The 3 Most Common Chevy 2.0 Ecotec Engine Problems

GM 2.0 Turbo Ecotec Engine Problems

The Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Malibu both received the 2.0 LTG Ecotec engine from GM and Chevy in 2013. There were a few other applications for the engine, including the 2.0-liter Camaro. For its size, it generates respectable power outputs of 230-275 hp and 260-295 lb-ft.

Solid fuel efficiency is another benefit of the GM/Chevy 2.0T Ecotec engine. It’s important to remember that no engine will ever be faultless, and this is no exception. We’ll talk about a few issues with the 2.0 Ecotec LTG engine and general reliability in this article.

2.0T LTG Ecotec Specs

Engine 2.0 LTG Ecotec
Displacement 1998cc (2.0L)
Configuration Inline 4
Aspiration Turbocharged
Head Material Aluminum
Block Material Aluminum
Bore x Stroke 86mm x 86mm
Compression 9.5:1
Horsepower 275hp @ 5600 RPM
Torque 295 lb-ft @ 3000-4500R RPM

The specs of the 2.0L LTG Ecotec engine are fairly standard for modern turbo engines. Having a small displacement engine is better for efficiency, but having a turbocharger is much better for speed. The use of an aluminum block and head helps keep the overall weight low. In terms of torque and top-end power, the 2.0L turbocharged engines have a good balance.

Additionally, the 2.0 Ecotec from GM makes use of direct injection for improved performance and fuel economy. These are all standard specifications for newer four-cylinder engines, so don’t be surprised.

What Cars Use the 2.0 Ecotec?

The following vehicles use the GM 2.0L turbo Ecotec engine:

  • 2013-2019 Cadillac ATS
  • 2013-present Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2014-present Buick Regal
  • 2014-present Cadillac CTS
  • 2016-present Buick Envision
  • 2016-2018 Cadillac CT6
  • 2016-present Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2017-present Buick GL8
  • 2018-2020 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2018-present Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2018-present GMC Terrain

Common Chevy 2.0T Engine Problems

Chevy 2.0T Engine

The following are some of the most frequently encountered issues with the 2.0 Ecotec engine:

  • Pistons
  • Carbon build-up
  • Oil leaks (timing cover)

The remainder of this article will go into greater detail on the aforementioned topics. This is a good opportunity to get some quick practice in. These are the most prevalent 2.0 LTG issues, as the name implies. But just because they affect a large number of engines doesn’t mean they’re widespread. Instead, when something goes wrong, these are some of the most common places to look.

The 2.0 Ecotec, on the other hand, is a very dependable engine. Reliability will be discussed once more at the conclusion of this article. As a starting point, let’s talk about the problems with the 2.0 LTG Ecotec engine.

1) 2.0 LTG Turbo Piston Issues

Chevy 2.0T piston issues can be divided into two categories. We’ll get right to the point on this first section of the discussion. Some 2.0 LTG Ecotec engines from the past had piston failures that occurred at a very young age. Several thousand miles into the trip, a lot of things started to go wrong. These issues appear to be the result of engine bugs that were discovered early on. Many later models, including the Camaro 2.0 Ecotec, don’t seem to have these problems as frequently.

Later years and models, on the other hand, may experience piston failures. It’s not a common problem by any means, but it’s important to bring up because piston issues can result in significant repair costs. It’s not uncommon for pre-detonation to cause piston damage, and when it does, failures tend to occur around the rings and ring land area.

Turbo engines have a greater risk of pre-detonation because of the high temperatures and cylinder pressures they operate at. These issues are extremely unlikely in a stock engine running on proper fuel. However, if you intend to tune and modify the 2.0 LTG engine, you should be aware of the possibility of piston failure. Make sure you’re using the correct fuel and a safe tune.

2.0 Ecotec Piston Failure Symptoms

The following are signs of a piston problem in the GM/Chevy 2.0T engine:

  • Excessive smoking
  • Oil loss
  • Knocking
  • Misfires
  • Poor overall operation

When a piston fails, the consequences are usually obvious. The 2.0-liter Ecotec is going to be a terrible engine in general. Excessive smoking and use of cooking oil are other potential red flags. Rough idling is one of the other symptoms.

Chevy 2.0T Piston Replacement

The GM 2.0T’s piston issues almost always necessitate a new engine or a complete rebuild. For the most part, pistons leave a mark on the cylinder walls, and small pieces of metal can do even more damage.

Minor cases may only call for new pistons and a basic rebuild for the lucky few. When all else fails, it’s risky to rebuild in case another root cause goes undetected.

Simply put: this repair costs a lot of money. A new engine, parts, and labor alone can easily exceed $5,000. Fortunately, warranties have covered the majority of the issues that have arisen so far. As these engines get older and more are no longer covered by warranties, your luck may run out.

2) GM 2.0 Ecotec Carbon Build-Up

GM 2.0 Ecotec Carbon Build-Up

More and more often these days, we find ourselves writing about carbon buildup. For the 2.0 LTG Ecotec or any other engine, it is probably not fair to call it a problem. Direct injection has its drawbacks, one of which is carbon buildup on the intake valves.

Oil blow-by occurs on all engines to some degree. After passing through the engine’s intake system, the oil collects on the intake ports and valves. Fuel is sprayed into the intake ports when using standard port injection. Using a damp cloth to wipe away any oil will help keep a lid on the accumulation.

The Chevy 2.0T, on the other hand, uses a fuel spray that goes right into the cylinder. There’s nothing to clean the intake valve deposits off of, so carbon builds up over time. Because direct injection is used in so many modern cars, this problem isn’t limited to the 2.0 Ecotec.

