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front main leaking. LS 1.8L

1198 Views 18 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cruzing12
Hey guys so i had my first major breakdown. had the low oil message show for a split second and some 3km later the message came on and... from the fender to mid valve cover, from rad up to the hood and down the fire wall are all covered in oil. had to keep going to find a place to stop for the night so it ran dry for roughly 1km. still starts and runs

I had the car towed and dropped at a shop so will be a couple days till they can look at it, but given the design i wanna figure out what could of happened. if the front main broke by itself could it of pushed out a steady amount of oil? or could the oil pump of failed and started leaking out the sides?
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You can find low mileage used engines at in local junkyards for 500-1500 Canadian. Heck you might be able to start some of the cars to listen to how they run, connect a code reader, etc. I don't think that is a bad option to consider.

If you DIY, it requires a buddy, a lift, and warmer weather IMHO.
You can probably pull another engine in 1/4 the time now that you know how to do it. Great the wrecker lent you a lift.

In high school, we replaced the engine on my cousin's car. Just took one day. After buttoning up everything, the car didn't move. Buddy at the junkyard thought we might have installed the new clutch backwards. So we ended up pulling motors 3 times that weekend. Good times!

We used a sawzall for some of the extraction work; you can rent battery operated ones but the junkyard might frown upon that level of destruction!
Awesome. The back of the car shows a lot of work done.

For the rusting camshaft, factory applies just a thin hard coating on the lobes so you might consider a substitute. I'm sure the pros will have an educated view on this.

Oil pressure switch on these engines is famous for leaking. That switch was moved around a few times over the years; sometimes it is is difficult to access. Always leaky. Replace now.

Hopefully, the exhaust manifold studs just need some heat and wax. Maybe replace all the studs and nuts for when you have to redo the oil cooler gaskets again in 2026. Risk breaking the studs now or later lol.

While apart, clean up the high-current electrical connectors on the starter and alternator. Carefully inspect the harness' ring terminals (and the wires coming out for oxidation). Maybe you can correct and reseal any issues. On our Astra, the ground wire going from the starter was severely oxidized around the crimp (same engine, different car). Maybe GM fixed this design "oversight".

The famous oil check valves! I know of one by the oil pump, camshafts, oil filter. On earlier versions of the engine, these check valves were metal; the Russian sites said these were replaced with plastic and metal has been NLA for a long time.
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