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Discussion Starter #1
The title pretty much says it all... So here's the story. Last Monday, I ran to the Post Office in my 2011 Eco with 58k miles over my lunch break. Speed limit was 25 MPH. I often just put in 6th gear & let it idle through town. However, that day it simply did not have the power to keep up to speed. The moment it began to lug, the Service StabiliTrack indicator came on along with the CEL. P0301 - Misfire in Cylinder 1. I cleared the code to see if it would come back under another high load, low speed situation on my way home and it did. I checked all 4 spark plug gaps and all were .030, so I changed them to .028, but they were OEM and had 58k miles on them, so I ordered some NGK Iridium BKR8EIX-2668. Cylinder 1 did look more worn than the rest, but nothing really to note. All plugs were dry, but dark.

After messing with the plugs, thereafter it always took 2 tries to start the car and still gave me the CEL under high load, low speed situations. Always P0301 and one time it gave me P0300. I drove like this until Friday when I replaced the plugs. I also checked the oil and it was down 1/4 quart with 16% left on oil life indicator. All plugs were gapped to .028. It started right up, felt like I had the power back that it had lost and no CEL. Then 10 min. into the drive, I got the CEL P0301 and low power again. Also took two tries to start the car again. I check the springs in the coil pack & 3 out of 4 were jammed. I unjammed them & car started on 1st try, but still didn't seem to have the power it used to.

On my way to work today, 3 days after changing the plugs and not driving it all weekend, as I merged onto the highway in 3rd gear, it was studdering and hesitating pretty bad and I noticed a big white cloud of smoke behind me. I was able to get up to 70 mph, but it was hesitating, studdering, bogging until it reached 70 mph. Once I got off the highway, I did a 1st-3rd gear pull and it pulled fairly well...just felt under powered and studdery...like the turbo wasn't building pressure linearly, and I verified it wasn't with my UltraGauge. Going 45 MPH & flooring it in 3rd, the turbo would build to 2-3 psi and engine would stumble and buck, 4th gear would do the same, but 2nd gear it would spool fairly smoothly... Sometimes I would get a puff of white smoke and other times it wouldn't. No CEL at any point during these moments bucking, low boost moments. Finally I got a CEL and it was under high load, low speed. P0301 again.

My fears are settling in at this point, so I checked the the coil pack again. All springs are fine and not corroded. I checked my coolant level and it's at normal level. Oil however was barely touching the dip stick. I lost 3/4 of a quart of oil today on a 50 mile round trip. I checked all 4 spark plugs and all 4 had oil on them. I checked all 4 cylinder compression and from left to right: 98/200/202/203

I'm pretty positive there is a cracked piston in cylinder 1, but why would there be oil on the other 3 with such good compression? Any known cause for this? I literally drive this car like a grandma. 70 MPH to work & 55 MPH on the way home. Very seldom do I ever drive it spiritedly. 99% of the time, I'm driving for MPG. Anyway, thought I'd share & get some advice. Needless to say, I'm calling tomorrow to get it in ASAP.

#PIP5036: Possible Oil Consumption With Cracked Piston Or Pistons - (Jun 25, 2012)
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/34-1-4l-turbo/7582-gm-finally-admitting-there-problem-1-4l-pistons.html
 

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I bet you have 3 cracked pistons and 1 chunked piston.
Tell them you want a new (updated head) and new turbo (yours just eat pistons pieces).
My 2001 Eco auto 56k just had the same thing 100/225/225/225 psi
 

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The title pretty much says it all... So here's the story. Last Monday, I ran to the Post Office in my 2011 Eco with 58k miles over my lunch break. Speed limit was 25 MPH. I often just put in 6th gear & let it idle through town. However, that day it simply did not have the power to keep up to speed. The moment it began to lug, the Service StabiliTrack indicator came on along with the CEL. P0301 - Misfire in Cylinder 1. I cleared the code to see if it would come back under another high load, low speed situation on my way home and it did. I checked all 4 spark plug gaps and all were .030, so I changed them to .028, but they were OEM and had 58k miles on them, so I ordered some NGK Iridium BKR8EIX-2668. Cylinder 1 did look more worn than the rest, but nothing really to note. All plugs were dry, but dark.

After messing with the plugs, thereafter it always took 2 tries to start the car and still gave me the CEL under high load, low speed situations. Always P0301 and one time it gave me P0300. I drove like this until Friday when I replaced the plugs. I also checked the oil and it was down 1/4 quart with 16% left on oil life indicator. All plugs were gapped to .028. It started right up, felt like I had the power back that it had lost and no CEL. Then 10 min. into the drive, I got the CEL P0301 and low power again. Also took two tries to start the car again. I check the springs in the coil pack & 3 out of 4 were jammed. I unjammed them & car started on 1st try, but still didn't seem to have the power it used to.

On my way to work today, 3 days after changing the plugs and not driving it all weekend, as I merged onto the highway in 3rd gear, it was studdering and hesitating pretty bad and I noticed a big white cloud of smoke behind me. I was able to get up to 70 mph, but it was hesitating, studdering, bogging until it reached 70 mph. Once I got off the highway, I did a 1st-3rd gear pull and it pulled fairly well...just felt under powered and studdery...like the turbo wasn't building pressure linearly, and I verified it wasn't with my UltraGauge. Going 45 MPH & flooring it in 3rd, the turbo would build to 2-3 psi and engine would stumble and buck, 4th gear would do the same, but 2nd gear it would spool fairly smoothly... Sometimes I would get a puff of white smoke and other times it wouldn't. No CEL at any point during these moments bucking, low boost moments. Finally I got a CEL and it was under high load, low speed. P0301 again.

