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Equinox Engine Issues LAF to LEA; Oil Monitor


This is a discussion on Equinox Engine Issues LAF to LEA; Oil Monitor within the 2010+ Equinox General Forum forums, part of the Chevy Equinox General Discussion category!
Let me start off by saying that I am not a whiner (but I need to vent), and I am ...





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Old 01-07-2017, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Equinox Engine Issues LAF to LEA; Oil Monitor

Let me start off by saying that I am not a whiner (but I need to vent), and I am a GM fan as I own 15 GM vehicles total. Aside from my 2010 Equinox, I have a 2015 Silverado Diesel LTZ (I bought new), a 2011 SLP Camaro (I bought new in 2012; bought my first new one in 2010).
I bought my 2010 Equinox LT AWD 2.4L certified GM in 2013 w/56,000 miles after an email promotion from GM promoting certified vehicles. At the time the Equinox was hard to find and I wanted the grey so I found one at Bredemann Chevrolet in Park Ridge Illinois (I live in Knox, IN and have been very happy with my local dealer Cambe due to a great sales person Marla who I have dealt with exclusively other than the mistake at Bredemann). We had it a short time when it started to smell so strongly of gasoline in the cabin that it was making us sick, and the oil was over filled (with gas). Bredemann would not return any calls, but Cambe gladly fixed it (twice) with new fuel pumps. Then it was grinding bad so they also gladly changed the timing set (twice). Then it was using about a quart of oil every week (about 500 miles), and GM told me 3 quarts or less between oil changes was ok. Well I complained and we did an oil consumption and GM agreed that there was a problem, so even though I felt I deserved a new engine they said I had to accept getting the piston rings changed. Well Cambe got the oil consumption back down to 1 quart every 3000, but the front of the motor was noisy again and the car died randomly at a stop. We took it to Team Chevrolet in Valparaiso, Indiana for an oil change, and they agreed it was noisy but they said if it was something other than what was fixed under warranty that it was coming from my pocket. We got scared and I just took the oil change. Fast forward to last summer (3 years of ownership; weeks total out of service; hours on the phone with GM), it was dying upon stopping regularly, but actually the engine was about as noisy as it ever was. The oil life was at 26% so I said let's take it to Cambe and get it changed and investigate why the engine is dying so frequently. The service writer called me to come in and the Tech showed me that the oil filter had metal in it most likely from timing parts coming apart. He said that by his training the engine was junk and needed replaced and Cambe would not honor any warranty on any work done to the engine. He said the oil had nearly 6,000 miles on it and we should have been changing it every 3,000 miles using synthetic oil. Really? The manual DOES NOT SAY THAT on page 10-2. When I bought it I was told "Oils are better", "engine management is better", etc...follow the oil life index. Note: it was at 96,000 miles. GM contends that it is ok to get 40,000 miles of use out of a car that I paid $21,000 for and drove for 3 years. Back to the story.
So at this point my head is ready to explode. I emailed GM and complained. Nobody responded. I called twice and finally I got a call back. I explained my situation and the lady on the phone said she would investigate and get back to me. About 3 weeks later I got a return call and the lady (very rude now) on the phone said the engine failure was completely my fault because I used the oil life monitoring system and I should sell the car for scrap and use the money to buy a new vehicle. Of course after I lived through a near stroke, I started to do some research and learned A LOT about the 2.4 LAF engine. Aside from thousands of claims a guy named Allan Adler who is a spokesperson for GM did a press release about hundreds of thousands of GM vehicles with the ECOTEC 2.4 being recalled to lessen the oil life in the oil monitoring system. Really? GM never contacted me.
Several calls happened after that because after I said "have your supervisor call me" a very rude GM rep called and after we would hang up she would say that she would email me but never would. The very last one called me on my cell phone at night after hours, maybe the rudest of all. Her contention was back to the whole thing that this was my fault for going past 3,000 miles, and in fact she "interpreted" the Owner's Manual to say that the oil change interval was 3,000 miles. But!!!!!! She said that I probably NEVER changed the oil once in its life and if I could dig up copies of the oil change receipts that GM might help. Really? I am a 47 year old man who has owned countless GM vehicles, but I wouldn't change the oil? Also I only put on 40,000 miles, would I not have that many oil changes? Most were done at GM dealerships!!!!! Well guess what? You are right after 2 hours on the phone she NEVER emailed me as promised. Thanks GM!!!!! $150,000 plus spent on your product in less than 5 years and not one iota of professional courtesy. I didn't expect GM to foot the whole bill, but maybe split it or cover the labor?
Well now to my point. Cambe offered me a decent price on a new engine of $2400 and about the same to put it in. It would have a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty, but at the time the part number for the LAF motor was different than the LEA. I wasn't about to spend nearly $5000 on a vehicle to get a taste of this all over again. It was only until recently that I saw the parts on line indicate that the part number now is actually a LEA motor with the LAF intake camshaft and actuator. Unfortunately I had already purchased a LEA motor with 6,000 miles on it out of a 2014 Terrain. At this point, no mechanic wants to touch it so I have to limp along without a vehicle until I can do the work myself. I found the parts list on a Buick forum (yes the 2010 Verano engine was junk too) to convert this engine, but my question is, does any more specific information exist on this from GM as far as converting the engine? And, thanks again GM. I threatened to go to Toyota...who knows what the future holds? It was nice of your phone representative to offer to help me to change brands.
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi. Curious what ever happened. We are in a very similar situation with lack of response from GM, being told out fault even though it had been in GM Certified shop for timing chain issues 3 times as well as for oil changes as book says.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a 2012 2.4L FWD. Purchased Brand new.
Had the timing chain replaced once early on in the vehicle's life. Along with the catalytic converter . Ended up getting scammed into paying for a throttle body service when I brought it in for that.

