The Chevy Cruze had a decently good uptake in the US and international market. In this article, we are going to talk about Chevy Cruze turbo problems. This has been one of its most prominent issues from the time it hit the market until it stopped production in the USA.
So, what exactly causes turbo problems in the model? Turbo challenges in the Chevy Cruze happen when the actuator pin on the turbo wastegate malfunctions. This results in power dropping gradually until it’s very noticeable.
The Chevy Cruze was launched in 2011 in the US and became a big player in the compact car niche until 2019 when they stopped production in the US. However, it kept being produced in other markets outside of the US.
The Cruze is a very fuel-efficient car which contributed a lot to its popularity. It was great for budget-conscious individuals and families.
Though they are great overall, compact cars are not that powerful. This is felt more significantly in a market where big engines are so popular. They are not that fast and struggle over hills. To fix this power issue, the manufacturers decided to use turbo to give the car a bit more kick.
This solved the power issue but opened up a totally new challenge. Turbo systems are sometimes known to malfunction and this is what happened with the Cruze. In fact, turbo problems are the leading problem with the Chevy Cruze model. It doesn’t happen on every vehicle under this banner but it has happened often enough to warrant attention.
Nature of Turbo Problems on a Chevy Cruze
The most common symptom of turbo failure is when you experience loss of power. This can manifest in different ways. Before you experience any physical manifestation in your car’s performance you will most likely get a dash signal. We’ll talk about these later.
You may also experience weak or delayed acceleration. In such instances, your Cruze will delay or hesitate before finally responding. When the turbo dies in a Chevy Cruze, the cause is usually a malfunction of the actuator pin in the turbo wastegate.
When this happens, it will eventually lead to the wearing away of the blades in the turbo. You may later experience abnormal levels of smoke coming out your exhaust because of the turbo malfunction leading to oil and coolant leaks.
How to Recognise Turbo Problems on Chevy Cruze
Let’s now look at how to tell that whatever problem you have is actually a turbo problem and not something similar to it. The first signs, as already mentioned will appear on your dash.
This will usually show up as a check engine light showing up. It may also come with a DO299 code alert. If you see this, then it’s definitely a turbo problem.
Sometimes the warning lights on the dash may not come with a loss of power. You may be tempted to not take it as an urgent matter but you need to have it looked at as soon as you can.
Turbo failure may lead to it burning oil. When this happens, you will see heavy smoke coming out through the exhaust. When this happens for long enough, the oil may eventually burn out leading to greater damage to your engine.
Can Bad Turbo Be Fixed?
People often ask whether a bad turbo can be repaired. To get a better understanding of this, we need to look at how the turbo mechanism is made and how it malfunctions.
As stated earlier, the malfunction happens when the wastegate malfunctions. To put it simply, the wastegate is responsible for holding in pressure when shut thereby transferring power to the engine and releasing the pressure when it opens.
When the pins malfunction, the gate is no longer capable of closing meaning that pressure does not build up leading to no power being transferred to the engine. The question people ask is whether it is possible to change just the wastegate. Unfortunately, this is not possible.
The wastegate is built into the turbo chassis. What it means, therefore, is that the whole turbo unit needs to be replaced with a new one. This has to be done by a qualified mechanic in order to be done properly.
The cost of replacing a turbo unit is around $1500 to $2500 or more depending on your dealer. If the car is still under 100,000 miles it may still be under the drive train warranty and the cost is borne by the manufacturer.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.