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My Family Has Two 2017 Cruzes with Two Engine Failures...thoughts?

49819 Views 132 Replies 52 Participants Last post by  aircom
I've had some Cruze issues that just don't seem right and I wanted to see if anyone else had similar issues.

My better half and I both leased brand new 2017 Cruze base models starting back in November. Both are set up as high mileage leases and both cars are driven quite a bit. On one, most of the mileage is city driving and on the other the mix is closer to 50/50 city and highway driving. Generally, different gas stations are used. Both cars have been maintained by quick lube places, but at different locations, different times, etc.

Right around 28k on each of the cars, a bad misfire developed. It got worse very quickly and in both cases, the dealer diagnosed the issue as piston failure. Different dealerships in different states worked with each car. In both cases, the dealer attempted to replace one piston and in both cases, there was further internal damage and the engines needed to be replaced. Car #1 had the work done and runs fine now. Car #2 is in the shop now and hopefully will be finished by the end of the week. Both are being covered under warranty, but both cars are used for work and without our cars, we cannot work. Between the two of us, this has cost about $3,500-$4,000 in lost income. Needless to say, I am very disappointed. We invested in new cars to be used as a tool. I don't expect engine failures after less than 30k. I am very nervous that we will be dancing this dance again at 60k,90k, etc. when the cars are out of warranty. We both really like our Cruzes, but this could be a big problem.

Has anyone else had piston issues on a Gen 2 Cruze?

I am also a writer and journalist, so I reached out to GM's public relations department to inquire about possible issues. They have not commented.

I also have not been able to find out for sure which cylinder had the piston failure. Both dealerships haven't been able to give me much information and the service writers seem very detached from the actual technicians.

Any thoughts or experience would be appreciated.
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I'm not sure but it seems we are seeing more defects and failures in the new next gen CRUZE? I know Chevrolet products have won all sorts of initial quality awards in the last 3 years but the CRUZE is not included, makes one wonder?
Except that Consumer Reports claims they have enough owner survey information on the MY 2016 to call it an "Excellent" with reliability, even after just one year of a new gen which they usually don't do. I had Gen 1. Talk about defective. Other survey respondents to CR survey thought the same.
 

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Well i have noticed if I use 89 or 93 my mileage is actually about 3 or 4 miles per gallon better. So the extra cost to me is worth it plus the engine definitely runs better to me. Everyone will have to decide for themselves. But you have to remember Gen 1 had some pistons that did this and there was also a lot that didn't have the problem.
 

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IIRC, the Gen1 problem was a casting problem with the pistons themselves. I don't think there was any change to the engine as a result of the failures. Maybe a change in part suppliers.

But with it always happening to #1 on the Gen2 - something else has to be in play (unless a specific cast goes into that position).
 

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Think it had something to do with your tune?
No, I don't. There have been reports of untuned vehicles having issues as low as 35 miles. I've got a buddy that had the issue at 2k miles. I had it at 7700 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Neither of our cars have been tuned. Both are bone stock.

If General Motors built these engines to only survive on 89 or 93 octane, I would think that they should have recommended that. We were cross shopping several different cars and a premium fuel requirement or a 30k service life for an engine would have been deal breakers.
 

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If General Motors built these engines to only survive on 89 or 93 octane, I would think that they should have recommended that.
Welcome to the eternal conflict between sales and engineering. In the Gen1, the 2011-2013 MY had a RPO code that indicated they were designed for 93. But sales had them modify it and the user manual said "regular". However, even then, it didn't damage the engine. The computer did it's job of protecting the hardware at the expense of performance.

Those years will run on 87, but a lot of people find they're happier with 89 and a couple of bucks per fill-up is worth the performance improvement.

You may want to try a 89, especially in hot weather for better performance and perhaps better MPG. But as far as the pistons - something else is going on and you're right in wanting it fixed.
 

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Welcome to the eternal conflict between sales and engineering. In the Gen1, the 2011-2013 MY had a RPO code that indicated they were designed for 93. But sales had them modify it and the user manual said "regular". However, even then, it didn't damage the engine. The computer did it's job of protecting the hardware at the expense of performance.

Those years will run on 87, but a lot of people find they're happier with 89 and a couple of bucks per fill-up is worth the performance improvement.

You may want to try a 89, especially in hot weather for better performance and perhaps better MPG. But as far as the pistons - something else is going on and you're right in wanting it fixed.
This.

The fuel used by manufacturers and EPA is a standard fuel not commercially available and happens to be 91 octane. When they state those HP numbers it's usually using that fuel so by the time you or dealer runs 87 you won't even see those numbers past the small pull you did out the gas station into traffic. When you refuel the Cruze it feels like the brand new gas has way more energy than what was sitting in the bottom of your fuel tank. if gen 2 is like Gen 1 the 91 fuel map defaults on on refuel event and you get that fuel map until the 87 pings it back down.

Subaru usually crack the same pistons due to fueling issues in stock setup, most likely whats happening here. Subaru also uses A and B size pistons at random but that still was narrowed down to 2 cylinders.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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This is interesting. I've been running 92 octane and have noticed 5th and 6th gear power improvements while cruising around town and back roads doing the speed limits. I recently put 87 in a few days ago and after letting the car sit for awhile (waiting to pick up my kiddo) I left the street light to accelerate up to speed and heard a loud rattle from the engine and saw a cloud of smoke come out the exhaust. This was from shifting into 2nd. The engine output was reduced and then returned. The car seemed to drive home ok, but I was a little irritated and worried. I am certain that it was detonation! I will run higher octane for now on (and no more Arco). If this engine blows (shocker 153hp) I will get out of it. I don't want this car torn apart and slapped back together. This engine is so under powered, and the stupid gearing only makes it worse. However, the fuel economy is phenomenal!
 

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"Both cars have been maintained by quick lube places, but at different locations, different times, etc. "

I quit going to those places. Total scams. Last time I went to one of those places they left my oil cap off and I drove all day without an oil cap needless to say I had a mess. They can't do their job and put an oil filter cap back on but they can try to up sell me a filter for 30 bucks that would cost 10 at a parts store.
 

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"Both cars have been maintained by quick lube places, but at different locations, different times, etc. "

I quit going to those places. Total scams..
THIS. I know that once when I brought my own Mobil 1 Synthetic for them to put in, I watched & caught them hiding the stuff I brought & putting their cheap generic stuff in. Gave me an argument when I told them to drain it & fill it with the oil I'd brought. Just one of the many times QuickyLube screwed up, each time something different. If I can't do it myself, then it's going to a reputable local mechanic.
 

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Dang, reading this thread is a bit unnerving. I use 87 octane in my car. Would simply going up to 89 offer any protection? Also, what's the difference between GM's Dexos oil and other synthetics? Would I be ok using Mobil1, Pennzoil Platinum, or Valvoline SynPower? Or should I just stick with Dexos? I want to do everything I can to prevent a failure from occurring.
 

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Dang, reading this thread is a bit unnerving. I use 87 octane in my car. Would simply going up to 89 offer any protection? Also, what's the difference between GM's Dexos oil and other synthetics? Would I be ok using Mobil1, Pennzoil Platinum, or Valvoline SynPower? Or should I just stick with Dexos? I want to do everything I can to prevent a failure from occurring.
I have a Gen 1 LT and I used 89 octane and the car does alright(untuned). As far as the oil, Mobil1 offers an Dexos variation and I have used that many times on my Eco with no problem. Lots of synthetics offer a Dexos variation, just look for the DEXOS identifier on the oil.
 
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