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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, new guy here. I've lurked and been greatly assisted by the wealth of info here, thanks! I figured I'd share what's happened to my 2012 Cruze LTZ.

Recently my wife (who normally drives the car) said she was getting an overheating/no AC on the instrument display. I found the water outlet neck on the driver's side was cracked. No big deal. I ordered an OEM replacement. I figured it was time for new plugs, belt, hoses, the works since it was close to 100k. I noticed during this maintenance that the water pump was leaking....ok, I added that to the list. I replaced the water pump only to have the thermostat housing blow up while sitting on the bench. That's right, it literally blew apart. There's some plastic tabs retaining the spring that holds the assembly together. A tab decided to let go and the spring went one way, the housing to the floor. Ok, order a thermostat housing... I replaced all of this and sent it out the door.

This is when I was greeted with a CEL, the dreaded too lean code. Dadgum. No good deed goes unpunished right? I pulled it back in and sure enough I had a big massive air leak coming from the diaphragm on the valve cover. Then I noticed the bleed line going to the coolant recovery tank was leaking.... Really? Ok, ordered new valve cover and more hoses. In the mean time I made a replacement nipple that had cracked that the 5/16" coolant line to the recovery tank was hooked into. Now that'll never leak again. I ran the engine up to temp to leak check the system and no leaks. Good. But it started to smoke. Huh? Why are we smoking off the exhaust manifold? Must've spilled some coolant on it. It'll burn off. Yeah right! It got waaay worse and started stumbling. WTF? What's going on here? Did some research and looking around and the brand new plugs that have all of 15 minutes run time are soaked in oil. Huh? Where did this come from? I went to remove the PCV line from the turbo to the intake. SNAP.... Are you kidding me? Another item to go order, sweet.... It was damp, but not the source of a bunch of oil. Ok, let's pull the valve cover. Hmmm. Doesn't look bad. Did some more research and wondered why intake manifolds are showing up in my parts searches and commonly replaced items. Read on here about the check valve internal to the manifold. Yup, I looked and sure enough, no check valve. Great, now let's add another $300 item to the list. Will probably need to replace the cat now too due to the oil contamination.

I'm not thrilled. This was a great running car. All I wanted to do was some good PM. I understand some parts fail. That's the whole reason for PM. Parts have been reasonably priced for what you're getting, but I shouldn't have to replace an entire valve cover, PCV line, intake manifold assembly, and possibly a cat due to a failed PCV check valve. This is beyond ridiculous. IF this is all I have to do, I'll have a bunch of new parts in this car. I don't have a warm fuzzy over the cheap brittle plastic parts used in the cooling system nor the crappy self-destructing PCV system.

I've already had the valve cover replaced at somewhere around 55k miles. How many times should this be replaced? It's not terribly expensive, but who replaces a valve cover as part of normal maintenance?

Here's a few pics.

Home-made coolant return line nipple
Auto part Screw Machine tool Tool accessory Machine

Return nipple installed. I didn't have the right sized constant pressure clamp...
Auto part Vehicle Engine Car Fuel line

Doesn't look bad in here at all.
Engine Auto part Vehicle Car Automotive engine part

I don't believe oil belongs in here....
Auto part Engine Automotive engine part Vehicle


Yup, no check valve inside the manifold.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
more pics

I think I know where the oil came from...
Auto part Engine Vehicle Car

Cleaned up and cleared the oil from the PCV port.
Auto part Automotive exhaust Pipe

Another mess to clean up.
Auto part Engine Vehicle Car Fuel line

Yup, you can see the port for the PCV line that heads to the turbo and where the "umbrella" check valve is supposed to be.
Light Yellow Technology Photography Macro photography

Oil was even coming out of the turbo wastegate linkage. I'm sure the cat is trashed.
Auto part Fuel line Engine Carburetor Automotive engine part

This doesn't look like your typical tune up does it?
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Did something not seal correctly with the new cam cover? If I read your story right it seems that all your oil issues started after you installed the new cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No sir. Haven't received new cover yet. Still waiting on it, new intake, new heater hoses, (the one under the throttle body has been oiled and has gone soft) coolant recovery tank line, and new PCV air line. I had rigged up a temporary PCV air line with large bore heater hose just to get it running to get it out the door, but since it started dumping oil into the intake, there's no need for the temporary one.
 

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Am I missing something? A 2012 with less than 100K should still be under power train warranty. You should have taken in to the dealer, they would have covered the water pump, valve cover and maybe a few other things....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, only after finding out here did I know there was a 100k powertrain warranty. We bought an extended warranty to 75K, but completely forgot about the 100k. Plus in the beginning it was all about Preventative Maintenance, not full-on repair work. Ever since I pulled it into the garage a few weeks ago, it hasn't been road worthy enough to take it to a dealer.

