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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
31,750 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. replace engine (4 reports)
  3. replaced engine (2 reports)
  4. still not fixed (2 reports)
2013 Chevrolet Spark engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Chevrolet Spark Owner Comments

problem #16

Feb 272017

Spark 1.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles


Have constantly had to have oil changed due to check engine light coming on but not the light for an oil change being due. Each shop that does oil changes say I needed oil, so I'm thinking this is a problem. Has occurred every month, to the day! From Feb to May 2017

- polnoff, Sacramento, US

problem #15

Feb 192015


  • Manual transmission
  • 26,000 miles

I bought a used 2013 Chevy Spark with 25000 miles on it (somewhere between 25000-26000). I told the sales person, the sole purpose of buying this vehicle was a commute to new employment, somewhere between 1 - 1 1/2 hrs one way. I expressed my reliability of car and was told it would fit my needs.

I had it 2 weeks and on the way to work on Hwy 35 in Texas, my check engine light came on and the car had no pick up at all. It started to slow down in bumper to bumper traffic with cars on my rear. Thank God I wasn't involved in a car accident, but it could have happened easily.

My husband called the dealership we bought it from and was referred to Chevy since they didn't service Chevy cars. A rental car was provided with Hertz. I got out of training, went to Hertz only to be declined. I was stranded in a new city, in a new state and over 1 hr away from home. I was told by Hertz they could call me a cab to take me home but it would be expensive. I have never been treated in such a manner by a company and I won't go into full detail but it was horrifying.

The next day I called to local Hertz and they did not have a car available, nor did the Hertz in the next city over. So not only did I leave training early the next day to ensure everything with my car and rental, I would miss the very next day of training which could have gotten me fired due to attendance policy.

My husband had to call the dealership to the let them know Hertz had no cars. It took almost 3 hrs if not 3 hrs to get picked up by the dealership. Once I arrived I asked what the issue was with my car, it was being looked at luckily. I also asked if there was any recalls on the vehicle I wanted everything taken car of at once. I could not afford this type of events in the future due to employment. I was told there was 2 recalls on the car that was not taken care of previously. Only 1 recall was taken car of by the previous owner and that was for the ac recall.

The Chevy dealership did not even bother to look for recalls on the car while they had it. It was up to this consumer to push the issue. I walked to the back to see my car and to get a few personal items out of it when I was told the issue was the oil recall. I personally don't see how a dealership could have sold me a car that had a recall and not take care of it or inform me of it. I have not even received my paperwork from the loan company yet on how to pay my notes. Nor have I received the normal recall information since I only had it for 2 weeks or less.

Not only did I loose work hours and stress over the attendance policy while in training and stressing over possible termination, I had all this info put on me. NOT A NICE FEELING OR CONFIDENCE booster at all. I was told the repairs would be covered under the recall but I guess we will see. I see comments from other owners. Some cost was on them due to other issues, like sparks plugs blowing out due to the oil consumption and this is what happened to me.

