What Are The Most Common Issues With GM 2.0L Ecotec LTG Engine?

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Announced in 2013, the GM 2.0 Turbo engine received a warm welcome from thousands of consumers. Thanks to its excellent performance and fuel efficiency, it has been featured in many popular and mainstream vehicles.

There is always a good and a bad side to a product. In the case of the GM engine, the bad side includes the flaws that it shipped with.

Some of the main issues that plagued consumers are:

  1. Problems With The Pistons
  2. Unexpected Oil Leak
  3. Carbon Build-Up In The Engine

Although these are the only GM 2.0 Turbo engine problems, none of them are to be taken lightly. That is why these three problems will be the focus of our attention.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin!

The 3 Most Common GM 2.4 Liter Turbo Engine Problems

As promised, we will now be diverting our attention to the three problems I outlined above. We will not only dive into the details of each issue but also discuss what sort of damage it can do and how it can be repaired.

Let’s jump right into it.

1. Problems With The Pistons

The most serious of all issues in this article is this first one. As many of you may know, pistons are responsible for creating pressure. If it fails, you are bound to run into various issues.

The Issue

Let’s check what makes the 2.0 Turbo engine pistons fail. Many of you may have guessed it; the engine, unfortunately, had a design flaw, which was the source of this issue. This issue occurred with users that owned the very first models of the engine.

But it does not end there. The new and improved models of the engine did have this issue, but the frequency of them occurring was reduced a lot. Some of you may be wondering what the design flaw was.

There was no official answer from the company, but it was figured out that it was most probably due to bad piston rings and their land area.

Symptoms

A piston failure can be categorized into the critical failure category. The issue is something that cannot be missed.

Some of the symptoms that can occur due to failed pistons are:

  • Visible smoke rising from the engine.
  • High oil consumption.
  • Unexpected misfires.
  • Poor performance in general.

Now, individually, none of these tests confirm that there has been a piston failure. But if all of them are happening at once, all other possibilities can be ruled out. In that case, a repair is the only way to go.

Repair

Unfortunately, you cannot just swap out the pistons for new ones. The problem is not that easy to fix. You may need an engine rebuild or possibly even a newer engine.

Some of you may be wondering that this is excessive. Well, damaged pistons can introduce pieces of metal into the system, which can inflict further, irreversible damage to the engine.

But not all is bad news. The above is the worst-case scenario. It can be that your engine has sustained little to no damage at all. In that case, a simple rebuild and some new pistons might get your vehicle back in working order.

Another thing that you might want to keep in mind is that the company did fix these issues on the warranty. After all, it is due to a design flaw. So, you might want to check in with the manufacturer and make sure that you don’t miss a free repair which might cost you thousands of dollars.

2. Unexpected Oil Leak

Another common issue with the Ecotec engine is unexpected oil leaks. Almost all engines have this problem to some extent. So, it is not surprising for this engine to have the same issue. But its occurrence was more than normal, which is why it deserved to be on this article.

The Issue

Although many things can cause oil leaks, the most common reason for a leak on the 2.0 engine is the failure of the timing cover. The timing cover I exposed to high-temperature oil at all times.

So, this means that there is a possibility it will start to burn off. Over time, it creates space for the oil to escape, classified as a leak.

But this is not the only reason for an oil leak on the GM engine. Users reported that the valve cover gasket was another source of the issue. Being a turbo engine, it is natural for it to push itself to its limit.

Well, the seals and gaskets are not designed to sustain this high usage. So, they usually break and start to cause leaks.

I must clarify that the gasket issue does not happen quickly. The probability of it happening to you is around the 100000-mile mark. It can also be caused due to age, as the seals harden and crack over time.

Identification

Identifying an oil leak is one of the easiest things that a person can do. Your observant nature will also help in catching this issue quicker.

If you notice:

  • Smoke rising from the engine.
  • A burning smell.
  • A leak on the floor below the vehicle.

All of these issues almost always indicate that there is an oil leak issue. The droplets or a puddle on the floor can confirm your suspicion.

