Chevy Cruze Turbo Problems

When most people think of engines, they think about horsepower and how powerful they will be. Most owners seldom consider whether or not the engine is dependable and safe. The Chevrolet Cruze comes standard with a turbocharged engine that uses recycled gases to improve performance. While this may appear to be a great and optimistic development, there have been reports of Chevy Cruze turbo problems. Valve troubles, overheating, coolant and oil problems, gearbox issues, and even turbo failures are all common problems.

The Chevrolet Cruze was discontinued in 2019 and will not be built in North America for the 2020 model year, however it is still made and marketed in other regions around the world. Despite the fact that it was discontinued in North America, many people continue to use it, and secondhand Chevy Cruzes are still being offered online and on used vehicle lots. If you’re thinking about buying one and want to know if it’s a good car or if it has any Chevy Cruze Turbo issues, here’s what we can tell you.

According to dependability assessments, the first generation of Chevy Cruze, which encompasses vehicles 2011 to 2015, is the least reliable of the 85 Chevrolet generations. It’s been dubbed “the worst Chevy you’ll ever purchase.” There have been several accounts of 2016 Chevy Cruze Problems with Chevy Cruze owners experiencing much too much bother and inconvenience as a result of it.

Chevy Cruze Turbo Problems

Chevy Cruze Turbo Problems

Turbo Failure.

 The Chevrolet Cruze Turbocharger (available here) has a problem with the optional 1.4L turbocharged engine (engine code LUJ). A 1.8L non-turbo engine is also available; the 1.4L produces more power and achieves better fuel efficiency, but at the cost of more complexity and, as time has proved, lower dependability. These problems affect all vehicles equipped with the 1.4T engine, although the Cruze is the most popular and has seen the most turbo failures.

The turbo’s bypass valve, also known as the blow-off valve, is the source of the problem.

This is a spring-actuated valve, similar to a wastegate, that releases pressure when you pull off the throttle and no longer require turbo boost. The spring inside the valve weakens over time, making it less effective at shutting the valve. This keeps the valve open, allowing boost to seep out and into the engine, resulting in less boost entering the engine. A check engine light on the dashboard (diagnostic code P0299) can alert you to the problem, or you may notice your car losing power over time.

Ideally, you would be able to replace just the valve on its own, since that is the main culprit, but there are two reasons why you can’t. The main reason is that the bypass valve is physically built into the turbo and cannot be separated. But even if you could, that would not be the best option for long-term reliability.

Just as a stuck bypass valve can let boost out, it can also let dirt and contaminants in. Many owners replacing their turbo due to the bypass valve issue have reported that the center section of the turbo is in pretty bad condition when it is removed, since dirt getting into the system is bad for the center bearings when a turbo’s compressor wheel can spin at 200,000 RPM.

When it’s time to replace your turbo, there’s a few things you can do.

Stay away from used turbos, since there’s no guarantee they’ll be in any better shape than the one you need to replace. Remanufactured or rebuilt turbos are available, but not recommended. These are turbochargers that have previously failed.

The bypass valve spring would have been replaced, the center section cleaned up, and new seals would be installed. This does mean a replacement OEM turbo, but there’s no way to ascertain the quality of the parts used for the rebuild, and even if they are OEM quality, that’s not very high praise; the original turbo isn’t reliable either.

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Other Problems

Engine oil leaks. 

One of the Chevy Cruze turbo concerns is engine oil leaks. Many variables can cause turbo oil leaks, but the most common cause is improper pressure within the compressor and turbine housings. The bearing systems may be severely damaged as a result of this. If oil is detected in your exhaust system after your vehicle has been serviced, it might be due to a damaged turbocharger turbine or compressor wheel.

Coolant leaks.

Low coolant levels in your coolant reservoir, a distinct odour while driving or parked, a cracked or leaking thermostat housing, engine overheating, a gurgling sound heard on the passenger side of the car, a puddle of fluid underneath your car, and if the temperature fluctuates between hot and cold are all signs of coolant leaks.

Engine misfires.

Because the interior of the coil pack where the spark plug attaches can corrode, engine misfires are frequently caused by a malfunctioning coil pack. If it is truly rusted, a poor connection to the spark plug may ensue.

