Sludged 2010 Cobalt 2.2 making noises

Messages
1,848
Location
FEMA Region 4
This is the same vehicle that was referenced in the oil filter thread: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4809623/all/Sludged_filter For those who didn't see that thread in the oil filter section here is the situation: This is a 2010 Cobalt with the 2.2L ecotec. He has owned the vehicle for about 5 years now and up until a few weeks ago the oil has apparently never been changed. We had originally thought a family member had filled it with Amsoil a few years back, but after further investigation...the oil had actually never been changed. duh The dipstick had only clumped sludge with no oil reading. So we changed it and here was the resulting cartridge filter: The bottom of the filter housing had about an inch of standing sludge, that was subsequently scraped out by hand and removed. About a quart and change of nasty, acidic foul smelling out with the consistency of honey came out of the drain pan. So we replaced the old oil with 4 qts Supertech and 1 qt MMO and had him drive it for a week. He then added a five minute motor flush and changed the oil. This is the filter that was in for 1 week: And the drained oil + motor flush: After the second oil change and motor flush he said it seemed to be running much better...but a noise was still there on startup and idle. It is hard to diagnoses noises over the phone so I had him post a video of the noise on start up and idle to youtube: Part 1: https://youtu.be/SsVe_aaynLs Part 2: https://youtu.be/dadgAb_2oM0 I know that these Ecotec engines have plastic timing chain guides or other pieces and that GM recommends they be serviced at 70k miles. This poor sludged engine has right at 70k. So judging by the neglected history of the vehicle, the sludged engine and garbage motors engineering I am thinking this noise could be any one of several things: - Timing chain guides broken resulting in chain hitting the inside of the cover - Timing chain not getting enough lubrication because of oil pump sitting in sludge - Noisy lifters or rockers - Exhaust leak What do you guys think? confused
 
Originally Posted By: jk_636
He has owned the vehicle for about 5 years now and up until a few weeks ago the oil has apparently never been changed. What do you guys think? confused
I think he's lucky it even runs, some people shouldn't own cars and whatever it costs he earned it. Hope you aren't going to attempt to fix this car. FEMA region 4? We supposed to look that up?
 
Messages
13,228
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
Since opening up the engine is going to be avoided for now, remove the oil pan and scrape-clean it. Then do a 1K oil change with 4-1/2 quarts of Yellow Bottle Pennzoil in the correct viscosity and a 16oz of Rislone. Follow that-up with another IK Yellow Bottle oil change, using Liqui Moly Hydraulic Lifter Additive instead of Rislone. The filters needed are nothing special..... a Tough Guard or Wix will work fine. My amateur, backyard wrenching advise anyways. Good luck in quieting / cleaning that thing.
 
Messages
4,162
Location
Texas
I have often heard you pay for your education one way or the other . I tell people you should change oil / filter & flush a commode regularly / frequently , both for the same reason . There is also the saying , you can not fix stupid .
 
Messages
4,162
Location
Texas
FEMA Region IV covers 8 states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
 
Messages
10,838
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted By: jk_636
This is the same vehicle that was referenced in the oil filter thread: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4809623/all/Sludged_filter For those who didn't see that thread in the oil filter section here is the situation: This is a 2010 Cobalt with the 2.2L ecotec. He has owned the vehicle for about 5 years now and up until a few weeks ago the oil has apparently never been changed. We had originally thought a family member had filled it with Amsoil a few years back, but after further investigation...the oil had actually never been changed. duh The dipstick had only clumped sludge with no oil reading. So we changed it and here was the resulting cartridge filter: The bottom of the filter housing had about an inch of standing sludge, that was subsequently scraped out by hand and removed. About a quart and change of nasty, acidic foul smelling out with the consistency of honey came out of the drain pan. So we replaced the old oil with 4 qts Supertech and 1 qt MMO and had him drive it for a week. He then added a five minute motor flush and changed the oil. This is the filter that was in for 1 week: And the drained oil + motor flush: After the second oil change and motor flush he said it seemed to be running much better...but a noise was still there on startup and idle. It is hard to diagnoses noises over the phone so I had him post a video of the noise on start up and idle to youtube: Part 1: https://youtu.be/SsVe_aaynLs Part 2: https://youtu.be/dadgAb_2oM0 I know that these Ecotec engines have plastic timing chain guides or other pieces and that GM recommends they be serviced at 70k miles. This poor sludged engine has right at 70k. So judging by the neglected history of the vehicle, the sludged engine and garbage motors engineering I am thinking this noise could be any one of several things: - Timing chain guides broken resulting in chain hitting the inside of the cover - Timing chain not getting enough lubrication because of oil pump sitting in sludge - Noisy lifters or rockers - Exhaust leak What do you guys think? confused
I think part 2 sounds a lot like timing chain noises that weren't there in part 1. I think I would be looking for another engine, soon-there's enough bad stuff going on in that one that it likely doesn't have long to go. To discover all the issues is going to take a complete tear down, cleaning, and inspection of everything in that engine, a known good used engine from a wrecked Cobalt (or similar GM compact with a 2.2, like my departed MIL's G6) would be a LOT cheaper, as long as the rest of the car is good.
 
