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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

A few months ago while my 2011 Cruze Eco MT was still under warranty I asked to have the cylinders pressure tested because of oil on the spark plugs. The GM service tech performed the pressure test, it failed, he said he would replace the valve cover gasket. The following day while I was picking up the vehicle he told me instead of replacing the gasket, he tightened down the valve cover because it was loose. He did not install a new gasket.

Today I decided to check the gaps on my spark plugs because I noticed a rougher idle than usual. Here is what I found.

First image firing order - 1,3,2,4

Second image firing order - 4,2,3,1

Rest of the images are firing order - 1,3,2,4
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How many miles are on this car? The plugs look like they are definitely fouled. The gap may be part of the problem being not gapped the same @ .28. You may want to check out this thread about plugs http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/9-ge...fr7x-spark-plugs-came-my-2012-1-4l-turbo.html. I would definitely find a different dealership for service as this one doesn't seem to know what they are doing.
Just under 53,000 miles on the car, I purchased the car used with 33,000 on it. The factory plugs were fouled at 43,000 miles. The plugs you are looking at are new and were replaced at 43,000 miles, they have roughly 10,000 miles on them with a gap of .28.

I am out of my powertrain warranty, I should have been more persistent with the dealership but it was like I was asking them for their right hand whenever it needed service. I got tired of arguing with them over their "warranty".

At this point I would greatly appreciate some thoughts on the issue, so I may correct it. I am currently leaning towards a new valve cover with gasket, but I am not sure if that is the problem, might be the valve stem seals. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I picked up a compression tester today and tested the cylinders in my Cruze. Cylinder 1 @ 150psi, 2, 3, & 4 @ 190psi. Looks like I will be heading back to the local Chevy dealership to see if they will honor their work and correct the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I spoke to the Chevy dealership today, they didn't log the compression test, so there is no official documentation regarding the issue (or their "fix"). I'm at a loss for words at the moment. However, the service department remembered me being there in February and that the compression test was performed. They said they would perform the inspection free of charge even though its out of warranty.

I drop it off Tuesday morning, so we will see how things play out.
 

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I spoke to the Chevy dealership today, they didn't log the compression test, so there is no official documentation regarding the issue (or their "fix"). I'm at a loss for words at the moment. However, the service department remembered me being there in February and that the compression test was performed. They said they would perform the inspection free of charge even though its out of warranty.

I drop it off Tuesday morning, so we will see how things play out.
Hey EcoWarrior,


Sorry to hear about this cylinder concern with your Cruze. Please keep us updated on how it goes at the dealership today and if you'd like any additional assistance while you work with your dealership, please feel free to send us a private message.


Have a great day!


Chelsea D.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I dropped off my Cruze at the Chevy dealer this morning, got a call back this afternoon saying they performed a compression test and the cylinders were within GM specifications, whatever that means. They didn't elaborate on the details, I was told I could speak to their technician if I wanted. I find it hard to believe they were able to get pressure on cylinder 1 (150psi when I tested it) anywhere near the other 3, which were at 190psi when I did it last Thursday. That's a 21% difference. They also informed me that there was no oil on any of the plugs, I know for a fact there is visible wet oil on plug 3.

It's not like this is a random coincidence either, they ran the compression test back in February and it failed then, they tightened the valve cover and said it was good. 2,000 miles later I perform the test and cylinder 1 is down 21% compared to the other cylinders. Definitely not a coincidence.

Long story short someone is lying, and it isn't me. I ran the test myself, wet and dry, numbers were almost identical. Looks like I will be purchasing a cylinder leakage tester to figure out exactly where I am loosing pressure.

This is the same dealership I towed my Cruze to this past winter because the slave cylinder failed in my driveway. They told me they bled my clutch and it was ready to be picked up. I asked how bleeding the clutch could possibly fix the issue of the reservoir dumping most of its fluid with one press of the clutch pedal and not go in gear, they said it couldn't and that they would have to investigate further, the next day they called me back and said the slave cylinder failed and would have to be replaced.

After dealing with Champion Chevrolet of Fowlerville MI on several separate occasions over the years for different issues, I would not recommend anyone use them for service. Under warranty or otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The readings from their compression test were 175-190 PSI across all cylinders. There is no way they got 175 PSI on cylinder 1.

When it failed the compression test in February and they were going to replace the gasket but didn't, and just tightened the valve cover down to bring up the pressure in the cylinder, assuming that corrected the problem initially, has since started to fail. The more I think about, the more I'm leaning towards a new valve cover gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A couple days ago I finally got a check engine light, P0171 - System Too Lean - Bank 1, popped up on my scanner.

Today I looked further into the code, what I found was oil leaking all around the valve cover, and I am guessing gasoline on the intake manifold, also the check valve is missing in action from inside the intake manifold.

Do any of you know what lead to use on the ignition coil to verify the resistance with a voltage meter?

I really wish my local GM dealership would have addressed these issues instead of brushing them off while it was under warranty...
 

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Reading this I am really confused. How does a leaking valve cover gasket, cause low cylinder pressure? I don't understand how the two issues are related. A head gasket that was leaking could be an issue that would cause low pressure and a oil leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reading this I am really confused. How does a leaking valve cover gasket, cause low cylinder pressure? I don't understand how the two issues are related. A head gasket that was leaking could be an issue that would cause low pressure and a oil leak.
I didn't think it would cause low compression either, that is what their mechanic said at the Chevy dealership. I personally thought it was the valve stem seals, because I have no coolant loss.
 

