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Discussion Starter #1
Took my 2011 2.4L Terrain in today for an oil change ( I've got 119,000 miles on it and had the pistons/rings replaced last March at 97,000 miles) and the dealer said they found engine oil in the coolant reservoir. Apparently this was perplexing to them, they called TAC and said it must be a cracked block. WTF!!! They said I need a new engine and it cost $7500. However, they were only going to charge me $4500!!!

Of course I'm now out of warranty, but had they replaced they engine like they did on a lot of those early consumption problem units, I wouldn't be staring a $4500 bill in the face. I called Customer Assistance and they are going to talk to the dealer. I'm not holding out a bunch of hope. Have any of you had a similar issue?

I've never bought foreign, but I'm seriously thinking about it since my Vibe was bullet proof!
 

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SMH . . . . . :facepalm:

I'll leave this one to those with more patience.
 

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Well I would stand my ground. Being the work done at 97k as it was then the issue now should be covered to a degree. I don't see where you should flip the bill for this. I would like to know how much oil was in the reservoir tank. Did you see it or did they get a picture of it? For all purposes it could have happened when the did the initial work. And now are covering there asses. It's a possibility. Did they say the oil was low again? If not then why say oil was in the coolant? Maybe take it to another dealer for a second opinion if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Davek, thanks. I did not see, nor did they tell me how much oil was in there. They said the oil was only low approximately 1/4 of a quart. They did say though that there was evidence of oil in the hoses.
 

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Okay so it was a 1/4 of a quart low. How many miles driven since the last oil change? Every 2k oil Hass to be added.. usually a quart if no excessive oil consumption. Now how did the know oil was in the hoses. Did the charge you for draining the coolant and taking that all apart to check? I highly doubt that a dealership is willing to freely spend their time to do so AND not get paid for time and material.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
About 7000 miles since last oil change, I use the Oil Life Monitor to determine when to change it, all freeway miles. They did drain at least some of the coolant to take off at least one of the hoses to determine that oil had been circulating - charged me $80 to do the diagnosis.
 

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1/4 quart in 7000 miles isn't excessive and if it is cracked block, I would think you would lose a lot more that that. They also had the head off during the engine work, so it possible oil could be seeping in through the head gasket.
I also thought if these I4's that had work done, the warranty was extended to 120,000 miles. Wasn't there a letter posted awhile back about this?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, this is all very helpful information. The crazy thing is I love my Terrain otherwise (other than the crappy fuel economy).
 

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River not necessarily was the head off for the original work done. The rings could have been done from the Bottom end. Now if had the timing chain AND pistons been done then maybe they could have. So there was just an $80 charge for diagnostic.. and nothing for coolant. Did the reciept have a description of what was done? My suggestion.. drive it till the thing blows up. I would say each week check the oil. If it really starts looking like a watered down milkshake then talk about the replacement of the motor. That is if your expected to flip the bill. Now if GM is going to do it and not from your pocket then push for it to be done as per what the dealer is stating. My bet here... now this is reaching a little since I personally have not seen nor touched your vechicle. But take it home.. monitor ylthe reservoir and oil. In a weeks time you should see something either way.
 

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They can't diagnose a cracked block without pulling it or having a TSB to suggest it. I've only ever heard of oil in the coolant from a bad head gasket, or a cracked head. It's not impossible it's a cracked block, but I can't believe they'd jump to that without a ton of evidence.

I'd do what Davek says. Watch it, and drive it until it gets worse. Oil in the coolant isn't as bad as coolant in the oil. Consider getting a cheap coolant flush from a local shop (you're probably over due anyways), and just keep and eye on both oil and coolant. But also try contacting GM customer service and see if they'll help you out. Sometimes they've really helped people who were out of warranty.
 

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Davek said:
River not necessarily was the head off for the original work done. The rings could have been done from the Bottom end.
I wasn't aware the pistons could be removed from the bottom. All of the engines I have rebuilt had to have the head(s) removed to get the pistons out. I haven't had any of these new DI motors apart so like they say "You learn something new everyday".

Maybe one of the techs had X-ray vision and saw the crack. ::)
 

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I know river.. as I have in the past as well rebuilding motors always came out the top. I know a couple techs that work at A GM dealer.. they can do it either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm waiting to hear back from GMC CAC. They said they'd get back to me tomorrow.

