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Disintegrated Oil Pump

13089 Views 51 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  bart_dood
The oil pump in my 2012 Volt disintegrated suddenly without any prior warning just one month out of power train warranty.

GM is not helping me to fix this because I bought the car pre-owned (so, no Good Will warranty even though I have maintained the car as recommended and the prior owner's maintenance records are in the glove box. I spoke with GM customer service and the Electric Vehicle team and all said the same as the dealer service manager: I am out of luck as per GM policy).

So, I spent $2500 to have the oil pump replaced (at a Chevy dealer) and the car ran fine for about a week. Now it's making a tapping/clicking noise and the Knock Sensor error (P0324) has triggered the CEL.

Anyone else have an oil pump disintegrate? I am planning to file a report with the NHTSA so that there is some oversight. But, I am curious if there are any other cases of oil pumps disintegrating like the one in my car did.

Thoughts on what the tapping might be now? It is full of oil and the oil is clean.

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It has ~66,000 miles on it (~40% EV). I bought it from Weber Creve Coeur but took it to Jack Schmitt (who's service department came highly recommended for Volts in the St Louis area) for the oil pump repair.

I don't think it sounds like a rod knocking. Sounds more like a valve -- top of the engine. But, I'm not certain.
We ran it with the broken pump just long enough for my wife and daughter to get safely off the highway and for me to drive it less than 1/2 mile to the dealer while investigating to see what it was actually doing -- this was about the least we could have done.
When the oil pump was repaired I discussed the possibility of engine damage with the service manager. It was his opinion after having his technician open the engine and inspect it, that replacing the oil pump would be all that it needed. I trusted his professional opinion and had the pump replaced. Now, less than 1 week later, there's tapping in the top... go figure!

It's out of warranty because the service start date is 11/11 (it's a 2012). Even though it still has miles to go, the warranty expired 11/16 -- 5 years/100k miles on the "power train" (which apparently is what covers the engine). The oil pump disintegrated 12/16.
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I appreciate the offer and will accept any assistance I can get. But, at this point my option is to re-finance my house to pay for further repairs or just trade the car on something more reliable. I have no more savings left to spend on this car. So, I really have no option but to get rid of it. I am hoping the dealer can work with me on a trade. But, I don't see how I can get into another Volt.

I don't know how to private message you. But, you can e-mail or PM me directly. But, I have already talked to the Electric Vehicle team and the dealer service manager gave me a break on the labor cost for the oil pump. So, I don't know what more you can do.
It already is a financial disaster. This car was supposed to be safe, reliable, and last a long time!
Instead I ended up with the ONE car that has an oil pump defect (or some manufacturing FOD or something, who knows -- but, oil pumps don't just shatter into 5 pieces like mine did; or, if they do, that's what I'm here to find out!).
But, if this really is a 1-off and very rare occurrence, then why the heck isn't GM jumping up and down to make this right for me?
I'm a long-time Chevy owner and I have not ONE but TWO Volts. Needless to say, I'm a fan of the bow tie. But, this is destroying my confidence.
Ok, I get it, things break. But, this car is newer than anything else I own and has the most problems so far -- even my '99 Windstar van didn't have mechanical problems when I finally decided to trade it for the Volt.

I have emergency funds. But, the car/cash fund is gone. And, who expected a practically brand new car (right at 5 years old) to break down this fast!?!? I actually felt like I had an excessive amount of repair funds given the age of these cars. Like I said in my FB post on this same topic: "I gambled on the Volt and lost."

Of the 9 vehicles in my lifetime -- 7 have been Chevy's, including 2 Volts. And of those, the longest lasting most reliable ones were the Honda and the Ford. Not trying to knock GM. But, that's just the facts.
I still have the 2015 (see the comment above about 2 Volts). It's he 2012 that's having the mechanical issues.

I originally bought the 2015 brand new when I fell in love with the Volt after driving a friends Volt for less than 5 minutes!
After driving the 2015 for a couple of months (and continuing to research the reliability) I decided to pick up a 2012 CPO Volt for my wife (who was sick of having to stop for gas every week in the Honda).

It's the 2012 that had the oil pump failure. We haven't had it even 2 years yet (and consequently still owe about what it's worth).
But, the plan was to keep that car and let my soon-to-be-driving daughter have it. Who would have thought the ENGINE (an ancient technology by technology standards) would have problems ... and on top of that, who would expect GM to turn their back? Esp. just ONE MONTH out of warranty -- and still plenty of miles to go! (in fact, with the number of EV miles on the car, the engine has only barely outlasted the BUMPER TO BUMPER warranty miles!)

People new to the Volt always question the EV and battery components -- "How long will they last?"
Everyone forgets there's an ENGINE under that hood too... what's more its an EXPENSIVE engine to repair
(Now, in the interest of complete disclosure: I've never had a major engine repair -- maybe they're ALL expensive. Or, maybe it's just because it's a Volt, IDK).
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The OP's facts do not seem consistent with his posting history - just sayin'. What happened to his new 2015 Volt?

