Special Oil Pump Helps Chevrolet Cruze Conserve Fuel

General Motors

The oil pump in the engine of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze takes a laid-back approach to its work, delivering the precise amount of oil needed during all driving conditions. That requires the engine to work less versus a conventional pump and ultimately saves fuel. 

A standard feature in the Cruze’s Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the variable displacement oil pump reduces the displacement during engine warm-up and high-speed conditions. The volume of oil from the pump varies with rpm by changing the pump’s displacement through a pivoting control chamber mechanism and sliding vanes. A fixed displacement pump would typically bypass the extra oil internally. 

“By lowering the volume of oil we reduce the amount of energy, or torque, required to pump the oil, without taking necessary lubrication away from the engine,” said Mike Katerberg, assistant chief engineer for the 1.4L. “Reducing the torque demand reduces fuel consumption. It’s a simple, durable, maintenance-free design that we have used in our transmissions for years and more recently in our hybrid vehicles.”

The Ecotec 1.4L turbo is standard on Eco, LT and LTZ models and helps the Cruze Eco, with a standard six-speed transmission, achieve an expected segment-leading estimated 40 mpg on the highway.  

The benefits of the variable displacement oil pump increase when used with other technologies such as variable valve timing which operate using oil pressure. Variable valve timing adjusts the engine valves' opening and closing timing for optimal performance, fuel efficiency and emissions across the rpm band – including greater low-rpm torque.

The all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze will begin arriving in U.S. dealerships this September.

One of many Cruze incremental engine technologies to improve fuel efficiency is the variable displacement oil pump. The pump body pivots (blue lines) causing the vanes (red lines) to move resulting in just the right volume of oil being pumped. When less oil is pumped less energy is needed which ultimately saves fuel. The variable displacement pump is standard on the Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine.

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