Receipt reads as follows:

Oil in overflow
A10 10.00
Pressure tested cooling system. Performed cyl leak down test oil leaking from engine internally. Hoses contaminated with oil. Clean out reservoir and cooling system. Customer made aware and making decision. Total parts 0.00. Total labor and parts 80.00.

They're basing the cracked block diagnosis on a conversation the Service Tech had with the Technical Assistance Center. The service writer told me that TAC told them the only way there could be oil in the coolant is from a cracked block. So that was me probably hearing it third hand.
 

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Re: Re: Engine Oil in Coolant

Buggsy said:
They can't diagnose a cracked block without pulling it or having a TSB to suggest it. I've only ever heard of oil in the coolant from a bad head gasket, or a cracked head. It's not impossible it's a cracked block, but I can't believe they'd jump to that without a ton of evidence.
+1
I think they're saying it's definitely a cracked block because it's definitely a higher bill. My first suspicion with any coolant/oil mix is blown head gasket.
Frankly, it's ridiculous they're saying it's the block that's cracked. Like Buggsy said, it could be a cracked head. (And yeah, a new head is cheaper than a new block.)
How to test which is cracked: the block of the head? Complete engine disassembly is the only way.

Perhaps your dealership is confident there's a crack somewhere, so it might be cheaper to just swap in a whole crate engine rather than searching for the crack and replacing only that part.
 

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Great thought Chas.. however that cost they gave him was probably just a long block and re us the head. So if I deed a head is cracked somewhere and not just a gasket. That would suck f9r the added down time again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys, all great information. I'm supposed to hear from CAC/the Dealer Customer Experience Manager this afternoon. We'll see what they have to say. I did ask about it being a leak in the head gasket, and the write up guy said that if that was the case, it would be running like crap. The fact is, it's running great.
 

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Before you jump off the deep end and spend a bunch of money consider this.

Is the coolant foamy? ... Or is there just a slick feeling and an oily film on the inside of the reservoir tank and the hoses. Oil in the coolant will foam up as it goes through the system. It will make the coolant milky looking. If the mechanic that rebuilt the engine put "Bars Leaks" radiator stop leak in when he refilled the coolant it will make the coolant feel and look oily but it won't foam up like motor oil. Some mechanics will add some bar's leak to ensure they don't have something leak when they are done. Just something to think about before you spend big bucks...
 

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Being I have worked on cars for over 18yrs.. I NEVER have used bars leak stop ever. And especially when I have done major motor work. Pressure test a system prior to filling it up. If a mechanic has to use bars leak to have added insurance.. don't go back to them! That means they do stuff half ass. If you properly tighten bolts and use quality gaskets. No issue should be there. If you have good work ethics. That is all you need. Do for one minute try and pass that here. I will not let that happen. Sorry that give a bad impression and a bad name to the rest of the good mechanics. Barrs leaks stop on an absolute emergency.. just like fix a flat... that is it. It cloggs little passages in motors AND radiators.. also can stop a thermostat from opening and closing properly.
 

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Davek said:
Being I have worked on cars for over 18yrs.. I NEVER have used bars leak stop ever. And especially when I have done major motor work. Pressure test a system prior to filling it up. If a mechanic has to use bars leak to have added insurance.. don't go back to them! That means they do stuff half ass. If you properly tighten bolts and use quality gaskets. No issue should be there. If you have good work ethics. That is all you need. Do for one minute try and pass that here. I will not let that happen. Sorry that give a bad impression and a bad name to the rest of the good mechanics. Barrs leaks stop on an absolute emergency.. just like fix a flat... that is it. It cloggs little passages in motors AND radiators.. also can stop a thermostat from opening and closing properly.
I'm glad you had the opportunity to get on your soapbox and give a very good speech on the evils of using Bar's Leaks. I really enjoyed it. However, none of that answered the question I was asking. The question is "was Bar's leaks used in this particular vehicle" causing the appearance of oil being in the coolant? Maybe the OP will take the time to consider what I'm saying and rule out Bar's Leaks being his problem before he puts his vehicle in the hands of the mechanics that might have caused the problem in the first place..
 
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