One of the latest additions to General Motors’s engine lineup is the 2.7L 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine (2019). Although relatively small compared to other truck engines, it is by no means a write-off. This engine, like most Gm engines, features a start-stop system, active fuel management, Intake Valve Lift control, continuously variable fuel pump, and more.
However, there are problems with this engine (Not enough to stay away!) and we are certain over time GM will get most issues fixed (Hopefully). Let’s take a look at these problems, preventive tips, and fixes.
2.7L 4-Cylinder Turbo engine problems
Since the 2.7L 4-cylinder turbo engine was introduced in 2019, there have been few complaints about the engine. Some of these complaints may be more generic to this type of engine.
For instance, turbo lagging is more than just peculiar with the 2.7L turbo engine but with all turbocharged engines. Here are some of the most common problems of 2.7L 4-Cylinder Turbo engine:
1. Carbon Build up
The carbon buildup is a by-product of combustion in the engine caused by incomplete combustion. It takes the appearance of black soot that builds up on the engine’s internal components, such as the cylinder wall, injector nozzles, and more.
It is important to emphasize that carbon buildup isn’t just peculiar to this type of engine but to other engines from various makers that use a direct injector.
The major cause of carbon buildup can be traced to the fuel entering the combustion chamber under much less pressure than most big truck engines. This design prevents fuel from flowing over the intake valve and indirectly cleans carbon buildup. Another cause of carbon buildup in your engine may be the use of bad fuel.
That being said, the implication of the carbon buildup in your engine includes inefficient engine performance due to corrosion of the engine components.
To prevent the buildup of carbon on your engine, we recommend installing a port injection into your valve lining. Other preventive fixes include using quality synthetic oil and cleaner fuel. You can get the carbon buildup cleared by an expert mechanic.
2. Fuel injector problem
The fuel injector, and in the case of the 2.7L turbo engine, the direct injector sprays fuel into the combustion chamber. There have been many reports of fuel injector damage by many GM and Chevy 2.7l truck owners.
The major cause is the design and location of the injector. GM manufacturer designed the injector on top of the cylinder for effective fuel injection. However, this exposed the injector to heat and allowed particulate matter from carbon to clog it.
Furthermore, the implication is that it cannot effectively spray fuel during combustion. Again, the best way to fix this issue is rather preventive. Where the damage is already done, we recommend replacing the injector and cleaning the engine’s carbon buildup.
3. Lifter Failure
There have been instances of the lifter in the 2.7L engine collapsing and causing a total engine failure. The lifter is located between the camshaft and cylinder valves.
Each exhaust valve is timed to open at a different time, therefore, is designed to have its lifter. When the lifter fails, it prevents the valve from opening, causing many complications in the small engine.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent this from happening, and the only fix is to replace the engine. However, because this is a relatively new engine, we are still determining if this will be a general problem with the engine or a few defective engines.
4. Poor Fuel Economy
There have been reports by some drivers about the terrible MPG of this car despite the active fuel management feature and several fuel management features.
GM claims the MPG of trucks with the 2.7L turbo engine to be around 20 mpg city/ 23 Mpg highway. However, some drivers have reported getting worse mpg than advertised (averaging 19.5 mpg).
Turbocharged engines consume lots of fuel. It is because a large volume of air is pumped into the cylinder, which must be matched with the same quantity of fuel during combustion.
To put it in simple words, whenever your floor accelerates, the turbo engine consumes a gulp of fuel. For this reason, it is best to practice efficient driving habits to improve mileage per gallon.
5. Faulty Active Fuel Management System
The active fuel management system or Displacement on Demand (DoD) is an advanced technology of General Motors. It allows the engine to turn off half its cylinder (In the case of the 2.7L engine, two cylinders) to improve fuel economy in the car.
The cause of AFM system failure has been traced to the Lifter and engine design. However, this lifter design problem is not only peculiar to the 2.7l turbo engine. There have been a few reports of the lifter collapse in the GM 6.2L engine as well.
A few class-action lawsuits have been instituted against General Motors concerning their AFM system and Lifter design.
6. High-pressure pump failure
The L3B engine is designed to have two pumps. That is the high-pressure and low-pressure pump. The low-pressure pump is designed to send fuel from the tank into the engine. In addition, the high-pressure pump then pumps pressurized fuel into the injector. The vehicle relies on pressure from the high-pressure pump to overcome the compression pressure.
Over time the HPFP may fail and result in symptoms such as zero start, engine stalling, misfire, reduced fuel economy, and, in some cases, power loss. We recommend going for a regular maintenance check to spot this issue on time.
Preventive Maintenance Tips to Keep GM 2.7L Turbo Engine Running Smoothly
Every engine has problems, and the 2.7L turbo engine is no exception. However, you can still enjoy your engine with good preventive maintenance tips. You can improve your engine performance and lifespan with the following tips:
Improved driving habit
Bad driving habits may be responsible for the bad fuel mileage you are getting. Many of us are guilty of floor-accelerating, pressing the break suddenly, and many other wrong driving habits. The good news is that the solution is in our hands, and we can quickly make amendments. Before you attempt flooring the accelerator, ensure your engine is properly warmed.
Regular engine maintenance
Carrying out regular engine maintenance keeps the engine in good shape and prevents components from breaking down.
We recommend carrying out an oil change every six months or 10,000 miles traveled. Use high-quality synthetic oil for maximum lubrication and protection. Other engine maintenance includes changing the oil filter, plug, and worn-out parts.
Engine tuning is a proactive step to prevent issues with ECU and engine internal combustion systems like Active Fuel Management. Engine tuning involves adjusting and modifying the ECU set to achieve optimal performance.
We recommend tuning using a Hp tuner or using an AFM disabler. Tuning your engine is more cost-effective than repairing or replacement of the engine.
Use of fuel additives
One way to prevent the buildup of carbon on the engine components is to add fuel additives. Fuel additives help the engine to run on cleaner fuel and reduce the possibility of carbon buildup in your engine. A cleaner fuel improves engine performance, fuel efficiency, and MPG.
Use of high-grade fuel
Using premium gas for your 2.7L turbo engine is highly recommended. It allows for more stable combustion and could prevent carbon buildup on the engine components. Low-grade fuel contains many contaminants that can infiltrate the system, causing inefficiencies and further damage in the long run.
Regular mechanic Visit
Many vehicle owners have the bad habit of only visiting their mechanic when something goes wrong with their car. You can save thousands of dollars when you visit a mechanic regularly and spot issues before they develop. We recommend visiting the mechanic at least once every six months.
Is the GM 2.7L Turbo engine Reliable?
The reliability of this engine will depend on how well they are managed. Every engine has its pros and cons, and although we may have discussed the cons of this engine, it is by no means a write-off.
For an engine its size, it generates 310 hp at 5600 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. The 2.7 l turbo engine is paired with 8-speed transmission. In addition to this, its lighter engine means more towing power. It has up to 9,600 towing power and 2,800lbs payload
In this article, we have learned some of the problems associated with the GM 2.7L turbo engine. We have also learned that proper maintenance practices can prevent some of these problems.
For instance, we encourage Gm or Chevy owners to ensure they have an oil change regularly. The 2.7L is a great engine packed with so many benefits, and it is great if you practice all our preventive maintenance tips listed above.