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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, bought a 2014 cruze 1.4lt and 46k later I may have my first problem.

Car has been very well taken care of since i bought with 10 miles on it. All oil changes and spark plug changes up to date.
I have babied the car since I got it, I don't floor it everywhere i go, im very smooth and the car is 98% highway mileage at about 60mph, great gas mileage, etc.

No problems until today.

edit: car is 100% stock besides res delete, no tune

I started car and warmed it up, then I proceeded to a NAPA repair to buy new amsoil sig series oil and filter. This is the first time i've been on this stretch of road and it has a lot of steep hills. I had no trouble on the way there, however after heading back home, i was going up a hill, I pressed gas to ascend and I have a resonator delete so I can hear turbo, and as it was pulling up the hill all of a sudden it immediately lost boost and i heard about 3 single but rapid ticking noises (tick-tick-tick) and i immediately got off the gas and pulled over. I heard no blow off from the valve when this happened. When I pulled over there were no CEL or anything wrong, I proceeded again to continue up the hill but going VERY slow with no turbo assist and i made it home with no problems. Just before I got home I went up a little hill and purposely pressed the pedal to re-produce the problem but I couldn't, the turbo pulled fine and I heard the blow-off. My car is now like as if nothing ever happened. Popped hood and noticed nothing wrong, no leaks or holes or anything, very strange.

Can someone let me know what may of happened? Like I said no CEL and car seemed to work fine after.
 

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I'd consider it a fluke, and drive it. If a turbo goes it goes. At the rate it spins I don't think it fails over a period of time. The Cruze has a lot of interesting weird noises.

I've had the tick-tick-tick in the garage after a very short trip. I think mine may have been electronic. If the turbo is gone, I'm guessing you would have an underboost code as well.
 

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Excellent write up. Thank you for giving us the meat we need right from your first post.

I'm going to throw a dart at the board and raise the possibility that it's a wrist pin letting go.

Can you run a vacuum test on the engine? It's really easy to do.

As well, a compression test would be very helpful. Although a little more difficult to do.
 

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When I pulled over there were no CEL or anything wrong,
You might want to get a scanner and look for "pending" codes. Some codes won't light the CEL until they happen a certain number of times. Pending codes are problems the computer has noticed, but it's waiting to see if it's a real problem and not just a glitch.
 

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That tick-tick-tick you heard was audible engine knock. Living in a very hilly area, this is common if you are dealing with high temperatures outside and using low octane fuel. Do you run regular 87 octane gas???

By chance did you just fill up in the last 50-100 miles? Reason I ask when you fill up the car attempts to run the highest timing advance and you will get knock like you describe(usually not noticed audibly but ALL 1.4T do it) If the fuel you are running can't handle those perimeters. Typically once knock is detected the ECU dials things back and eventually will just use the low octane fuel maps. Since you were on a hill when this happened when the ECU dials things back it also feels like a loss of power.


EDIT: I wanted to add my 2012 cruze did this exact same thing since new over 95,000 miles, my 2015 sonic with just under 20,000 miles does as well. As long as I run 93E10 premium fuel it never happens. Even 91E0 premium is prone to knock with the hills around here, forget about running regular or midgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Excellent write up. Thank you for giving us the meat we need right from your first post.

I'm going to throw a dart at the board and raise the possibility that it's a wrist pin letting go.

Can you run a vacuum test on the engine? It's really easy to do.

As well, a compression test would be very helpful. Although a little more difficult to do.
Thank you. Forgot to add its an auto tranny. I will do these tests when i can and post back asap
That tick-tick-tick you heard was audible engine knock. Living in a very hilly area, this is common if you are dealing with high temperatures outside and using low octane fuel. Do you run regular 87 octane gas???

By chance did you just fill up in the last 50-100 miles? Reason I ask when you fill up the car attempts to run the highest timing advance and you will get knock like you describe(usually not noticed audibly but ALL 1.4T do it) If the fuel you are running can't handle those perimeters. Typically once knock is detected the ECU dials things back and eventually will just use the low octane fuel maps. Since you were on a hill when this happened when the ECU dials things back it also feels like a loss of power.


EDIT: I wanted to add my 2012 cruze did this exact same thing since new over 95,000 miles, my 2015 sonic with just under 20,000 miles does as well. As long as I run 93E10 premium fuel it never happens. Even 91E0 premium is prone to knock with the hills around here, forget about running regular or midgrade.
Hey there, i'll have to rule that one out because ive been running shell v-power 93 octane for the last month. And my last fill up was about 3 days ago as well.
 

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Hey there, i'll have to rule that one out because ive been running shell v-power 93 octane for the last month. And my last fill up was about 3 days ago as well.
I've tested this allot since I experienced this for years..... How many miles since you filled up? Like I said the car continually test if it can run maximum timing advance for 50-200 miles of of new tank.

I can drive 150+ miles of easy flat roads after filling up with no knock events, hit some steep hill grades and under real load knock occurs. My guess your car thought it could get away with more timing advance because of your typical route having no real engine load(hills).

Another possibility, Shell has been using some new advanced cleaners for the last year(Vpower Nitro+) and is only in the premium grade. First few tanks i ran of this gas I had some major knock events on the hills I drove. Car ran fine afterward(if not better, smoother). I was thinking its possible that cleaner + the RPM and engine load of that hill loosened up some carbon and that audible knock is it burning off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Hey there, i'll have to rule that one out because ive been running shell v-power 93 octane for the last month. And my last fill up was about 3 days ago as well.
I've tested this allot since I experienced this for years..... How many miles since you filled up? Like I said the car continually test if it can run maximum timing advance for 50-200 miles of of new tank.

I can drive 150+ miles of easy flat roads after filling up with no knock events, hit some steep hill grades and under real load knock occurs. My guess your car thought it could get away with more timing advance because of your typical route having no real engine load(hills).

Another possibility, Shell has been using some new advanced cleaners for the last year(Vpower Nitro+) and is only in the premium grade. First few tanks i ran of this gas I had some major knock events on the hills I drove. Car ran fine afterward(if not better, smoother). I was thinking its possible that cleaner + the RPM and engine load of that hill loosened up some carbon and that audible knock is it burning off.
Hang on a second you may be onto something. You said that the car may not be accustomed to that new route with the hills and thats why the timing slipped because it thought it could get away with it. Its very funny you say that so i must ask you what ive been curiious about. Do these cars learn your driving pattern? I mean i know the ECU learns a little, but does it learn i guess i should say, terrain as well? Because i can almost feel at times my car knows where it is somehow. I drive on this one interstate everyday, for the last two years, almost as soon as i bought it. I drive about 50miles everyday on it for work, and i think i feel as if the car has almost "learned" the route. There are a few ascends on that highway but nothing like i was on today, so maybe you are right? Did the car think it was on that same highway on that certain hill? Very curious. But nontheless i am worried because of the sudden boost loss, its almost like the turbo "slipped" and i heard that sound. And to answer your other question, i've gone about 200miles since my lasy fill up.

But i should also add that i know what an engine knock sounds like and i am no expert, but i dont think it was knock, it was a very different sound, almost like an echo through the exhaust. Wastegate maybe?
 

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Do these cars learn your driving pattern?
In a way, yes. I think we've been told the transmission in particular learns your driving pattern - probably so it knows when it can go in/out of neutral without a jarring "thunk".

The computer is always trying to do better. It you keep giving it the same conditions, (same route) it will learn how to optimize for those conditions. I don't think there's anything where it watches the GPS and says "oh, he's going that way..."
 
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