GM Ecotec 1.4L - Wrong Oil Filter Installed by Dealer - Engine Damage

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My fiance has a '18 Buick Encore with 25k miles on it that she bought brand new. She has had it regularly serviced at the dealership she bought the vehicle from per the OLM. It has the 1.4T Ecotec. I noticed her OLM was down to 25% when I drove her car the other day, so I offered to change the oil for her.

I headed to Autozone early this morning to pickup the supplies. These Ecotecs use a cartridge style filter. Autozone lists two different oil filters, depending on what oil filter canister is installed on the engine. These engines will have either a Hengst or a UFI filter housing. Apparently, some Ecotec 1.4s have the Hengst and some have the UFI. I confirmed before I headed to Autozone that her engine has an UFI filter housing as shown on the canister cap.

The Hengst filter housings take a filter with no anti-drainback valve as the anti-drainback valve is part of the filter housing.
The UFI filter housings take a filter with an anti-drainback valve, as there is no anti-drainback valve in the filter housing.

You can see where this is going...

When I pulled the filter from the housing I noticed the oil filter installed by the dealership who did the last oil change was the oil filter for a Hengst filter housing. This is evidenced by the lack of anti-drain back valve on the used filter. The picture of the new filter shows the correct filter for a UFI housing with an anti-drainback valve as part of the filter.

My biggest fear is that perhaps for 25k miles, the servicing dealer has been installing the WRONG oil filter on her vehicle.

How much damage could be done to the engine from having non filtered oil for 25k miles? Should I contact GM and file a complaint? How should I go about documenting this?I have kept the oil filter that I pulled.

Do I express my concerns with the dealer or GM? What would you do in this situation?

How does a servicing dealer screw this up? The Ecotec 1.4T engine is in tons of their vehicles. How many incorrect oil filters are they installing on customers vehicles?

Oil Filter Pictures
 
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She should have the paperwork from the previous service visits that would show which filter was installed at those visits.

So, the engine damage is a theory at this point and the engine is still running well?

Obviously a discussion with the service manager is needed.
 

GMFan

Thread starter
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2,105
Location
NC
She should have the paperwork from the previous service visits that would show which filter was installed at those visits.

So, the engine damage is a theory at this point and the engine is still running well?

Obviously a discussion with the service manager is needed.

Unfortunately, she has not been keeping receipts from the dealer (she was not aware they were important to keep so she would throw them out). Do dealerships typically keep receipts on record? She knows now in the future to keep them for record.

Correct, no engine problems at this point.
 

JC1

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Oshawa, Ontario Canada
The dealer should have these records in their database. Speak to the service manager and discuss. Are you now going to do all of the oil changes from this point on?

Assuming the factory filter was correct, how many oil changes did your GF do with the possible incorrect filter in 25k miles?
 
Just to clarify. The drainback valve keeps oil in the galleries so the oil instantly reaches the upper section of the head when you start the car. Without the drainback valve it takes a few seconds for oil to reach the upper section of the head, however, the oil is still getting filtered once it starts circulating. It is more important in cold climates, but since you are in North Carolina I don’t think you need to lose sleep over. Good work in catching the detail. :)
 

OVERKILL

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Unfortunately, she has not been keeping receipts from the dealer (she was not aware they were important to keep so she would throw them out). Do dealerships typically keep receipts on record? She knows now in the future to keep them for record.

Correct, no engine problems at this point.

It SHOULD be recorded in the computer, as to what was used. SHOULD.
 
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1,863
Definitely a discussion to have with the dealership.

As a side note, it’s beyond ridiculous that GM would have two different oil filter systems for the same engine. I know it’s because they had different suppliers depending on which county the engine was assembled but still...
 

OVERKILL

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Just to clarify. The drainback valve keeps oil in the galleries so the oil instantly reaches the upper section of the head when you start the car. Without the drainback valve it takes a few seconds for oil to reach the upper section of the head, however, the oil is still getting filtered once it starts circulating. It is more important in cold climates, but since you are in North Carolina I don’t think you need to lose sleep over. Good work in catching the detail. :)

I think the concern is that with the housing this vehicle has, with the location reserved for an ADBV at the top of the cap, the fitment of the filter that's just an open hole at that juncture is allowing unfiltered oil through at all periods of operation.
 
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Unfortunately, she has not been keeping receipts from the dealer (she was not aware they were important to keep so she would throw them out). Do dealerships typically keep receipts on record? She knows now in the future to keep them for record.

Correct, no engine problems at this point.


I would go and ask for copies of those service records. They should have them.
 
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Definitely a discussion to have with the dealership.

As a side note, it’s beyond ridiculous that GM would have two different oil filter systems for the same engine. I know it’s because they had different suppliers depending on which county the engine was assembled but still...


I thought this was one of the reasons they use the VIN to determine parts?
 
I think the concern is that with the housing this vehicle has, with the location reserved for an ADBV at the top of the cap, the fitment of the filter that's just an open hole at that juncture is allowing unfiltered oil through at all periods of operation.
I think the OP needs to look beneath the cap and understand how the cap seals against the filter, then position each of the two filters to see how it seals.
 

OVERKILL

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I think the OP needs to look beneath the cap and understand how the cap seals against the filter, then position each of the two filters to see how it seals.

Agreed, I'm just explaining the perceived concern, as I see how there could be worry generated from the design difference there.
 

OVERKILL

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Just reading the WIX TSB on this, it is NOT the ADBV that's on the filter, it is the BYPASS valve:
Screen Shot 2021-01-17 at 11.57.49 AM.jpg
 
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