The 3 Most Common GM 2.0 Turbo Engine Problems

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Despite its incredible power, amazing maneuverability, solid fuel economy, and efficiency, the 2013 Chevy-designed GM 2.0 Turbo motor can come down with a few design-related issues.

The most common GM 2.0 Turbo engine problems are oil leaks, carbon build-up, and defective pistons.

Others include performance-related issues which are most often typical of all vehicle engines.

What Are The Most Common GM 2.0 Turbo Engine Issues?

Here is a highlight of the common issues you’re likely to face as a GM 2.0 Turbo engine enthusiast:

1. Carbon Buildup

The hearing of carbon deposit buildup in a car engine can unsteady the nerves. But this is one of the commonest GM 2.0 Turbo engine problems you can’t shy away from. On a lighter note, most direct-injection auto engines suffer from this problem, and the 2.0 Turbo engine cannot be an exception.

As opposed to regular port injection, engines built with direct injections, oil deposits released from the engine go straight into the cylinders, build up and remain in the valves and tubes.

A regular port injection engine has a different mechanism that allows the valve and ports to prevent or wipe off any carbon deposits in the tubes.

Having made this clarification, you should also be on the lookout for some of the symptoms that accompany the carbon buildup issue in your 2.0 Turbo engine.

Symptoms Of Carbon Buildup

With certain signs, a careful car owner or driver can easily spot a carbon buildup in the engine valves.

Here are few things that are likely to happen when an oil deposit starts to build up in your car engine.

  • Engine Misfire: Engine misfire is a major symptom when a car engine is in bad condition. Usually, a misfire occurs when there is incomplete or no combustion inside the engine’s cylinders.
    When this happens, you’ll notice that your car shakes, hesitates, or gives off some stuttering sound. The surest symptom appears when the check engine light on the dashboard begins to blink irregularly.
  • Loss Of Power: Carbon build-up also causes the engine’s loss of power. When there’s a high combustion pressure resulting from the high efficiency of the direct injection engine, carbon deposit accumulates in the intake valves. The consequence is overheating, stalling, high fuel consumption, and engine knocking.
  • Hesitation And Stuttering When Idle: When carbon builds up in the sensitive parts of the engine, the result is that spark plugs become worn out and the catalytic converter will be clogged. The engine will start to stutter or hesitate to work. The sputtering causes a rough flow of fuel.
  • Rough Idle: The direct transfer of fuel from the fuel injectors into the combustion chamber without passing through both the intake manifold and cylinders causes a lean fuel-to-air mixture. The resultant effect is rough idle. In this case, the engine won’t run steadily, causing its performance to rise and fall.

How To Resolve Carbon Build

If your engine misfires, the first among the culprits is oil deposit. Cleaning the intake valves will help in a great way. It is best to use what has now become the famous Walnut blasting procedure to wipe off the oil deposit in the engine.

Depending on the technician and state of the cylinders, you may have to cough out between $500 and $800 to do an effective Walnut blasting.

Meanwhile, some manufacturers advice that this procedure should be suspended until your GM 2.0 Turbo engine has reached mileage between 70,000 miles and 100,000.

Besides carbon buildup, the spark plugs are the primary suspects for engine misfire. Check if any of the spark plugs are defective. For safe removal of the plugs, it’s better to use a spark plug socket.

You may need to replace or fix the plugs, depending on the state of their health. Alternatively, you can also inspect the cylinders to confirm if there is an oil deposit in the valves and tubes that causes the engine to misfire.

2. Piston Failure

Another known problem associated with the GM 2.0 Turbo engine is piston ring failure. The optimal performance of your car engine depends on efficient internal combustion. This in turn relies on the smooth functioning of the piston.

The operation of the piston with the cylinder should both be smooth and with negligible friction. Sometimes, the cylinder gives off a high explosion which may force the piston to react turbulently.

However, an efficient and smooth-working piston will withstand such pressure and prevent it from getting directly into the crankshaft compartment. It also bears the force due to gas expansion, while resisting high temperature due to combustion.

Symptoms Of Damaged Or Failing Piston Rings

However, once the piston rings start to fail, a few symptoms pop up, resulting in a lot of issues for the engine. Note, the symptoms of damaged piston rings look like those of defective intake valves.

