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Turbo destroyed after 40,500 Miles (Water pump too!)- Warranty & Oil Change advice

2012 Cruze 1LT 1.4 40,500 Miles. All recall items done, oil changed as reminded by Car's Oil life system.


Hello all-

I haven't posted in, like, forever- so if this has been covered- pardon the repeat.

This is an FYI for all owners of the 1.4 - many are still within the 5 year 100K powertrain warranty (the warranty applies to this problem)

Travelin' on the highway (not indy style- old people style) we heard 2 or 3 light pops on acceleration (as if there was a small hole in an exhaust pipe). We were concerned, as this was a new noise for our well-maintained Cruze. Pulled off highway and limped home (just in case) as we continued driving- the car began making spring against metal sounds as well as metal on metal tapping noises.

Gingerly made it home - Called GM roadside- towed to dealer for free. Please be advised they arrived later than promised, (it was a Sunday, after all) but everyone was polite and helpful.

We left a typed note clearly visible taped to dash near steering wheel-

"LOUD CLICKING. WORRIED ABOUT STARTING/MOVING CAR- TURBO OR PUMP ISSUE?"

1st day: Dealer claimed they could "find nothing wrong".I don't think they actually drove it - 'cause if they had...:

2nd day "...your turbo is broken- as is your water pump ... both need replacing..."

Gee, really?

Work done under the warranty- (they forgot that a loaner would have been free as well)We were told- "Oil... [in turbo area] ...is in terrible condition... how often do you change it?"

We change it every time the car tells us to. I think for us that's between 5 and 7 thousand miles (I suppose that varies due to driving conditions)

In any case, going forward I'll insist on SEEING that the oil change places use dexos (part synthetic) and also will change the oil long before the car advises us that it's necessary. I may even consider full synthetic if anyone around this forum has noticed a difference.

I remember reading somewhere that GM is changing the programming of its oil life reminder- I wonder whether the change went far enough. I'm seeing so many Turbo issues here.

Here is a convenient link to Chevy's warranty info

http://www.chevrolet.com/owners/warranty.html
 

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That's Nice that ya thought about us here at the CT and are being treated with the usual dealership authoritative speel ... just think quicker than your service advisor and be happy that your getting this sorted out under warranty .....

And please feel free to keep us aprised of the situation !
 

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Have you considered changing your oil more frequently? Possibly every 6 months or 6000 miles? My other Turbo cars called for 3 months or 3000 miles. The Oil Quality monitor is not what I would count on to service my Car, especially in a Turbo car
 

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Have you considered changing your oil more frequently? Possibly every 6 months or 6000 miles? My other Turbo cars called for 3 months or 3000 miles. The Oil Quality monitor is not what I would count on to service my Car, especially in a Turbo car
He said he's changed it at the OLM, 5-7k miles. Read the post.

The OLM isn't a quality monitor. It's a weighted cycle counter that's calibrated for the specified oil.

Mike
 

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OP, if you've just been going into an oil change place and saying "change the oil," they've been giving you the cheapest option, which is full-on dino oil, and is not to spec.

However, my turbo had a bad bearing at 65k miles, and I ran full synthetic from new, changed at the OLM.

Mike
 

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I'd run something (synthetic) besides the Dexos-1 oil, if they give you any other option.
 

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Original Poster-

Who was doing the oil changes? A GM garage, independent garage, or a quick lube? If its a Chevy dealer we can fairly accurately assume they used ACDelco Dexos Blend. 5-7K miles on Dexos even the blend doesn't seem that crazy bad.

I guess there's always a chance something can fail. I've been on this forum for several years, and you're only the 2nd or third turbo I've heard of failing.

Well then there's the crazy pictures posted of a tech showing engine sludging in the 1.4L. But I doubt that oil was changed every 5,000 miles. So that's not a fair comparison.
 

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I, personally, wouldn't have great confidence in my Cruze exceeding the powertrain warranty by much when running any synthetic blend to 0% on the OLM. Your turbo certainly failed prematurely, but the consensus here is that full synthetic oil is a much safer bet in our cars.
 

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Hopefully when the turbo was replaced, they replaced the oil line with an insulated one. I doubt if the insulation was added for kicks and grins - there is a reason for it. And it may affect blends and lower grade oil - especially when running the OLM down to 0% on the old program.
 

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Hopefully when the turbo was replaced, they replaced the oil line with an insulated one. I doubt if the insulation was added for kicks and grins - there is a reason for it. And it may affect blends and lower grade oil - especially when running the OLM down to 0% on the old program.
IF the dealer followed the bulletin, the oil line gets replaced with the insulated one.
The OP's line likely was coked closed and this is why the dealer brought up the smoked oil in that area.
No need for that......just made the customer insecure when, in fact, it is a known potential.

The line cokes closed because of its proximity to the turbo......the incredible heat radiating off gets the oil line so hot the oil fries inside.
As the flow gets slower, the line gets hotter, ultimatly closing the line and starving the turbo bearings.....nothing to do with oil service intervals.

When I started seeing these failures, and read the bulletin, I grabbed some of my own reflective heat wrap and wrapped the line.....I probably have 50 feet of the stuff.

Even if the failure was a warranty repair, the mechanic in me goes towards failure prevention, so........