Update from Apr 12, 2015: Just a update on my experience with this recall. Since my last post a lot has happened. Chevy lied to me many of times! I even complained to the Chevy complaint dept and im getting absolutely nowhere. The issue with my car breaking down on me was the oil consumption recall. I was told by the dealership due the recall it blew one of my spark plugs, then it went to one of my valves was burnt. I express the concern of the others going bad and was told i would not have any issue only one was bad. Well it took them 2 wks to fix the one valve only to tell me when they were doing to test on the car they found another valve that was bad. Ok i dont see how they couldnt see both valves at the same time but whatever. So again i express my concern due to the heavy traveling i do to commute to work and back. I was told i wouldnt have any issue and if i did no worries i have 100k warranty so just bring it back. Great answer Chevy!!! I advised of all the research i have done and other owners needing a new engine, i asked for a new engine since i was lied to in the first place about only 1 valve being bad and i told them another one will eventually go bad. I guess im not taken serious due to my gender, gggrr. Anyways once i finally got my car back in a very bad situation may i add i immediately called and adv that the car was not idling right and i notice the pick up going up hills was not as it was before the work being done. Then a few days later i notice i dont get the gas mileage i did previously either. After 2 wks of no return phone calls i had to just bring it in on my day off. I had a feeling it would be a wasted trip and it was. I was told nothing was wrong with my car, it ran lean prior to it braking down so it ran better and got better gas mileage because of it. That makes no damn since what so ever. How can a car run better before a recall then run off idle after but its running correct. So you are telling me the car was in better shape before it broke and now its fix its in its normal performance??? OMG again treating my like im an idiot because im a female. It ran as a 2 yr old car should when i bought it then it went to crap!! So after calling the complaint line and keeping them up to date on the bs that was given to me i find myself in another situation. On the way home today a error code come on my screen, a code 82. I immediately called my hubby to research it, in fear this car was about to break again. Come to find out it needs an oil change. Are you serious??? The dealership had my car for over 2 wks, fixed a OIL consumption recall and did not change my damn oil?? Not only that the sticker from the dealership i bought the car oil sticker still in my car not to mention i just had the car at the dealership 2 days ago and was told nothing was wrong with my car. Well this just proves my car was not looked at, if so the mechanic needs to go back to school. You had my car, was inspecting it and did not notice it needed an oil change?? Here i go back fighting yet again. At this point im with the other owner a class action lawsuit needs to happen for all the bs us owners are going thru and the condition of the vehicle we are stuck with after the repairs. I WILL NEVER BUY another chevy ever again, its a shame too, this is my 5th chevy and i swore by them but not anymore and i will tell everyone that will listen the hell ive gone thru with this recall and this car!!

- jgusman, Temple, TX, US

problem #14

Feb 152015

Spark 2LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

After the excessive oil recall last year and losing a day of work I hoped I was done with it. I was driving to work and the engine started shuddering, the engine light and traction control light came on. My car had zero acceleration. Due to the extreme cold and highway traffic, this put me into a life threatening situation. Because of the faulty parts GM installed in my car, causing my car to consume over a quart of oil a month last year the spark plugs were fouled. While they admit this was caused by the faulty parts, the damaged spark plugs are not covered and I had to lose another day of work and fork out over $250 for repairs.

- Bruce A., Royal Oak, MI, US

problem #13

Oct 282014


  • Manual transmission
  • 34,000 miles


My Spark had approx 32,000 miles. I had an oil change done at the dealership before leaving on vacation. Approx 1200 miles later (near Boston, MA) my check engine light came on. No apparent problem w/ the car although it had a slightly different sound. I checked the oil. No oil on dipstick. The oil light never came on in the car! Added 2 quarts before I saw it on dipstick.

Called dealership in the area but they couldn't get me in until late in the week and I needed to leave before then. At their suggestion, I took my car to the local Auto Zone to have the code read for free. Unfortunately the code gave general information about potential emission or fluid level problems. Auto Zone added another (3rd) quart of oil and the check engine light went off.

I checked places my car had been parked for the last several days; no evidence of leaks. I was headed for Richmond VA. I called and made an appointment with dealership there. That dealership added another (4th) quart of oil, took care of a recall item, and gave me an "oil consumption chart" to keep for 2000 miles. The dealership near Richmond seems to have overfilled the oil, so I'm not sure I'm getting an accurate picture of oil usage.

The oil is down and I'm taking it to my hometown dealership later today. I'll update after I know more.

- Ann S., Oshkosh, WI, US

problem #12

May 052014

Spark HB LT Dohc 4-Cy

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,322 miles

We did the oil changes on this car. However, I was advised by the dealership’s Service Department when we brought the car in sometime in May that the car did not have any oil and it needed an oil change so, the Service Department put oil in the car and absorbed the cost. We had the oil changed the next day.


A short period of time after that incident coming home from work the car stopped, we had the car towed to the dealership and they gave us a rental car. First the Service Manager said it was not covered under warranty and it was our fault. After several conversations over the next few days he told me it would be approximately $5,900 to replace the engine. If GM would accept the core then it would be approximately $5,300. I asked him again why it wasn’t covered under the bumper to bumper warranty and he said the inspectors were out in the field and didn’t know when they could schedule one to examine the engine and it may take weeks. He also said we would have to continue to pay the rental car during that period and GM would not look at the core until they needed one. This was going to be approximately $700-800. He felt it would not be covered under warranty.

