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

blupupher

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GM really dropped the ball on this one. The oil filter housing should have been designed so that it won’t accept the other filter design. I’m mad that GM did this and I don’t even own one of these engines!

To avoid this headache in the future I would swap out the UFI oil filter housing and install the Hengst. But that’s just me. It sounds like there are more Hengst designs in operation and the likelihood of getting the correct filter installed is higher.
Are the caps interchangeable? Or is it more than just the cap?
 

Strokenmerc

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Are the caps interchangeable? Or is it more than just the cap?
The entire oil filter housing would need to be swapped. Not sure it would be worth the hassle, maybe a logically placed label on the cap would suffice. I replaced the oil filter housing o-rings on daughter's Cruze, not a terriblbe job but the turbo needs to come off.
 
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I have not contacted GM or the dealer yet. My fiancé is in healthcare essential field and needs her vehicle for work and she’s been working long hours. She is planning on taking the vehicle in in the next week or so. It’s technically still her vehicle since we are not married yet, so she will be the primary one to raise the issue to the dealer. I will however go with her to the dealer and handle most of the subsequent discussions
Let her drive your car and you take care of it. Tell them "my wife brought her car in for an oil change last week..." and leave it at that. They aren't going to ask for proof that you're married.
 
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If this problem was caught by at least two BITOG enthusiasts, you can be sure It is widespread. There are probably thousands of engines out there with premature out-of-warranty engine failure.
While I normally hate class action lawsuits because they end up as LEDs (Lawyer Enrichment Devices) this sounds like an ideal case for one. This coming from someone burned by the GM intake manifold gasket/Dexcool debacle 20 years ago.
 

GMFan

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Let her drive your car and you take care of it. Tell them "my wife brought her car in for an oil change last week..." and leave it at that. They aren't going to ask for proof that you're married.
I would but unfortunately she can’t drive manual transmission which my car has. I’ll have to teach her soon.

I’ll handle it for her.
 
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01rangerxl

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I have no doubt that the GM parts catalog makes a distinction between these two filters and notes UFI housing and Hengst housing, It probably even says the UFI housing is brown and the Hengst housing is black.
It does make a distinction, but it is literally just a note in the part description of "cap marked with Hengst" and "cap marked with UFI." It doesn't say anything regarding the housing color or presence of an anti-drainback valve, and definitely doesn't indicate how critical the distinction is. It would be helpful if they stressed the difference more to reduce the chance of situations like the OP's happening, especially since the wrong filter will physically fit.

What is aggravating is SnapOn catalogs do have the ability to have links to bulletins tied to parts...Kia does it, but not often enough. Sometimes GM will put in the description "refer to bulletin XXXX," but again not often enough.
 
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It does make a distinction, but it is literally just a note in the part description of "cap marked with Hengst" and "cap marked with UFI." It doesn't say anything regarding the housing color or presence of an anti-drainback valve, and definitely doesn't indicate how critical the distinction is. It would be helpful if they stressed the difference more to reduce the chance of situations like the OP's happening, especially since the wrong filter will physically fit.

What is aggravating is SnapOn catalogs do have the ability to have links to bulletins tied to parts...Kia does it, but not often enough. Sometimes GM will put in the description "refer to bulletin XXXX," but again not often enough.
Or with the Ford SnapOn that we use, I have notes on my login but it won't show up on the other computers. Also when they did that big update a few months ago they nuked all the notes I had.
 
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Screenshot_20210119-155813_Gallery.jpg

This is the Hengst filter that the dealer put on my UFI housing 2018 Buick Encore. Around 6000 miles. Free!
 
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Mansura, Louisiana
While I agree it is kind of a bone head move on GMs part, ultimately it is on the tech and the parts guy to get this right.

I have no doubt that the GM parts catalog makes a distinction between these two filters and notes UFI housing and Hengst housing, It probably even says the UFI housing is brown and the Hengst housing is black.

Doesn't the Pentastar have a similar issue with a mid year break where one filter has the bypass built in and one does not, as well as one of the Mercedes engines having a similar issue as well.

So hows it going with the dealer?

Edit: BTW seems you aren't the only one:


Kind of hard to screw this up honestly.
 

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01rangerxl

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What the heck, how long has that been in the catalog? That is more helpful, but I can still see this getting screwed up if someone isn't paying attention.

I'm used to going directly to the oil pump, pan & related page, and a lot of people use group numbers, neither of which gives the detail on that page...

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I agree, it's easy enough to figure out which is which looking at what housing is installed on the car, I'm just wondering how many people out there don't know the importance of figuring it out and are changing oil on these cars. Even on the oil filter identification page there's no mention of the bulletin, or the fact that installing the wrong filter could cause oil to not be filtered. I assumed, incorrectly, that one wouldn't fit in the other housing and the techs would just come back to get the correct filter. I still think GM should do more to stress the importance of picking the right one to prevent the chances of something like what happened to the OP. There's too much room for error when the wrong filter will fit. A simple note in the part description that says "IMPORTANT: REFER TO BULLETIN XXXX OR ENGINE DAMAGE MAY OCCUR" would probably do a lot to prevent the wrong filters from winding up in these cars, which is obviously happening.

