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post #1 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy LFX 3.6L Valvetrain noise

Hello all ;

I am new to the MC community and unfortunately my first post is not the most positive. Kickback, grab a snack ! my apologies ahead of time for the long read.

I purchased my "New to me" 2012 3.6L Camaro (Black) with only 21,000KMs on the clock. I loved the car from the get go, even despite my HORRIBLE experience with the dealership that I purchased it from (That's another story).

After approximately 5,000kms of driving, I started to notice what sounded like a soft lifter, or a lifter unable to pump up properly, now some would say the LFX does not have lifters, but it certainly does, just not the ones us SBC guys are used to seeing. This sound comes from the drivers cylinder head and can be heard easiest when in a drive-through, or when I open my door at idle.

I owned a Solstice and certainly am familiar with what a properly operating DI setup sounds like in all its glory, the hard part is trying to get a technician to not automatically puke out the automated response " Oh that's just the normal noises the High Pressure Fuel Pump Makes, or the Injectors are injecting at 1,00000,00000000,0000 PSI....... " Rubbish.

So two months ago I made an appointment to have it checked out, I left it with them over night, and low and behold I get the call the next day that "Everything is normal, we were not able to reproduce the sound you describe".

With that said, I continued to drive the car knowing very well whatever issues I was having would rear its ugly head eventually and surely it did.

That brings me to the reason of this post. I had an appointment with the dealership today, (2 months after original visit) and I took the technician aside and showed him the DI TSB for normal noises, and explained to him how my situation has nothing to do with the TSB. The technician then says "Oh yes, what you are hearing is valvetrain noise, this is very common on these engines".

**** I nearly lost it on the poor soul folks..... This car is quietest when cold, only ticks when hot, that rules out the DI setup right there. the issue is due to hydraulic lash mechanism, low oil psi, soft cam or excessive valve clearance, no brain is needed here ..... BUT ! even after personally listening to 3 new 3.6L Camaros, and 3 used Camaros with varying KMs on them (none of them make this noise, in fact they were all MUCH quieter than mine ever was. here comes the best part.

After rambling on and stumbling over his words, his response to me was " We will not tear the engine apart", and "This is not excessive valvetrain noise" (even though I told him several times that this is the quietest you'll hear it, maybe you should keep it here until you can classify it as excessive like I have"

I then told him, that I no longer wish to own the car if this is considered to be NORMAL, and that he should put me into contact with his manager so that I may voice my concerns with him/her as well, as it really is that loud folks, Ive included a video but I don't think it does much justice, if a city bus pulls up beside me, I can here the ticking over his flipping diesel motor !!

He then says to me "I will seek approval to replace your HPFP" . I said to him "Can I leave the car hear with you ? so that you can PROPERLY diagnose whats wrong with it ? "

" No need to leave it here, Chevrolet will not approve the replacement of lifters, pistons,cam, cam followers or the cylinder head". but he's going to try and throw a part at it that's guaranteed not to correct the issue ??

This needs to be escalated , I cannot drive this car as it is ridiculously embarrassing.

Chevy Buy back ? whats the qualifications for that ?

Canadas version of the Lemon Law "Canvap ???"

Any advice would be greatly appreciated guys, I work very hard for my money and Ive just started to finance this wonderful machine.

HELP !!!!!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twHw...ature=youtu.be)
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 05:28 PM
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That certainly isn't normal.....Is there another Chevy dealer that you could bring it to for a second opinion?

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post #3 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 05:55 PM
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Sorry but I don't hear it.

I don't have the best hearing though. Can you post some more sound clips walking around the car and with the hook up?
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies folks. No other dealers that are close to me other than the aforementioned dealer that I had a horrible experience with.

I'm so horribly sick from this situation. I've babied this car and changed my oil every 5000kms (even when olm still says 60%+ remaing). M1 and delco filter.

Will try to get my canon rebel out with 0gain on the inputs. That should separate the exhaust from the sharp tick.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 08:34 PM
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Check the oil level.

And these engines do NOT have lifters. They are hydraulic lash adjusters...there is a difference.
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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S. Bretz

Thank you for the chime, much appreciated. I used the term "lifter" loosely in this context for the lack of a better word, but you seemed to nail it "Hydraulic Lash adjustment".

Oil level is on the mark, have also changed the oil twice in one regular period with Mobil 1/ Delco filter.

Here is another video I took at the same time as the first one, the noise truly is loud enough that I must turn off the car to place an order at a drivethru, can hear it in busy Toronto traffic if anyone pulls up on my drivers side.


Thanks again for any and all feedback !.
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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In both videos, I am gently depressing the gas peddle and hovering between 700-1100 rpm, ticking is only present when car has reached operating temperature.

No CEL, I get the light misfires on cold start, but read that many others also have this, so I let that one slide. The car performs well, and doesn't seem to affect drivability, but it has crossed the threshold of my acceptance.
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 12:08 AM
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My 14 LFX doesn't sound like AT ALL! You need to escalate. Sorry you're having to go through this. Did it sound this way when you first bought it? Did the sound appear right after the first oil change that you did? If so, I'm guessing someone ran this hard and low on oil, then put heavier weight oil in it before selling.

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post #9 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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That's certainly how it sounds bit this has been happening for a while but albeit a lot less noticeable 2 months ago. I brought it in then and they tried telling me its the di.

If this clatter was present when I was viewing the car I never would have bought it. Its horrible. I've been a chevy guy all my life and never thought I'd be treated in this manner.

The mechanic that last looked at it has opened a work order only for the rwason of contacting hq to see what options he has. He also told me he is going to tell them this noise is not excessive... well it certainly is.

I will not give up. The dealership is going to be very sick of me as I'm now on them like white on rice.

Won't open the engine to repair ? Then I guess a new engine is what ill shoot for.

I uber sad chevy owner. I have great connections in the social media scene, it cert as inly would be in chevys best interest to take care of this customer.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 05:06 AM
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