I've been using OEM parts, so hopefully they'll honor the warranty. I'll be making a phone call tomorrow. I'm think the cat will need to be replaced due to oil contamination. Hopefully I won't have to pony up for that as well.
 

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Maybe you'll get lucky and GM will reimburse you for the parts. I know they have extended the warranty on the water pump and a few other problem areas to 10years/150K. Pretty nice of them to man up and take responsibility for items that they now are a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, I hope so. I can't hold my breath though. I took this on and did the repairs myself. If they choose not to stand behind it, could you blame them? I am using OEM parts and can't drive the vehicle to the dealer, so maybe that'll count...
 

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You may wish to disconnect and drain the turbo intercooler lines to the throttle body. If there was that much oil in the throttle body intake, I have to believe there's a lot of oil in the turbo.

Where did you find the fitting for the coolant line repair? Your the first one to come up with this clever alternative. It even has the ribs in the right spot for the retainer clip.

If you got the AC off due to high temperature then this engine got pretty hot. I hope there's no head gasket problems.

Thanks for the pics. Greatly appreciated for those of us that wiill have to do intake manifolds out of warranty. I agree the check valve seems to be a poor design, and I don't think Dorman or anyone else has yet to make an intake manifold replacement for this engine.

You may want to pressurize the coolant system for leaks at the head gasket, and look for combustion gasses in the coolant.

I hope everything seals up well for you. I don't think we've ever seen oil out of the turbo like that.
 

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The water pump, neck, and PCV are covered under a 150Kmi special warranty for those parts.
 

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The water pump is covered for 10 years 150K miles, but I've owned my cruze since it's been new, and I don't remember an extended warranty coverage for the PCV valve. I believe it's covered by the 5 year/100K powertrain warranty. It also depends on when the car went into service. I bought my 2012 in late 2011. My 5 year powertrain warranty is over.
 

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With that much oil, I tend to worry about the health of the turbo.

I'd suggest changing the turbo's oil supply pipe. Later ones are insulated to prevent the heat from coking the oil and killing the oil supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The oil came from the PCV system, not the turbo. There was almost no oil in the intercooler line to the throttle body. The car wasn't driven when it failed. It was being run and heated up for post water pump and hose change coolant bleed and pressure check. I'm still waiting on parts to arrive to complete the repair.

I made the fitting on my lathe. Had I had the right tooling, I could've have made it in less than an hour. But I made do with what I had.

Machine Hand Machine tool Tool

Machine Machine tool Tool Tool accessory Tool and cutter grinder

Screw Machine Machine tool Auto part Tool accessory

Auto part Tool accessory

Machine tool Machine Milling Tool and cutter grinder Tool

Auto part Machine tool Rim

What sucks is I'll have to completely drain the cooling system again to replace the heater core hoses. The one under the TB is very soft due to oil contamination.

Like I said before, no good deed goes unpunished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hope you're at least making points with the wife.
Not really. When it rains, it pours. Now the Traverse won't get out of its own way. I'm so sick of breaking cars and working on them.

It has no power, idles great, erratic RPMs, and the only code is Cat 2 is below efficiency threshold. I'm pretty sure it's the downstream O2 sensor that's bad causing the code. It holds a steady voltage while all the other vary as normal. Still doesn't explain the complete loss of power. Now my wife is down to driving my Colorado. Wonder what will happen to it?
 

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That is a LOT of oil.

I would flush the intercooler with soapy water and run a compression test when you get it all back together.

Traverses are known for plugged cats for no good reason. Quite common. You might have TWO cars that need one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That is a LOT of oil.

I would flush the intercooler with soapy water and run a compression test when you get it all back together.

Traverses are known for plugged cats for no good reason. Quite common. You might have TWO cars that need one...
Really? Good info right there. Thanks. I had no idea that was a common issue. No searches online about loss of power brought this up.

Virtually none of this oil made its way through the turbo. It was all coming from the head passageways into the intake manifold. So the intercooler, turbo, piping, is all fairly clean. The engine only ran in the garage for about 15 minutes after the initial PCV failure. Blocking off the unmetered air leak at the valve cover causes the engine to suck the oil out of the PCV system into the intake manifold.
 

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run a compression test when you get it all back together.
Probably not a bad idea. I don't know if 2012 was affected, but 2011 did have some problems with cracked pistons.
 
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