In any case, I'm printing the bulletin and putting it on the shop counter.
 

GMFan

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This is why I love this site. The people on here are awesome . Thanks for sharing those screenshots!
 

blupupher

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This is why I love this site. The people on here are awesome . Thanks for sharing those screenshots!
So on a side note, do you still agree with your screen name?

Hopefully everything works out well with this.

I agree that it is just irresponsible for the same engine in the same model year to have 2 different filters available that can inadvertently be installed incorrectly.
I can understand (but don't agree with) a mid year change for a part, but it seems this has been an ongoing, multi year issue.

What is the reason for the 2 different systems?
 
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FWIW Samrsnow is in "oil filter identification" and 01 Ranger is in "cooling system-grill-oil system". also FWIW when I pull the Encore up on GM PARTS Giant the "oil filter identification" gives the two caps with color description, the two filters and the two seals all on that page.

I agree this is too common and whatever they attempted to do is not taking care of the problem. Also agree a link to the TSB would be nice in the parts catalog.

Suspect part of the problem is that parts people may think they know what filter it takes and not look it up and the techs don't know any better.

At any rate: My advice is that I personally would not start a case at GM before taking the car in, unless things have changed the first thing they are going to ask you is if you discussed it with the dealer anyway. If the first the dealer hears of it is from a GM case it is going to raise hackles...

Also, nothing wrong with you helping her / dealing with it, but particularly since you mention her family has a long standing relationship with the dealer I would let her start the process and then turn it over to you... Her saying "I'm in healthcare and am really hard to reach, please call Mr GMFan" should do it. Let them connect the car to the "good customer" not the stranger.
 

Strokenmerc

Site Donor 2021
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Note to self, don’t by a Chevy with 1.4L engine.
Not sure the issue is directly related to the specific engine, but the implementation of the 2 different filters was poor. We have not had any issues with the 1.4 in the Cruze other than 1 pcv replacement and the oil filter housing o-rings. The main issue is the filters physically fit in the wrong housing. Ultimately, ensuring the correct filter is used falls on the person installing the filter.
 

GMFan

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So on a side note, do you still agree with your screen name?
LOL. I started off on this site with an 01 Saturn SL and was a huge GM fan in general - growing up my house always had Chevy's. I ended up with a Mazda6 when I replaced the Saturn and to be quite honest I've been too lazy to change my username.
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
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Birmingham, AL
FWIW Samrsnow is in "oil filter identification" and 01 Ranger is in "cooling system-grill-oil system". also FWIW when I pull the Encore up on GM PARTS Giant the "oil filter identification" gives the two caps with color description, the two filters and the two seals all on that page.

I agree this is too common and whatever they attempted to do is not taking care of the problem. Also agree a link to the TSB would be nice in the parts catalog.

Suspect part of the problem is that parts people may think they know what filter it takes and not look it up and the techs don't know any better.

At any rate: My advice is that I personally would not start a case at GM before taking the car in, unless things have changed the first thing they are going to ask you is if you discussed it with the dealer anyway. If the first the dealer hears of it is from a GM case it is going to raise hackles...

Also, nothing wrong with you helping her / dealing with it, but particularly since you mention her family has a long standing relationship with the dealer I would let her start the process and then turn it over to you... Her saying "I'm in healthcare and am really hard to reach, please call Mr GMFan" should do it. Let them connect the car to the "good customer" not the stranger.
In the first screenshot, I went to the oil pump/pan/related page in the engine section, which is habit for me.

The second screenshot is a group number search. GM assigns group numbers to certain categories of parts, and a lot of GM parts people, especially those who started pre-internet age, still use them extensively. In this case I just searched "1836."

I've probably come across that filter identification page before and just didn't think much of it. Again, I wrongly assumed there would be a fitment problem if the filter was incorrect. This is really a case where there needs to be a warning of some kind. The words "ENGINE DAMAGE MAY OCCUR" are helpful in getting people to pay attention to something.
 
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Messages
174
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Mansura, Louisiana
In the first screenshot, I went to the oil pump/pan/related page in the engine section, which is habit for me.

The second screenshot is a group number search. GM assigns group numbers to certain categories of parts, and a lot of GM parts people, especially those who started pre-internet age, still use them extensively. In this case I just searched "1836."

I've probably come across that filter identification page before and just didn't think much of it. Again, I wrongly assumed there would be a fitment problem if the filter was incorrect. This is really a case where there needs to be a warning of some kind. The words "ENGINE DAMAGE MAY OCCUR" are helpful in getting people to pay attention to something.
I’ve only been in GM/Chrysler parts for about 7 months now and I have a running list of group numbers to type in for common items in GM EPC. Starparts sucks besides showing superseded parts, no group number hot links.

Oh and another filter epidemic is encore GXs with LIH and I forget the other engine code not specifically stating to use the UPF64R in the EPC, but they come with a filter that states “replace with UPF64R”
Also noticed a few v6 Camaro and Acadia specifying the UPF63R. Finally got a box last week from GM after putting at least 10 lost sale reports on them.
 
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