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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,

I am new here, been looking around here a lot in the past years and it's a shame I only registered now, when my cobalt is at the end of its life.. :(

I am saddened to say that I have almost come to a decision to abandon my good old 2007 cobalt after trying two mechanic both saying the engine needs to be replaced. Now i'm talking about an engine with 93602 kilometers (58616 miles).

My dad used to drive it but after loosing his license due to his age and condition. I continued with it after him barely using it.

A few months ago, I noticed an oil leak and took it to my usual mechanic. I showed him the leak and told me it was water. I didn't want to believe him but trusted him.

On the way home, a few weeks ago I started hearing engine knocking noises. I was nearly at home so i decided to go on and drive home for 30 seconds. Right in front of my driveway, white smoke came outta the hood. Iknew something was wrong there.

I had 2 mechanics and an engineer friend check it out.
Apparently the oil pump is done and the chain in the engine is dead.
Also I did notice that the belt is halfway done too.

The two mechanics both said they need to engine swap. I don't believe that.

This is my first car, it used to be my dad's and i have a deep attachment to it.

I already bought a second car but I would like to save this car, even if I were to sell it in the end..

Here's how the engine sounds like when cranked:

Help me save this Cobalt guys!! :(
 

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I had a Cobalt come in about the end of last year that sounded like that. But it also had a dead cylinder. A good mechanic will be able to determine whether the noise is coming out of the lower end, like maybe a crankshaft bearing failure. Or the cylinder head may be damaged. Or even the timing chain could have let loose. I usually will first listen with a stethoscope. Then once I determine where the problem may be, I’ll ask the customer if they want me to open it up to have a look before condemning the entire engine. Also doing basic things like looking at the oil for metal shavings or doing a compression test would further tell you what’s going on.

Upon hearing the noise the engine is making, I’d probably recommend considering a new, or used engine. I have rebuilt these before too, but it’s been quite a long time. Usually the reasons I’ve found the engine will have problems with low mileage is because either it has been poorly maintained, like letting the oil change interval go too long. Like more than 6,000 miles, these engines need the oil changed a bit more often, like every 4000-5000 miles.

Also they tend to burn a lot of oil between changes, I like to check the oil twice a month because mine was using oil more quickly than what I was used to. I’d say one quart every 1500 miles or so is what I have to put in. My friends Equinox was using a quart every 200-400 miles, it has the similar 2.4 Ecotec. Was, because it’s gone now. She wouldn’t check the oil. It was a real turd, transmission let go also.

I don’t know what the rest of your car looks like, but the low mileage probably means it’s in decent shape. And totally worth putting an engine in. Unless you have someone that’ll rebuild it. Also would depend on what’s damaged and that means it needs to be opened up and looked at to determine that.

The timing chains do fail on these cars, but it’s usually at much higher mileage than what you have, from what I’ve seen over the years. My car’s got a bit over 131000 miles now and I’m already considering doing the timing and balance shaft chains and components. Mainly because I’d like to keep the car going for a while since it’s cheap for me to fix. Well kind of, still will be several hundred dollars in parts.
 

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I bought my 06 in a similar situation, relatively low miles but engine not running (start but not run). In the end the engine was toast due to apparent lack of maintenance combined with timing chain problems related to the tight side guide mount failing. I bought a replacement engine that I rebuilt and installed. Because I am not counting my labor costs it is reasonable but if labor costs were included I am sure it would not be a good financial decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
it sounds like it's the distribution chain. Did you see if it spews smoke from the exhaust pipe?
I have checked it, it doesn't.

I had a Cobalt come in about the end of last year that sounded like that. But it also had a dead cylinder. A good mechanic will be able to determine whether the noise is coming out of the lower end, like maybe a crankshaft bearing failure. Or the cylinder head may be damaged. Or even the timing chain could have let loose. I usually will first listen with a stethoscope. Then once I determine where the problem may be, I’ll ask the customer if they want me to open it up to have a look before condemning the entire engine. Also doing basic things like looking at the oil for metal shavings or doing a compression test would further tell you what’s going on.

Upon hearing the noise the engine is making, I’d probably recommend considering a new, or used engine. I have rebuilt these before too, but it’s been quite a long time. Usually the reasons I’ve found the engine will have problems with low mileage is because either it has been poorly maintained, like letting the oil change interval go too long. Like more than 6,000 miles, these engines need the oil changed a bit more often, like every 4000-5000 miles.

Also they tend to burn a lot of oil between changes, I like to check the oil twice a month because mine was using oil more quickly than what I was used to. I’d say one quart every 1500 miles or so is what I have to put in. My friends Equinox was using a quart every 200-400 miles, it has the similar 2.4 Ecotec. Was, because it’s gone now. She wouldn’t check the oil. It was a real turd, transmission let go also.

I don’t know what the rest of your car looks like, but the low mileage probably means it’s in decent shape. And totally worth putting an engine in. Unless you have someone that’ll rebuild it. Also would depend on what’s damaged and that means it needs to be opened up and looked at to determine that.

The timing chains do fail on these cars, but it’s usually at much higher mileage than what you have, from what I’ve seen over the years. My car’s got a bit over 131000 miles now and I’m already considering doing the timing and balance shaft chains and components. Mainly because I’d like to keep the car going for a while since it’s cheap for me to fix. Well kind of, still will be several hundred dollars in parts.
Thanks for that massive amount of information, it's appreciated.

Also thank you @Kalep Baylous for providing me information in private.

All the information you guys provided means a lot. It further confirms that the repairs will be way too high and I can't do the repairs myself because my knowledge is limited to changing tires, filters and speakers. It's too complicated getting it checked as it requires towing every time I would go.

Today a recycling company offered me an amount of money and they will be picking it up.

Maybe one day I will buy a cobalt coupe SS and mod the shit out of it. I would keep this but I have a one-car driveway so it gets complicated keeping two cars.

Thanks again guys. I am sad that I am leaving the cobalt brotherhood.
 

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An engine swap in these is pretty easy and pretty cheap. I would have opted for dropping a new used engine. Call some friends that know what they are doing get some beer and pizza and the engine is as good as changed.
 

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Not everyone has friends that can swap an engine though. Too bad it’s lots of work to go from a 2.2 and drop a 2.4 or 2.0 in these cars. Straight swap is pretty easy though.
 

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Not everyone has friends that can swap an engine though. Too bad it’s lots of work to go from a 2.2 and drop a 2.4 or 2.0 in these cars. Straight swap is pretty easy though.
The 08+ 2.2 with VVT to 2.4 swap is easy all you need is the engine, and harness and and ECU reflash. I would imagine it's pretty similar for the 2.0 turbo engine... I don't know 100%
 

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The 08+ 2.2 with VVT to 2.4 swap is easy all you need is the engine, and harness and and ECU reflash. I would imagine it's pretty similar for the 2.0 turbo engine... I don't know 100%
I think you meant the 09+ 2.2 with VVT. The 08 2.2 didn’t have VVT yet.
 
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