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Going to suggest that you run your compression tests again to be sure your not chasing a stuck gauge the first time. I do comp tests 3-5 times before moving on in situations like this.

Order a new valve cover and gasket. They're like 50 bucks or so and easy to do if you're performing compression tests. Valve cover shouldn't cause anything to do with compression in the motor, but I know know leaving the dipstick out a little bit will cause a cel to come on same situation if your valve cover is leaking. Though I don't know the code.

Fix all the visible issues like leaks and such. Then see what happens.
 

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A valve cover gasket will have exactly no effect on compression. It could be you are dealing with two problems, a bad gasket plus some other problem causing loss of compression. It should be relatively easy to visually tell if the valve cover is leaking. It could be you got a bad reading the first time around. Things like that I would check at least three times. Loss of compression could come from head gasket (which could also cause oil loss), valve seats, or rings. That's about it, assuming the spark plug was properly seated. A head gasket could potentially cause oil loss without also causing coolant loss in some cases.
 

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Checked, changed spark plugs at 48K. Found small amount of white deposits on 1 and 4, others looked OK but had new ones so gapped to .28 and put them in.

What I found was a bit of oil in the plug wells on the center 2 plug holes. No oil pooled under the coil pack and it looks like it leaked in from the groove that is head. No sign of any valve cover leaking.

Any one else find this? The center 2 plug boots had oil up them about 1/2 inch.

I know I cant be the first one so any body else have and fix this?
 

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Valve cover and Compression test are interrelated only if the compression test fails badly and at 150psi that's pretty bad...

I have already seen what issues like large amounts of ring bypass will do... it will blow the timing cover gasket where the motor mount goes through the front. It will cause the valve cover to leak... even with a functioning pcv system, ive seen it happen.

I would look for your first culperate in the intake manifold. Either the red check valve is gone or stuck due to trash and you got oil in the intake. The enough oil blew thru into the intake to cut your rings in #1 (it takes a lot less than you think, which is why oil bypass is such a bad thing thru the pcv system)... I bet if you do a compression check now even more have lower compression... I think your dealer is not checking them correctly... 4 gauge strokes (pumps) and the pressure should be 190+... GM spec is 170+ but tell your dealer 175-190 across the board is failing bc there is not supposed to be more that 14psi difference in any cylinder.
 

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When my Intake PCV check valve failed, my crank pressure went nuts and i was leaking oil everywhere, including the valve cover. And it nearly filled my spark plug holes and boots.

Had a Valve cover gasket fail on a ford focus that filled the spark plug holes too.

As for the OP; It would be a very unlikely gasket failure. They did a good job designing it and its quite heat resistant and robust.
My guess would be intake check valve failure. Especially with the P0171 Lean code...
Edit: Went back and saw that it was missing, case closed, PCV valve is a hard one to catch cause everything else goes nuts.
 
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150 psi for an 8.5 compression engine compression test is normal, testing code, suppose to have the TB vane wide open. My guess if you are reading higher, must have a lot of carbon build up in those cylinders. Sounds like a job for Seafoam, instructions are on the back of the can.

Spark plugs should be torqued at 18 ft.-lbs, sounds like oil in your wells are leaking down. Have to look down with a flashlight to make sure the wells are clean, didn't say this was easy to clean, way down there. Could have carbon build up where the washer contacts the head.

15 Camshaft cover screws coming loose seem to be a problem, temperature coefficient of that plastic cover is greater than the aluminum head it sits on. Torque is 71 inch-pounds, one drop of Loctite removable on the threads does help.

Lucky to hit around 30K miles before that camshaft cover has to be replaced, also helps to coat both sides of that gasket with with gas proof RTV, but will develop leaks anyway.

Ha, kind of a particular guy, don't like any grease monkey fooling around with my vehicles, just give me the part under warranty, and I will do it myself. Can't even change the oil properly, leave a mess, and how come you didn't replace the oil filter, you charged me for this. Have the nerve to call themselves the experts. Insisted on replacing my PS rack, over a half a dozen of those push pin rivets were missing causing rattles, went back, had to order them.
 

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I dont think there is any excessive crankcase pressure. Also, the plugs themself show zero oil in combustion chamber. There is NO sign of any other oil leaking any where. All along the valve cover, no even seepage.

I also have worked on many Ford Focus and Saturns and Toyotas that had the O rings at the valve cover sealing the plug wells but it does not look like that's the case on the Cruze.

Car runs fine, just the oil in the plug wells

So Im still stumped...
 

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Just found #2 and #3 wells oily as well. I was having symptoms of spark blowout or misfiring while accelerating with Trifecta select a tune performance mode so decided to start easy and check and replace plugs. I'm @100k miles with 70k miles on second set of plugs and tune. I'm also on second intake manifold and cam cover with red valve still in manifold. I found plugs 41-171 that I set to .028 at .030 with clean electrodes and replaced them with 41-121 set to .028. I have no more misfiring or blowout now and no other noticable issues. I'm hoping it was just loose or leaking plug seal. I guess time will tell.
 
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