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Discussion Starter #1
2011 Equinox 2.4L is throwing code P0420 repeatedly. Runs fine and no other codes. New o2 sensors. Has 185,000 miles on it and now on engine #3 so its time to replace. Those engines have burned a lot of oil as we all know and i'm sure the cat is coked up with junk.

I see a Chevy TSB out there for an extended warranty referencing the front (precat) as the problem. Just wanted to reach out here and see if anyone has replaced it themselves, and if this in fact was the issue. It looks like the top bolts can be accessed by removing the exhaust manifold heat shield. Bottom can obviously be accessed by crawling under the vehicle.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
If you are on engine #3, might be a good idea to invest in another vehicle.
2011 equinox... we bought it new. I will advise anyone not to buy one of these with the 2.4l engine, but i'm already in it far enough. Aside from the time in the shop i'm only out $1000 on engine repairs so that's not terrible.

at 80,000 miles 2.4l #1 spit a timing chain. Engine replaced with a new one under warranty
at 160,000 miles the 2nd engine was drinking oil like a fish ... I had to be a real pain in the service manager's ass but I got chevrolet to cover the parts. Dealer did an overhaul with new pistons/rings/connecting rods/timing set. Cost me $1000

Its got 25k on an overhauled engine and its running good otherwise. Suspension/steering is tight and I just did the brakes. Its not worth jack squat, I could probably get about $3000 for it. So i'm going to replace the cat for $250 and keep it going another 2-3 years at which point it will be replaced with a new car and relegated to beater duty or sold.
 

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I'm not near my Manuals at the moment, but I'll look it up for you when I am. Have you considered trying to flush your Converter? I think I would try *that* before replacing it - especially if it had less than 100,000 miles on it.

In the meantime ... entertain us with details on these *two* engine replacements you've "endured":

First of all - did you buy this vehicle brand new, or 2nd hand?

1.) Did *you* do the engine replacements?

2.) Did you use new, rebuilt, or junkyard engines?

3.) Did you install a different model year engine?

4.) Did you consider a conversion to a V6 engine? (highly unlikely, but I ask because someone might've at least researched all the details)

5.) Did GM pay any of the bill (on the first replacement, at least)?

6.) How long did the first replacement last, and why was it replaced (again)?

7.) Did you prove a defect with any of: Timing Chain, Chain Tensioners, plastic Chain guides, Cam Actuators?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm not near my Manuals at the moment, but I'll look it up for you when I am. Have you considered trying to flush your Converter? I think I would try *that* before replacing it - especially if it had less than 100,000 miles on it.

In the meantime ... entertain us with details on these *two* engine replacements you've "endured":

First of all - did you buy this vehicle brand new, or 2nd hand?

1.) Did *you* do the engine replacements?

2.) Did you use new, rebuilt, or junkyard engines?

3.) Did you install a different model year engine?

4.) Did you consider a conversion to a V6 engine? (highly unlikely, but I ask because someone might've at least researched all the details)

5.) Did GM pay any of the bill (on the first replacement, at least)?

6.) How long did the first replacement last, and why was it replaced (again)?

7.) Did you prove a defect with any of: Timing Chain, Chain Tensioners, plastic Chain guides, Cam Actuators?
Questions answered in my 2nd post which I believe I was in the process of writing while you were posting this.

1st engine replacement was factory new and done under warranty by the dealer. The timing chain was rattling and I took it in twice to a dealer with the rattle and both times they replaced something unrelated and did not fix the rattle. The timing chain broke and lunched the engine.

This replacement engine started burning a lot of oil around its 80,000mi mark at which time I was able to negotiate a deal with Chevrolet (through the service manager) to get the engine overhauled around a year ago.

By the way this brings up a question I have... do the replacement parts for the oil consumption TSB fix the problem long-term? Have owners who had this work done put enough miles on their replacement parts to determine if they will hold up?

As an aside I haven't had too much other trouble with the vehicle in 7 years 185,000 miles of ownership. I had to put an AC blend door actuator in it and the wiper transmission broke at a very inopportune time (this should be a safety recall IMO) but otherwise its been fine.

Oh yeah and I had to replace some oil solenoids but that was not really a big deal.
 

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Questions answered in my 2nd post which I believe I was in the process of writing while you were posting this.
Haha! Yeah - I saw that right after I posted and almost deleted my post, but thought I had a good template of questions that might be re-usable at a later date, so I left it.


By the way this brings up a question I have... do the replacement parts for the oil consumption TSB fix the problem long-term? Have owners who had this work done put enough miles on their replacement parts to determine if they will hold up?
I've often wondered the same thing. I know we've had people post on here saying their piston/ring "repairs" failed shortly afterwards, but it's hard to judge what the cause of that is/was. Could be that the engine was too far gone. Could be the experience level of the people doing the work. And who knows (?) ... maybe just dealership "runaround" (I'll nicely call it). And there are probably some satisfied customers, too, who had the work done at the right time, or by the right people, or dealerships ... and they just haven't posted here.

I wish when people bought their vehicles *new* that the manufacturer encouraged them get involved with these online forums. If you were truly confident in the quality of your product, you would have no problem doing this. They should put it right in the "Welcoming Package". And maybe each manufacturer should have their *own* website, too. That way, owners could be verified as *real people*, and you would feel confident that what you were reading was a *real experience*, and not some made-up story intended to keep stock prices up, or give the appearance of a busy forum...
 

