GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all!

So three weeks ago my 2012 volt with 97k miles suddenly threw a no oil pressure turn off engine message. I pulled off immediately(maybe half mile to the first viably safe pull off location) and turned off the car. i had it towed 60 miles to the closest chevy dealership (lima auto mall) that had a person trained on the volt. They changed my oil filter ( had new oil, maybe 100-200 miles on it? maybe just cutting it open?) and checked the oil pressure. they said they could not read any oil pressure whatsoever. the contacted GM engineering about it, which they said they suspected a faulty oil pump. I was quoted $2000 for an oil pump change, but was told they did not recommend doing so in case there is more damage. the suggested options were $4500 for a used engine swap (an engine with 55k miles lol), or a new engine swap for $6000. was charged $124 for the new oil filter replacement.

I've owned the car the last four years and my daily drives have been full electric, so aside from some 300-400 mile trips, this generator has been only moderately used. I always used Mobil 1 extended performance, best filters i could(given the limited option...no frams here). I loved, and absolutely still love this car man. but being under 100k and half a year outside the warranty, the smiling chevy dealership quoting insane prices reallllly rubbed me the wrong way. I asked if there was anything at all i could do further as I know this is not a normal thing, was told "no, nothing". I'm almost bummed i was able to drive 55k miles on electric, because they would have been singing a different story if the car had 42k miles and the engine needed replaced. I said thanks but no thanks, went and towed the car back home myself with a borrowed truck.

As I am an avid DIY person(maybe why i jumped on the volt when to begin with), I started reading everything and anything on engines, oil pumps, damage from lacking oil pressure, signs of a damaged engine, what to look for etc. After two weeks and realizing chevy doesn't care to help any further, I dove in. i ordered the manual from chiltondiy, ordered an oil pump, and loaned tools(yay 17 inverted star) from some very good friends to help me explore. as I'm tearing down the engine, i notice the chain is loose on one side(front side, no signs of any skipped teeth thank goodness). Digging in further, when i pull out the vibration dampener(crankshaft pulley?), i found that the sides of the dampener were worn completely down from the friction driving the oil pump. So, Currently my engine sits in pieces, as I await a new oil pump, tensioner, dampener, new belt(why not?), water pump, spark plugs, seals, and gaskets (all for $230). I did not tear into the cylinders as when i looked at the lobes on the cams, they looked pristine. I figure if they did not take any damage, it was only running a short time after, and it doesn't take the kind of torque a normal engine takes, i'd be safe. My hope is that when i get this thing back together, hopefully it will run maintenance free for a good long time!

So has anyone else had this kind of experience? given i did not have my car the first 20k miles of its life, but it seems insane something could break like this, and chevy just smiles and starts throwing g's around like a mattress store during tax season. Aside from this issue, it has been amazing really. oil changes (some even when it really wasn't even bad, just didn't want it to break down) and some fluids when needed, new tires. I've been a happy camper till now. kinda of bummed it happened, but i'd be lying if i said i didn't enjoy learning about engines and diving in. Anyone else tear down or rebuild the engine? anything extra i should look at while it is in pieces? hopefully this doesn't show up across the 11's and 12's as they age, but no way it should have failed with such little use.

all that said, more power to the volt. Love this car. Chevy...not so much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
You can download a factory service manual on this site somewhere, can't remember where. It's just an engine, nothing really special about them. Saturn first developed the Ecotec motors. We had one of the first ones in our 2002 L200. One of the best cars we ever had. Passed it on to my neighbor who now has over 300k on the engine. Original timing chain, engine never apart. Used Amsoil exclusively in that one and my Volt. Can you determine why the pump failed from your teardown? A pump disassembly may be revealing. They are using a variable displacement pump now. As long as metal shrapnel didn't go thru the engine you're probably OK. Synthetics are good at protecting parts during loss of oil pressure. Plenty of Amsoil oil loss testimonials with zero engine damage. I know of a few personally. Good luck! I'd do the same thing. I do work in a speed shop however!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
Really bad karma. :(

I’d throw the parts at it and see what happens. If that doesn’t work, get a used engine and swap it.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
If you feel bold enough I'd at least take a look at the main bearing surfaces, and perhaps the rod bearings as well since those will likely show the first signs of damage if anything got through. If they look fine, slap it all back together with a new oil pump. The chain may be loose due to the use of an oil pressure driven tensioner though they usually use a spring to maintain some tension. If it makes you feel better and while you're in there it may not be too difficult to replace the chain and related hardware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
"i found that the sides of the dampener were worn completely down from the friction driving the oil pump"
Do you have a photo showing this? I'm having a hard time understanding what you're saying here. I'm not familiar with the interface b/w the damper and the oil pump drive.

