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Old 01-11-2019, 01:06 PM   #1
prestone08
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2006 VUE 2.2L
Default No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

So the other day I went and got my oil changed and drove home. The next morning i started the car and noticed a valve tap. I didn't think much of it as it might have been a collapsed lifter or stuck valve. The other day the sound started to get louder and I had the car towed home. Last night I removed the valve cover and found the right side ( drivers side) of the exhaust cam was not getting oil it seems for a very long time. There is no sludge that I can see.

How does the oil flow in this engine?

Has anyone experienced this issue with the 2.2L Ecotec?

What should my next steps be?

It seems I may have to replace the bearing caps on the camshaft and do some extensive repairs.

I cant post URL yet so DM me for pics

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Old 01-11-2019, 01:53 PM   #2
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2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by prestone08 View Post
How does the oil flow in this engine?
I'm not familiar with 2.2 engine but posted 2.2 service manual extract describing lubrication flow.

Hopefully one or more helpful 2.2 members will assist with other questions.
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File Type: jpg 2.2 Engine Oil Distribution.jpg (154.2 KB, 11 views)

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Old 01-11-2019, 02:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

This is good info, from that it sounds like the cam caps stopped receiving oil at some point.

Possibly? Anyone else have thoughts?

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Old 01-11-2019, 02:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

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Old 01-11-2019, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

What's oil level (dipstick)? Is a new oil filter in place?

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Old 01-11-2019, 02:59 PM   #6
prestone08
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

The Oil level is full on the dipstick and there is a brand new k&n filter with a brand new oil filter cap. I changed the oil filter from a generic Valvoline to an AC delco to a K&n thinking that it might be an oil pressure issue. but no filter has made a change. I ran the engine and removed the filter almost immediately after running to try to see if the oil was pumping up to the filter and it was.

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Old 01-11-2019, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

What's mileage on this car? I'm not expert in 2.2L engines but there's something definitely wrong on the camshaft unmachined surfaces being dry. The snapshot appears as if the upper engine parts aren't lubricated with oil. Blocked oil passageway? One way to observe oil pressure reaching camshafts is to have a fully charged battery, remove fuel pump fuse, injector fuse and all four spark plugs. With plugs removed, no fuel pump operating to pressurize fuel and injectors disabled, apply motor oil liberally all over the camshafts for initial lubrication (or not) and crank the engine no more than 10-20 seconds. Without spark plugs, engine compression doesn't exist to allow the starter less strain resulting in a faster crank speed. The oil pump should be moving oil thru the engine passages, as described in the reprint far2grumpy posted. Normal oil pumping should have oil seeping out both camshaft bearing areas. 10-20 seconds of starter use should result in seeing oil lubrication. Let the starter rest for a minute or more to cool own from drawing current creating heat within it. A second starter run should have oil pumping to camshafts. If not, some things to consider about oil not reaching camshafts; damaged oil pump, blocked oil inlet screen from debris in the oil pan, and blockage somewhere in the oil gallery preventing pressurized oil from reaching camshafts.

2.2L engines are used in many GM models. This is unusual.

Last edited by fdryer; 01-11-2019 at 06:53 PM..

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Old 01-11-2019, 07:39 PM   #8
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

No oil pressure??

Turn the IGN to ON but don't start the engine, after a couple seconds most of the lights will turn off. Verify that the low oil pressure light comes on and then stays on.

I had a bad oil pressure sending unit and would never have had any indication that I didn't have oil pressure

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Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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Old 01-13-2019, 10:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by prestone08 View Post
So the other day I went and got my oil changed and drove home. The next morning i started the car and noticed a valve tap. ...

couple things:

if you have been using synthetic oil, there would not be much sludge in the overhead cam area. That is one of the benefits of synthetic oil, much less sludge buildup.

But everything there should be wet with oil, and its all dry.

If your valves or bearings were knocking and everything there was wet, I might suspect the oil change went badly, they forgot to put oil in the engine, started it up, dove it out in the parking lot, then realized the NO OIL light was on and drove it back inside... maybe. Oil works by keeping a pressurized layer/flow of oil between the bearing surfaces. When the oil pump sucks air that pressurized layer is gone and metal hits metal. It does not take long running an engine with no oil to destroy the bearings.

It looks like your oil flow is blocked, and its odd that it just happened when you got an oil change. Its also possible your oil pump is shot, and there is not enough pressure to push the oil all the way up to the head/cam.

Its also possible they put the wrong oil in your engine: like 5W20 that new cars use, and its too thin to build enough pressure to push the oil up to the head. SInce this happened right after you had someone else change your oil, that seems a likely cause and effect, single point failure.

Fdryer's procedure for checking oil flow is good with a good engine, but you valves/bearings are already tapping/knocking and the bearings look bad - the car was already driven to the point of tapping/knocking, so running it another 30 seconds is not going to make it any worse. I would just start the engine, let it idle, and see if there is any flow.

Anther way to say it is: if the oil flow is blocked your bearings in the heads are already shot, if the oil flow is good you cant hurt it by running it for a few minutes with the valve cover off. You cant make it any worse if the bearings are already gone.

