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I recently had a CEL come on my 2011 Malibu. Took car to dealer for service and was told I needed to replace both the Intake and Exhaust Cam Solenoids. I did that and asked them to go ahead and change the oil as well since the car was already there (oil change indicator was at around 26%, no other issue indicator lights). I picked up the car and drove about 200 yards - car surged, then stalled at a stop light and the CEL came back on. I needed to get to work, so I had to keep going. The car would not run when idling. Had the car towed back to the dealer and am now being told that the solenoids have seized due to the car being low on oil and will need to be replaced.
The code for the original work is P0010, and now the codes are P0014 & P0011.
Am I being scammed by the dealer? Did they do something wrong? Seems strange to me that all error codes wouldn't present if the car was low on oil AND the solenoids needed to be replaced. Please help - I'm now stranded with no car and a $2000 bill at the dealer if I want my car back.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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I'd ask a lot of questions. Here's quick overview of what the codes tell them (and you):
  • 10: the mechanical timing is different from the camshaft.
  • 11: the intake is more advanced than expected.
  • 14: the exhaust is more advanced than expected.
They could have easily overlooked doing something, or did something wrong, causing the codes to surface. They could also have done everything right and it just happened.

What seems evident is that, after only a short distance from their shop it died, they may not have taken it for a test drive like they should have.

What they don't know is how it drove before they started working on it, so they're taking your description as the end-all story on the matter.

Tell us more about your car: engine, trans, miles, any work that's been done (warranty or paid).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2.4 L engine, automatic transmission, 132,000 miles. ALL work has been done at a dealership with the exception of 2 batteries and replaced speakers. Trans was last flushed July 2015. Same error code P0010 triggered Feb 2016, they tested the intake actuator solenoid valve circuit & solenoid - circuit was ok, soleniod failed - they replaced the solenoid. Never had any issues other than a brake situation. New tires & headlight harnesses in Feb 2020. I got the car with 7,000 miles on it in 2012.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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The solenoids "seizing due to low oil" seems a bit fishy. If they replaced the solenoids and changed the oil, how was it low on oil???
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That was my question too. Story changed to being low when it came in. I have no oil leaks on my driveway, doesn’t burn oil and no low oil indicator light was on. I wasn’t even due for an oil change - indicator was at 26%, and they recommend changing at 20%.
 

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Since they did both solenoids at once. I would check to make sure they didn't mix them up when putting them back in.(swapped holes) I believe the connectors are keyed so the computer will be attached to the correct valve. But if they are physically bolted in each others hole. The computer will be commanding the wrong cam. Something I would check for before doing a timing chain. Codes caused by low oil go away when topped off. Never heard of both being seized at once.
 
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