As freshcut said, a check of the main bearings will probably tell you more than the cam. If the bearings were starved of oil, you'll see distress on them. The cam journal surfaces area all hardened steel and more resilient to wear from oil starvation.

Have you reached out to a Volt advisor, just to see if GM would be interested in examining the oil pump? Might be a too late for that. Sounds like you did everything right as far as maintenance. No reason to think the oil pump should fail in such a short period of time, unless there was a manufacturing defect in the oil pump, filter, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,226 Posts
Please post pictures of the project, many will be interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
voganni: I think i'll do just that, I'll take apart the pump when I can, and per the other comments, if it is indeed disintegrated, might have to get into those bearings.

Loboc: yeah, that's the plan. I figure no matter how much i miss trying to rebuild it, i'll learn a ton and throw a used engine at it if I fail.

freshcut: I really wanted to get down to the bearings! but it was rather late on sunday and i just ran out of gusto to get that far. parts are still on order, suppose I have time this weekend to go deeper.

jeremyk: I will load a picture when i get my hands on the dampener next! At the dealership I asked if this was a normal issue they know about. i received "they mentioned they have seen it before", but were adamant I was indeed without a paddle here.

2voltfamily: I said the exact same thing, but they made is perfectly clear that the voltec warranty ends at the engine itself. since that leaves the engine outside it's 5 year warranty, they said i'm just unlucky. trust me, i tried to explain an oil pump doesn't fail under such sleight of use, they wouldn't hear of it.

steverino: will take pictures next time i'm working on it, and during the rebuild. nothing crazy difficult yet, removing the bolt holding the dampener was the hardest part, just no space on that side! did have to access it through the wheel well.

I'll update this as the parts arrive and I work on it. I saw another user is currently doing an engine replacement, really helpful to see what my alternative is!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
Make sure the oil pressure relief valve in the front cover is not stuck open. This will cause a no oil pressure issue but still may let oil circulate through the engine. Its very rare that a oil pump fails and causes a no pressure problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Quick update:

had a bit to dive in deeper.

i think i found the problem......whole pump shattered into 3 pieces. it scored the entire front cover. good news is there were not really many shards to be found at all, thank god it didnt keep it running. the cover looks like steel and barely took damage lol. it looks like the dampener drive in that short time got carved up by the fractured chunk. will report more when i get deeper or decide to order more parts. anyone have the number for a GM rep about these ****ty pumps? lol

IMG_4800.jpg IMG_4821.jpg IMG_4822.jpg IMG_4826.jpg IMG_4828.jpg

will report more soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
IIRC, this is not the first Volt oil pump failure reported here.
 

·
Registered
2014 Cadillac ELR
Joined
·
640 Posts
"Damper"

A "dampener" would be something that makes things damp ;-)
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,027 Posts




Pics of the oil pump repair kit for the gen1 above for those who are interested...
What an incredible cheap crap design? What happened to keeping it simple and just using two straight cut gears to act as an oil pump like every other car engine had since the 50's?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
What an incredible cheap crap design? What happened to keeping it simple and just using two straight cut gears to act as an oil pump like every other car engine had since the 50's?
Im guessing this is slightly more efficient and they were looking to maximize efficiency.

My 2012 has an engine from Austria. I was hoping that would make it even more bulletproof, but I guess not...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
update

update!

all the things are ordered. got a new front cover, chain(because why not?) the 3 guides, in addition to all the previous parts. The front cover however comes with the oil pump installed, so i now have a spare which i already opened. whatever poor soul runs into this ****uation and decides to dive in themselves, let me know, i'll ship you a new pump! all told, around $530 for all new parts up to this point

so a few random picture from the teardown. i will note that the compressor and the bracket holding it were the toughest part of taking the cover off completely. feel free to ask any questions. would like to hear from GM, how an oil pump breaks this prematurely. this generator has not been used a whole lot.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,011 Posts
What an incredible cheap crap design? What happened to keeping it simple and just using two straight cut gears to act as an oil pump like every other car engine had since the 50's?
It's not like people haven't been having oil pump failures since the 50s. This has half the moving parts... ;)
 

·
Registered
2014 Cadillac ELR
Joined
·
640 Posts
Great work, btw. It's nice to see others that aren't afraid of tackling big jobs. If a shop can do it, you can, too!
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top