At that time it looked like I may have to pay approximately $7,000. That’s almost half of the selling price of the new car – and we still owed almost five more years on the loan. I had to charge the invoice on my credit card, so I am paying interest on this also. (GM’s comment was everyone has a situation – this was really comforting – wonder why I called them in the first place – not a very good way to treat a customer.) The total charge was $5,326.42 for the new engine. The charge for the rental car was $100. I contacted GM and after they contacted the dealership they advised me that the reimbursement to me would come from the dealership. I feel we should be reimbursed for this charge after discovering we are not the only one that had this problem. Any damage that was done to the car was due to defective parts or assembly of the automobile, not by the customer. Sent On-Star reports to GM showing oil changes, etc. It is in the hands of their legal department.

Can’t believe this is happening with a new car and it’s not reimbursed thru warranty.

- Diane N., Columbus, OH, US

problem #11

Sep 132014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

hi my name is jessica , i am 23 and a single parent of 3 year old son and he was in the car when on the freeway my car lost power, i bought the car new in tacoma washington from gilhcrest chevy. car has 26000 miles and is still under warranty, i have noticed no one has mentioned the recall from chevy on the problem as i got mine in the mail on monday. wednesday i set my appointment for the recall fix which is this monday, well the car didnt make it, it now sits with the check engine light flashing unable to drive. i do in home care and need my car for work. if i have to take a client somewhere i stand to lose my job if i have to load them in my boyfriends pickup truck. gilhcrest refuses to take car until mondays appointment and they will not provide a loaner, because they have not gotten car. don't try live chat with chevy all they say is, "i am sorry you're having problems. is there anything else i can do for you?" the car is a pierce of ssssshit because of the motor that's in it and chevy knows this. instead of telling you it needs a new motor the recall states you might need the #4 spark plug replaced, everything listed on the the recall paper has happened and the last thing it says is engine damage may occur. do they do a compression test when they do the recall fix? if they don't i get the car back with a bad engine. chevy has replaced engines when #4 cylinder compression tests lower than 80 psi. to make matters worse now my mom and dad are fighting because my dad wanted to take it to a certified mechanic and have #4 cylinder compression tested so we would know the motor was bad before taking it in. its seems even under warranty you still have to cover your butt with chevy.

- badspark, Tacoma, WA, US

problem #10

Jul 132014

Spark 1LT 1.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles


The check engine light came on two days into our two-week road trip. Chevy Roadside said they could send a tow truck, but offered no other solutions. We continued on and called the local dealership in the middle of Vermont. They were "short-handed" and couldn't help us. The one 45 minutes away wasn't taking appointments until the middle of the following week. I white-knuckled the car, which had no pick up on the highway hills or on-ramps, watching the tachometer to keep it under 4000 rpm's (instead of the 7K it wanted to go up to), for 2 hours to a dealership in New Hampshire that actually helped. They put 3 quarts of oil in (to an engine that only takes 3.5 quarts), told us they thought the o-rings were bad, and sent us on our way with a case of oil and some rags. We added 2+ quarts of oil in the next 1000 miles of driving. In the middle of Indiana, the car refused to go over 45 MPH. Again, I white-knuckled it to the nearest dealership, where they added more oil and told me to take it back to my home dealership ASAP. 100 more miles of frightening, slow highway driving... At my home dealership, they said it was a loose oil filter and that nothing was wrong. I had driven the car 4000 miles between the last oil change and the start of the trip, and the car had been at the service department for two previous recalls only the week before we left on the road trip, so that solution did not make any sense at all. They refused to do anything else other than top off my oil. One month later, the car is being recalled for excessive oil consumption and the dealership claims they are going to fix everything in one hour.

