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P0299 - Dealer Reflashed - Problem Persists

3708 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Cruzen Vegas
Vehicle details: 2014 Gen1 Chevy Cruze LTZ/RS 1.4L Turbo with ~31k miles. Bought CPO at end of September 2015 with ~25k miles. Have recently performed an oil and oil filter change with OEM ACDelco filter and dexos-certified Castrol Edge full synthetic at ~33% oil life, according to car computer. I've been using 87 octane gasoline, but will be using 91 from now on. No aftermarket modifications.

Symptoms: reduced power and low MPG.

I was experiencing reduced power on and off the highway about two weeks ago. My wife later drove the car and noticed the CEL lit up. When she got home, I checked and the CEL was not on anymore, although I still noticed the lack of power.

I scanned the computer with my OBDII scanner and it resulted in a P0299 code (turbo underboost).

I did some research on various forums and concluded that the most common issues had to do with a faulty wastegate actuator pin and/or fractures in the manifold. Most situations called for a replacement of the turbo.

I thought, "okay, cool, a turbo replacement should be the fix and it will be covered under the bumper-to-bumper warranty."

I scheduled an appointment with my local Chevy dealer (not the dealer I purchased from) and when I arrived, I explained what was going on and what I thought may be the issue, according to the scan that I performed. The guy agreed that the P0299 would most likely result in a replacement of the turbo.

Once we got in the office, I attempted to get reassurance that if, in fact, the problem was with the turbo (hence the P0299 code), a replacement of said turbo would be covered in my warranty since I purchased CPO from another nearby Chevy dealer. The service technician kept suggesting that there could be other things wrong with the car and that he couldn't say that any service would be covered under warranty. I completely understood that, but wanted, for peace of mind, to know that I may theoretically not be charged for any work IF the turbo needed to be replaced. With reluctance, he suggested as much and I left my car for a couple days while I was out of town. He said he'd run tests for free and get back to me so I could give the go-ahead to do work.

The next day I got a text that my car was ready, even though I asked the technician to give me a call. I figured he'd call and explain what tests had been done and notify me of work to be done. The text was good enough and I assumed the turbo had been replaced.

When I got back into town and went to pick up my car, I was told to go to the cashier and let them know I was picking up.
They gave me a print out of the invoice. The notes on the invoice state that I came in complaining of reduced power and the description of what they did is as follows: "as per SI reprogrammed ECM, cleared dtcs and road tested vehicle with no further concern. warranty reprograming code: 11046". No charge, obviously.

I left, assuming there was no need to replace the turbo and that they had fixed the issue. I figured I'd look into those notes to see what had been done. I learned that reprogramming ECM was also known as reflashing, essentially resetting the car computer.

Here I am, two weeks later, and have noticed the same reduced power with the turbo seemingly not kicking in. I was on the highway trying to accelerate and I was pedal-to-the-metal and at 63 mph. I've also noticed that the car doesn't seem to shift at appropriate times and I often have to completely let off the gas and press back in to allow the car to shift.

I reset my trip meter after getting my car back and my MPG is at 19 after driving 120 miles. I do drive mostly city and stop/go, but that's pretty low and I know that low MPG is a symptom of a non-performing turbo.

I feel like the dealer I went to just didn't want to do any "substantial" work (although I believe replacing a turbo is quick/easy) because I was making a stink about the warranty and since I didn't buy my car from his Chevy location. I could be wrong, but it just didn't seem like any special attention was paid to me or my car.

Also, I should note that my OBDII scanner has green/yellow/red lights and the yellow light is lit up, while no codes are showing up. As per the owner's manual, this indicates there is a possible problem and that a "pending" code is present and/or some of the vehicle's emission monitors have not run their diagnostic testing.

I'm going to take my car in to another Chevy dealer (I didn't get a good vibe from the one I went to) early next week, but I wanted to try to get some feedback in the mean time.

What do you all think?
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First, the warranty is with GM. The dealer has to convince GM to open to the wallet for any work done. So it's not really the dealer's decision as to what is done under warranty. The reflash probably updated the software and may have been a GM-specified "try this first" when the problem couldn't be verified/duplicated. So the dealer you went to may not have changed the results.

As for MPG, I get about 19/20 MPG with my city driving (25 MPH, traffic light on ever corner). So unless you can show that the car used to get more MPG on the same drive, I'm not sure as you have a problem on that front.

What you might want to do is take the car out for the kind of driving that will set the SEL. You'll be in a better position when you take it into the dealer as a "history" item then a "pending" one.
I bet that you never went in for the emmisions reflash last year, and now with the new re-flash
...the New programing makes it harder for an underboost code to go off and now it wont throw the code for the worn wastegate pin on the turbo,,,,Im in socal as well, what dealer/city did you bring it to?
I'm really interested in what gets resolved, I have the same car as you, a 2012ltz rs...I do mainly city driving and in 28,000 miles that ive driving this car my lifetime ave is 26.1mpg at 25MPH average,,, I actually inspected my wastegate pin clearance an it is way worn out per the old specs, but my power is normal and the wastegate closes all the way even thought the pin is so worn out you can throw a cat through it,,,,
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