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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for this being my introductory thread but.... serious issues. Waiting for the wrecker at this very moment.


The cruze in question is a 2011, 1.4t, my mother's car. Roughly 126XXX.

She said she checked and had added coolant upon inspecting level, because it sounded rough.

Said it wasn't overheating. She headed to work. Approx 35mi drive, about halfway it said to stop. She assumed there was air in cooling system caused the issue. Called for a ride.



Has the low flow code. Pulled plugs and they're all wet. Shined light down holes and it's a pool.
 

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At this point going to have to pull the head and see what it looks like. Anything else at this point would be a guess but I would guess head gasket 1ST then a cracked head 2nd. Unless the car overheated and was still driven like that then I would guess both and more damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All four holes had wet plugs and had a pool of water. Would it not be isolated to some degree if it were merely the gasket?


.... and yeah I understand that I'm just guessing. But I'd like to get a better degree of certainty before I go further than my pocket allows ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Compression test was my next thought before I go disassembling to lay eyes on head.....

Is this futile or....?
 

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Said it wasn't overheating.
One issue with this car is the temprature gauge is a computer-controlled display. You'll never see "running warm". It stays locked at one tick mark below halfway until it exceeds normal operating temperature.


Has the low flow code.
I'd probably replace thermostat. I can't be sure without the code, but I think what the computer is looking at is the engine temperature and radiator temperature are too far apart. It could be low coolant or it could be the thermostat isn't opening far enough.

Two other things to look for is a bad water pump and the plastic water outlet. Both are common places for coolant leaks.
 

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Yea gads, if all 4 cylinders have coolant in them I have no idea. In all the years I have been working on engines I usually see a cylinder with coolant or maybe two adjoining cylinders depending on the gasket setup. But all four baffles me, keep us updated. Oh and if you have that much coolant in the cylinders what might have happened to the turbo?

If it were mine I would go get a newer complete engine from a salvage yard. I am looking online at car-parts.com in my area of MN and there are at least 20 with less than 30,000 miles for less than $1000.00. These motor are used in the Cruze and the Sonic so they are abundant used at salvage yards. Heck I would be getting the 2015 with 5,111 miles 55 miles from my house.

Just a swag but for less then $2000.00 I bet you could get into a low mileage motor installed.

I did a search in the state of Texas and came up with comparable results.

http://www.car-part.com/cgi-bin/sea...474754&userUID=0&userBroker=&userPage=1&iKey=
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not really sure if applicable or not, but any opinions welcomed. I'm not sure if it's been taken care of or not, and I can't get in touch to confirm or deny....

My thought is what if this was the root of the issue??? I know she said it had been leaking, albeit slowly.... but unsure of the source. Seems probable though.




# 14371B: Special Coverage Adjustment - Engine Coolant Leak from Water Pump - (Jan 27, 2015)

Subject: 14371B - Special Coverage Adjustment - Engine Coolant Leak from the Water Pump

Models: 2011-2014 Chevrolet Cruze
2012-2014 Chevrolet Sonic
With 1.4L Engine (RPO LUJ or LUV)

The Warranty Transaction Information section has been revised to show the labor time breakdown for vehicles still covered under warranty. Please discard all copies of bulletin 14371A.

Condition

Some 2011-2014 model year Chevrolet Cruze vehicles and some 2012-2014 Chevrolet Sonic vehicles with the 1.4L engine may have an engine coolant leak from the water pump. The pump may leak from the weep reservoir or from the water pump shaft seal, leading to a drip of coolant onto the engine or onto the ground. Over time, the loss of coolant will reduce cooling performance and eventually could lead to engine overheating. If this condition is not corrected, the "Service Engine" indicator light may come on, an "Engine Hot, AC Off" message may appear, a chime may sound, and the engine power may be reduced.

Special Coverage Adjustment

This special coverage covers the condition described above for a period of 10 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km), whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership.

Dealers are to replace the water pump if it is leaking. The repairs will be made at no charge to the customer.

For vehicles covered by Vehicle Service Contracts, all eligible claims with repair orders on or after October 7, 2014, are covered by this special coverage and must be submitted using the labor operation codes provided with this bulletin. Claims with repair orders prior to October 7, 2014, must be submitted to the Service Contract provider.

Vehicles Involved

All involved vehicles are identified by Vehicle Identification Number on the Applicable Warranties section in GM Global Warranty Management system. Dealership service personnel should always check this site to confirm vehicle involvement prior to beginning any required inspections and/or repairs. It is important to routinely use this tool to verify eligibility because not all similar vehicles may be involved regardless of description or option content.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do not do a compression test if there is coolant in the cylinders. You will hydrolock and damage parts.

