Tearing Down a GM Ecotec Engine: Problems Revealed

Engine from 2011 Chevy Cruze

The reputation of GM’s 1.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine–found in the Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic, as well as the earlier model Trax–was a less than satisfactory one with regards to dependability, with many owners having to part with considerable sums for repairs. This particular example featured in the teardown video was not any exception.

Source material: The powerplant of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, a subcompact sedan which has since been cancelled due to the consumer demand for SUVs, is the starting point for Eric’s teardown investigation at I Do Cars. How the engine had malfunctioned is still yet to be unraveled.

The initial duty was the extraction of four spark plugs, which after scruntiny didn’t appear to be in too rotten of condition.

JUNK 1.4L Turbo Chevy Cruze / Sonic Bad Engine Teardown. I Would AVOID these.

Eric observed that the pump, valve cover and intake manifold had all been substituted. He noted that one of the ports displayed a squalid deposit which should not have been visible; yet the rest appeared to be in good condition. The water pump was fitted strangely with two gaskets held by powerful glue. Fortunately, the oil filter hadn’t entrapped any contamination or fragments, suggesting that the engine as a whole was functioning satisfactorily.

When the valve cover was removed, corrosion and dampness were evident. To take out the camshafts, the specialist had to separate the timing mechanics, including the camwheels. Once those were dealt with, damage was detected on certain elements, such as the rocker arms.

Concurrently, there were problems with the cylinder head and valve gasket, in particular opening up where the spark plug and valve met, and the slight consistence of the petroleum drained from the engine implied that the grease was blended with liquid.

Having extricated the oil pan, Eric extracted the crankshaft and pistons. Upon examination of the crank and bearing, it was evident they were in satisfactory condition. Nevertheless, the skirt wear on the pistons had led to further deterioration on the cylinder walls.

The presence of the novel water pump could indicate that the owner was previously addressing leakages of coolant due to a worn out one. This in turn might have resulted in the extra moisture and corrosion which has built up on some engine components. An aged pump would heighten the probability of overheating, as the temperature of the powerplant might be elevated beyond acceptability levels.

Be certain to always check and observe the dash-board caution lights in order to avoid further damage. After identifying an issue, you should replace the broken components immediately. A complete engine restoration is usually more expensive than anticipated, particularly when dealing with cars used every day, for example the Cruze.

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