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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Help - 2006 SS with code P0300 - Mechanic says I need a new engine

The check engine light came on so I had Autozone check the code while I was buying wipers. They said it was code P0300 which usually means a bad spark plug. I took it to a local shop to get the plugs changed and they called me the next day with the following information:

Cyl 1 Skipping.
Engine Pulling Vacuum in Crank Case
No compression on CYL 1. Probably has sticking valve or stuck/broken piston. Needs new engine. Estimated cost $6000.

The car runs fine except for a very slight, almost unnoticeable "stutter" when you first start the car. No knocking or pinging. No lack of power or overheating.

SHould I take it to another shop and get a second opinion or is this a common thing?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty2730 View Post
The check engine light came on so I had Autozone check the code while I was buying wipers. They said it was code P0300 which usually means a bad spark plug. I took it to a local shop to get the plugs changed and they called me the next day with the following information:

Cyl 1 Skipping.
Engine Pulling Vacuum in Crank Case
No compression on CYL 1. Probably has sticking valve or stuck/broken piston. Needs new engine. Estimated cost $6000.

The car runs fine except for a very slight, almost unnoticeable "stutter" when you first start the car. No knocking or pinging. No lack of power or overheating.

SHould I take it to another shop and get a second opinion or is this a common thing?
On the LS4, cylinders 1, 4, 6, and 7 comprise the active fuel management system. I suspect your cylinder #1 problem is AFM related, such as a lifter gone bad.

I can't tell you the cost of repair, but I'd like to think you could get the AFM lifters replaced for well under 6k. That said, according to my factory manual, you have to pull the heads to swap lifters, which is well beyond the usual for cam-in-block Chevy small-blocks of the past, so that will add cost - it's quite a bit more than just pulling the intake.

I'm facing the same thing on mine, but for now, it's parked waiting for me to get around to it

Doug

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2019
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A broken piston you would definitely notice an issue with the car's performance. Yep, wouldn't hurt to get another opinion. Would not tell them what the first mechanic said until after they diagnose it.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty2730 View Post
The check engine light came on so I had Autozone check the code while I was buying wipers. They said it was code P0300 which usually means a bad spark plug. I took it to a local shop to get the plugs changed and they called me the next day with the following information:

Cyl 1 Skipping.
Engine Pulling Vacuum in Crank Case
No compression on CYL 1. Probably has sticking valve or stuck/broken piston. Needs new engine. Estimated cost $6000.

The car runs fine except for a very slight, almost unnoticeable "stutter" when you first start the car. No knocking or pinging. No lack of power or overheating.

SHould I take it to another shop and get a second opinion or is this a common thing?
P0300 is a random misfire code. I would expect if you had zero compression on cylinder 1 you would have P0301. I would be very suspicious of the first diagnosis.

If you are a little handy, and want to potentially save money and not have to pay another diagnostic fee elsewhere, you could check compression yourself.
Buy something like this


Cylinder 1 I believe is front bank and on the passenger side (someone correct me if I'm wrong) so it should be easy to get to. Technically you are supposed to pull the plugs on all cylinders to test compression, but I wouldn't bother. It will quickly tell you if there is zero compression on your cylinder.
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SHould I take it to another shop and get a second opinion
The short answer is yes.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2019
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A cylinder compression and leak down tests should be done to assess the condition of the engine.


I agree that this issue is almost certainly AFM lifter related. AFM is the main reason why I never bought an Impala SS. I read about way too many failures of the AFM system on 2007+ Chevy trucks.
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Last edited by Z71; 01-08-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2019 Thread Starter
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Been meaning to come back and update this post with the results. Had the spark plugs changed. The error code went away. Been running great for the past several months.

Thanks to everyone who replied!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-13-2019
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Originally Posted by Patty2730 View Post
Been meaning to come back and update this post with the results. Had the spark plugs changed. The error code went away. Been running great for the past several months.

Thanks to everyone who replied!
Thanks for the after action report.

Always a good idear to step back and look at the basics.
I think I'd stay away from the guy that wanted to rebuild your engine.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-14-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
On the LS4, cylinders 1, 4, 6, and 7 comprise the active fuel management system. I suspect your cylinder #1 problem is AFM related, such as a lifter gone bad.

I can't tell you the cost of repair, but I'd like to think you could get the AFM lifters replaced for well under 6k. That said, according to my factory manual, you have to pull the heads to swap lifters, which is well beyond the usual for cam-in-block Chevy small-blocks of the past, so that will add cost - it's quite a bit more than just pulling the intake.

I'm facing the same thing on mine, but for now, it's parked waiting for me to get around to it

Doug

.
A 2006 5.3 does not have active fuel management. It started in 2007.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-14-2019
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Originally Posted by carnau View Post
A 2006 5.3 does not have active fuel management. It started in 2007.
My '06 SS has DOD. Is that different from AFM?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2019
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Good to hear you got it straight and was not a major issue.
Thanks for reporting back, sure this will help someone in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatzie View Post
Thanks for the after action report.

Always a good idear to step back and look at the basics.
I think I'd stay away from the guy that wanted to rebuild your engine.
Could not agree more. Amazing how some will try to take advantage of others.

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2019
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Nice post. . .
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty2730 View Post
Been meaning to come back and update this post with the results. Had the spark plugs changed. The error code went away. Been running great for the past several months.

Thanks to everyone who replied!
Sounds like you need a new mechanic.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty2730 View Post
Been meaning to come back and update this post with the results. Had the spark plugs changed. The error code went away. Been running great for the past several months.

Thanks to everyone who replied!
I'd be inclined to stop by this shop and inform the owner/manager, it may just be a bad shop or it could be a good shop with a bad mechanic and the owner should know about your experience. I'd do it just to see what their reaction is.
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