Later on it developed problems again that seemed similar to the first time and I brought it in and the camshaft actuator solenoid valves were replaced under warranty but the stealership told me I needed a throttle body because I was having issues with my throttle position sensor and that it wasn't covered under warranty. They also cracked my oil filter cartridge cap and charged me 25 bucks to replace it when changing my oil. By this time I was wised up and had already purchased my own OBD II code reader so I could call out their bull. But nonetheless I was charged a 60 dollar diagnostic fee because they "found something" not covered under warranty.

By that point I still had just over a year left on the powertrain warranty but had had enough with the stealership insulting my intelligence. Started taking care of my own scheduled maintenance. Oil consumption seemed to be less of an issue when I was doing it myself. No idea why. If I had to guess I would say that they are under-filling the oil and I'm just trusting when I go to a dealership or a Mr Lube that they know how to look up a car's engine oil capacity. So the oil loss gets a head start when they change it.

Last winter had intermittent error codes for misfiring that went away when the weather warmed up again. Still yet to figure that one out. This summer the car started behaving as it did when the camshaft actuator solenoid valves failed that one time. I checked the oil immediately and saw that I was down a quart (checking that terrible excuse for a dipstick is a science in and of itself). Added a quart of oil and the issue gradually improved on it's own and has been okay ever since. Just have to be extra vigilant with oil levels.

So if I had to take a stab in the dark I'd say that even when the oil level is showing in operating range (but down) the first place the engine loses oil pressure is at the solenoid valves and this cascades into issues with the timing chain tensioner and ultimate self destruction of the valve train.

Either way the behavior of car dealerships these days is literally criminal (It's a federal crime in Canada for a car dealership to try and sell you unnecessary repairs/maintenance) and it will probably be the last time I buy a brand new vehicle or a GM vehicle.

Bonus round went to do my first at home air filter replacement the other day and found that one of four screws on the air filter housing was missing and that there is a small amount of air bypassing the filter by that means. So either Mr. Lube or the Dealership lost it and never felt the need to inform me. Seriously consider trading up to a bus pass this winter.
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dpfast1 View Post
Let me start off by saying that I am not a whiner (but I need to vent), and I am a GM fan as I own 15 GM vehicles total.

Aside from my 2010 Equinox, I have a 2015 Silverado Diesel LTZ (I bought new), a 2011 SLP Camaro (I bought new in 2012; bought my first new one in 2010).

I bought my 2010 Equinox LT AWD 2.4L certified GM in 2013 w/56,000 miles after an email promotion from GM promoting certified vehicles. At the time the Equinox was hard to find and I wanted the grey so I found one at Bredemann Chevrolet in Park Ridge Illinois (I live in Knox, IN and have been very happy with my local dealer Cambe due to a great sales person Marla who I have dealt with exclusively other than the mistake at Bredemann).

