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

49718 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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Good to know. So as long as the oil shows the Dexos spec and is full synthetic, I'm good to go? I know there are some synthetic blends that are Dexos approved, but I plan on avoiding those. I'll also hop up to 89 octane from now on.
 

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Castrol Magnatec 5w30 was semi-synthetic, and Dexos approved. Now it looks like it's full synthetic. 520 was already that way, wonder if GM is requiring Dexos oil to be full synthetic now
Yes.
 

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My turn

I have a 2016 Cruze Premier. At 34000 mi. it would not auto restart and
loss of low end power. I drove 75 mi home and 300 feet from home
the check engine light finally came on. Took it to the dealer. Had 2 cracked pistons.
number 1 and 3 from what I could find out. Only pistons were replaced and comp
flashed. Took the idiots at my dealership 20 days to get it done.
 

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Curious about using the better octane gas, I have 183k + on my '12 eco manual. Have only run 87 octane.. We just picked up '17 LT RS Hatchback auto... Will run mid-grade or better and see if engine has issues.
 

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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.
Yes to both theories and too high final gear ratio causing high engine loading when accelerating.
 

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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.
 

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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.
The problem has more than one cause....
 

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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.
 

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My 2017 Cruze has a manual. All the cars I've ever owned, back to the '70's (except one used one that I couldn't afford to pass up), have been manuals. I've always been cognizant of not putting too deep a throttle at low RPMs. Kills fuel economy I think, in addition to being hard on the engine. The turbo and computerized throttle (my first car with either of these things) adds another level of complexity -- can't feel the engine through the pedal, can't tell how much boost it's pushing, can't even be sure a given pedal setting results in the computer opening the throttle to a corresponding degree in different situations.

That said, the two occasions I've noticed brief pinging was when goosing the throttle with no load to engage the clutch in first, or to downshift. Not something that I could've predicted or that I can avoid.
 

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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.
Yes, really, and you just stated so. Of course, a better quality piston should have been used as well.
 

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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.
I am one of the people that reported on another thread that there is a computer reprogram in the works for the 2016. I have gone through 2 02 sensors due to soot covering them and leading to lean conditions in cylinder 1. My fuel trim was at -17 the last time I took it in for th po15b check engine light. I am afraid of piston damage and my service advisor has been great about getting on GM, but I was told at the end of May that they were working on the programming/fix and here we are two months later with no fix.
 

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I am one of the people that reported on another thread that there is a computer reprogram in the works for the 2016. I have gone through 2 02 sensors due to soot covering them and leading to lean conditions in cylinder 1. My fuel trim was at


this is exactly what happened with my girlfriends Gen2 she had four 02 sensors replaced, and then boom cyl #1 went
 

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In the meantime, what fuels should we use or avoid, what driving styles should we practice or avoid?

As for fuels, I'm wondering if the different additive packages from the various oil companies would make a difference. Not just octane. More octane may help at the margin, but sounds like the lean condition is too pronounced for that to make a difference.

I understand there may not be airtight answers to this.
 

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Thanks for replying, but it is exactly what I didn't want to hear. Did you get any codes other than po15 b? Did you notice any changes in mpg- mine has been pretty consistent and good. I really don't want to deal with major engine work.
 

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Always #1 piston and in at least one instance #3?

Where does the PCV oil go, any chance most of it ends up in cylinder #1?

Why do I feel a sudden urge to replace my plugs with 2-3 steps colder?
 

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i have 3 O2 sensors replaced. They said the when the replace the last 2 about 3 weeks ago they had soot on them too. I got a check engine light and Onstar said it was a emissions issue. So far the car seems to run ok. but they need to get the reprogramming out soon if this is the issue with piston 1 and O2 sensors.
 

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I just joined the cruzetalk site yesterday. I am just catching up on the past history of these engines. Today is one year that I have owned my Premier. It has 6700 miles and I just did my first oil change. I have recently started servicing my 2012 Suburban and my 2014 Challenger at the dealership for simple regular maintenance. They charge the same price as my local mechanic. I'd rather the dealer perform the service. that way they can't blame anyone else for any issues . Tomorrow I will fill up with 89 octane. I've been using 87 and was getting 28-30 mpg average. I bought the car as a daily to/from work driver (40 miles round trip). I don't think I have gone over 80 mph. Don't see any need to beat on it. My Dodge Challenger 5.7 HEMI is the whipping boy! Hoping for the best. If any issues arise in the next 48 months....I'll trade it in and get a Tahoe.
 

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I brought my 2016.5 Cruze in 1 week ago for my second po15 b CEL. They didn't replace an O2 sensor this time but they did reprogram the ECU. So it looks like the long awaited update is out. I'm not sure what it changes. The only thing I noticed was that my auto-transmission seemed to have been reset and had to relearn my driving habits. I shifted weird at first but is back to normal for me.

For what it's worth I fill up with Shell V-Power and engine seems to run great except for a few instances where the engine was lugging in high gear/low RPMs. The lugging hasnt occured for me since the ECU update. It hasn't been long enough to tell if the shifting algorithm has been changed though.
 

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Do you happen to have a bulletin number off your paperwork? I just talked to a higher -up person with GM customer service about not having a fix yet. They are going to get back to me this week. I started a case with them 5 months ago and the light keeps coming back. I would think they would need to clean out the exhaust some how because my sensors are always caked with soot. They replaced it twice and cleaned it once. I told them I want a buy back if they can't fix it on this fourth try. I love the car and would prefer a fix.
 
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