  • Engine Misfire: Most internal problems of an engine manifest in the form of an engine misfire. As I have noted above, engine misfire is a consequence of a wide range of causes. If there’s a piston failure, the immediate effect is on the engine. You’ll notice a change in the engine sound, idling of the vehicle, and vibration.
  • Reduced Vehicle Performance: Typically, your car needs to be at an optimal performance level. Failed piston rings will cause loss of performance and power.
  • Excess Oil Consumption: Poor fuel economy is one of the immediate signs that your engine piston rings aren’t in good condition. Worn piston rings cause oil to leak into the combustion chamber. The consequence is that your vehicle will use up more oil than usual. The standard 3000 to 5000 miles for oil change won’t apply again.
  • Poor Acceleration: Once your engine piston rings have suffered wear and tear for a long time unchecked, you won’t be able to accelerate. This results from a lack of enough compression to speed up.
  • Excessive Oil Use: Oil burns very quickly in the event your car engine’s piston rings are failing or damaged. The amount of oil in the air intake will reduce due to blowing by. A blow by means of a bypass of the piston rings during a fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. The pressure that is supposed to be regulated by the piston rings goes directly into the crankcase.

How To Resolve Piston Rings

As I have noted, the piston rings are an essential part of the engine for optimal performance. Once they get damaged, you’ll notice the GM 2.0 Turbo engine problems overly manifest in the performance of the engine. But if you notice and respond soon enough, you will either fix or replace the rings.

Don’t forget, the piston rings are located inside the engine and the mechanic will have to disassemble, reassemble, and set up the entire system to complete the process. Sadly, there’s no DIY procedure to fix piston rings. It requires the service of a certified auto mechanic.

In terms of cost, fixing the piston rings depends on the auto mechanic service. While buying a piston ring may not be quite expensive, the labor cost might break the bank.

But then, it all depends on your auto mechanic. On average, you can spend between $35 and $60 to buy the piston rings. Labor costs can range from $150 to $300, depending on the technician.

Plus, you’ll have to buy other parts ranging between $800 and $1200. Overall, you’ll be looking at something in the region of $1500 to $2500. If your engine is a bit hard to access, you may spend more.

Here’s the final take on the piston: Damaged piston rings can leave some metal chunks at the walls of the cylinders. The effect of these chunks can be severe on your engine.

3. Oil Leak

Regardless of whether or not your car uses use a GM 2.0 Turbo engine, one issue you should try to prevent is an oil leak. As apparently insignificant as many car owners and drivers think it is, an oil leak can ground your car and damage the engine.

If your car is built with a GM Turbo engine, you should show extra care because an oil leak is the main problem your car may face with the engine. Users’ review has indicated that an oil leak in the Turbo engine is largely due to a flaw in the design, resulting from the timing front cover.

While some engine’s front covers allow you to sight oil leaks under, especially from under the vehicle, the oil leak problem with the Turbo engine system is a bit tricky. You won’t see any oil dropping under the car. The timing cover will retain some black oil gunk even if it burns quickly a few seconds after dripping.

Symptoms Of Turbo Engine Oil Leak

You’ll start to notice a few things when your engine battles with an oil leak. However, while these are not strange and peculiar to GM 2.0 Turbo engines, you’ll need to pay close attention to them early enough.

  • Low Oil Economy: This is a no brainer. You’ll notice a significant rise in the amount of oil your vehicle uses once there is an oil leak. What this means is that you’ll have to top the oil more regularly than usual.
    On average, your car is supposed to run for between 3000 and 5000 miles before you change the oil. This procedure won’t apply as soon as the engine begins to experience an increased drop in the oil level.
  • Visible Leak: Typically, the design of the timing front cover of a Turbo engine prevents visible oil leaks. However, when the leak becomes a little bit more serious, you’ll notice visible dripping of the oil with oil gunk and stain all over certain parts of the engine. When this happens, be quick to take action by stopping the leak.
  • Smoke From Engine Bay: Another symptom of an oil leak is smoke oozing out from the engine bay. This white or grey smoke is dangerous to the health of your engine. It means water condenses on the cylinders, an effect of a more severe problem.
    A coolant leak can take place through the intake gasket onto the exhaust manifold. The catalytic converter is another victim of the smoke.
Burnt Oil Smell

If there’s an oil leak, you might also notice the smell of burnt oil each time you power your car. The indicates that some has leaked out of its place and dripped somewhere.

