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GM 2.2 engine problems

scottygmc4x4scottygmc4x4 Posts: 20
edited March 5 in Chevrolet
Has any one out there had any problems with the GM 2.2 engine. Also does this engine use a timing belt or chain. My car runs very nice when the engine is hot but has a noise when cold below 30 F. It sounds to me like piston slap. Any help out there????


  • That motor is nothing but cheap gm junk. Actually, you could probably call it gm's dream motor-cheap to build, not very durable and unbeleiveably expensive to repair.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    The 2.2 has a timing chain with a tensioner. Could be the tensioner is wore out, but it would be all the time, not just when it is hot.
    You have to determine the location of the noise. If it is rear, lower, check the torque converter bolts.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    The 2.2 has a very bad reputation, both in reliability and performance. I have driven two S-10s equipped with this engine, and it is completely gutless even on a flat road. I believe it can do 0-60 in about 16 seconds, give or take. If you want a reliable GM motor, go for the Chevy 350 V-8. You can't kill those things.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    True, but what do you expect for an OHV single cam engine. Actually in my experience the 2.2 is relatively reliable and trouble-free. I can name worse.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    I hope this isn't about the GM 2.2 Ecotech engine. I just bought an Alero with one.

    I never heard of an S-10 with a 2.2L. I had a '92 with a 2.5 once. It performed ok. Is it an old S-10?
  • this is about the POS motor they put in the s-10 and cavalier. I had a 95 Sonoma with that motor. What a nightmare!
  • amoralesamorales Posts: 196
    '00 Chevy S10 Xtreme. 5 sp, reg cab. 0-60 in 11 sec. Chain driven. 8 months later i told Chevy to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. To avoid BUY BACK lemon law they exchanged it for a '00 C2500 3/4 ton. It seems the engine computer was at fault. The truck would stall every 8-10 miles on freeway. It began at 20,000 mi. Dlr could not fix stalling. Engine codes revealed the GM anti-theft device to be problem. Finally after 4 visits they gave up. Being the S10 had short throw shifter and close ratio steering with ZQ8 susp pkg. It handled very well, was responsive in traffic, but was gutless off the line. Limiter cut in at 94 mph. I think there is a DOHC version of this motor that does duty in the Saturn. 135 hp. GM powertrain website has the listings of all GM motors.

    Good luck and Happy New Year to all vehicle lovers
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Best engine i have ever owned,have 2 right now,00 Cavalier and 99 Sonoma.Reliable and parts are cheap and the engine is easy to work on.The basic engine goes back to 1982,millions have been produced.Nobody would produce a bad engine for 20 yrs.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I think the 2.2 started getting used as the base engine when GM finally phased out the old Pontiac 2.5 "Iron Duke" (more recently known as the Tech-4 or something like that). The 2.5 was always kind of a dog, only putting out around 85-92 hp or so, but it had a bit more torque than the smaller engine back then, the Cavalier 2.0. The 2.0 got bumped to 2.2 liters sometime in the late 80's, and got a pretty big increase in hp, but not torque. It was around this time, I think, that they started using the 2.2 as the base engine in vehicles like the Century, Cutlass Ciera, S-10, etc.

    FWIW, I have a friend who once owned an '85 Cavalier with the 2.0. It was a dog, but that car did run to about 110K or so miles. It was finally done in by electrical problems.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I'll quote from the GM service manual for the 2.2 engine.

    Knocks cold and continues for 2-3 minutes.

    1) Engine flywheel contacting splash shield - reposition splash shield.

    2) Loose or broken crankshaft balancer or drive pulleys. Tighten or replace as necessary.

    3) Excessive piston to bore clearance - replace piston.

    4)Cold piston knock which disappears in 1.5 minutes should be considered acceptable.

    Well, I've had good service out of my 2.2 engine in my 99 Cavalier with no problems at all. I also like the simplicity of the engine and how easy it is to work on.
  • This is the best motor you have ever owned? I wonder what kind of junk you have owned in the past.p.s. I wonder how many car salesmen and dealership owners posing as private owners post messages declaring how good cheap garbage is.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    ...I'd like to think that an '00 and a '99 model year car would have been mechanically trouble-free, at least this far in their lives! The only two cars I've ever had with what I'd consider premature engine problems were an '82 Cutlass Supreme 231 and an '89 Gran Fury 318. Both went out, coincidentally enough, at 73,000 miles. The 231 was junk by that time, which prompted me to unload the car. The 318 had a bad camshaft, but the engine had been replaced by an '88 318 just before I bought the car. 116,000 miles and no engine problems (carb problems are another story!)

    But back to the subject at hand...while the 2.2 isn't exactly a poster-child for quality or innovation, I'm sure if it was really truly horrible, GM would've been burned by it years ago and I'd hope they would've been intelligent enough to revise it or replace it.
  • Anyone found the oil filter yet? - dealer wants $16-22 for the canister filter. I've called everyone in the phone book - no joy.

    This is in a 2002 Grand Am. 3000+ miles and no oil service light - just waiting for it to come on.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Yah well, the 2.2 might be junk but I've certainly had bigger junk then. All this raving about European car design is all very well and good but when you come down to the Opel and Renault and Fiat etc. type of car then just give me my Cavalier thank you very much. I've had the sorry experience of owning all of those wretched things and they were all a pain in the butt. Oops, forgot to mention those wretched British things. Morris.. shucks, my memory mercifully fails me.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    A glimmer of rememberance - I used to call my Morris/Austin Smokey Joe...........
  • Bob, when you get the oil filter for your Grand Am, ask for the current price. Friend owns an auto parts store and daughter has a 2002 Grand Am also. When GM first shipped the filters they were up there in price, but shortly after they revised the price down into the normal range. Also she got a note from the dealer about the oil capacity in the manual being wrong. I think the manual says around 6 but it should be 5.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    You are entitled to your opinion,i owned or own 5 since 1987,have 2 now.Its a cheap engine to repair.BTW they have been produced since 1982,started out as the 2.0,same basic engine.If it is junk as you say and GM produced them for twenty years hats off to GM for fooling everyone.I love GM i know where they are coming from.I bet you have never had greasy hands,i think thats your problem.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Have been produced for 20 yrs,started out as the 2.0 same basic engine.
  • For your information, I would like to tell you that I do get my hands greasy every day working as a tool and die maker building stamping dies ,mainly for GM, Ford and Chrysler. I also have lots of experience messing around with cars from having owned various GM POSs. The 95 Sonoma with the 2.2 was far and away the worst one. Problems included a blown head gasket and cracked head( a common problem and definitely not inexpensive), chronic stalling and hard starting problems caused by the awesome distributorless ignition system that GM's rocket scientist engineers put in it, valve clatter like you wouldn't believe with the engine either hot or cold, plus lots and lots more.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Well, I don't really want to get between you and joe3891's little lovers tiff here but, that same awesome GM distributorless ignition system has been around for some time now. It drove my brother-in-law's Buick Skylark with the 2.4 engine for nearly 200,000 miles with no problem. One important change has been made in the positioning of it in the 99 upwards Cavalier. It sits on the side of the engine in a cooler spot instead of at the back of the engine. Also, valve clatter is gone because the 2.2 engine has hydraulic lifters now.

    Blown head gaskets were usually caused by corrosion brought on by incorrect coolant. Using DexCool orange colored coolant seems to have helped in stopping blown head gaskets. So you see, even in these primitive engines there are some advances.
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