We had it a short time when it started to smell so strongly of gasoline in the cabin that it was making us sick, and the oil was over filled (with gas). Bredemann would not return any calls, but Cambe gladly fixed it (twice) with new fuel pumps. Then it was grinding bad so they also gladly changed the timing set (twice). Then it was using about a quart of oil every week (about 500 miles), and GM told me 3 quarts or less between oil changes was ok.

Well I complained and we did an oil consumption and GM agreed that there was a problem, so even though I felt I deserved a new engine they said I had to accept getting the piston rings changed.

Well Cambe got the oil consumption back down to 1 quart every 3000, but the front of the motor was noisy again and the car died randomly at a stop. We took it to Team Chevrolet in Valparaiso, Indiana for an oil change, and they agreed it was noisy but they said if it was something other than what was fixed under warranty that it was coming from my pocket. We got scared and I just took the oil change.

Fast forward to last summer (3 years of ownership; weeks total out of service; hours on the phone with GM), it was dying upon stopping regularly, but actually the engine was about as noisy as it ever was. The oil life was at 26% so I said let's take it to Cambe and get it changed and investigate why the engine is dying so frequently.

The service writer called me to come in and the Tech showed me that the oil filter had metal in it most likely from timing parts coming apart. He said that by his training the engine was junk and needed replaced and Cambe would not honor any warranty on any work done to the engine. He said the oil had nearly 6,000 miles on it and we should have been changing it every 3,000 miles using synthetic oil. Really? The manual DOES NOT SAY THAT on page 10-2. When I bought it I was told "Oils are better", "engine management is better", etc...follow the oil life index. Note: it was at 96,000 miles. GM contends that it is ok to get 40,000 miles of use out of a car that I paid $21,000 for and drove for 3 years.

Back to the story.

So at this point my head is ready to explode.

I emailed GM and complained. Nobody responded. I called twice and finally I got a call back. I explained my situation and the lady on the phone said she would investigate and get back to me. About 3 weeks later I got a return call and the lady (very rude now) on the phone said the engine failure was completely my fault because I used the oil life monitoring system and I should sell the car for scrap and use the money to buy a new vehicle. Of course after I lived through a near stroke, I started to do some research and learned A LOT about the 2.4 LAF engine.

Aside from thousands of claims a guy named Allan Adler who is a spokesperson for GM did a press release about hundreds of thousands of GM vehicles with the ECOTEC 2.4 being recalled to lessen the oil life in the oil monitoring system. Really? GM never contacted me.

Several calls happened after that because after I said "have your supervisor call me" a very rude GM rep called and after we would hang up she would say that she would email me but never would. The very last one called me on my cell phone at night after hours, maybe the rudest of all. Her contention was back to the whole thing that this was my fault for going past 3,000 miles, and in fact she "interpreted" the Owner's Manual to say that the oil change interval was 3,000 miles. But!!!!!! She said that I probably NEVER changed the oil once in its life and if I could dig up copies of the oil change receipts that GM might help. Really? I am a 47 year old man who has owned countless GM vehicles, but I wouldn't change the oil? Also I only put on 40,000 miles, would I not have that many oil changes? Most were done at GM dealerships!!!!!

Well guess what? You are right after 2 hours on the phone she NEVER emailed me as promised. Thanks GM!!!!! $150,000 plus spent on your product in less than 5 years and not one iota of professional courtesy. I didn't expect GM to foot the whole bill, but maybe split it or cover the labor?

Well now to my point. Cambe offered me a decent price on a new engine of $2400 and about the same to put it in. It would have a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty, but at the time the part number for the LAF motor was different than the LEA. I wasn't about to spend nearly $5000 on a vehicle to get a taste of this all over again. It was only until recently that I saw the parts on line indicate that the part number now is actually a LEA motor with the LAF intake camshaft and actuator. Unfortunately I had already purchased a LEA motor with 6,000 miles on it out of a 2014 Terrain.

At this point, no mechanic wants to touch it so I have to limp along without a vehicle until I can do the work myself. I found the parts list on a Buick forum (yes the 2010 Verano engine was junk too) to convert this engine, but my question is, does any more specific information exist on this from GM as far as converting the engine? And, thanks again GM. I threatened to go to Toyota...who knows what the future holds? It was nice of your phone representative to offer to help me to change brands.
There! It's fixed!
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