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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, brand new to the Cruze Talk forum, please feel free to move this discussion to an appropriate sub forum if need be. I'm here because I am in desperate need of help with my Cruze. I don't know who else to turn to, but I'm hoping someone may have experienced similar issues with their Cruze and can help me out.

I live in Australia, so series numbers may not be the same but i will try to provide as much information as i can.
I own a 2011 Holden (Chevrolet) Cruze JH Series II 1.8L Petrol 5 speed manual with roughly 175,000km's on the clock.
I have now owned it for the past 6 years, bought second hand through a dealership.

Up until recently, I havent had any issues with it other than the odd light bulb replacement. it has always been well maintained, regularly serviced and always kept mechanically immaculate.

Roughly 3 years ago i started having some random misfires. as soon as this occurred, i replaced the spark plugs and ignition coils which instantly fixed the issue.
Roughly 18 months ago, the timing belt kit was replaced.... timing belt, tensioner, pulley. I had no timing issues at the time, this was just part of the regular servicing and the time was right for replacements.

This is where things get interesting...
About 3 months ago, I had a worn out gasket on the inside of my heater hose and started leaking coolant.
Easy fix!! I replaced the heater hose, flushed the coolant till clean, then replaced with new coolant - have not had any coolant issues or leaks since.
Then, roughly at the same time, i got a check engine light. i checked it with a diagnostic scanner, it turned out to be the 02 sensor bank 2 (i think the code was P0159)
I replaced the bank 2 sensor, erased the code and that seemed to have fixed the issue.

Then about one month ago, i started having the same random misfire problem that i ran into roughly 3 years ago.
i checked out the problem. my rocker cover gasket had started to seep just a little bit and my spark plugs were slightly burnt, wet and smelling of unburnt fuel. so i changed the rocker cover gasket and spark plugs, but that did not seem to fix the problem. I also ran two bottles of fuel injector cleaner through the fuel tank just in case the injectors needed a quick clean through but im beginning to think this may have done a lot worse for my engine than i thought it would do any good (wait till the end to understand why im thinking this was a bad mistake. these two bottles were put through in separate fuel fill ups, not all at the same time in case you were wondering how stupid i am hahahaha)

begrudgingly i forked out the money for another new coil pack.... the second coil pack in 3 years!!!
Thankfully that fixed the misfiring problem, but to have had to replace coil packs twice in 3 years doesn't seem right to me. Both times i replaced the coil packs, the boots and everything looked and seemed in every way possible fine.
no damage to the boots or the coils inside the boots or any visible damage, weaknesses, wetness or anything. this baffled me a little so i got the old multimeter out. i checked the connecting pins of the coil pack i just replaced, and it turns out that one of the individual pins had 0 ohm resistance reading on it when i checked through all the pins. every other pin had a resistance reading of roughly 21 ohms. this pin had no reading at all. So i put down the fault to faulty wiring of the ignition plugs. (sorry i do not know what this pin was responsible for as im not very advanced in auto electrical)

Everything back to normal.... for about two weeks.
Then the light came back on. This time, i got an error code, P0131 O2 sensor bank 1. Arggghhhhh!!! more money i need to throw at this thing. Okay, whatever, lets just get this fixed.... off i went, bought a new 02 sensor bank 1.
I replaced the 02 sensor bank 1, cleared the code, took the Cruze for a test drive...... then, ALL hell broke loose!!!!

The car went into limp mode, or derated itself as ive heard it be referred to before. Absolutely no power at all, would barely even take off from the traffic lights. A strange gurgling noise accompanied this, coming from the engine. It sounded like someone had put a small hole in the exhaust system, but instead of coming from under the car or from behind it, the noise was definitely coming from under the hood. Also, odd engine vibrations could be felt in your feet if you focused on it closely. I limped her back home and plugged her into the diagnostics only to find the following codes

P2088 - 'A' CAMSHAFT POSITION ACTUATOR CONTROL CIRCUIT LOW BANK 1
P2090 - 'B' CAMSHAFT POSITION ACTUATOR CONTROL CIRCUIT LOW BANK 1
P0132 - O2 SESNSOR CIRCUIT HIGH VOLTAGE BANK 1 SENSOR 1
P0458 - EVAP SYSTEM PURGE CONTROL VALVE 'A' CIRCUIT LOW
P0037 - HO2S HEATER CONTROL CIRCUIT LOW BANK 1 SENSOR 2
P0030 - H02S HEATER CONTROL CIRCUIT BANK 1 CIRCUIT 1
Along with the previously encountered P0159 and P0131 02 sensors bank 1 and bank 2

