not gonna make much of a paycheck doing warranty jobs all the time.
 
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