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Hi, First time posting here. I've seen several posts about broken pistons and have the same problem which I'm ticked off about so I thought I'd share what happened. I bought my Malibu Premier in April 2016. Just before hitting 60k the stabilitrack light came on with a decrease in power a few times. I didn't think much of it because it it went off each time and the engine went back to full power. Then at just over 62k I got a check engine light with a decrease in power. Power returned but light stayed on so I took it to a shop that read the code. It came back with p300 or so code which the shop said could mean a number of things. They cleared the code and I drove it waiting to see if it would return. It drove find for about a month and then started running rough with a large decrease in gas mileage and decided to take it to the dealer. The day before dropped it off the check engine light came back on. Anyway, the dealer checked it out and said I have a cracked piston and they have to replace all four and that it would cost 4-5k. Since it was out or warranty I was looking at having to pay it myself but I knew enough to ask about participation from GM and the dealer checked with them and GM agreed to limit my cost to $1,500. While I appreciate having to pay only $1,500, this is a problem that should never have happened and it obviously started well before my warranty expired. Given that the recall obviously didn't work and the circumstances I think GM should have picked up the entire amount. GM decreasing their powertrain warranty from 100k miles to 60k miles says a lot about their confidence in their engines.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T
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Thank you for sharing @buffalomalibu. I believe this is the first forum report of the piston issue occurring post warranty with a specified cost. Actually, it is the first report at all in a long time now that I search the problems section. It is all bad, nothing positive about a car that eats pistons. The only semi-positive is you seem to have confirmed GM has a plan to reduce cost. $1500 is still a lot but it nowhere near covers the extensive labor that goes into replacing pistons. Now my curiosity is will GM approve this out of pocket up front or does everyone have to fight. I had been wondering if a special program would be established but that only happens if it starts to impact a substantial number of cars. It doesn't appear that has happened yet.
 

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2016 Chevy Malibu lt SAME THING. My car is actually now at the dealership being repaired for engine cracked pistons. Bought the car March 2016 brand new in hopes of not having to worry about major repairs for several years. That was not the case. The engine is crap. GMC knows this.
I had the recall for repaired in 2017 & 2 years later at 98k miles my entire engine is out of my 3 year old car having piston replacement.
I was told it would cost $4500. I said absolutely not! Rep went back to gmc & then I was told $1500. I again said no way! My maintenance is up to date. The car is literally 3 years old. This is a manufacturing problem! I was asked what I would be willing to pay (that’s how you know they know it’s a gmc issue) & I told them $500 (If I was really thinking I would have said &0) so it’s being repaired as I type for $500.
I’ll never purchase an American car again
 

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Elite Moderator
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Hello @Nikwalk21. Bummer about the car but really nice GM was allowing you to name your price especially with 98,000 miles. This makes you the 2nd out of warranty piston failure now with prices of $1500 and $500. Still a lot of money but small compared to the time spent pulling the engine and doing all the work. What a mess for GM. I wonder if they will ever start a special coverage program.
 

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Hi, First time posting here. I've seen several posts about broken pistons and have the same problem which I'm ticked off about so I thought I'd share what happened. I bought my Malibu in April 2016. Just before hitting 60k the stabilitrack light came on with a decrease in power a few times. I didn't think much of it because it it went off each time and the engine went back to full power. Then at just over 62k I got a check engine light with a decrease in power. Power returned but light stayed on so I took it to a shop that read the code. It came back with p300 or so code which the shop said could mean a number of things. They cleared the code and I drove it waiting to see if it would return. It drove find for about a month and then started running rough with a large decrease in gas mileage and decided to take it to the dealer. The day before dropped it off the check engine light came back on. Anyway, the dealer checked it out and said I have a cracked piston and they have to replace all four and that it would cost 4-5k. Since it was out or warranty I was looking at having to pay it myself but I knew enough to ask about participation from GM and the dealer checked with them and GM agreed to limit my cost to $1,500. While I appreciate having to pay only $1,500, this is a problem that should never have happened and it obviously started well before my warranty expired. Given that the recall obviously didn't work and the circumstances I think GM should have picked up the entire amount. GM decreasing their powertrain warranty from 100k miles to 60k miles says a lot about their confidence in their engines.
Hey I have a 2016 Chevy Malibu. Within the first 6 months of purchasing my car I had a cracked piston which was oct 2016. They finally fixed it after having my car for 6+ months. Here it is 2019 I am having the same issues and they want me to pay for it
 

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Hey I have a 2016 Chevy Malibu. Within the first 6 months of purchasing my car I had a cracked piston which was oct 2016. They finally fixed it after having my car for 6+ months. Here it is 2019 I am having the same issues and they want me to pay for it
Contact GM corporate and see what they will offer you.
 