The burning smell may or may not be present. It all depends on where the leak is originating from. If the oil leaks into the combustion chamber, then the smoke and the burning smell will be noticed.

Damage And Repair

An oil leak is a relatively easy problem to fix. Some of the leaks can even be patched up at home. This way, you save on bills, which will be hefty due to the task being labor-intensive.

If you don’t get the repair done on time, you risk damaging your engine and shortening its lifespan due to friction. So, the problem needs to be fixed as soon as possible, unless you are not interested in driving your vehicle anytime soon.

3. Carbon Build-Up In The Engine

The final issue on this list is bound to happen to any engine. Sooner or later, an engine will be a victim of carbon buildup. It all depends on the manufacturer’s steps to ensure that the engine will resist it for as long as possible.

The Issue

In the GM 2.0 Turbo engine, the manufacturer took insufficient measures to fight carbon buildup. I would not blame the company because this is a sacrifice you have to make to get an engine with direct injection. Yes, that is true! I have also specified this in the spec sheet below.

In a direct injection engine, the fuel is directly sprayed into the cylinders. There always is some blowback. Nothing can be done to prevent that. The oil that does not enter the cylinder gets into the intake tract and intake port. It forms deposits over there and grows slowly over time.

Most engines can last through their lifecycles easily without having any adverse effects from the build-up. But in the case of a Turbo engine like this one, things are a bit different.

Symptoms

After around the 100000-mile mark, you can expect the problem to arise and cause issues with performance. The sooner you catch it, the better.

There are some things that, if they happen, can indicate a carbon build up in the engine:

  • Unexpected misfires.
  • Rough idling.
  • Hesitation while accelerating.
  • Sudden power loss.

Individually, these issues can arise due to a variety of reasons. But if all are occurring at once, there is a high probability that the carbon build-up prevents the engine from functioning efficiently.

What To Do

Fortunately, the issue is very easy to get rid of. All the engine needs is a good old-fashioned cleaning of the valves. All build-ups will be removed. In engines that don’t use direct injection, the fuel wipes off the excess oil to clear your confusion. That is why they don’t have to worry about that.

The process of cleaning the valves is called walnut blasting. I know the name sounds ridiculous, but it is something that you need to have done after every 100000 miles.

Although the media shells do not cost that much, the bill adds up due to the labor costs. This is the only way you can ensure that there will not be any performance issues due to a carbon build-up.

What Is The GM 2.0 Turbo Engine?

The GM 2.0 Turbo engine was unveiled in 2013. With it being featured in popular vehicles, it quickly became a favorite consumer product. The turbocharged engine has been based on a newer generation of four-cylinder engines.

With it being able to generate up to 20 pounds of boost, the engine is not lacking in performance. It also features a twin-scroll design that eliminates the lag that is always associated with turbo and is also hated by everyone. This technology allows the engine to respond to throttle input as quickly as possible.

Some other great engine features include direct injection, variable valve timing, cam-driven high-pressure fuel pump, and a variable oil pump.

An air-to-air cooler system is also present that reduces the temperature of the compressed air. They all work in tandem to provide users with a driving experience they will love and surely appreciate.

Is The GM 2.0 Turbo Engine Reliable?

I honestly did not think that this question would pop up after this article. The first generation of the Turbo engine did indeed have the piston fault. With only three faults, two happen due to wear and tear, the engine holds up pretty well.

And unlike other companies that don’t respond or help consumers, they not only fixed the issue in the newer variants but also repaired some user’s engines under warranty. This alone tells you that the company owned its mistake, and it also efficiently rectified the issue.

With the engine incorporating many technologies, it can output a very decent 275 HP. The reliable power output means that you will have an excellent driving experience, no matter where you drive.

Plus, Ecotec means that it also has decent fuel efficiency. You can expect the 2.0L bad boy to last you anywhere from 150000 miles to even the 200000-mile mark.

What Cars Use The GM 2.0 Turbo Engine?

So, you are interested in buying a vehicle equipped with the Turbo engine but decide which vehicle to buy? The first vehicle to feature this beast under its hood was the Cadillac ATS.