My fears are settling in at this point, so I checked the the coil pack again. All springs are fine and not corroded. I checked my coolant level and it's at normal level. Oil however was barely touching the dip stick. I lost 3/4 of a quart of oil today on a 50 mile round trip. I checked all 4 spark plugs and all 4 had oil on them. I checked all 4 cylinder compression and from left to right: 98/200/202/203

I'm pretty positive there is a cracked piston in cylinder 1, but why would there be oil on the other 3 with such good compression? Any known cause for this? I literally drive this car like a grandma. 70 MPH to work & 55 MPH on the way home. Very seldom do I ever drive it spiritedly. 99% of the time, I'm driving for MPG. Anyway, thought I'd share & get some advice. Needless to say, I'm calling tomorrow to get it in ASAP.

#PIP5036: Possible Oil Consumption With Cracked Piston Or Pistons - (Jun 25, 2012)
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/34-1-4l-turbo/7582-gm-finally-admitting-there-problem-1-4l-pistons.html
Hi Mjspiess,

Very sorry for the recent concerns with your Cruze. If you need any additional assistance with this, please feel free to send me a private message along with your VIN, current mileage, contact information and preferred dealership. I would be happy to reach out to them on your behalf as well. Looking forward to your updates!

Patsy G
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Hi Mjspiess,

Very sorry for the recent concerns with your Cruze. If you need any additional assistance with this, please feel free to send me a private message along with your VIN, current mileage, contact information and preferred dealership. I would be happy to reach out to them on your behalf as well. Looking forward to your updates!

Patsy G
Chevrolet Customer Care
Patsy, you're back! How many coffees deep are you today so far?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was literally gonna post that PI# but you already have an idea where to begin. Good thing I kept reading and didn't just jump the gun on copy pasta. Return the car to "Stock" before you go in.
You think I should put the stock spark plugs back in? The brand new ones in there now are covered in oil.
 

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You think I should put the stock spark plugs back in? The brand new ones in there now are covered in oil.
Usually they toss whatever plugs are in and give you the cheap factory plugs again gapped to (insert religion) only knows. I guess a gearhead will come in and see if you can salvage them.
 

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I wouldn't reuse those plugs, even if they are brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So far no news on my car. They were suppose to start on it Thursday afternoon, but didn't hear anything from them today. They have me in a 2015 Cruze LT for now.
 

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You seem to have it worse than me. I dropped my car off for a suspected piston issue on Sunday. She would blow plumes of smoke under load between gears, rough idle, and after a leak down test you could hear the air passing the Pistons rings. Hope the best for you.
 

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You seem to have it worse than me. I dropped my car off for a suspected piston issue on Sunday. She would blow plumes of smoke under load between gears, rough idle, and after a leak down test you could hear the air passing the Pistons rings. Hope the best for you.
Do you happen to know your build date or where your engine was made (some were US, some Austrian)?
 

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A couple of comments. I had the cracked pistons, all 4 replaced along with new cylinder head and turbo. Symptoms identical to yours. Power loss, smoke, rapid oil consumption. Returned car to stock plugs and air filter before dealer picked it up. You don't want to give them any excuse to deny warranty. 2011 May build, Austrian engine.
 

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Do you happen to know your build date or where your engine was made (some were US, some Austrian)?
Never looked just kno it's a 12' bought in sept of 11'
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just got the call. I'll be eager to see the actual documentation, because the serviceman told me cylinder 1 had a cracked piston, so they just replaced that piston & rings. I figured they'd replace all of them, but I guess since the compression was fine, there was no need. According to the the phone call, the piston & ring was the only thing replaced & everything was cleaned. I asked if that included the intake manifold & he said yes. I would think that would include the intercooler too, but we'll see. I plan on picking it up after work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Alright, I have my car back and documentation in hand. It drove perfectly fine on the way home. After reviewing the repairs, I think I'll be good to go. They verified my concern of the engine running rough, blowing blue smoke from the tail pipe & P0301 cylinder 1 misfire. Then they authorized engine tear down due to low compression #1 cylinder, replaced cylinder 1 piston and rings, and rod bearing due to scoring. Replaced cylinder head with 2nd design head per PIP5036D. Replaced all other gaskets, seals and bolts as needed per repair. Changed oil and filter. Test drove vehicle and OK now. They also authorized for extensive diagnostics, cleaning oil out of intake/turbo and associated components. They also replaced my water pump again because they said it was leaking again.. Technician worked on vehicle for nearly 20 hours.
 

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Here is hoping that the replaced cylinder #1 fixes your problem.
I do have a question for the OP, why are you lugging your engine so badly?
6 th gear at 25 mph WHY!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
At 25 mph and flat ground, the Cruze can putt around in 6th gear. It actually increases the speed without touching the gas pedal. I don't lug on purpose. If I see speed decreasing or see an upcoming incline, I'll down down shift. I always get into highest gear possible for fuel economy.
 

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VERY early production '12 then - I wonder if it might be one of those Austrian engines.
My car was built on October 26th 2010 and I bought it in April 2011 and the engine was built in Austria do you think I fall in the category of the piston problem. I use Amsoil ss5w30 and it does not consume oil between changes.

What was the range of the engine builds with the piston problem? Are there Austrian engines out there that did not have the problem?
 
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