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We wanted to pass this along from Vince at Trifecta Performance, please read.


To All:

We've become aware of a couple cases where piston failure occurred in 1.4L Cruze vehicles.

Based on the nature of the failure of the piston, and combined with information that has

been shared by service technicians, and other engine builders, we believe the failure is

due to either (or both) a manufacturing defect in the piston itself, and/or prolonged

consumption of oil from the intake tract (that may be due to a variety of reasons).

We have also been told this issue has affected both vehicles that have been known to have

been either modified, or vehicles known to be unmodified.

While no proactive measure can be taken to address an eventual parts failure due to a

manufacturing defect, we do recommend that owners of 1.4L engine keep a close eye on oil

consumption, and whether their intake tract is getting contaminated with oil.

To some degree, it is normal to get some oil contamination in the intake tract with

turbocharged vehicles, and the owner's manual itself says to expect a higher-than-usual

rate of oil consumption if the vehicle is used aggressively or competitively. This can

happen by crankcase blow-by pressure pushing oil/crankcase vapors into the intake system,

or by small amounts of oil getting past the turbo seals/bushings. Both of these events

are considered normal and by design (to a certain degree), but can cause an accumulation

of oil in the intake tract.

Eventually this oil will get ingested by the engine. Oil doesn't burn very well, so it

tends to carbonize on parts (combustion chamber, piston, etc). These deposits can cause

hot-spots which later lead to "oil detonation", which can contribute to piston damage

(especially in a unit that may already be compromised due to a defect). Note that this is

different than the type of detonation that occurs from excessively high cylinder pressures

due to overly aggressive tuning or running fuel with insufficient octane.

Aside from the knowledge that there was a manufacturing issue with the 1.4L pistons, it is

also known that there have been defects related to the crankcase ventilation system which

could contribute to oil ingestion issues.

I will add that when I had my 2011 Cruze apart, investigating adding water/methanol

injection to it, I did notice a fair amount of oil inside the charge tubes and around the

throttle body area. I haven't pulled my 2012 Cruze or 2012 Sonic apart, yet, to see if

they have any oil build-up.

As such, to help keep an eye on oil ingestion, we recommend the following:

1. Especially those that drive their vehicles aggressively, we recommend periodically

inspect the intake tract for oil contamination. This can be done easily by removing the

clamp that clamps the charge pipe to the throttle body, pulling the charge pipe off, and

looking for the presence of oil.

2. Periodic inspection of the spark plugs, looking for evidence of oil fouling or oil

presence (black, wetness). Also look for carbon deposits (black, hard deposits). Spark

plugs should look mostly white with slight browning on the ceramic.

3. In engine in which oil contamination is found, we recommend investigating running a

top engine cleaner (e.g. Seafoam) through the engine to help remove carbonized deposits.

We don't know what procedure the manufacturer might recommend for this, so you may want to

talk to your local GM service center before attempting this.

4. Water/methanol injection is an excellent solution to oil contamination because it

effectively steam-cleans the engine from the inside-out everytime the system runs.

Engines with water/methanol injection have combustion chambers that are clean enough to

eat off of.

5. Consider installing a "catch can". These are very popular with the Cobalt

SS/Turbocharged owners. They help separate oil from crankcase vapors before they are

recycled into the intake system, and this can dramatically cut down on oil ingestion.

Based on the past test results on our own three different 1.4L turbocharged vehicles we've

observed, and logs/feedback from the field, we're not making any changes to our tune in

light of this information. We are also continuing to push our personal 1.4L turbocharged

vehicles further than our production tune does on a continuous basis. However, our

current customers (and potential future customers) should keep in mind that we provide a

customized tuning product to the customer's specifications and we're always willing to

make changes to individual's customer's tunes if they wish, for whatever reason.

Thanks,
Vince Geglia
Trifecta Performance Inc.

Please Do NOT flood Vince at Trifecta Performance with emails, if you have any questions please email/pm Insane Speed Motorsports,
We will be happy to answer any questions.

Thanks,
Steve
Insane Speed Motorsports
 

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Thats good and bad to know.
Good cause sounds like the tune isnt to blame so us with the Trifecta and breath a little easier
Bad cause now its potentially everyone needs to be aware, not just the tuned.... breath went away again haha
 

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This is crazy lol, im going to inspect my engine and follow the steps Steve provided us with. JUst want to see if there is any oil build up or any signs of a piston failure since I do NOT have the tune, yet.
 

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Im scared to put my exhaust on now lol
 

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4. Water/methanol injection is an excellent solution to oil contamination because it

effectively steam-cleans the engine from the inside-out everytime the system runs.

Engines with water/methanol injection have combustion chambers that are clean enough to

eat off of.


Thanks,
Steve
Insane Speed Motorsports
Steve, great post!!! Can you suggest a water/methanol system? I would love to install one and just need a knowledgeable person to give me some direction. I used one on a SAAB 900 Turbo years ago and it was great.
Bob
 

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4. Water/methanol injection is an excellent solution to oil contamination because it

effectively steam-cleans the engine from the inside-out everytime the system runs.

Engines with water/methanol injection have combustion chambers that are clean enough to

eat off of.


Thanks,
Steve
Insane Speed Motorsports
Steve, great post!!! Can you suggest a water/methanol system? I would love to install one and just need a knowledgeable person to give me some direction. I used one on a SAAB 900 Turbo years ago and it was great.
Bob
 

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i pulled everything apart today to look at it and it was clean as a whistle, no oil the intake tract anywhere and the level was still full. Thanks for the info though, keep an eye on it
 

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Everything's clean as a whistle in my intake! I'll keep an eye out for any signs of anything. For the guys who checked..... Do you guys have the tune or running stock files ?
 

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Can someone post a more in-depth guide on how to check this? Pictures and/or videos would be great! I am not all that great when it comes to engines.

Thanks for posting this. After I read about the blown engine I actually decided to have my tune brought down, and eventually talked myself into keeping it stock. I may have him bring it down a few notches to be safe anyways, but its good to have some information on how to get an early diagnosis on the problem.
 

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These catch cans are nice. How much and where can we get them?
 

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Everything's clean as a whistle in my intake! I'll keep an eye out for any signs of anything. For the guys who checked..... Do you guys have the tune or running stock files ?
Tuned for over 10,000 miles now
 
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