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.

20 COMMENTS

  1. The oil coagolated like blood it’s from iodine in the oil seen it before .you know the stuff you put on a cut it’s also called macurachrome sorry about my spelling

  2. 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.

      • Cause gmc has that 750000 mile or year coverage which ever is first. Having same problem out of my 2016 Chevy Cruze. Theses cars are junk. Reported them to bbb, a lot more complaints if you look on this card with same engine issues

  3. Engine had coolant leak,probably head gasket. Mixed with oil and through heating and rotation whipped it into the gel you see. You need to go to whoever replaced your engine, tell them they put in bad engine or you had a coolant leak and the level got to low engine overheated and warped aluminum head, which then introduced coolant into oil. Not the first time I have seen this.

  4. No way is this gelatinous mess caused by a simple headgasket leak. There was something else going on. I’ve seen engines with 50k+ miles on the oil and s water pump puking coolant into the oil. Totally sludged up but even then it didn’t set up like Jello.

  5. I have seen something very similar to this when Mercruiser Marine first came out with their synthetic gear lube. If the outdrive wasn’t completely drained of the non synthetic gear lube and filled with their synthetic, the gear lube would jell. The heat from the lack of lubrication would blue, soften, then strip the gears.

  6. 75k on a 2017 car its alot of miles its like over 20k a year, if got it new in 2016 for the 2017 model. I have same car model ,and year with 43k no problems yet, save alot on gas.

  7. 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.

  8. Somebody definitely vandalized your car 100% I’ve owned Chevys all of my life as well as my entire family and friends we have never had any major issues out of Chevy I own a Chevy Cruze that just turned 160,000 miles no issues ever! Just a lot of maintenance!,I’m so sad to hear what has happened to you and your Chevy Cruze , it pisses me off to even read the story about your car ! Someone has poured something into your oil and a lot of it whatever it was, i’ll do some research on it and let you know when I figure out what was put into your oil .

    • Thanks Jeremy, I guess the auto body shop 5 Star in Southbridge sent some of the jello like mess somewhere in TX to be analyzed. News to follow.

  9. Maybe who did the oil change didnt have the right oil so they put in whatever they had on hand or someone doing the oil change grabbed the wrong fluid thinking it was oil and didnt say anything because they didnt want to lose there job.

  10. There is no way that happened over time. I’ve been around engines all my life. That is some sort of instantaneous polymer reaction. If you look at the video, it’s solid and totally engulfed above the pickup. If you mix borax and Elmer’s glue you get that same reaction. Some vandal somewhere knows what chemical added to oil makes that happen. I’d be willing to bet none of that was found anywhere else in the engine.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here