F16D3 1.6L ECOTEC Best Review Problems & Reliability

The F16D3 Chevrolet engine, which began serial production in 2004, was developed as a replacement for the F14D3 engine (2001 – 2008). The analogue for these power units was the well-known power unit of the Ecotec family – Z16XE, created by the laboratory of Lotus Cars (Great Britain). It was installed on various Opel cars (Vectra, Astra, Meriva, Zafira) from 1995 to 2006.

F16D3 Ecotec Review Problems Reliability

In 2007, the F16D3 engine was discontinued, but its story did not end there. Chevrolet, which is an economically independent division of the American concern General Motors, released new engines in 2008 – F16D4 and F18D4, the production of which continues to this day. In practice, these power units are an upgraded F16D3 engine.


All three power units of this series (F18D4, etc.) are of the same type and represent a four-cylinder four-stroke internal combustion engine with an in-line arrangement of cylinders.

Its cylinder block is cast from ductile iron and the cylinders are bored directly into its body. The cylinder head is made of aluminum alloy and provides lateral airflow to the cylinders.

The difference between the power units of the Ecotec D family, namely, they are the prototype of the engines under consideration, is the presence of 4 spark plug valves located in the center of each cylinder. That is why they use a 16-valve timing mechanism (DOHC 16V) with two overhead camshafts, which is driven by a toothed belt.

The Engine are equipped with electronic control systems:

  • Distributed fuel injection
  • Ignition

The engines also have the same lubrication and cooling systems. Forced cooling is carried out in a closed loop.

The combined lubrication system is organized in such a way that engine oil is supplied to the friction couples by spray or under pressure (through oil channels made in the walls of the cylinder block and its head).

A distinctive feature of the power units is also a high degree of unification at the level of parts, a large number of which are interchangeable not only within the family, but also with the Opel Z16XE and Z16XER engines.

At the same time, there are significant differences in the design of the engines, which predetermines a number of individual technical characteristics of each of them.

F16D3 Specs

Cylinder volume, cc1598 (F16 D3 and F16 D4)
1796 (F18 D4)
Power, hp from.109 (5800 rpm) - F16 D3
124 (6200 rpm) - F16 D4
141 (6300 rpm) - F18 D4
Torque, Nm150 (4000 rpm) - F16 D3
155 (4000 rpm) - F16 D4
175 (3800 rpm) - F18 D4
Number of cylinders4
Valves per cylinder4
Cylinder diameter, mm79 (F16 D3 and F16 D4)
80.5 (F18 D4)
Piston stroke, mm81.5 (F16 D3 and F16 D4)
88.2 (F18 D4)
Compression ratio9.5 (F16 D3 and F16 D4)
10.5 (F18 D4)
Supply systemElectronic multi-point injection
Gas distribution mechanismDOHC + CVCP phase distribution (F16 D3 and F16 D4)
DOHC + VVT phase control system (F18 D4)
FuelUnleaded gasoline A-95
Fuel consumption, l / 100 km
(city mode)
7.3 (F16 D3)
8.7 (F16 D4)
9.2 (F18 D4)
Lubrication systemCombined (under pressure + spraying)
Engine oil type GM Dexos-2. It is allowed to use other types of oils not lower than GM-LLA-A-025 class (5W-30, 5W-40, etc.)
Engine oil volume, l3.75 (F16 D3 and F16 D4);
4.5 (F18 D4)
Cooling systemLiquid closed type with forced circulation
CoolantAntifreeze GM Dex-Cool
Weight (dry, without attachments), kg112 (F16 D3 and F16 D4)
115 (F18 D4)
Motor resource, thousand km250

Installed Cars

  • The F16D3 engine is installed on cars: Daewoo: Lanos, Nexia, Lacetti Chevrolet: Aveo, Lacetti, Cruze,Lanos & ZAZ Chance
  • F16D4 is installed on the Chevrolet Cruze.
  • The F18D4 is installed on the Chevrolet Cruze and Opel Mokka.


