What do new engine pistons supposed to look like after 1000 miles.
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    What do new engine pistons supposed to look like after 1000 miles.

    The dealer was supposed to replace the pistons and rings under warranty on my 2012 GMC Terrain 2.4l because of my excess oil burning. After the work was done I noticed the engine was still really dirty as before. Looks like it was never worked on. So I removed the spark plugs to look at the top of the pistons. The pistons had some black carbon buildup in the center of the pistons. Also noticed some pitting on the pistons also. Is the new pistons supposed to look like that after 1000 miles?
    I called the dealer to ask them if they really did the work. The service writer says he seen the engine torn apart in the shop. I also asked if they honed the cylinders? They said no that is not required.
    I guess I will wait another 3000 miles to see if it still burning oil. Because it consumed 4 quarts of oil in 5000 miles before the repair.
    Last edited by ultra7350; 04-02-2019 at 09:32 AM.
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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    Can you ask to see the old parts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebrafive View Post
    Can you ask to see the old parts?
    Actually I did asked. They said they needed to be returned for warranty work.
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    Did you ask to see them after you pulled the plugs or when you picked it up?

    I'd be tempted to call the regional factory rep to see if the dealer actually returned anything - or if they're required to.

    I've never really done much work on car engines, but I did work my way through school repairing small engines on lawn and garden equipment. Replacing the piston and rings required a complete tear down and removal of the engine from the piece of equipment. Generally when we were doing something like that, we cleaned the grease off of everything to clean it up as much as possible. Usually the block would go in the parts washer.

    Did the replace the plugs too? I would hope so.

    I don't want to say the dealer is being less than upfront with you, but....

    Good luck getting this resolved.
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    Often, when they are going to do a major repair such as replacing pistons, they power wash the engine and compartment as it makes the work a little easier and it also prevents crud from getting into opened up components. If the engine looks as dirty as before, it doesn't mean they didn't work on it, but it sure seems less likely.

    Also, at 1,000 miles, the pistons should look more new than old. Could they have carbon build up? Its possible but very unlikely. Do you run ethanol based fuel?

    An engine consuming oil by burning it would have REQUIRED new piston rings and its always been my practice when installing new rings to hone the cylinder as it cleans up the slight wear marks but it also helps break in the new piston rings. Otherwise, you are running brand new rings over cylinder walls which have some wear patterns. The honing won't remove the wear patterns, but it will "scuff up" the cylinder walls, which in my opinion, help break in the new rings.

    I wonder if they just put new piston rings in your engine and used the old pistons because they miked out OK from a measurement perspective. But that's a lot of oil use to burn, basically a quart per thousand miles.........

    I think your doubts are certainly valid. Now lets see what happens in the next 3,000 miles.

    Get an itemized copy of the parts they allegely replaced. I would want a written record of the items they claimed they replaced in case the engine has to be torn down again.

    With that much oil consumption, I would have thought they would have put a short block in as a replacement as it would be a way to assure you they actually solved the problem. Plus the short blocks are assembled in a production setting which gives a more consistent result. It would be more costly in parts but save on labor.....Its what I would have wanted done if it were my vehicle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultra7350 View Post
    The dealer was supposed to replace the pistons and rings under warranty on my 2012 GMC Terrain 2.4l because of my excess oil burning. After the work was done I noticed the engine was still really dirty as before. Looks like it was never worked on. So I removed the spark plugs to look at the top of the pistons. The pistons had some black carbon buildup in the center of the pistons. Also noticed some pitting on the pistons also. Is the new pistons supposed to look like that after 1000 miles?
    I called the dealer to ask them if they really did the work. The service writer says he seen the engine torn apart in the shop. I also asked if they honed the cylinders? They said no that is not required.
    I guess I will wait another 3000 miles to see if it still burning oil. Because it consumed 4 quarts of oil in 5000 miles before the repair.
    I would do a compression test to see what it is now compared to new specs!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultra7350 View Post
    The dealer was supposed to replace the pistons and rings under warranty on my 2012 GMC Terrain 2.4l because of my excess oil burning. After the work was done I noticed the engine was still really dirty as before. Looks like it was never worked on. So I removed the spark plugs to look at the top of the pistons. The pistons had some black carbon buildup in the center of the pistons. Also noticed some pitting on the pistons also. Is the new pistons supposed to look like that after 1000 miles?
    I called the dealer to ask them if they really did the work. The service writer says he seen the engine torn apart in the shop. I also asked if they honed the cylinders? They said no that is not required.
    I guess I will wait another 3000 miles to see if it still burning oil. Because it consumed 4 quarts of oil in 5000 miles before the repair.
    Sounds like very shoddy, incompetent, work if any was done. I would never install rings in glazed cylinders without honing and I sure as heck wouldn't tear down and engine and put it back together with all the dirt on it.

    If it still burns oil I would insist on a before and after leak down test on the next go round.
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    For excess oil consumption they may not have changed the whole piston. If the piston still passed the measurements they may have just put new rings in it. I doubt they would have just changed the oil sealing ring but it is possible.

    My guess is the piston dimensions passed tolerances and they just swapped out the rings. If I were doing this to my own vehicle I would have done the same thing.
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    Are you sure they didn't just replace the rings?
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnH123 View Post
    Are you sure they didn't just replace the rings?
    I also received a new parts list what they used with the receipt on picking up the vehicle. Going from my memory it said new pistons, rings, timing chains, tensioner and seals. The parts list was longer but that is all I can remember right now.
    I did some research on the pistons replacement and they will have to tear it down from the bottom of the engine and remove the oil pan and crank.
    Last edited by ultra7350; 04-02-2019 at 04:11 PM.
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