To resolve the issue, inspect your coil pack for rust and other buildups. Any discoloration might indicate that it has been rusted. Also look for white deposits, discoloration, or broken tips on your spark plugs. When replacing your coil pack, keep in mind that you’ll also need to change your spark plug.

Excessive oil consumption. 

Excessive oil consumption can send you signals like a check engine light for codes P0171 or P0106, rough engine idle, and a blue smoke coming from your tailpipe. This Chevy Cruze turbo problem has been reported to consume excessive oil and you might need to have your intake manifold or camshaft cover replaced to fix it.

Throttle lag.

A wired electronic throttle body is standard on Chevy Cruze models from 2008 to 2016. It’s not like other automobiles, which have wires running from the gas pedal to the throttle body via the firewall. A sensor monitors the location of the gas pedal and provides the proper amount of electricity to the computer that operates the engine in this system. When you accelerate or push the gas pedal, throttle lag occurs, and the procedure takes far longer than it should.

To fix this problem, you will have to check your fuel injectors for clogs or any faults. If it is due for a tune-up, have it serviced. If your fuel injectors are in a good working condition, the problem might be caused by a faulty electronic connection.

In A Chevy Cruze, How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Turbo?

There are times when the Chevy Cruze turbo problems are so serious that replacing the turbocharger is the only way to solve them. How much does it cost to replace a turbo in a Chevy Cruze, for example?

A Chevy Cruze turbocharger component may cost anywhere between $1,203 and $1,300, plus taxes and other expenses. The parts for turbo construction can cost roughly $780, while labor charges can range from $270 to $350.


When you notice symptoms like your exhaust pipe spitting blueish or blackish smoke at an alarming rate, rattling and scraping noises coming from your turbocharger, failing wastegate, or a car that won’t start or idle, you’ll know your Chevy Cruze turbo problems have progressed to the point where it needs to be replaced. One of the indications is a dramatic decline in your fuel economy, which might damage your car’s catalytic converter owing to the extra gasoline in the exhaust.

The engine cooling system and the oil pan are fully drained before the turbocharger unit is replaced. The turbo’s cooling and oil lines will be removed next. The turbocharger assembly will then be removed from the vehicle after being separated from the cylinder head and other surrounding components. In some occasions, the engine mount and engine must be removed as well, but only in extreme circumstances.

After the new turbo is installed, it must run for a short period of time before the engine oil filter is replaced and all cooling and oil line fittings are retorqued with new seals. Gaskets for the exhaust manifold and the flanges that connect the turbo to the exhaust will also be replaced.

Turbo failures are caused by a variety of factors.

A turbocharger is stated to be dependable, and the turbocharger itself is rarely found to be defective. So, what causes turbo failures, which can result in a variety of Chevrolet Cruze turbo issues?

Poor lubrication.

Poor lubrication is another factor that might cause Chevy Cruze turbo difficulties. Car owners understand that adequate lubrication is critical and that it is the lifeblood of any vehicle. Cars feature several moving components, all of which require oil to lubricate, cool, and protect them from corrosion.

A turbocharger, too, requires oil. It requires a steady supply of clean, high-quality oil. If you use too much oil or use low-quality oil, dirt and other pollutants can build up in the engine, causing your turbo to fail.

Foreign matter deposits.

The compressor, which is positioned in the front, and the turbine, which is located in the rear, are the two primary components of a turbocharger. Dirt, dust, tiny stones, and other foreign objects have been known to enter the turbo. It might be via the compressor or turbine intake.

The compressor, which is at the front of the turbocharger, and the turbine, which is at the rear, are the two key components. Dirt, dust, tiny stones, and other foreign objects have been known to enter the turbo in the past. The compressor intake or the turbine inlet are two options.

Damaged seals.

The seals between the engine and the compressor can become worn or cracked. When this happens, the oil will leak in the exhaust system and this can result in the turbo working extra hard to increase air pressure. This can cause a decreased efficiency and boost delivered by the turbo. 

Wear and tear.

Turbochargers, like every other component of a vehicle, are subject to wear and strain. It normally lasts for the same amount of time as the automobile, or roughly 100,000 to 120,000 miles, although there are a number of variables that might limit its longevity. Factors such as the turbo’s construction quality, bad driving habits, hard driving circumstances, or how it was cared for.

About The Author

Avatar for Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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