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My 2016 Malibu LT experienced a failure last weekend. The dealer has had it for a week. Cracked #1 piston. 3.5 years old, 72000 miles, still paying on it. I have the EasyCare extended warranty to 100K miles. EC called back today to say that they specifically do not cover this issue and that I will have to pay for it. Dealer says it needs a new engine, wants 9K to replace it. What should I do? I still owe more than that on the loan!
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Usually, the most basic of basic warranties covers the mechanical items and lets all the electronics go. This is clearly a mechanical issue.

First, review your EC contract for covered items. Then, if you can't call EC and reason with them yourself, consider a lawyer.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T
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+1 on what DD said. I also went to the EasyCare website and read the advertised coverages and sample contracts. Even the basic plans cover all internally lubricated parts of the engine as well as whole engine replacement. The big caveat is they exclude pre-existing conditions. That would be an arguable and where the lawyer comes in. From the contract administrator perspective they could rationalize piston failure as a pre-existing condition since GM has a service update and many bulletins about it thus acknowledgement. That reasoning would expose GM though. IMO an excluded pre-existing condition scenario would be a used car that had a history of front seal/crank oil leaks prior to the purchase of that service contract. Front seal would be excluded.

Follow all avenues and document date and time of contact. Contact your service contract/warranty company for explanation. Contact service manager in person, ask them to contact GM for help. Others have had the price significantly reduced. Contact GM customer assistance immediately if the service manager returns with an unacceptable resolution. Let that play out, then contact a lawyer if necessary.

EDIT - regarding the service contract/extended warranty... upon further reading of an EasyCare sample contract, I see some unfortunate wording in part E section 1 listed exclusions: "Any damage resulting from pre-ignition or detonation, regardless of cause." Check your service contract and see if that wording is there - if it is, focus on GM and the lawyer and spend less time fighting EasyCare/Auto Protection Corp.
 

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"Any damage resulting from pre-ignition or detonation, regardless of cause."

Seriously? Is such a clause common in purchased auto warranties?
 

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"Any damage resulting from pre-ignition or detonation, regardless of cause."

Seriously? Is such a clause common in purchased auto warranties?
I am not sure if it is common but it is in the EasyCare contract. They include a sample contract right on their website and it seems current as the offerings/branding matches the website offerings. It's only a sample not official but I doubt they would advertise such a clause not in the actual contract. Worried me a bit so I had to go check mine - had I found that wording I'd be at the dealer tomorrow enjoying that (not what it used to be) new car smell.
 

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Called EasyCare today, waiting on a call back with more information. Got a call from the dealership service tech, she says the service manager called GM and they refuse to assist. So I guess I will call them myself, and if they refuse to work with me it will be time for an attorney. The reason for denial that they gave me a few days ago after they talked to EasyCare is exactly that: "Any damage resulting from pre-ignition or detonation, regardless of cause".
 

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Surprised to read GM will not step up at all. They had been negotiating reduced costs ($500-1500 down from 4-5K for pistons/rods in this thread). The service contract... disappointing but not abnormal as they all have loose wording and exceptions - just a matter of getting the contract with the risks that match the gamble that is a car. No excuse for GM though - they know of the problem, they had a service update, specification change, many bulletins, even a program for preemptive piston replacement in specific cars. Pistons should not be a maintenance item at 70k because of design, quality, or programming incompetence.
 

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Campb, GM's reply doesn't surprise me in the least. I've had them do that to me before on more than one occasion for what was a known crap design.

The Hi-pressure fuel pump in my wife (now gone) 2010 Equinox was redesigned 4 times for the 2.4L I4 in that vehicle, it was recalled even in 2017/18 (I forget which) for an emissions issue. I had it replaced under the recall, 16 months later during an oil change the tech said the pump was leaking fuel into the oil. GM would not budge 1 inch to help me, their damned part had at that point been replaced three times due to defects (twice under warranty, once for the recall, each time the pump design was different I was told). The "customer service" person said it was out of warranty, tough luck basically, no help.

I had a similar issue with an old Saturn L series wagon with the Opel 3L V6. That vehicle had an issue with the V6 timing belt pulley assembly for years I found out, dating to before the POS Catera was foisted on the US public. With the Cateras GM I found out had given extended warranties to 10 yrs. due to the number of damaged engines due to their crap design, up to the 1999 model year. Our 2000 model was the last year with the crap assembly but it was supposedly OK but not really, in 2001 the issue was fixed and the assembly was changed so you could replace a single pulley and not the entire $500 assembly. I had to pay a pretty penny to replace the pulley assembly for 1 bad pulley. German engineering at it's finest!! GM wouldn't help one bit even though the car was well before the 100k timing belt replacement interval. Good thing I knew something was amiss, most owners wouldn't know something made that funny noise a single time and ignore it, next thing you know you had a seized motor.

I don't know how people get GM to help paying for repairs, in my experience their attitude is "pound sand".
 

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The reason for denial that they gave me a few days ago after they talked to EasyCare is exactly that: "Any damage resulting from pre-ignition or detonation, regardless of cause".
Tell me if I'm wrong but did I read you correctly that GM talked to the warranty outfit, and since the warranty outfit denied the claim GM is refusing to assist?