Every 70,000 to 100,000 miles, carbon buildup will become an issue. Intake valve cleaning isn’t a life-or-death issue for some Chevy 2.0 LTG engines, however. However, if left unattended for an extended period of time, it will have an adverse effect on the vehicle’s performance and maneuverability.

2.0 LTG Carbon Build-Up Symptoms

Intake valve cleaning may be required if you notice any of the following symptoms in your Chevy 2 liter LTG:

  • Rough idle
  • Misfires
  • Stuttering/hesitation
  • Power loss

Uncomfortable idle and misfires are two symptoms that point to a high carbon content in the exhaust. However, those are symptoms that can be associated with a wide range of other problems, such as faulty spark plugs or ignition coils. When it comes to turbocharged vehicles, spark plugs and coils are frequently the culprits.

Carbon deposits, on the other hand, can cause stuttering, hesitation, and even a loss of power in some cases. Carbon deposits slowly form and restrict airflow over time, so you won’t notice any power loss right away.

2.0 Turbo Intake Valve Cleaning

Cleaning the intake valves with walnut blasting is common practice. There are walnut media shells involved, as well as a powerful shop vac. Because the media shells are so cheap, the biggest expense is going to be your time. Walnut blasting takes some time after the 2.0 Ecotec intake manifold is removed.

Walnut blasting will run you between $400 and $700, but beware of places that try to charge you much more. Anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 miles is a good time to perform this maintenance.

3) Chevy 2.0T Ecotec Oil Leaks

Chevy 2.0T Ecotec Oil Leaks

There are several places where an Ecotec engine’s oil leaks, and that’s true of any engine. It appears that the timing cover is a common problem on the GM 2.0T LTG cars. Premature oil leakage from the front cover is common. When oil leaks, it’s usually a slow seep rather than a large one.

Check the block around the timing cover if you’re looking for a Chevy 2.0 LTG. When oil comes into contact with the block, it burns off quickly, but it leaves a slick of black gunk behind. This appears to be a common problem with LTG Ecotec oil leaks, according to our research.

Another possible problem area is the valve cover gasket. Turbocharged engines generate a lot of heat, which stresses seals and gaskets. These components are also subjected to a great deal of wear and tear due to repeated heating and cooling cycles and the passage of time. Even after 10 years and 100,000 miles, some gaskets will begin to leak. As the 2.0 Ecotec gets older, we expect these problems to occur more frequently.

2.0 Ecotec Oil Leak Symptoms

The signs of an oil leak are fairly obvious, but lookout for the following:

  • Burning oil smells
  • Smoke from engine bay
  • Visible leak
  • Oil loss

This is, once again, very elementary material. When the timing cover closes, a small amount of oil leaks out onto the engine block, where it burns away.

The 2.0 Ecotec may not have any visible leaks with this type of leak (unless you inspect that area specifically). Once the engine has warmed up, you may smell burning oil or see some smoke. Leaks from valve cover gaskets, for example, will be obvious.

GM 2.0 LTG Oil Leak Fix

Of course, the precise repair will be determined by the location of the oil leak. Fortunately, most oil leaks can be repaired on the cheap by do-it-yourselfers. Leaking gaskets and seals can be fixed for a reasonable price. Most oil leaks are caused by labor, so repair costs can range from $500 to more than $1000.

2.0 LTG Ecotec Reliability

Reliability of Chevy/GM 2.0 Ecotec Yes, we believe the reliability of this engine ranges from average to above average. It’s not beset by a slew of recurring issues. The few issues the 2.0T LTG has aren’t widespread because they don’t affect a significant number of engines.

However, the 2.0 turbo, like all turbo engines, requires more maintenance. Spark plugs and ignition coils are quickly depleted in turbo engines. High-quality, high-priced synthetic oils are becoming increasingly important.

When you install a turbo system, you give yourself more leeway in the event something goes wrong. There are numerous examples like these. To put it another way, those who aren’t familiar with turbo engines may find the extra work bothersome.

Turbo engines can also be easily tuned and modified to produce more power. Reliability issues for 2.0 LTG Ecotec engines may arise as a result of this. For now, know that the 2.0T can handle a little more power in the future when we have a guide for it. However, it raises the temperature and puts more strain on the engine as a result.


The 2.0-liter LTG engine from General Motors strikes the perfect balance between power and fuel economy. The Camaro 2.0T’s 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque are hard to argue with. The 2.0 Ecotec engine has a lot to offer, even though it’s not as powerful as something like a V6 or V8. No engine, including the 2.0 LTG, is faultless, and this is true of this one as well.

Pistons failing at low mileage is a problem for some owners. The vast majority of these incidents were covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, but they do raise a few minor questions about the product’s long-term viability.

Those who want more power from the 2.0 Ecotec LTG should consider this option. Another problem that occurs more frequently than others is oil leaking from the timing cover.

Otherwise, every 70,000 to 100,000 miles, you should think about having your intake valves cleaned. Direct injection and turbochargers are excellent performance and efficiency technologies. Carbon build-up, on the other hand, serves as a stark reminder that these innovations are not without risk.

Any engine’s upkeep is critical, but the turbo 2.0 Ecotec’s is especially so. Don’t forget to perform routine maintenance, use high-quality oils, and address any issues that arise. If you follow these steps, the Chevy 2.0 LTG Ecotec engine is likely to provide you with a great driving experience.

Which 2.0 Ecotec engine do you own and how do you like it? Is one something you’re thinking about doing?

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

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