Messages
10,838
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
For example, on car-part "dot" com, there are used 2.2 engines for as low as $400 (in KY) with sub 100K on them. Might even be able to talk one of the boneyards into a swap, can't imagine it would be a super difficult job.
 
Messages
17,759
Location
NH
Run it until it breaks. Then swap in a junkyard motor. Maybe he will lucky and it will last a while longer. Maybe not. I'm thinking, it's a big job to do a swap, who knows what will break while doing it. Put it off as long as possible. Just rent a car if going on a long trip.
 
Messages
1,769
Location
Toronto Canada
I have a similar engine and I changed the timing chain tensioner a few years ago. It's not hard or expensive to remove the valve cover. Maybe 2 hours to re-reinstall. Sounds like the chain is lose but not like a guide is broken. The chain tensioner in that engine is sensitive to oil pressure and sludge. It was updated a few years ago. Could be a cheap fix and costs nothing to look inside.
 
Messages
1,671
Location
Canada
Quote:
This is a 2010 Cobalt with the 2.2L ecotec. He has owned the vehicle for about 5 years now and up until a few weeks ago the oil has apparently never been changed.
This is a little off-topic but I love these real world examples of what it actually takes to cause an oil-related problem. Yet people worry if they don't change at 5k or that a certain brand like Mobil 1 oil or Fram orange can will cause problems. LOL Anyways, I hope you find a cheap fix for the car.
 
Originally Posted By: camrydriver111
Quote:
This is a 2010 Cobalt with the 2.2L ecotec. He has owned the vehicle for about 5 years now and up until a few weeks ago the oil has apparently never been changed.
This is a little off-topic but I love these real world examples of what it actually takes to cause an oil-related problem. Yet people worry if they don't change at 5k or that a certain brand like Mobil 1 oil or Fram orange can will cause problems. LOL Anyways, I hope you find a cheap fix for the car.
It seems some engines have a strong will to live. Of course we don't hear about how many abused like this die a horrible death. It wasn't mentioned how many miles on the car?
 
Messages
3,646
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Triple_Se7en
Since opening up the engine is going to be avoided for now, remove the oil pan and scrape-clean it. Then do a 1K oil change with 4-1/2 quarts of Yellow Bottle Pennzoil in the correct viscosity and a 16oz of Rislone. Follow that-up with another IK Yellow Bottle oil change, using Liqui Moly Hydraulic Lifter Additive instead of Rislone. The filters needed are nothing special..... a Tough Guard or Wix will work fine. My amateur, backyard wrenching advise anyways. Good luck in quieting / cleaning that thing.
The mill is toast dude, might as well toss those additives and oil down the drain and spend the time working on your stamp collection. Not all de-sludging stories have happy endings.
 
Messages
154
Location
Charles City, Iowa
To get the sludge out of that engine with short oil changes and oil filters. You are going to use the same amount of them if you would have just done it the right way from the start. I think that I would just use some Kerosene in the oil off the start to clean it.
 
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17,022
Location
...
I agree with the idea of dropping the pan. Does this engine have a screen on the pickup that could be sludged up?
 
Messages
4,435
Location
Guilford, CT
Originally Posted By: AZjeff
It seems some engines have a strong will to live. Of course we don't hear about how many abused like this die a horrible death. It wasn't mentioned how many miles on the car?
Originally Posted By: jk_636
I know that these Ecotec engines have plastic timing chain guides or other pieces and that GM recommends they be serviced at 70k miles. This poor sludged engine has right at 70k.
 
Messages
3,660
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
I had a few qualms about buying a car from Hertz, but at least it had the oil changed regularly. Simply pulling the dip stick would reveal the horrors of this engine, but I'm always a bit leery of "clean lease returns" with few if any oil changes.
 

JTK

Messages
13,378
Location
Buffalo, NY
I don't think I'd call this particular Ecotec 2.2 garbage engineering if it made it that long without and oil change and still runs without even a check engine light?
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,214
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: supton
Run it until it breaks. Then swap in a junkyard motor. Maybe he will lucky and it will last a while longer. Maybe not. I'm thinking, it's a big job to do a swap, who knows what will break while doing it. Put it off as long as possible. Just rent a car if going on a long trip.
+1 And do 1k mile OCIs with cheap oil and filters for a while.
 
Messages
307
Location
Arizona
https://youtu.be/TjnpPiZtVJ0 Timing chain rattle in a 2.2 Cavalier. There is no GM recommendation for 70,000 mile timing chain guide servicing schedule. If I am mistaken [doubt it] please supply a link as my 05 ION has 68,000 miles on it. What was done to this car is criminal
 
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