The damaged was done due to GM's design having that issue. Right now I'm trying hard to not write what I'm saying out loud.
 

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+1 on what DD said. I also went to the EasyCare website and read the advertised coverages and sample contracts. Even the basic plans cover all internally lubricated parts of the engine as well as whole engine replacement. The big caveat is they exclude pre-existing conditions. That would be an arguable and where the lawyer comes in. From the contract administrator perspective they could rationalize piston failure as a pre-existing condition since GM has a service update and many bulletins about it thus acknowledgement. That reasoning would expose GM though. IMO an excluded pre-existing condition scenario would be a used car that had a history of front seal/crank oil leaks prior to the purchase of that service contract. Front seal would be excluded.

Follow all avenues and document date and time of contact. Contact your service contract/warranty company for explanation. Contact service manager in person, ask them to contact GM for help. Others have had the price significantly reduced. Contact GM customer assistance immediately if the service manager returns with an unacceptable resolution. Let that play out, then contact a lawyer if necessary.

EDIT - regarding the service contract/extended warranty... upon further reading of an EasyCare sample contract, I see some unfortunate wording in part E section 1 listed exclusions: "Any damage resulting from pre-ignition or detonation, regardless of cause." Check your service contract and see if that wording is there - if it is, focus on GM and the lawyer and spend less time fighting EasyCare/Auto Protection Corp.
Several posts mention that the Easy Care extended warranty excludes damage from pre-ignition. I have the Zurich comprehensive warranty (pricey) 100K, ten years (I plan on keeping my 2017 premier with 2.0 turbo engine). There are no exclusions.
 

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Several posts mention that the Easy Care extended warranty excludes damage from pre-ignition. I have the Zurich comprehensive warranty (pricey) 100K, ten years (I plan on keeping my 2017 premier with 2.0 turbo engine). There are no exclusions.
You better check that contract. I checked Zurich's website and their brochure. The exclusions of the Zurich "Comprehensive" plan are page long and include things like exhaust system including cat, throttle body, leaks, shocks, upholstery, etc. It certainly looks better than the EasyCare but definitely dozens of exclusions.

 

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You better check that contract. I checked Zurich's website and their brochure. The exclusions of the Zurich "Comprehensive" plan are page long and include things like exhaust system including cat, throttle body, leaks, shocks, upholstery, etc. It certainly looks better than the EasyCare but definitely dozens of exclusions.

You better check that contract. I checked Zurich's website and their brochure. The exclusions of the Zurich "Comprehensive" plan are page long and include things like exhaust system including cat, throttle body, leaks, shocks, upholstery, etc. It certainly looks better than the EasyCare but definitely dozens of exclusions.

My documentation excludes normal trim and replacement parts like belts, exhaust system, hoses, upholstery, etc. There is absolutely no exclusion for cracked cylinders, pre-ignition, etc. - the only engine exclusions are carburetor and throttle body assembly (except injectors) and spark glow plugs.
 

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Hi, First time posting here. I've seen several posts about broken pistons and have the same problem which I'm ticked off about so I thought I'd share what happened. I bought my Malibu in April 2016. Just before hitting 60k the stabilitrack light came on with a decrease in power a few times. I didn't think much of it because it it went off each time and the engine went back to full power. Then at just over 62k I got a check engine light with a decrease in power. Power returned but light stayed on so I took it to a shop that read the code. It came back with p300 or so code which the shop said could mean a number of things. They cleared the code and I drove it waiting to see if it would return. It drove find for about a month and then started running rough with a large decrease in gas mileage and decided to take it to the dealer. The day before dropped it off the check engine light came back on. Anyway, the dealer checked it out and said I have a cracked piston and they have to replace all four and that it would cost 4-5k. Since it was out or warranty I was looking at having to pay it myself but I knew enough to ask about participation from GM and the dealer checked with them and GM agreed to limit my cost to $1,500. While I appreciate having to pay only $1,500, this is a problem that should never have happened and it obviously started well before my warranty expired. Given that the recall obviously didn't work and the circumstances I think GM should have picked up the entire amount. GM decreasing their powertrain warranty from 100k miles to 60k miles says a lot about their confidence in their engines.
I am literally going through the same exact thing right now. I've read many, many different complaints about the same exact thing which means it's a known issue that GM/Chevy will not address in a major way. For the life of me, I can not understand how they are making customers pay for an engine and or engine repair for a fairly new car.
 

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First time posting here. I thought I might add my voices to the numbers here.

I have the exact same issue. Cracked pistons in my 2016 Chevy Malibu LT.
Service technicians--Chevy Dealerships--said it was due to material failure but extended warranty says it is due to carbon buildup. Carbon buildup as the cause will allow them to avoid covering this claim.
So now I stuck with this issue that will cost $5000 to fix.

I called GM and they contacted service department. I thought GM might step in to help but they informed the service department that no they won't get involve with anything. There's no power train warranty since car is around 70 K miles.
68291
 
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