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Here’s the diagram for the LAF engine (2.4L). “Looks” straightforward, but I’d soak those fasteners with several shots of PBBlaster (or Liquid Wrench) over several days and heat/cool cycles before attempting to break any of them free
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here’s the diagram for the LAF engine (2.4L). “Looks” straightforward, but I’d soak those fasteners with several shots of PBBlaster (or Liquid Wrench) over several days and heat/cool cycles before attempting to break any of them free
Thanks for the help. That's about what I expected needed to be done. I will probably shoot the bolts with PB anyway but I don't expect them to be too stuck due to the number of times the engine has been out of the vehicle :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've often wondered the same thing. I know we've had people post on here saying their piston/ring "repairs" failed shortly afterwards, but it's hard to judge what the cause of that is/was. Could be that the engine was too far gone. Could be the experience level of the people doing the work.
My guess is that Chevy initially had the dealers rebuild the engines with the same parts, until they found it was a virtually fleet wide problem. After which point the failed parts were superseded by redesigned parts (WE HOPE). This probably all took some time, so likely many cars went back together with the same parts that failed in the first place.

My wife drives around 30,000 mi/yr and bought this car new in early 2011. I believe 2010 was the first model year for the 2.4. When the timing chain was rattling, the dealer didn't believe it, and when the chain actually broke, they were shocked and demanded to see things like oil change receipts etc... this was before it was well known that these engines had timing set problems, as the rest of the fleet was way below us in mileage.

The (factory new) replacement engine took 2 weeks to get and it contained the same flawed parts as the vehicle originally had. The replacement engine had 3 years, 2 months and 80,000 miles on it when I took it to the dealer for excessive oil consumption. Of course by this time the flaws were well known and the dealer was not surprised to see it drinking oil.

I missed the warranty period by 2 months (3yrs, 100,000 miles on dealer replaced engines) and so I ended up having to negotiate a deal to have it rebuilt, in the end I paid around $1000 for the TSB to be done that replaces the pistons/rings/and timing set. That engine was slap worn out after 80,000 miles... the timing chain was rattling again, it was burning oil and they found a cracked piston wrist pin bearing (or upper connecting rod bearing... don't know what you call it)
 
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Dragging this back up. I did replace the cat with Eastern Catalytic #50507 and I replaced the cracked exhaust manifold at that time. The 02 sensors are both new AC delco.

The light went out long enough to pass inspection but it came back quickly. P0420 is the only code. It runs fine and I cant find any vacuum leaks. It starts and runs fine, and it gets the same MPG it always has.

I took it to the local chevy dealer and paid for a diagnosis. They said to replace the cat with a GM cat and that should "hopefully" solve the problem. $1700 quote, no thanks fellas.

Anyone had issues with aftermarket cats? I guess I could find a used GM cat. There are a bunch of new $200-300 options on RockAuto. New GM is $730 online. Dealer quoted me $1200 just for the part. Gross.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
2011 equinox... we bought it new. I will advise anyone not to buy one of these with the 2.4l engine, but i'm already in it far enough. Aside from the time in the shop i'm only out $1000 on engine repairs so that's not terrible.

at 80,000 miles 2.4l #1 spit a timing chain. Engine replaced with a new one under warranty
at 160,000 miles the 2nd engine was drinking oil like a fish ... I had to be a real pain in the service manager's ass but I got chevrolet to cover the parts. Dealer did an overhaul with new pistons/rings/connecting rods/timing set. Cost me $1000

Its got 25k on an overhauled engine and its running good otherwise. Suspension/steering is tight and I just did the brakes. Its not worth jack squat, I could probably get about $3000 for it. So i'm going to replace the cat for $250 and keep it going another 2-3 years at which point it will be replaced with a new car and relegated to beater duty or sold.
Update, 203,000 vehicle miles, 40,000 miles and 2 years since last engine work. The dealer who rebuilt the engine did not perform the full TSB for oil burning and the timing set was not replaced, they just did the pistons. As evidenced by my post here I believed they were going to do the full TSB and replace the timing set as well as the piston rings. The timing chain is now rattling on cold starts. I am not happy.

For what it's worth a different aftermarket cat fixed the problem.
 

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Update, 203,000 vehicle miles, 40,000 miles and 2 years since last engine work. The dealer who rebuilt the engine did not perform the full TSB for oil burning and the timing set was not replaced, they just did the pistons. As evidenced by my post here I believed they were going to do the full TSB and replace the timing set as well as the piston rings. The timing chain is now rattling on cold starts. I am not happy.

For what it's worth a different aftermarket cat fixed the problem.
What cat did you end up using?
 

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What cat did you end up using?
That person hasn't been on since Aug 2019, I don't think you'll get an answer. I suggest amazon, pick one that's around $200 and you'll probably be fine. I bought the cheapest one, but the eyelet on the down pipe area doesn't actually meet up to the stud it's supposed to go onto. Feel free to PM me if you have questions about the replacement process. You may want to replace your exhaust manifold while you're at it.
 

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If your vehicle has California emissions then a cheap / cheaper federal spec. converter that is usually listed on Fleabay or Amazon will throw the p420 code not long after being installed. CA emissions cats usually are dealer only. Many states sell / require vehicles with CA emissions so don't be fooled if your in NJ, NY or on the east coast.
 
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