Holden Cruze 1.8 Petrol Camshaft & VVT Problems

Our home grown Holden Cruze has had several different engine options since its inception in 2002.  The most popular has been the 1.8 petrol (Z18XER/F18D4), which first came out in the JG Cruze in 2009. There are two common problems we would like to discuss to help make your diagnosis and repairs easier.

Oil Flow Tubes

Firstly, a few of our customers have had problems with oil feed to the variable valve timing units after having head work or timing belt repairs carried out.  There is a small plastic tube that is being left out during re-assembly that is crucial for oil direction and flow to the variable units.  Without the tube in place, oil is not being fed to the variable unit, which triggers an engine light as well as loss of power through the rev range.  Theses tubes are located inside the camshafts at the front, right behind where your camshaft gears bolt on.  There is one for each camshaft.  Make sure these are in place before refitting the cam gears because the engine will not operate correctly without them.

Oil Coolers

Second issue is a high number of vehicles ending up with oil in the cooling system. These engines (Z18XER and F18D4) run oil coolers which are renowned for failing.  If you have oil mixing with water, check your oil cooler before racing to remove the cylinder head as this is most likely your problem.  Southside Cylinder Heads can pressure test your oil cooler for you.   The coolers are located next to the oil filter and forms part of the oil filter housing assembly.  Currently replacement coolers are only available OEM.  Southside Cylinder Heads, Brisbane’s best choice!