Thanks, I appreciate the concern. I haven't done the test. But beyond pulling the plugs awaiting tow, I did drain all the fluid once it was in the garage. Beyond that........ Just been trying to discern worst case and decide which way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yea gads, if all 4 cylinders have coolant in them I have no idea. In all the years I have been working on engines I usually see a cylinder with coolant or maybe two adjoining cylinders depending on the gasket setup. But all four baffles me, keep us updated. Oh and if you have that much coolant in the cylinders what might have happened to the turbo?

If it were mine I would go get a newer complete engine from a salvage yard. I am looking online at car-parts.com in my area of MN and there are at least 20 with less than 30,000 miles for less than $1000.00. These motor are used in the Cruze and the Sonic so they are abundant used at salvage yards. Heck I would be getting the 2015 with 5,111 miles 55 miles from my house.
Was starting to lean that way, poked around ebay just to get a bearing on price.

When I consider the cost and labor involved for me to replace gasket, with or without head...... I don't get excited we'll say.
 

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Two things pop into mind here

1 - did you check the fluid that you drained out? I ask because based on your self-entered description you may be in one of the major rain areas. It may honestly be water.

2 - The coolant pump is covered for 150,000 miles/10 years but the coolant pump leak will not result in coolant in the cylinders.
 

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# 14371B: Special Coverage Adjustment - Engine Coolant Leak from Water Pump - (Jan 27, 2015)
That will cause loss of coolant and eventual overheating, but that's not going to result in water in the cylinders. (Unless the head warped during overheating.)

Something you might want to check into - get a subscription to alldata. I think it's the cheapest way to get your hands on a shop manual. This car is loaded with Torque to Yield bolts. So you're going to have to get new bolts regardless of what you do.
 

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I'm assuming that there is water in the oil also? A junk yard motor looks more and more promising as this discussion goes on.
 

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Just a thought, how does the car react to a overheating issue? Does it go into a limp mode to prevent any overheating issues?
 

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Just a thought, how does the car react to a overheating issue? Does it go into a limp mode to prevent any overheating issues?
Fan goes to high and it shows a message that AC was turned off. If engine temp continues to rise, it will prompt you to stop and idle the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just a thought, how does the car react to a overheating issue? Does it go into a limp mode to prevent any overheating issues?
I don't know with certainty that the car overheated, I know that long ago she spoke of a leak and a bit of overheating that resulted in limp condition but it was yrs ago.

This was more sudden alert/warning from my interpretation. Mind you I've barely had time between the two of us to properly communicate potentially overlooked details. She works weekends/nights at hospital and I work days. Possibly be able to make more sense of it mon/tues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Definitely in oil. The oil in coolant I can't say since haven't attempted to 100% confirm tbis.

Strange part, to me, is the seeming lack of comingling between the two fluids. Ime an overheated and cooked gasket will not go from no leak to monsoon. I'd expect the usual milky stick, cap, ect. This was almost as if the failure of ???? immediately caused the system's sensors to be in a condition that immobilized the vehicle. It wasn't until after (or immediately prior) that this water was sharing space.



.... I apologize for any points which I'm unclear or have made an error. Normally proof posts.... but this snafu left me with less than enough rest and it's probably best I hit reply and call it.

Truly appreciate everyone's genuine curiosity, concern, willingness to help.

Thanks to all members who have, and continue make this community happen.
 

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There was one other member on the forum with low coolant flow. It was the post on the How to for the water pump replacement. If I remember correctly, he kept changing the thermostat.

The issue was either the thermostat, or the impeller on the water pump lost some plastic.

This plastic was in the coolant channels behind the water pump.

There's only one person on the cruze and sonic forums that has replaced a headgasket. That's the guy here on Cruzetalk that has the 1.4L engine in a Swamp boat down in Florida.

Special tools are required to reinstall the head, and everyone seems to agree that getting the 1.4L timed using generic tools won't work. There's aftermarket tools for this, but your talking $200-$300 for the kit.

I remember reading something over at the Sonic forums from a member named Preloader. While the Sonic and Cruze share the same engine by name, I believe the MAP sensor on the intake is different. If I recall there were some hurdles with some of the sensors, and I thought it was around the intake.

If you do go with a used engine, I'd be tempted to go for a Cruze vs. a Sonic. Trying to get the donor to match as close as possible.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah head gasket is only $20 or so. Easy right ;)

I thankfully am more aware of the time and effort required. As you mentioned, special tools. And of course all the gaskets for everything between.



I skimmed head assembly steps and procedures on alldata it's not the route I am going to pursue.
 
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