While this looks like bad maintenance, the internet thinks this poor Cruze owner’s been sabotaged.
Update Dec 9, 2019 – Chevrolet Cruze owner’s GoFundMe linked here.
Update Dec 9,2019 – The Tow Truck driver who towed Ms. Kimball and her Cruze to the repair shop left a comment about her ordeal.
Wow, I can’t believe I stumbled onto to this story, it sounded eerily familiar. In fact, it sounded familiar because I’m the tow driver that rescued Miss Kimball that night when she broke down on the Mass Turnpike, and I towed her nearly 50 miles to 5 Star Auto in Southbridge. She told me of the unending problems she’s had with the car, the cracked pistons, replacing the engine and basically being stuck without a working car for months. I knew the car had big problems, but never imagined I’d be reading about it on the net. For those that doubt what came out of her oil pan, it’s for real. It’s NOT common, but I’ve been in the biz for over 30 years and have seen this a few times before.
Update Nov 30,2019 – Owner left a comment detailing what happened. I’m reposting it here.
“I am the owner of this Chevy Cruze LT. 1st engine failed me in March it was diagnosed with a cracked piston with only 75,000 miles on it. I did regular oil changes at Diamond Chevy in Auburn, MA per their free oil changes, tire rotation and battery checks for the life of the car. Diamond wanted to put a new engine in for $4,000… I said no and proceeded to find a used engine. This engine was put in September of this year. Wasn’t able to drive it right away because there was a couple of codes that needed to be cleared. GM was on strike and I didn’t get my car on the road for another 4 weeks. Only drove it a couple of weeks and this happened. I am beyond distraught because I am still making payments on this car and can’t afford another engine.“
When this 2017 Chevrolet Cruze arrived at this Massachusetts auto repair shop for its third engine, they couldn’t believe why. Mechanic Brendan Thibeault put the Chevrolet Cruze on their lift and started poking around. What he found next will shock you, the engine oil had solidified into one giant gelatinous block of jello!
Check out the amazing video of the oil pan lowering below.
Often the first diagnosis step mechanics do determing the cause of engine failure is draining the oil. The extent of metal particles in used oil can indicate catastrophic engine failure or lack of lubrication.
But what these mechanics at Five Star Auto found is something else entirely. Presumably, when they pulled the oil plug, nothing came out. With a finger-sized hole, they probably could poke the jello-like substance blocking the oil drain hole.
After making quick work of the oil pan bolts, the rest is self explanatory; they found a literal jello cake made of oil. The oil jello cake formed into the oil pan’s shape, gumming up the oil pickup killing the engine.
Before you berate the Cruze owner on poor maintenance, this is the second engine on this relatively new car so I’m ruling out lack of oil changes and sludge build-up.
One Redditor in the know on a thread where this video’s gained considerable traffic maintains this results from using the wrong coolant mixed with the proper coolant which subsequently leaked into the oil.
Coolant leaking into an engine block would cause a milk shake-like consistency and not a solid mass of oil jello, but I suppose this is a specific circumstance we’re dealing with.
Lack of oil changes would reveal caked on sludge and little to no oil dripping out of the oil pan. This oil pan’s full of oil, it’s just made into a jello cake.
The best guess anyone came up with is someone’s literally sabotaging this Chevrolet Cruze owner, popping her hood and pouring gelatin powder down her oil fill. While highly unlikely, it’s possible.
Now, these mechanics have to swap out the engine for a third time.
What do you think caused oil to solidify like this? Any theories? Let me know in the comments.