What to do?
Well firstly, check the timing is still in order. i checked that. the timing seemed to be perfect, everything aligned perfectly how it should!! So i took her to a workshop to ask for a more in depth diagnostic report. All i wanted was a report, but they told me that the report will only tell me everything i already know in regards to the error codes. if i want them to run a full diagnostic investigation, it could take a day or two and potentially be quite an expensive affair. No thank you (for now). They did hint at the fact that the cams themselves may have knocked out of alignment while the timing alignment seems perfectly fine.

Soooooooooo...... i spent 5 hours tonight pulling the thing apart, and indeed the cams themselves were out of alignment, whilst the timing belt, markings and everything else seemed to be perfect. Okay then, so i got the locking kit out and adjusted the cams. now EVERYTHING is timed and aligned perfectly. Put it all back together, erased the codes and went for a test drive.

So now its no longer in limp mode, she has power, and things at first seemed like everything was fixed and back to normal. But thats not the end of it. I drove around for about 45-50 minutes, at first everything seemed fine because i wasnt really giving her too much gas. But things didn't quite seem right. I started to give her a bit of proper acceleration, and what i found was that between about 3,000rpm and 3,500rpm she drops A LOT of power, as if the car is still stuck in limp mode, but only at that rpm range. before hitting 3,000rpm it seems okay, and if you ease off the gas and let the revs build up over 3,500rpm, all of a sudden it comes back to life and gives you all the power you want?!?!
What the heck?!?!?!

so now im absolutely baffled.
i took her home, checked everything under the hood and everything seems okay, plugged it into the diagnostics and i have no codes coming up at all. according to this everything is fine, but its obviously not.

I am beginning to think that the cause of all of this is running the car on Australian 98 RON Petrol. Is this too high octane fuel? Did the 98octane cause the cams to knock out of timing? is the fuel too dry and causing the engine not to run properly? for the past week or so, since all these issues arose i have been able to smell fuel under the hood. hence why i am asking if the 98octane is bad for this engine? any other guesses as to what the heck could be going on?

i will be taking it out for a test drive tomorrow when i wake up and ill fill you in on any changes, any new codes that may come up, etc

Many thanks in advance everyone, whether you have experienced similar problems or just having a stab in the dark and some wild guesses, any sort of discussion may be helpful here :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ohhh, also, since all the codes came up and it went into limp mode, it has started guzzling down fuel like a v8. not only that but its also used about 150ml-200ml of coolant in the past two weeks too, and there are definitely no leaks anywhere at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Blasirl, i shall introduce myself after this update

Todays update...
I started the car and instantly had the engine management light come on. I drove it around for 20 minutes and it was still having major difficulty between 3,000pm - 3,500rpm. i came home and checked the engine management light with the diagnostic tool, and found that all the same error codes have returned. i erased the codes, then changed the oil and oil filter, just in case it was some sort of oil level or pressure issue. took it for a test drive, nothing changed.
Time to check the wiring. i unplugged the battery and then spent the next couple of hours chasing each and every single wire i could find under the hood.
i took off every piece of conduit and electrical tape and chased every single wire with a magnifying glass millimetre by millimetre to look for any sort of burns or damage. no wires were burnt or damaged in any way.
Then i checked every single earthing i could find. one earthing had a slight tiny tiny bit of surface rusting, im talking less than 2mm x 2mm in size. so i took a filer and cleaned the rust straight off. then put the earthing back in its place. i put all the wiring back into brand new conduits and put it all back into place how it should be.
Then i checked the two cam solenoid plugs, blew them out with compressed air in case there was any dirt or dusting in there, then i did the same with the two sensors on the other end. all 4 plugs seemed perfectly fine, very clean.
I plugged everything back up and put everything back into its place, turned the car on, took it for a test drive and found it is still behaving the same exact way. i turned it off for and hour, went and had dinner, then went to start her up again and found all the same codes have returned.