- Mary P., Chicago, IL, US

problem #9

Feb 052014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,178 miles




- Magdalena S., frankfort, IL, US

problem #8

Apr 152014

Spark 1LT 1.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

Brought the car in (2013 Chevy Spark 1LT 19,000 miles) to the dealer for a checkup and was told that the car was 2 1/2 qts low on oil. (the dealer had changed the oil 1500 miles earlier.) They ordered a 2000 mile oil watch. At the end of the test the car was using 1 QT/1,000 miles. The dealer took the car in and gave me a loaner. Called me the next day, said Chevy had told them to pull the plugs and do a compression check. Cylinders 1-3 were about 110 psi and #4 was 70 psi.

Chevy told the dealer to replace the engine and send them the old one. New engine is in and is working OK.

No charge, car under warranty. Major problem handled well by Chevy dealer.

- chevyowner1622, Fort Myers, FL, US

problem #7

Apr 162014

Spark LS 1.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,900 miles

My Chevy Spark began losing oil shortly after the weather cooled off this winter. Heard a lot of lifter noise and the first time I noticed the check engine light on, the car was off the dipstick low on oil. I have been adding at least a quart a week all spring and now into summer. Some weeks requires 2 quarts for my 600 miles I drive a week on average.

Love the car and don't really have time to get by the dealership so I am hoping to see a recall or something posted online soon to justify taking off work to visit a dealership. I did opt for the extended 100,000 mile warranty so I am in no rush though I do now have 40,000 miles on the car after 14 months of ownership. If something doesn't change in the next 12 months or so, I will begin visiting dealerships to get the problem rectified prior to the end of my warranty coverage

- Jacob M., Camden, AR, US

problem #6

May 092014

Spark LT 1.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,305 miles


Purchased this car at a CarMax dealer in Augusta Georgia May 8, 2013. It had a CarMax certified care sticker on the window and the oil level was full and clean. We drove the car home (280 miles) all was fine. The next day we took the car to Florida for a week long vacation. I checked the oil level prior to leaving and noticed it was down about one quarter inch on the dip stick. The trip to Florida was about 680 miles making the total miles since we bought the car 960. I checked the oil because of the level change in only 280 miles and found it to be over a quart low. I purchased 1 quart of Mobile One 5W20 and added it. On the way home at a gas stop I again checked the oil and found it to be over a quart low! The total mileage we put on the car at that time was about 1500. I added 1 quart of 5W20 off brand oil as that was what was available.

I took the car to my local Chevrolet dealer and explained what had taken place since we purchased the car. This dealer had never seen a Chevrolet Spark and did not know of any oil consumption problems. The the oil was low again. The dealer suggested I have them change the oil and begin an oil consumption test for documentation purposes. GM is aware of the problem but have not determined the fix yet? The total miles we have put on this car since we purchased it is 6,189 and it has used 8 quarts not counting the 4 for the oil change! Today June 30, 2013 two new problems which I will report separately happened and I am going to the dealer and asking for a loaner car until these problems are resolved.

We like the car but the reliability is not there so we can not continue to drive it until it is fixed.

Update from Jul 25, 2014: 7-2-14 took car to dealer for repair. They checked the compression and said if the compression on #4 cylinder was 80psi or less they would replace the engine! The test came back 50 psi. They replaced the engine at no cost to me. Time at dealer 3 weeks, it would have been a week or less but the mechanic went on vacation for week or so.

We are going on a 2000 mile trip so will verify the fix worked.

Update from Aug 10, 2014: After getting the car back and prior to departing for a week or so trip I checked the car over tires, engine oil , coolant level. Noticed coolant level low and assumed due to engine replacement may not have removed all air in system. I added coolant and departed on trip. The next morning rechecked coolant level, it was low again, added water.

Looked for any sign of a leak, none found. I had to add water every day throughout the trip. Returned home and took to dealer. They said it may be a cracked head and are waiting to fond out what to do!

