Chevrolet Cruze Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
Wow that's unlucky. Why didn't they give you rentals if the car is in the shop that long?

Probably cyl #1. Seems to be the common factor.

Try running 89-93 oct instead of 87. Small turbo engines shouldn't really be run on regular - they are constantly battling knock or preignition, which can be a piston failure. Also make sure that you run nothing but full synthetic oil in the engines. Ideally, you want one with as low calcium as an additive as possible.

With it always being cyl #1 though, my thought is that it might be an Ecm tune issue on GMs part - the Malibu 1.5T, which is closely related, was tossing pistons left and right before a tune update was released.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
87 octane is always used. We just use a lot of gas and premium isn't budgeted for it. The turbo heat does make sense. I hate the added expense of using premium or midgrade fuel, but maybe that would keep this from happening again. Asking 100 cubic inches and a turbo to work that hard does seem a lot to me. But I also think in old school ways.
I would step it up to at least midgrade. Many of us found that the car runs a little peppier and may return slightly better MPG as well (since it isn't pulling timing to de-tune itself to compensate for knock). A little cheap insurance for what could be an expensive issue.

It seems that other turbo engines that say they can run on 87 run VERY rich to compensate for knock (part of the reason, for example, they're usually known for not getting great MPG under load - like Ford's 4-cyl Ecoboost engines). GM, apparently, doesn't like to do this.

Unless we were misled, the oil changes were all done requesting Dexos spec oil at a national chain of quick lube stores - different locations. I don't really have a high opinion of those places, but it seems unlikely that lightning would strike twice by having them both put in the wrong spec oil and having it be an issue.
If you are able to find out what they use, that could be a factor. GM changed the whole Dexos-1 specification - and their own dealer blend of oil - recently to better formulate it for TGDI engines based on low-speed preignition studies.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
So the question is what is causing this? Bad piston?
That's a theory. Tune or something inherent in the engine/intake design causing that particular cylinder to run leaner or hotter than others is another theory. Seems odd that it's #1 in particular, when the Gen 1 1.4T would seemingly break pistons at random when it happened.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
So I am considering midgrade or higher, but something to consider.

If this is going to happen, will it happen at relatively low mileage? Has there been a modification done to newer builds that will avoid this? Should I just use 87 and see if I can make it past the warranty and then assume my vehicle is not likely to have this issue? I would hate to buy midgrade now just to extend the engine long enough past warranty, then a failure.
Honestly, they are so new that we don't really know how the long-term reliability for this particular powertrain will pan out - the new small engine family (1.0/1.4T/1.5T) is a clean-sheet redesign. You probably have some of the higher-mileage 2016.5/2017s out there. It's an all-new engine design, and GM seems to be still investigating the cause of the failures. I have heard rumors that there may be a service bulletin or recall for the LE2 engines in the works similar to the Malibu, along with redesigned pistons, but nothing confirmed yet.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
Hmm. My wife was excited to get a car that only required regular gas. I'd be shocked if GM couldn't build a high volume turbo engine capable of running regular gas reliably. I remember early on the gen 1 Cruze had a more flexible spark advance to benefit from premium gas, but after GM made changes to bump up fuel economy around 2012, the spark advance was dumbed down and I didn't hear any widespread issues on low octane.

I personally would put premium in a turbocharged engine, but if an MFR is going to engineer the car and recommend regular gas, it needs to run it happily. My wife is going to be super pissed if the engine takes a dump because she commutes over 300 miles per week. She probably wouldn't trust the car anymore either.
My '12 was undrivable on 87 in the summer. The tuning got better for 2014-15, but the early models drove like crap on regular to protect the motor.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
I never owned a 1st gen Cruze, I'm only going off what I learned reading threads on the HPTuners forum. This is the first I've heard of the port injected 1.4T really being negatively affected by regular octane gas.
They heat soak - badly. All kinds of threads here about running higher octane to combat knock.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
Is that related to the afterblower feature I read about in an old Cruze TSB/recall?
No - that's to keep mold off the AC core.

The intercooler is sandwiched in between the AC condensor and radiator. When you sit at a long stoplight in the summer with the AC cranked up, the car will barely move away from the light under its own power it's pulling timing so much.