Rob
 

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I'm a little bothered by the people implying that having a dealer change the oil, per the GM-programmed recommendation of the life-cycle of the oil (which is programmed using standard non-synthetic ["dino"] oil), is not sufficient. If the car's turbo failed because the OP treated the car exactly how GM described it to be treated, then this is a failure of the car...not the owner.

Maybe the intent was "you could do more if you wanted to", but that wasn't the impression I got from reading some of the feedback here.
 

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IF the dealer followed the bulletin, the oil line gets replaced with the insulated one.
The OP's line likely was coked closed and this is why the dealer brought up the smoked oil in that area.
No need for that......just made the customer insecure when, in fact, it is a known potential.

The line cokes closed because of its proximity to the turbo......the incredible heat radiating off gets the oil line so hot the oil fries inside.
As the flow gets slower, the line gets hotter, ultimatly closing the line and starving the turbo bearings.....nothing to do with oil service intervals.

When I started seeing these failures, and read the bulletin, I grabbed some of my own reflective heat wrap and wrapped the line.....I probably have 50 feet of the stuff.

Even if the failure was a warranty repair, the mechanic in me goes towards failure prevention, so........

Rob
Robby-

I remember reading a bulletin like that somewhere. For those of us that are new to car repair, where does someone pick up 6-12 inches of this heat reflective tape? You wouldn't have a manufacturer for us to google would you?

I don't want to replace the generation 1 line on the 2012 engine until it starts to leak, but for a few bucks I believe in preventative maintenance.
 
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I've had the stuff for several years.......mayyyyyybe I still have the packaging.....in the garage....somewhere.

I've purchassed several types.....and I think this may have come from Pep Boys in the performance section......there are several types.

The stuff I used is cut to fit (obviously) and is silver faced for heat reflection and has high temp velcro laced into it.
So, it is flat, and as you feed it over the line you close the velcro.....I think I only used about 6 or 7 inches to cover the line.

If time permits, I'll dig around the garage this weekend.

Rob
 

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I'm a little bothered by the people implying that having a dealer change the oil, per the GM-programmed recommendation of the life-cycle of the oil (which is programmed using standard non-synthetic ["dino"] oil), is not sufficient. If the car's turbo failed because the OP treated the car exactly how GM described it to be treated, then this is a failure of the car...not the owner.
I'd label it a failure of GM. The fact that later models have insulation on the oil line and a shorter OLM, (not to mention the bulletin) certainly suggests that GM fell shot on this one.

But what's the goal here? If it's to prevent a future failure, then the suggestions given would be good insurance.
  • Insulate the turbo line.
  • Update the OLM programming or change oil sooner.
  • Use a good oil - preferably a full synthetic.

Do that, and you have a better chance of having the turbo last the life of the car and not just to the end of powertrain warranty. Sometimes it pays to go beyond what the manufacturer suggests.
 

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The line cokes closed because of its proximity to the turbo......the incredible heat radiating off gets the oil line so hot the oil fries inside.
As the flow gets slower, the line gets hotter, ultimatly closing the line and starving the turbo bearings.....nothing to do with oil service intervals.
Nail - On - Head

The only thing I might add is my own understanding of the fix.

As far as I remember the fix was two parts for the '13 and up model years. One, GM decreased the Oil Change Intervals on the Oil Life Monitor, and Two, added the heat reflective covering for the oil supply line.

As far as OCI having an influence, as oil breaks down the additives become less effective at keeping particulate matter suspended and separated, as well as the oil itself becoming a more likely contributor to deposits in hot areas. I'm pretty sure GM was finding their Dexos1 oil, which performs admirably in many applications, was simply not surviving the original OCI suggested by the 1.4T equipped car's OLM.

By shortening the Oil Change Interval they were decreasing the oil's potential to form deposits, and by shielding the turbo's oil supply line they were reducing the tendency of deposits to form in that area.

The OLM suggested OCI will vary based on how each car is driven, but for my driving on my 2012 Eco it was suggesting an OCI of around 12,000 miles, and it has no idea what type of oil I use, only that it should meet Dexos1 specifications (which are slightly higher than the industry minimum standard API SN requirements). For the record, I use synthetic oil and I change it at 7500 mile intervals.

If anyone wants boring amounts of detailed information on the mechanisms of oil breakdown, feel free to check out this Machinery Lubrication article:

The Lowdown on Oil Breakdown
 

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Hmm, while I understand the turbo - oil problem I don't understand why water pump broke. It is not something that brakes that easily. Any explanation from deaaler about this ?
 

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Hmm, while I understand the turbo - oil problem I don't understand why water pump broke. It is not something that brakes that easily. Any explanation from deaaler about this ?
Water pump failures are ridiculously common on these cars (1.4L engine). Probably sheer coincidence that it went out at the same time.
 

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Water pump failures are ridiculously common on these cars (1.4L engine). Probably sheer coincidence that it went out at the same time.
That, or it had been leaking for some time already and the owner was unaware. Once the coolant level drops and cooling system pressure is reduced, the coolant level tends to stabilize.
 

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Hmm, while I understand the turbo - oil problem I don't understand why water pump broke. It is not something that brakes that easily. Any explanation from deaaler about this ?
With few exceptions, water pumps don't "break", they leak around the shaft. The only repair is to replace them. (Unless you want to get into the rebuilding business.)

Odds are you had the problem for awhile. The techs noticed it while they were checking out the car. Two problems fixed in one visit.
 
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