I remember this being a common complaint about the cruze from other forum members when winter rolled around last year. Gotta love that 1.4 engine, lol!
Once fully warmed my issue is to much heat(same as summer). Have to have the cold/hot dial turned down to midway to be comfortable. Car always feels to hot.
Cruze is far better than my old 86 Honda Civic, had to drive that thing nearly ten miles to get a little heat. Heater in that car was miniature with a 1.6 L engine.
On cold mornings, talking sub-zero, with the 1.4L turbo and MT, cuts this down to about a mile. We have the electric seats, that helps.
Then there is the question about being tough, neither my 30 Olds nor Ford even had a heater. 41 Chevy did, a tiny one where every one would fight to sit in the death seat to get some heat. Didn't think much about it, between the ages of 10 and 16 had a five mile paper route, had to get up every morning at 5:00 AM 365 days a year regardless of the weather. Least the cars kept that cold blast of cold air off your face without heaters, kept blankets in those cars.
Military back then wasn't the least concerned about your comfort, woke up in the morning with frozen water in the butt cans. Getting old ain't fun either, can't seem to take the cold anymore, right hand freezes and won't work. Use to work under cars just wearing a tee shirt in subzero weather, keep on moving and would stay warm.
After driving the Cruze about two miles, temperature gauge is at normal operating temperature. Is electronically controlled, if yours is cold even in hot 30*F weather, could have problems with it.
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If you guys have read my "how to get better fuel economy" thread, you'll note one of the points I made was to not use your heater in the winter until the engine has fully warmed up. This is particularly important for the Cruze because, as others have noted, the engine takes a while to warm up. Once it has reached operating temperature, it will generally hold it there without any issues, but it will take significantly longer to warm up if you're blasting the heat or just idling.
I advised that you wait for the car to warm up before blasting the heat, or the heater will just act like a radiator that doesn't have a thermostat and the engine will not actually warm up. I highly doubt that your car isn't heating up after 5 minutes of driving. Idling, I wouldn't know, as I've never let my car idle for that long. Waste of fuel IMO. Check the coolant temperature screen (if your car has it), and tell me what the temperature is after 5 minutes.
Even idling, I'm fairly certain the engine will warm up significantly. Perhaps not all the way up to 220 degrees operating temperature, but it will warm up nonetheless. If you sincerely believe that there's something wrong with your car, take it in to the dealer to get it checked.
If your commute is only 15 minutes you'll never have the car warm by the time you get to work. Unless some of that time is speeds over 40 mph at 1500-2000 RPM maybe.
I'm convinced GM designed the cruze to dissipate heat in all possible ways given it's a turbo engine and underhood temps could be high. Performance I imagine.
There's a dedicated transmission cooler (At least for the Automatic) Radiator, Oil Cooler, and heater core.
On my 2012 that has the coolant temperature as part of the DIC, you can see the temperature drop when you turn up the air speed of the blower.
I guess if I really had that short of a commute, I would seriously look at the cardboard option. However, how do you do that without blocking the air intercooler? It may be possible to do something with the lowest part of the grill to block that. Just remember the thermostat of the cruze according to alldata is closed and doesn't start to open until 210-215F Fully open at 230F.
With the blower on most of the time the lower radiator hose is cold. Cardboard would only stop the air in the engine compartment from cooling anything else since there's no flow through the radiator.