General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

At the shop where I work, we are seeing a run of 3.6L GDI engines (mainly in the Traverse, but I know it's used in other models as well), that are stretching the timing chains to the point of driveability issues, and in more than one case, complete catastrophic failure.

Enter the Claim Adjuster from a third party warranty company, and the Jasper Engine rep..

What the adjuster is telling us, is that not only are the chains stretching, but there's also been accelerated wear on the guides & tensioners as well. The Jasper rep confirmed this. Both of them also told me the 2.4 engine is becoming notorious for breaking the top timing chain guide inside the valve cover, which then allows the chain to slop around and wear on other components, until the chain outright fails (I wonder where I've heard THAT before?).

Both of them said the failures are beginning to happen at right around 85,000 miles.

So my advice would be, if you have a 2.4, pull the valve cover and inspect this particular chain guide.. If I had only known of this six months ago...
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 09:49 PM
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

No offense, but this is old, old news. The timing chains issue has been around since 2007. It's been discussed many times here and around the internet, primarily regarding the 3.6L V6. It's not that the guides and tensioners wear *also*, it's that the design of the oil-pressure driven tensioners wears out and causes slack in the timing chain if the oil goes low from consumption, and that in turn makes the timing chain jump teeth and stretch until catastrophic failure.

The vast majority of timing chain problems arise from low quality oil and poor maintenance. My dad's a master technician and he used to be the go-to guy at his GM shop for timing chains. He virtually never saw these jobs without evidence of abuse and low oil.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 08:35 AM
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

change the oil on time and dont cheap out on crap quality oil

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 03:53 PM
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

What kind of oils do you guys recommend? I've been sort of experimenting with different brands. I've used Pennzoil PurePlus and Castrol (can't remember which type), both full synthetic oils. I believe when I bought the car they had Mobil 1 in it. I've found that changing the oil is important as when I did my last oil change, I put the old oil in the old bottle and the funnel was a screened funnel and you can certainly see crap in it so that's definitely something you don't want continuously going through the engine. I try to change mine between 6-7,000 miles. I don't care if the bottle tells me I can go 10-15,000, I change it anyway because it's cheaper than an engine overhaul and easy preventative maintenance.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 06:31 PM
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Cool Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

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Originally Posted by !Tommy View Post
What kind of oils do you guys recommend? I've been sort of experimenting with different brands. I've used Pennzoil PurePlus and Castrol (can't remember which type), both full synthetic oils. I believe when I bought the car they had Mobil 1 in it. I've found that changing the oil is important as when I did my last oil change, I put the old oil in the old bottle and the funnel was a screened funnel and you can certainly see crap in it so that's definitely something you don't want continuously going through the engine. I try to change mine between 6-7,000 miles. I don't care if the bottle tells me I can go 10-15,000, I change it anyway because it's cheaper than an engine overhaul and easy preventative maintenance.
If you use a good brand of full synthetic you'll do well. I've been using AmsOil and doing the changes myself simply because the dealership and the instant oil change places leave my car filthy. By that I mean oil on the engine, on the hood, on the door handle, and on the steering wheel. I'm not exaggerating on that, either.

I usually change between 5000-7000, trying to get it closer to 5000. I change the filter every time, too. Some say you can just change the filter and add oil to compensate, but I believe that the additives are what you need to keep the plastic timing chain tensioners happy, not just good clean oil. Like you and @TheSilverOne say, and @cp-the-nerd and his Dad allude to, don't cheap out. Pay a little more now, save a lot later.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 06:50 PM
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

i switch back and forth between valvoline and pennzoil full synthetic

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

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Originally Posted by cp-the-nerd View Post
The vast majority of timing chain problems arise from low quality oil and poor maintenance. My dad's a master technician and he used to be the go-to guy at his GM shop for timing chains. He virtually never saw these jobs without evidence of abuse and low oil.
that's pretty interesting as I have fewer frames of reference.. but in the case of my daughter's car, we've owned that since 11,000 and always got Valvoline High Mileage Syn Blend (well, until GM changed the oil spec, now I've switched it to Dura-Blend).. so I don't *totally* buy the oil thing, but.. I do know that GM changed the spec because of lubrication issues, and I also know that the Ultra-Low viscosity xW16 oils are having a tough time meeting the new ISLAC GF-6 certification (as in, they're not even coming CLOSE)..

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 07:31 PM
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

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Some say you can just change the filter and add oil to compensate
That's interesting because I've had people tell me to change the filter ever 3,000 miles regardless if you do a change or not. Not sure how necessary that is but I change the filter and oil both at the same time and within the time frame. I do change my own oil as well since like you said, the techs usually leave it dirty and this way, I know I'm getting exactly what I want because I'm putting it in and putting what I want in. My grandma swears sometimes up and down that the dealership doesn't always change it but I don't think that's really true but since they're in a rush to get them done, I'm sure they don't do the job as well as we would on our own vehicles since heck, it is our vehicle and our baby. But I do always go full synthetic. It's not much more in price and I always try to get oil on sale if I can. But some have also said Fram oil filters are no good. Anyone care to chime in on that? I think this time I used ACDelco as I found a place that sold them.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 09:28 PM
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

Filters do not need to be changed every 3,000 miles. That's completely unnecessary. As far as brand quality, Fram low-end filters and ACDelco "e" filters are the same plastic core cheap garbage, don't use them. I buy ACDelco UPF-48R filters, which are rebadged Mobil 1 filters. I hear Wix also makes good stuff. You can probably learn about many brands over at bobistheoilguy.com.

@JLDickmon - The timing chains issue has actually been pretty rare on the epsilon sedans like the Malibu. New threads about this are few and far between compared to the early build 6-speed transmission wave plate failure. It was much more common on the 1st gen CTS and the 2007-2010 large crossovers (Traverse, Acadia, Enclave). The CTS sport sedans were just flat out abused because of the nature of the car, and foolish owners would run the car half empty on oil and just destroy the chain tensioners doing so. I think the crossovers are a result of simple neglect and 4500+ lb curb weight. The V6 is worked hard and never checked.

Some of the 2.4L and 3.6L engines are just prone to oil consumption and that's a ticking time bomb. The 4-cylinders didn't have particularly good build tolerances and could consume a couple quarts between changes. My uncle's Terrain 2.4L DI does that. My wife's former 2.4L Cobalt never consumed a drop on 8,000-10,000 mile oil changes. Early 3.6L engines were prone to deteriorating piston O-rings that lead to serious consumption and contributed to timing chains problems, on top of GM's overly generous oil life monitors going waaayyy too far, especially in cars filled with conventional oil.


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 11:49 PM
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Re: General FYI & Warning.. 3.6L & 2.4L engines

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i switch back and forth between valvoline and pennzoil full synthetic
Why? and what are you trying to accomplish.
I have two vehicles with the 3.6 VVT, 2008 Malibu LTZ and the wifes 2015 GMC Terrain DENALI. I run Pennzoil Platinum 5w30 and the Wix 57045 filter, I do 5K oil changes on both of them.
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