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2011 Chevy Equinox Camshaft

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So unfortunately a close relative didn't get an oil change before going on a long road trip to New Mexico and back because the oil life reading on the DIC wasn't down to what they thought was low enough to require a change. When they got back from the trip the oil life reading was still at 30% but the car was acting up, surging and bogging down. Brought it in, SES light went away before bringing it in and the tech said they couldn't pull any codes from it. Said the oil was like sludge and changed it. Only changed the oil, didn't pull the pan to clean it out or anything else you would think to do when the oil is sludged up. Fast forward to Tuesday, sitting in traffic, the car dies when idling along after taking the foot off the brake. SES light comes on and stays on this time. Brought it in this morning and the text I got said camshaft issues. It is the 2.4 Ecotec with VVT. I am assuming some of the sludge made its way into the VVT camshafts and has clogged them up. Any idea as to what kind of labor (time) will go into cleaning that up and getting it back to health? Any tips on what to look at in the future to keep this thing running good once the repairs are made? I have told them that from now on, when it gets to 50% oil life on the DIC, bring it to me and I will change the oil for them.



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First thing I want to say is see the oil change thread about when to get oil changes. Dont go off of the oil change minder, get them done regularly. This is the prime reason as to why to get the oil change done at 3000 miles. VVT engines sludge up, and you then have major issues. Unfortunately your buddy will need to replace the engine. Sludge build up can only be removed by tearing the entire engine down, and boiling the block, then reassembling. This is a very costly proceedure, and it will be cheaper to get a reman engine. Even if you pull the oil pan, and valve covers, all it takes is another 1/8 inch chunk to become dislodged, and plug it back up again.

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It turned out to be the cam solenoid. The dealer this time pulled the pan and valve cover to check it out more thoroughly. Everything looked good and they replaced the bad solenoid. Back to normal now. But after this scare I will be doing the oil changes for them at more regular intervals than the computer tells them.

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