The 2015 is still running ... no problems (yet). But, it's new and hasn't had the time-in-service to contradict my statement above. The longest lasting vehicle I've had was the Ford -- which after 15 years and 188k miles, I traded on the 2015 Volt. In second place at 14 years and 160+k miles and still on the road is the Honda (Ironically, my wife is driving this today because her Volt -- 1/2 the age of the Honda and with about 1/3 the miles -- is STILL broken).
When did you buy this 2012 as CPO? I assume it's more than a year ago? Otherwise your CPO warranty should cover it.

I would definitely take up the Volt Advisor on her offer and reach out to her. Sometimes they are able to help make some of this stuff work when the dealers are just following more of a "standard protocol" but it's not guaranteed either.

Good luck!

Thanks! I've had it just under 2 years... so, no CPO warranty remaining (though, I did not take this car back to the dealer I bought it from ... maybe THAT would have been the thing to do).
The reason I am considering getting rid of the car is because I will soon be up against the wall on the Voltec warranty.
Heaven help me if something breaks with the Voltec components after that!

I have no idea what I'm getting into with some other vehicle, sure. But, I wonder what lies in wait for me with this car (or my 2015 Volt for that matter)? Lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest the cars are reliable and will last a long time. But, only time will really tell.
Reporting to the NHTSA will ensure that an investigation is conducted. The investigation will reveal whether or not there is a defect and potential safety hazard.

This car would have left my wife and 9yo daughter stranded on the side of the highway -- no safe place to be -- if she hadn't been approaching an exit ramp (which just happened to be the exit where the dealer is located) when the error showed up on the dash (which could have been a failed sensor for all she knew). This situation is unacceptable for a car with only 66,000 miles on it and just barely 5 years old.
I will be taking it back to the dealer for evaluation just as soon as I can... this thread wasn't meant to start a rant (as it's become).

I really just wanted to find out if anyone else had had an oil pump failure and if so how it was handled by GM and how much the repair costs were (whether warrantied or not).
I posted this earlier but will restate it here in case you missed it:

The service manager's professional opinion was that the upper engine was fine. But, I guess they're going to have to get in there again and see what's going on.

I'm not blaming GM nor the service people -- in fact, I would praise the service people for all of their help, professionalism and courtesy.

What I was _hoping_ for from GM was simply: "Oh, broken oil pump just out of warranty? That sucks! No problem, we value you as a customer and will meet you 1/2 way on the repairs."

That would have been just fine. At least the service department is working with me ... but, it's still a lot to sink into a car that is still new (and very new to me) and SHOULD be more reliable than this.
"That's life, and it's why you shouldn't stretch your finances to buy a used car you can't afford to fix."

That doesn't make much sense... so, you buy a $8000 used car and 1 year and 1 month later it needs a new engine -- you're supposed to have ANOTHER $6000 laying around to put an engine in it ... why not just spend $14,000 up front and get a newer car that you can count on? That's what I did with the volt ... guess it was a gamble and I lost.
We are driving the 10 year old Honda while the (barely) 5-year old Volt is in the shop... :'(
No, wait a minute ... that Honda is a 2000!!!! It's 17 years old.... runs smoother than the engine in my 2015 Volt... gas consumption (23 MPG is the best we've seen out of it) was the only reason we stopped driving it for the 2012 Volt -- the gas savings made the payment on the car. But...
To the OP

Sorry to hear of your engine oil pump issues
As you've already heard, this isn't something we've seen reported here before so sort of a rare issue.

Given the fact the Volt's ICE doesn't run all that often for most people, things like oil pumps should outlast the rest of the car
I looked (as the dealer likely did) and there isn't any sort of bulletin or anything related to the engine oil pump

In any case, I do agree your case might be a candidate for some goodwill and it appears Amber our on-site Customer Service rep wants to help. This is the exact sort of thing they specialize in and we have had LOTS of people get help from Chevrolet simply be letting the system work for them.

So please PM (private message) Amber with the information she requested and let her try to help you
You can do that following this link

As far as the top end noise, so much depends on how long the engine was run after oil pressure was lost. Since that variable exists and is based solely on your recollection, the shop would really have no choice but to replace the pump and reassess.
Since there were no apparent noises afterwards perhaps a piece of debris from the failure worked it's way somewhere that's created the new problem up top. But they will need to listen, scope, and isolate the noise which shouldn't be too hard.

Good luck and we look forward to hearing back from you on how things went for you.
Thank you! This is what I was looking for with this post ... I didn't intent to rant ... I love my Volts! (yes, BOTH of them!)
What I wanted was to find out about any other reports of an oil pump failure. It would be a sad day to part with that car -- these things are like members of the family. Ask anyone who knows me, I am a poster boy for the Volt -- my FB feed has been nothing but VOLT for 2 years (since I bought my 2015!). I've even lost a few friends over it (gear heads who were sick of hearing about EVs!)

I will be sure to post ... right now the car is parked safely in my garage where it will stay in out of the cold. I was going to take it to the dealer today; but, the temps were below the ERDTT threshold and so I decided to hold off until it warms up a bit.

Will be sometime next week before I know what's going on ... lets hope in the mean time nothing else breaks (not on the car, but... you know... life, in general!)

Thanks a again!!!

(oh, and I did reach out to Amber but have not yet heard back from her).
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