Here's one of such threads:
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/27-fuel-economy/81489-93-octane-debate-continues.html
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
Yes to both theories and too high final gear ratio causing high engine loading when accelerating.
Gearing's fine...in fact, I'd prefer it to be slightly taller like it is on Ford's 6F35 (shares the same ratios, but final drive is taller). Shift logic might need work, though - it likes to lug around in as high a gear as possible and only really downshifts if you boot it.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
The problem has more than one cause....
Not really. There's 1 OD ratio in the AT and the rest are quite short. The picking a higher gear when accelerating at low throttle openings is programming. Ford and GM have used this same transmission design in many cars over the years, often with a taller final drive ratio that lets for lower highway/4th gear passing RPM.

Fords 1.5/2.0 Ecoboosts don't seem to have LSPI issues, but they love to rev, run rich air/fuel mixtures, and definitely have programming that doesn't lug around in high gears when accelerating.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
It's hard to say. Going with a tune to prevent that does introduce the risk of voiding any further power-train warranty. However, I also have not heard of anyone having a piston failure that also had a tune, though the ratio of tuned Cruze to factory tuned is also much lower. I would say there really is not enough evidence yet to suggest going with a tune solely with the objective of avoiding the piston 1 failure.
There have been a few. I think that's why GM hasn't figured out the "solution" with a simple tune update yet either like they did for the Malibu.

There have also been lots of O2 sensor problems with the early Gen 2 builds. Probably has something to do with the piston failures.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
Is the piston issue something that shows up by a certain mileage? Like for example do most failures happen prior to say, 40K miles, 50, 60? Or have their been many incidents past 60K?
Seems like most I've seen are inside 30k. Very few have past 60k on a LE2 yet. @UpstateNYBill is getting there with no issues.
 

· Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
Joined
·
17,869 Posts
A friend has a Gen I Cruze with the 1.4T and 6AT, and I test drove a Gen II equipped similarly. With gentle acceleration, under light throttle, the AT upshifts at low RPM. You can get up to speed keeping the engine well under 2000 rpm in both cars. My time at the wheel of each was brief, so correct me if I'm wrong. So that's what I do with my MT car. I like getting good MPG, so I accelerate at a speed the engine can accommodate at low RPM and low throttle. That's pretty slow by the standards of impatient tailgater types, often young females, who don't understand the break for the 1-2 shift and give me ugly looks.

Not sure I'm doing it 'safely' given this problem. It's so quiet, muffled by chassis design and by the turbo. Also, given the throttle-by-wire, I don't have as much feel through the pedal, and I don't know what the computer is actually doing with the physical throttle. And, the turbo throws a 'wild card' into the actual, physical throttle setting.

I am going to use some tricks outlined here, unless and until we have a word from GM. Top-tier premium fuel. Best oil (maybe the Amsoil SS), fuel treatment every 10,000 (just about due for the 1st, have bought the Gumout brand stuff, haven't put it in yet), haven't decided yet if the catch can is worthwhile.

I did have two LSPI incidents that I'm aware of. Both under heavy throttle. Once at around 2000 rpm, once in the upper 2000s to the best of my recollection. Pedal matted both times. I think both were after a dealer oil change where it was overfilled about 1/2 quart and where I think they may have used the prior revision of oil. I took it back to them after a few hundred mi to correct the overfill, before being aware of the oil revision and the propensity of these engines to blow up. They drained & refilled it but didn't change the filter. I haven't noticed a problem since, but I am also driving it differently, and using premium fuel, so not sure if anything has actually changed.

I thought on modern cars that it wasn't dangerous to mat the throttle, but hearing otherwise with this. Very disappointed that I can break it by using it normally. Haven't had that feeling while I owned a 1989 Honda and a 2001 Nissan, both with manual transmissions. My parents always had GM and they almost always had to pay for early engine repairs. I liked the cars otherwise... handling and driving feel and comfort balance was a GM strong suit and is also on this car.

I must say, the only thing more expensive than using top tier premium fuel and expensive oils and driving carefully, is selling the thing early and buying a different new car. I don't feel really wealthy, but, I could afford to do this I think. Not sure what type of Toyota I'm going to get next.

Interested to know what 'Italian tune-up' techniques work for this thing. Afraid to press the throttle to the floor now, but I suppose at 3,000 and above, it's ok. Haven't felt the need to redline it, but is this a necessity once in a while?
Yes the AT upshifts pretty low as the engine has a pretty good low end. I spent most of my driving sub 2500 RPM, but it does see upper ranges one or twice a week because I hate other idiots on the road.

Both of my LSPI events were on 87 octane in the mid 3000s under heavy throttle. Definite hiccup and weird noise from the motor under acceleration. I've also felt it do a weird hiccup on 89 after accelerating and then backing off on the throttle.

Since a diet of Amsoil XL and 93, I haven't felt it again.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top