Features of the base F16D3 engine

The F14D3 engine was distinguished by its simplicity and reliability in operation. However, he had a number of disadvantages that negatively affect the stability of work, for example: the use of the CVCP (Continuonus Variable Camshaft phasing) system in the gas distribution mechanism; application of an electronic exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system; use of hydraulic valve lifters.

Due to these shortcomings, the F16D3 engines were characterized by:

  • Uncertain launch
  • Unstable idle
  • Increased consumption of engine oil

Differences in the design of the F16D4 power unit

When creating the F16D4 engine, the developers managed to get rid of the shortcomings characteristic of the base F16D3.

So the F16D4 engine was equipped with a new variable valve timing system VVT (Variable Valve Timing); He also got a system for changing the length of the channels of the intake pipe and got rid of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. In addition, the valve lifters were replaced with calibrated cups.

As a result of the modernization, a more powerful and reliable engine was obtained.

The F18D4 engine differs from the F16D4 engine in its increased volume of cylinders and, as a result, in greater power and thrust. In its manufacture, the same design solutions were used as in the F16D4 engine.

In addition, it was possible to double the resource of the timing belt drive. Valve parts are made of chrome-silicon (intake valve and exhaust stem) and chrome-manganese-nickel (exhaust valve head) alloys.


Operation of engines of Chevrolet Aveo (F16D3), Chevrolet Cruze (F16D4 and F18D4) and other vehicles is carried out according to the manufacturer’s requirements for regular maintenance. The Chevrolet Lacetti oil change is carried out every 15 thousand km.

They include:

For engines installed on the Chevrolet Cruze (F18D4), replacement:

  • Oil and fuel filters are produced no later than 15,000 km. Used Chevrolet Cruze engine oil also needs to be replaced after 15 thousand km
  • Spark plugs are performed after 60,000 km of the distance traveled
  • The drive belt and the rollers of the gas distribution mechanism are carried out no later than after 150 thousand km of run. Moreover, after 100 thousand km, its condition must be checked and, at the slightest suspicion, changed. If the belt breaks during the trip, then expensive repairs cannot be avoided (the valve will bend);
    It is advisable to carry out the air filter after every 50,000 km traveled
  • The manufacturer recommends to carry out the coolant once every 5 years or no later than 240 thousand km of the distance traveled

In the engines of Chevrolet Aveo, Daewoo Lanos and other cars, replacements:

  • Engine oil is carried out every 15 thousand km of the distance traveled. It is also necessary to replace the oil, air and fuel filters
  • Spark plugs must be carried out after 45 thousand km of run
  • The belt and rollers of the gas distribution mechanism drive, in order to avoid valve breakage, are performed every 60 thousand km
  • The coolant is recommended to be done once every two years

In the Chevrolet Cruze engine (F18D4, etc.), during routine maintenance, they change:

  • Engine oil, gasoline and fuel filters – every 15 thousand km
  • Spark plugs – after 60,000 km of distance traveled
  • Timing belt and rollers – after 100,000-150,000 km. If the belt breaks during the movement of the valve, it bends
  • Coolant – after 240,000 km or 5 years of operation (whichever comes first)
  • Air filter – no later than 50,000 km
  • Consumables for Chevrolet Lanos engines and engines of other cars produced by General Motors

The American concern General Motors, along with engine and cars, is engaged in the production of auto chemical products. The concern manufactures these products in strict accordance with the requirements that apply to Chevrolet Cruze engines and their analogues.

That is why the technical documentation contains recommendations for using the original:

  • GM Dexos 2 Long Life 5W-30 engine oil
  • Antifreeze GM Long Life Dex Cool

GM Dexos 2 Long Life 5W-30 engine oil is an original product, the chemical composition of which includes special additives that extend its service life and significantly increase the time between replacements.

This synthetic oil is intended for use in engines such as Chevrolet Cruze, Opel Mokka, etc.

The original GM Long Life Dex Cool antifreeze superconcentrate has a unique chemical composition and excellent anti-corrosion properties. The anti-corrosive agent together with antifreeze increases the boiling point and also prevents the coolant from freezing when exposed to low temperatures.

