Teardown Reveals Dangers of Coolant and Oil Mixing in Chevy Turbo Engines

Engine Dismantled: Nothing Works
JUNK 1.4L Turbo Chevy Cruze / Sonic Bad Engine Teardown. I Would AVOID these.

“Not all engines are equal when it comes to reliability,” is an undeniable truth. While some engines can easily run past a million miles, others have fatal flaws that make them ticking time bombs. One such example is the turbocharged 1.4-liter “LUV” engine from the Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic. To better illustrate why this powerplant is so problematic, let this teardown video show you why.

Before ever getting a chance to glimpse inside, it’s quite plain that this powerplant has its own narrative. Attached to the exterior is a self-service auto salvage shop notice, along with several fresh components intended for the intake, valve cover, and water pump. All of which appears to allude to the fact that the engine was once pulled from a discarded Sonic or Cruze prior to being subjects to certain corrective work in anticipation of its integration into some other car.

Removing the valve cover reveals the initial major issue with this motor. Coolant and oil have combined to produce a “forbidden milkshake” substance. This mixture has caused rust to form on the camshafts and rockers, making them completely unusable.

Though the water pump is brand-new, it seems that it was set up erroneously. Surprisingly, the individual responsible utilized two seals and adhered it with adhesive, thus irrevocably damaging a top-notch part.

Removing the cylinder head unveils a narrow fissure situated between one of the valves and the socket for the spark plug. Moreover, the head is warped. If this motor was from a more luxurious vehicle, then an owner could acquire the services of a machinist to address the complications, though the price tag would exceed the worth of the piece in this engine.

As the disassembly progresses, even more issues come to light. The sump pan is loaded with contaminating water-drenched oil, and the piston skirts show extensive wear that is reflected in the cylinders.

Eric from the I Do Cars channel believes that this engine may have operated for a brief duration with oil adulterated by water. The harm potentially caused would have been more extensive had such circumstances been sustained over a protracted period.

Eric advises against acquiring a car featuring the turbo 1.4-liter engine since it has numerous issues. This is not exclusively his opinion either; there are numerous forum remarks cataloging terror tales related to this motor.

“I was meticulous about preventative maintenance, following the schedule to the letter. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter – the 2012 Cruze 1.4 I owned was prone to leaking, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Every weekend seemed to be spent replacing coolant components, or fitting a new valve cover or a PCV fix kit.”

A user on Cruze Talk recently shared their experience: “I am currently at 67k and I have had a water pump and a turbo replaced. I am not confident in the life of the second turbo. I also have the whining manual transmission, so I am hoping by 70k+ I can get it replaced as well. I plan to ditch this Cruze at the end of my extended warranty. Fun car, but I don’t trust it.”It looks like this Cruze owner has had a few issues with their vehicle, and they don’t feel confident that the second turbo will last until the end of their extended warranty. They are hoping to get the manual transmission replaced before reaching 70,000 miles. It’s clear that this person had enjoyed the car, but they don’t trust it enough to keep it past the warranty expiration.

Source: I Do Cars via YouTube

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