- thefox71, Anderws, NC, US

problem #5

Feb 012014

Spark 1.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles

In February 2014 car starting ticking pulled into a gas station to check my oil, nothing on the dipstick, no oil light came on. Put 3 quarts of oil in the car and it just touched the bottom of the dipstick. Brought the car into the dealership for my regular oil change and I told them about the ticking noise and oil light not coming on and they said an oil consumption test needed to be done. Changed the oil and air filter and told me to come back in 1,000 miles. I went back to the dealership at the 1,000 miles and the oil was down 2 quarts, again no oil light came. Changed the oil again and told me the same thing come back in 1,000. Before I was to come back for the 3rd oil consumption test at 750 miles the check engine light flashed about 6 times and went off. Brought it back to the dealership on March 25th and told them what happened and they kept my car for 10 days only to change the # 4 spark plug and the PCV valve and did the wet and dry compression test. Picked up my car on Thursday April 3rd and it ran great and wasn't burning any oil. On April 7th driving to work my check engine light starting flashing and the traction control light came on and the car was losing power and idled very badly the motor was shaking badly. Back to the dealership I went and told them I don't want my car back. Talked to the Sales manager about my car and I said I don't want this car anymore and I want a different car then tells me I need to put money down for a different car? REALLY I will NEVER BUY ANOTHER CHEVY.

- Kimberly S., North Judson, IN, US

problem #4

Mar 142014

Spark 1LT 1.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Was really enjoying my car until 2 months ago. It started to be low on power so I took it into the dealership. They stated that it is within GM specs for the engine to use a quart over 2,000 miles. Are you kidding me? It has 30,000 miles on it and shouldn't be using a drop. Anyway, they change the oil (5000 miles on it) and off I go. A week later (500 miles) I am having the same issue, but this time the oil is still reading on the dip stick, although it appears to be low. Another week goes buy (1000 miles) and the low power issue starts happening. Engine is now a quart low. I take it in and they determine the PVC system is to blame and that the engine needs to be replaced. They gave me a new Malibu to drive. Still waiting on the new engine though...4 weeks and counting

- Jake K., Jesup, IA, US

problem #3

Feb 202014

Spark Salsa 1.2ldohc 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 19,000 miles

On a return trip from Florida to New York this March My 2013, Spark began to intermittently skip a beat and lose power, I thought perhaps it was the 87 (off brand) octane gas and filled it with Sunoco 93. It preformed better for about sixty more miles and then started to miss fire and lose power worse then before. Not a good thing on an interstate full of trucks.

Now the engine light came on, checking the book, this light indicated that there was an emission problem. OK emission problems are bad, but the car should be able to continue. It could not, it was becoming impossible to maintain highway speed. We pulled into a Wal-Marts and at the much lower speed I became aware of a "Clicking" sound like a baseball card on the spooks of a bike. Check under the hood, nothing. Just for the hell of it check the oil, also nothing. No oil registered on the dip stick. Bought 3 quarts of synthetic. 5w20 oil before it even touched the dip stick a fourth quart was added to fill it to operating level.

There was NEVER a low oil light, nor did the engine overheat. Also there was and is no noticeable oil leaks. Car is now being tested by the dealership, Or I should say "Me" to see if the oil level falls within the next 1000 miles. Very Strange.

- sparky, Liverpool, NY, US

problem #2

Mar 012014

Spark LS 1.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles

My engine began ticking, lifter noise 1000 miles into my last dealer supplied engine change, no leaks found, they done a free oil change. 1000 miles into this oil change, ticking again. Checked oil level, empty again. Taking back this morning.

- Whalen A., New castle, IN, US

problem #1

Dec 262013

Spark LS 1.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Waiting for a new engine. I was told I engine has cracked intake valves. Speculating the timing belt jumped and the piston hit the valve assembly. Dealer was pretty tight lipped when I asked detailed questions. Just told me it would be repaired at n/c. This is equal to the GM diesels of the 1970's. Poor quality and no shame at GM. They have no credibility with me anymore. GM the home of thugs and thieves.

Someone please start a class action lawsuit against GM, I want my money back.

Update from Feb 12, 2014: New Engine Assembly arrived and the work was completed as promised by the Dealership. GM sent the dealership a complete engine assembly including the fuel rail, injectors, etc. The compression test showed all cylinders had loss of compression. 40% - 60% loss across the board. This problem was resolved with no hassle for GM or the dealership. If the second engine holds up I will be a very happy customer.

- hardwareman, Darien, Illinios, US

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