Also, the composition of the antifreeze includes emitting inhibitors that provide an extended period of use (up to 250 thousand km or 5 years of operation).

Antifreeze of this class is intended for use in engines of Chevrolet Aveo, Daewoo Nexia, etc.

Timing valve clearance adjustment

The engine of the Chevrolet Lacetti and other cars (F16D3) is equipped with hydraulic valve lifters, therefore, regular valve clearances are not required.

The Chevrolet Cruze engine uses tared cups instead of hydraulic lifters, with which the valve clearances are adjusted. This procedure is carried out during maintenance at the workshop after every 100,000 km of run.

1.6 Ecotec Problems & Reliability

When using high-quality gasoline, regular maintenance, warming up the engine and gentle operation, the F16D3 engine, as well as the F16D4 and F18D4, travels from 200,000 to 250,000 km without problems. However, this engine are not free from disadvantages.

These include:

  • Unstable idle speed on a cold engine
  • Loss of traction
  • Oil leaks through the valve cover gasket
  • Overheating of the power unit

In addition, the base engine F16D3 has a number of disadvantages that later power units of this series (F18D4) have been relieved of:

Hanging valves
(the motor loses power, stalls, troit, etc.).
Carbon deposits (small clearance between valve and guide bush, caused by carbon deposits, makes movement of the individual valve difficult).To avoid the formation of excessive carbon deposits, for which:
1. Use high-quality gasoline.
2. Do not start driving until the engine has warmed up to 80 degrees Celsius.
Noise and knocking in the motor.The most common cause is problems with the hydraulic valve lifters.Eliminated only in the course of diagnosing and repairing the engine in a service station.
The engine runs unstable, traction disappears, etc.EGR valve clogged with carbon1. It is possible to avoid damage to the EGR valve with constant use of high-quality gasoline.
2. Turn off the exhaust gas recirculation system

Typical malfunctions typical for all power units of this series are eliminated as follows:

The engine gets very hot1. The thermostat is out of order;
2. The radiator is clogged with dirt;
3. The pump is defective.
The radiator must be cleaned of dirt, and the defective components must be replaced. It is recommended to change:
- the pump when replacing the timing belt;
- the thermostat is changed every 50 thousand km.
The engine does not pull1. The fuel pump sieve is clogged.
2. Defective high-voltage wires.
-Use good quality gasoline.
-Clean the pump sieve from dirt.
-Replace high voltage wires.
Engine oil leaks through the valve cover gasketMileage is more than 100,000 km.Change the gasket every 40,000-50,000 km.
Unstable operation of a cold engineThe original design nozzles are clogged with dirt.Clean the nozzles from dirt. It is recommended to carry out this procedure at the service station.


Many tuning studios offer to use sports firmware to improve the technical characteristics of car engines. However, in this case, the Chevrolet Lacetti engine, as well as other power units of the Ecotec series, will receive smooth traction and a slight increase in output power.

A solid increase in power can only be obtained through a rather complex and expensive modification of the engines.

F16D3 and F16D4 Engine

To obtain a power of more than 140 liters. from. it is necessary:

  • Bore cylinders for 80.5 mm piston
  • Install the crankshaft from the 88.2mm F18D3 engine with the appropriate pistons and connecting rod
  • Replace existing camshafts with sport camshafts with split gears
  • You can also bore the intake and exhaust ports, grind them and put in larger valves

These improvements, along with the sporty firmware, will allow for a decent increase in power.

Similar results can be obtained if the RK-23-1 compressor is installed on the engine, which provides a boost of 0.5-0.6 bar. In addition, you will have to replace the cylinder head gasket and install 360 cc injectors and sports camshafts. Careful tuning of the power unit will allow you to get a power of about 150 liters.

F18D4 Engine

You can raise the engine power to 180 horsepower if you carry out a set of work on the installation and adjustment of the TD04L turbine.

In addition to the turbine, it is necessary to purchase and install:

  • Intercooler
  • Reinforced piston group with holes to reduce the compression ratio
  • Sports camshafts
  • Turbine oil supply system
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