The same year, the Chevrolet Malibu also saw a release alongside this engine. The ATS stopped using this engine in 2019, while the Malibu is still equipped with the same engine as 2021.

The Buick Regal and the Cadillac CTS were the chosen vehicles the very next year to sport this turbocharged engine under the hood.

2016 saw the Buick Envision, the Cadillac CT6, and the Chevrolet Camaro featuring this 2.0L engine under the hood. The CT6 moved on after 2018, but the other two. Both of them are still being released with the same engine.

Other vehicles featuring this engine are the Buick GL8, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Chevrolet Traverse, and the GMC Terrain. The fact that the company has used this engine for almost a decade and possibly more means a great product.

GM 2.0 Turbo Engine Specs

Fuel injection type Direct injection
Arrangement Dual overhead camshafts
No. of chambers 4
Valves in each cylinder 4
Valvetrain layout DOHC
Bore 86 mm or 3.38 cubic inches
Stroke 86mm or 3.38 cubic inches
Displacement 2.0L or 1998 cc
Internal combustion engine (Type) Turbocharged
Compression ratio 9.5:1
Power 275 HP @ 5600 RPM
Torque 295 lb.-ft @ 3000 RPM
Weight of engine oil SAE 5W-30
The capacity of engine oil 5 quarts w / filter
Firing directive 1-3-4-2
The interval between oil change 10000 miles (15000km) or 12 months

The Benefits Of Choosing The GM 2.0 Turbo Engine

I think the article has made itself clear that choosing the GM 2.0 Turbo engine is an excellent decision. If you are still not convinced, then I am sure these outlined bullet points will help you.

  • The engine has continuously variable valve timing.
  • It uses direct injection to boost performance.
  • The high-pressure fuel pump ensures sufficient fuel is present for direct injection.
  • To maximize fuel efficiency, the company has used a variable-displacement oil pump.
  • Newer variants of the engine are clear of any design flaws.

FAQs

So, let’s jump right into it! Now, we will be focusing on questions asked by people on online forums. I could refer you to those forums, but I want to give you the utmost assurance that you are getting the correct answers. That is why I am answering these questions.

Is The LTG A Good Engine?

First of all, let me clear up the confusion. The GM 2.0 engine is also called the 2.0 Ecotec and is also called the LTG engine. Now, the engine is an excellent one. With it being one of the most reliable engines I have rated, choosing it comes with very few drawbacks.

How Much HP Does The 2.0 Turbo Have?

The engine can output a very decent 272 HP of power. I must clarify that the HP output may be a bit different from vehicle to vehicle. Many factors come into play, such as the vehicle shape and tire size. Overall, you can expect the HP to be around 272 marks.

Is A Four-Cylinder Turbo Better Than A V6?

Now, this is an interesting question. Four-cylinder turbo engines like the 2.0 Ecotec are indeed lighter and more efficient. There have been some cases where they even outperform a V6 engine. But a V6 engine will always be better in towing capacity. But the overall winner is a four-cylinder turbo engine.

How Long Do Turbo Engines Last?

You should not be worried about the 2.0 Turbo engine having a short engine life. It can easily cross the 200000-mile mark. All of this is purely dependant on its maintenance. If good quality fluids are used alongside regular maintenance and check-ups, you should not worry about anything.

Do Ecotec Engines Burn Oil?

The chances of your 2.0 engine burning oil are highly unlikely. There have been oil leaks, which may or may not cause oil to seep into the combustion chamber. But apart from the leaks, there are no other design flaws that allow the engine to burn any more oil than it should.

Conclusion

All of the above GM 2.0 Turbo engine problems are the only issues that can happen to you. Unless the engine sustains damage, there is no other problem you should be worried about when you buy this engine. The Ecotec is a solid engine.

If you choose to buy it, there is almost a 100% chance you will love it. The close to 300 HP and torque output are enough to create a smile on anyone’s face. All you have to do is keep the engine maintained, and you can expect solid and consistent performance from it.

If you are reading this conclusion, and you skipped the FAQs, then I advise you to read it too, as it may answer some or even all of your confusion.