How To Resolve Turbo Engine Oil Leak

The first thing your auto mechanic will want to find out before they can fix an oil leak is to locate the source of the leak. Once found, there are a few steps to take to get rid of the issue.

Generally, fixing this problem doesn’t require you to break the bank. However, the labour cost can be intimidating once the problem has lingered for long. While buying parts and accessories may cost about $150, the labor cost can be as high as $800, depending on the extent of the leak and damage it’s caused.


1. What Are The Features And Specs Of GM 2.0 Turbo Engine?

The features may be the same save for a few modifications on the latest versions of Turbo. In terms of specs, there are differences, based on the model and brand.

The table below shows the specs of a few Turbo models:

Incredible Performance

With a horsepower and torque range of 230 to 275 and 260 to 295 respectively, the GM 2.0 Turbo engine boasts incredible power and high-performance delivery on the road.

Fuel Economy

Besides, as a four-cylinder engine, the Turbo engine guarantees low fuel consumption and maximize solid fuel economy. Plus, it produces more power to allow it to deliver under any weather conditions.

Tailored Square Shape

What’s more, the Turbo engine’s square design is deliberate to make it function optimally even at the low-end torque. In this case, you won’t have issues with maneuvering your car.

Aluminum Design

The aluminum body of the Turbo engine reduces the pressure it exerts on the body. Plus, the aluminium coat also makes the engine significantly resistant to the elements, including rusting and harsh weather conditions. The aluminum design also ensures the engine delivers more power.

Features: Specs:
Displacement 1998cc
Max Engine Speed 7000rpm
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Valve Train / Lifters / Valve Per Cylinder Dual Overhead Camshafts (DVCVP) / Hydraulic Roller Finger / 4
Emission Controls Evaporative System
Engine Configuration Longitudinal Or Transverse
Box Stroke 86.00 x 86.00 mm
Horsepower ・Cadillac ATS: 272 hp @ 5500rpm ・2014 & newer Chevrolet Malibu: 295lb.ft @ 1700-5500rpm ・Chevrolet Malibu: 259 hp @ 5300rpm

Note: The specs mostly depend on the year, model, and make of the engine

2. How Much Horsepower Does A 2.0 Turbo Engine Have?

The 2.0 Turbo engine boasts an amazing horsepower 230 to 275 horsepower range. Although it might not be the highest horsepower you’re looking for in the market, GM 2.0 Turbo engine horsepower is powerful enough to deliver enhanced performance and efficiency as its revolution per minute (rpm) increases.

3. Is GM 2.0 Turbo Engine The Right Choice?

Yes, but it all depends on your needs and preference. There are pretty many engines out there that can perform much more than the GM Turbo engine. But you can’t doubt that this motor rates atop many of the engines in its class. Opting for the GM 2.0 Turbo will offer value for money.

4. How Much Does It Cost To Fix The GM 2.0 Turbo Engine Issues?

Fixing any issues with your Turbo engine depends on a number of things. The first is the kind of problem and symptoms your engine is giving off.

You’ll also have to weigh your options as to whether you want to go with expensive or affordable dealers. Don’t forget, the price from the dealers may sometimes depend on the parts you want to replace.

Think about labour costs too. A Do-It-Yourself procedure can only work with certain technical problems. On average, you may spend between $1000 and $1500 if you’re hiring a certified professional technician.

Final Thoughts

As a car owner, you should keep an eye on how the engine functions. Close attention to this will. If you can identify the issue before it escalates, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money.

Generally, some of the problems are associated with design; others are due to wear and tear. But hey, guess what? A few problems here and there, coupled with the flaw in design don’t diminish the popularity and power of the GM 2.0 Turbo engine.

Needless to say, your car should be in good condition for at least 90% of the time. If you heed early warnings once your Turbo engine starts to show them, you won’t have to budget extra money for car service the next time you visit your auto mechanic.