GM Volt Forum banner

2012 Volt Blown Head Gasket 1000 Miles After Getting Oil Pan Gasket Repaired - What Do I Do Now?

1694 Views 23 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  voltdetroitvseverybody
Bought my 2012 Volt 2 years ago with 67k miles from place in Cleveland and brought it back home to where it was built in Hamtramck / Detroit. I love this car and have told everyone this over the years of owning it. About a year in, I got an oil change at an independent shop and they brought me out to look under the car to show me a minor oil leak/seepage from what they said was the oil pan gasket. They quoted me for the job but said it wasnt dire so sent me on my way. Fast forward a year later, this past November, when I got another oil change from them and was told they'd honor the quote from a year before to reseal the oil pan. After a few inquiries over the year from dealerships and other shops, I felt it was a great offer and told them to go ahead. The guy assured me they'd done several of these at their other shops mostly on Cruzes but were very familiar with the work. I picked the car up, the burning oil smell was gone and all was well. At 91k miles at this point.

A month after the fix, about three wks ago, the smell began again though not anywhere near alarm level bad. I also could not see any leaks in or under the engine. Took the car to get groceries last Monday and when I jumped on the highway for the two mile return, the engine light came on, and the engine started clicking - as if lifters were not getting oil. I drove it right to Oreilly to get the codes read - they were all knock sensor codes. I went into a couple stores to let the engine cool down, and to look up codes etc. When I got back to the car, I decided to pop the hood to see what I could and listen etc - and instantly saw the ICE coolant reservoir was empty. I was horrified because I saw no warning light for this and then read there is no engine coolant level sensor.. . Went in and got coolant, refilled the reservoir (it took half of the whole bottle), and headed home. Let the car sit a few days, hoping to figure out any resolution. Went out yesterday and the coolant level was down an inch. No coolant on the ground under the car. Turned the car on and the ticking was now terribly loud, and white smoke was billowing out of the exhaust. I am stuck now and wonder what to do. Livid that there was no warning and seriously worried because I will probably have to quit my job as I have a sales territory that is 30 plus miles away.

1. Was it the shops doing when they did the deep fix (the oil pan fix is serious on these cars) less than 1000 miles ago? Is there anything during that fix that could have caused the gasket failure or coolant leak elsewhere?

2. How is it possible that GM didnt put a coolant level sensor on the engine coolant reservoir like they did on the electric battery coolant reservoirs? There is no warning for the driver/owner until the engine is ruined??! And even then, it only CELs because the blown head gasket causes the cylinders and valves and oil to malfunction to cause a knock. 馃槥

3. Is there any possibility a dealership can get me help to pay for this? Was there ever a warranty extension or fix that I missed or that could apply? I'm a former automotive engineer and have fixed my last three cars easily because sensors for coolant went off. The electric drive works fine still .. but now I have to replace the engine!? or get the head gasket fixed and just hope the head or other surfaces arent warped so it doesn't happen again? Or do I try to sell it with all these issues to try to make back at least some of what I owe?

Any recommendations and info is much appreciated. I love this car and am devastated that I couldn't avoid this. It's never happened to me before because I am very sensitive to all the systems and fix any warnings within days. This had no warnings:/
21 - 24 of 24 Posts

Registered
Joined
7 Posts
Bought my 2012 Volt 2 years ago with 67k miles from place in Cleveland and brought it back home to where it was built in Hamtramck / Detroit. I love this car and have told everyone this over the years of owning it. About a year in, I got an oil change at an independent shop and they brought me out to look under the car to show me a minor oil leak/seepage from what they said was the oil pan gasket. They quoted me for the job but said it wasnt dire so sent me on my way. Fast forward a year later, this past November, when I got another oil change from them and was told they'd honor the quote from a year before to reseal the oil pan. After a few inquiries over the year from dealerships and other shops, I felt it was a great offer and told them to go ahead. The guy assured me they'd done several of these at their other shops mostly on Cruzes but were very familiar with the work. I picked the car up, the burning oil smell was gone and all was well. At 91k miles at this point.

A month after the fix, about three wks ago, the smell began again though not anywhere near alarm level bad. I also could not see any leaks in or under the engine. Took the car to get groceries last Monday and when I jumped on the highway for the two mile return, the engine light came on, and the engine started clicking - as if lifters were not getting oil. I drove it right to Oreilly to get the codes read - they were all knock sensor codes. I went into a couple stores to let the engine cool down, and to look up codes etc. When I got back to the car, I decided to pop the hood to see what I could and listen etc - and instantly saw the ICE coolant reservoir was empty. I was horrified because I saw no warning light for this and then read there is no engine coolant level sensor.. . Went in and got coolant, refilled the reservoir (it took half of the whole bottle), and headed home. Let the car sit a few days, hoping to figure out any resolution. Went out yesterday and the coolant level was down an inch. No coolant on the ground under the car. Turned the car on and the ticking was now terribly loud, and white smoke was billowing out of the exhaust. I am stuck now and wonder what to do. Livid that there was no warning and seriously worried because I will probably have to quit my job as I have a sales territory that is 30 plus miles away.

1. Was it the shops doing when they did the deep fix (the oil pan fix is serious on these cars) less than 1000 miles ago? Is there anything during that fix that could have caused the gasket failure or coolant leak elsewhere?