Last edited by KCW; 01-13-2019 at 10:46 PM..

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Old 01-14-2019, 08:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

The more I think about this the more it seems likely the garage put 5W20 oil in your Vue.

Nearly all new cars use 5W20 oil. The bearings are being machined with much tighter tolerances now, so a thinner oil is used. It has less drag and the car gets better fuel economy.

But your Vue was designed for 10W30. It would not have proper lubrication with a lighter oil.

I dont know if there is way to test the oil in your engine to see what viscosity grade it is. Another cause would be if your crankcase somehow got flooded with gasoline. That can happen with carbs, but its not likely with a fuel injected engine... unless maybe one injector stuck on full and just flooded a cylinder with gas.

There is something similar that happens with V twin motorcycles. People buy a Vtwin from Yamaha or Honda, and they want it to sound like a Harley, so they turn down the idle speed to get that puttputt...puttputt.. harley sound. At lower than required idle speeds the oil pump cannot create enough pressure, the cams get oil starved, and end up looking just like your cams in the photo.

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Old 01-15-2019, 11:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Hey everyone!

Im so sorry ive been away in Florida.

I think i can finally post some links to new pictures and a video.

We just got snow here in Delaware so im not gonna be working on this untill some of it melts. Ive been reading all the coments and Yea, It looks like im replacing cams and lots in the head if not the head itself at this point. YES THIS IS REALLY WEIRD! A couple of my buddies thought the same thing because the rest of the engine is geetting oil. The new pictures Ill post show there is no sludge build up so im a little baffeled at this point.

Im thinking this is one of thoses things im gonna have to throw money at.

Its looking like, timing chain sprockets and guides, balance shaft chain and guide and sprockets, a water pump since ill be in there, a remanned cylinder head and GASKETS FOR EVERYONE!

Back to some theories but could a clogged oil orifice tube located under the head be the cause? is that the only way the caps get oil?

KWC, I thought this car took 5w30? Guys does it take a heavier oil?

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Old 01-15-2019, 11:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Link to initial pics of the cams

https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...vS?usp=sharing

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Old 01-15-2019, 11:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Noise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhvVZZczrAk

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Old 01-15-2019, 11:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Dry cams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmWiGseQmGA

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Old 01-15-2019, 04:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Quote:
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I thought this car took 5w30?
According to owners manual - 5 quarts of 5W30 preferred.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
The more I think about this the more it seems likely the garage put 5W20 oil in your Vue.

Nearly all new cars use 5W20 oil. The bearings are being machined with much tighter tolerances now, so a thinner oil is used. It has less drag and the car gets better fuel economy.

But your Vue was designed for 10W30. It would not have proper lubrication with a lighter oil.
I don't see how using 5W20 would cause this issue. You can look up the viscosity chart, there is not much of a significant difference.

The damage would also not be so localized. I suspect a blocked oil passage.

The Honda V6 for example is designed for 5W20 and plenty of people use 10W30 instead without any issues.

Last edited by Tobacconist; 01-15-2019 at 08:04 PM..

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Old 01-15-2019, 09:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

your photos and video make things clearer

in the first photos I mistook that you had pulled one of the bearing covers off, and I thought I was looking at the bearing journal on the cam shaft, but it was just the cam lobe.

the cam lobes do get scored and scuffed like that after many miles, that is normal wear.

On the oil, the first number, 5W or 10W is the winter (cold) viscosity rating - It indicates how easily the oil will flow at freezing temps. If you live in the south you can use the higher 10W, in the north your car might not start below zero if you dont have the 5W... oil

the second number is the hot oil viscosity, and yes it does matter. If you put 5W20 oil in an engine designed for 5W30 it will not build as much oil pressure, and the bearings in the lower part (the crankshaft) will get more oil that the physically higher and further bearings, in the heads. Also the lifters could be oil starved and start tapping and knocking.

The bearings and journals are machined with a set space between them, the oil flows thru that space and then out back to the oil pan. If the oil is too thin most of it blows thru on the main bearings and there is little or nothing left to pump up to the heads (cams and lifters).

I dont know where the oil passage is for the heads, if its blocked in the lower part of the engine, and you put a new head on the block, it will do the same thing.

I dont know if there is an easy way to test the oil in your engine, to see if its 5W20 or 5W30.

If someone is putting a different viscosity oil in their engine than is called for, that would void their drive train warranty. Why would anyone do that, unless the engine is old and the car is burning oil?

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Old 01-15-2019, 09:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: No oil in the cam shafts? HELP

If this was my car I would crank the starter for a minute to see if there is any oil flow in the cams. If not its either because

1. the engine was filled with a lower viscosity oil that is like water in your engine

2. the oil passage is plugged

3. the oil pump is shot, or the filter has a rag stuffed in it.

since this happened within a day of having your oil changed, the mostly likely cause is something done wrong when the oil was changed.

If all you need to do is drain out 5W20 oil and properly fill the engine with 5W30, and the engine comes back to normal, you will be dancing in the street.

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