So now the next thing i am thinking what i have to do is start replacing the solenoids, one at a time, and if thats not it then the sensors on the other side. i really dont want to start playing these sort of trial and error games but i think im going to have to. Arghhhh!!!

What if i replace both solenoids and both sensors and still nothing though? then do i think about replacing the ECU??
This is starting to look like a very expensive issue if i have to go down the trial and error route :(

....I'm still wondering whether it could just be a fuel issue though? Is it because im running 98RON full time and have put two bottles of petrol injector cleaner through it in the last couple of months?
If i just run through this half a tank of petrol i have left and then fill her up with 95RON from now on, will this issue resolve itself before i have to start pouring money into new solenoids and sensors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So after doing some more digging and research, i've read that it is most probably the VVT solenoids, what i was previously referring to as the 'sensors'. The larger, cylindrical shaped sensors on the opposite side of the smaller solenoids. see picture attached to know exactly what im talking about.
I shall replace these two in the next couple of days and let you all know if that has resolved these issues.
 

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Welcome Aboard!(y)

@plano-doug @Crewz @grs1961

Don't forget to introduce yourself and your Cruze here.
After being on this forum and it's predecessor for about 10 years, I don't think it's necessary to introduce myself...

And ArtyCruze - I think you have made the mistake of throwing parts at it, without identifying the underlying problem.

There are mechanics in Oz who understand the variants of the 1.8l motors we got, I'd be taking it to one of them, or at least asking on the "Holden Cruze" FB page, it's possible that someone like Matt Valenzuela (he's a mac in Werribee) has seen exactly this problem.
 

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VVT solenoids could be an issue given the timing codes. Seems pretty common on the 1.8.

I'd also check that the intake manifold tuning valve isn't stuck/gummed up. It's the little lever under the intake.

Some of the voltage codes COULD be the infamous negative battery cable issue.
 

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After being on this forum and it's predecessor for about 10 years, I don't think it's necessary to introduce myself...

And ArtyCruze - I think you have made the mistake of throwing parts at it, without identifying the underlying problem.

There are mechanics in Oz who understand the variants of the 1.8l motors we got, I'd be taking it to one of them, or at least asking on the "Holden Cruze" FB page, it's possible that someone like Matt Valenzuela (he's a mac in Werribee) has seen exactly this problem.
Hmm, who asked you to intro yourself?
 

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2012 Chevy Cruze 1.8 (soon to be 1.8t) LS... white
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Welcome! I agree with @jblackburn either the vvt solenoid(s) or the variable intake runner. Check to see that the arm is still attached. During lower rpms it uses the longer runners, and higher rpms it utilizes the short runners, which is where it gets some of it's top end power. Might just be stuck or the arm not attached. I'd start there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so heres the latest update...
a few days ago i replaced 1 of the vvt solenoids, took it for a test drive, no bueno, still the same symptoms.
i tried to change it with the other solenoid to see if it was the other one. still same issues.

today i got a second vvt solenoid, so now both have been replaced brand new. still the same issues, still the same codes keep coming up.

tomorrow ill be checking the intake manifold tuning valve but from research that should be coming up with a different code. that code being P2076 which is not one of the codes that are coming up. so im not quite convinced that would be the issue. however its definitely worth checking out, and ill be doing so tomorrow.

other than that, the car will be booked in to have the ECU checked over and tuned on either Friday or Saturday as thats the earliest i'll have the time to take the car into the workshop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
today i spent a few hours searching for that intake manifold tuning valve runner but could not find one.
i was searching for this...
291619


instead, this is what i found
291621


this picture was taken halfway through pulling things apart trying to locate that valve runner hence a few hoses and sensor clips are disconnected. i do have a short 10 second video of me moving that little arm within that cannister if anyone is interested in me uploading it, however i think i may need to upload it to an image hosting site to link it to this thread as it is "too large for the server to process". when i move the little arm up and down it sounds like its pumping air well and mechanically feels good and everything in tact.

is this a normal installation on a 1.8L petrol 5sp manual Cruze? i've tried my best at scouring the internet for this part for the cruze but can't seem to find any information on it.
could this be related to my issues?
i'm still planning on taking it to a workshop to check over the ecu over the next few days when i have the time in between work, but i was unable to locate that intake manifold tuning valve runner and this has baffled me a little bit if im going to be honest.
 
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