2. How is it possible that GM didnt put a coolant level sensor on the engine coolant reservoir like they did on the electric battery coolant reservoirs? There is no warning for the driver/owner until the engine is ruined??! And even then, it only CELs because the blown head gasket causes the cylinders and valves and oil to malfunction to cause a knock. 馃槥

3. Is there any possibility a dealership can get me help to pay for this? Was there ever a warranty extension or fix that I missed or that could apply? I'm a former automotive engineer and have fixed my last three cars easily because sensors for coolant went off. The electric drive works fine still .. but now I have to replace the engine!? or get the head gasket fixed and just hope the head or other surfaces arent warped so it doesn't happen again? Or do I try to sell it with all these issues to try to make back at least some of what I owe?

Any recommendations and info is much appreciated. I love this car and am devastated that I couldn't avoid this. It's never happened to me before because I am very sensitive to all the systems and fix any warnings within days. This had no warnings:/
1 - The oil pan is on the other side of the engine from the head gasket. IF this is a bad head gasket, then they should not be related.
2 - Not sure on that one. Is there a sensor on that coolant bottle? Maybe it's stuck?
3 - I doubt any dealer is going to cut you any breaks.

It could be the previous owner knew of this problem, put a bottle of miracle coolant system sealant snake solution in it and sold it. The knocking you are hearing is that cylinder dealing with all of the coolant entering into the cylinder. A word of warning. If the coolant is entering the cylinder while the engine is off on the compression stroke, you could destroy the engine when it starts next as it tries to compress that coolant with the valves closed.
 

Registered
Joined
1 Posts
Bought my 2012 Volt 2 years ago with 67k miles from place in Cleveland and brought it back home to where it was built in Hamtramck / Detroit. I love this car and have told everyone this over the years of owning it. About a year in, I got an oil change at an independent shop and they brought me out to look under the car to show me a minor oil leak/seepage from what they said was the oil pan gasket. They quoted me for the job but said it wasnt dire so sent me on my way. Fast forward a year later, this past November, when I got another oil change from them and was told they'd honor the quote from a year before to reseal the oil pan. After a few inquiries over the year from dealerships and other shops, I felt it was a great offer and told them to go ahead. The guy assured me they'd done several of these at their other shops mostly on Cruzes but were very familiar with the work. I picked the car up, the burning oil smell was gone and all was well. At 91k miles at this point.

A month after the fix, about three wks ago, the smell began again though not anywhere near alarm level bad. I also could not see any leaks in or under the engine. Took the car to get groceries last Monday and when I jumped on the highway for the two mile return, the engine light came on, and the engine started clicking - as if lifters were not getting oil. I drove it right to Oreilly to get the codes read - they were all knock sensor codes. I went into a couple stores to let the engine cool down, and to look up codes etc. When I got back to the car, I decided to pop the hood to see what I could and listen etc - and instantly saw the ICE coolant reservoir was empty. I was horrified because I saw no warning light for this and then read there is no engine coolant level sensor.. . Went in and got coolant, refilled the reservoir (it took half of the whole bottle), and headed home. Let the car sit a few days, hoping to figure out any resolution. Went out yesterday and the coolant level was down an inch. No coolant on the ground under the car. Turned the car on and the ticking was now terribly loud, and white smoke was billowing out of the exhaust. I am stuck now and wonder what to do. Livid that there was no warning and seriously worried because I will probably have to quit my job as I have a sales territory that is 30 plus miles away.

1. Was it the shops doing when they did the deep fix (the oil pan fix is serious on these cars) less than 1000 miles ago? Is there anything during that fix that could have caused the gasket failure or coolant leak elsewhere?

2. How is it possible that GM didnt put a coolant level sensor on the engine coolant reservoir like they did on the electric battery coolant reservoirs? There is no warning for the driver/owner until the engine is ruined??! And even then, it only CELs because the blown head gasket causes the cylinders and valves and oil to malfunction to cause a knock. 馃槥

3. Is there any possibility a dealership can get me help to pay for this? Was there ever a warranty extension or fix that I missed or that could apply? I'm a former automotive engineer and have fixed my last three cars easily because sensors for coolant went off. The electric drive works fine still .. but now I have to replace the engine!? or get the head gasket fixed and just hope the head or other surfaces arent warped so it doesn't happen again? Or do I try to sell it with all these issues to try to make back at least some of what I owe?

Any recommendations and info is much appreciated. I love this car and am devastated that I couldn't avoid this. It's never happened to me before because I am very sensitive to all the systems and fix any warnings within days. This had no warnings:/
I'm pretty sure the oil pan gasket replacement wasn't the cause of your problem. Almost all blown head gaskets are from engine overheating which is primarily caused by low or loss of coolent. Thus the need to check these items at regular intervals. I have a 2017 Volt and have found low coolent levels on occasion and no cockpit indication at all. I keep a small jug of coolent in the car just in case when I'm out of town or on the road. Poor design I guess.
 

Registered
2012 Volt
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Any follow up? What did you do?
Currently in a holding pattern. Have gotten 4 quotes - around $6500 for a new engine at two dealerships .. $3600 and $3300 for a used engine to be put in at local shops. I really don't have the cash to throw at it right npw, so I've been charging it and driving only on battery for the past couple weeks. Some friends say to sell it as-is for as much as I can get and eat the loss of what I still owe. I definitely don't care to roll it all into another car yet.

What would y'all do? I love the car and really want to keep it.. just need time to save a little $ to give me options.
 
21 - 24 of 24 Posts
Top