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I'm bumping this thread because I also have this smell on my new 2011 Cruze Eco. It has been most acute when I run the air conditioning and come to a stop - then there is a surge of this smell entering the cabin. Using air recirculation avoids the problem, which confirms that the smell is not from the HVAC system. I also smell it from outside the car after parking.

As of 400 miles, the smell still exists. I have also tried idling in the summer heat to see if I can burn it off, but idling doesn't seem to continue generating the smell.

Any other ideas?

(And this most definitely is not the normal new car smell. I have purchased 8 other new cars in my life and none have had this strong burning smell.)
 

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In my opinion this is a combined effect of the brakes and specific tires on the vehicle.

Eventually I stopped smelling it. Its either the tires or a coating on the pads/disks. I say this because I smelt it strongest after going through tight turns with traction control on and parking, or parking after coming off a ramp at 90mph.
 

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I'm bumping this thread because I also have this smell on my new 2011 Cruze Eco. It has been most acute when I run the air conditioning and come to a stop - then there is a surge of this smell entering the cabin. Using air recirculation avoids the problem, which confirms that the smell is not from the HVAC system. I also smell it from outside the car after parking.

As of 400 miles, the smell still exists. I have also tried idling in the summer heat to see if I can burn it off, but idling doesn't seem to continue generating the smell.

Any other ideas?

(And this most definitely is not the normal new car smell. I have purchased 8 other new cars in my life and none have had this strong burning smell.)

It will go away...I had that smell for the first little while...put some more miles on her...you will be good!!
 

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I have an update. After 1100 miles, I was still getting a burning smell, so I decided to take it to the dealer. The dealer has determined that the turbocharger was leaking oil onto the exhaust manifold.

My point here is that anyone else getting a burning smell should not wait and hope that the smell goes away.
 

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Mine had the same smell. Smelled like cooking plastic to me. It has since gone away.
 

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Another update: the official cited reason on the invoice is a missing gasket on the oil return line from the turbocharger.

My advice: it doesn't hurt to take it into the dealer rather than waiting.
 

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2011 Cruze burning smell

Had the same smell on my car. Took it back to the dealers to be checked out but they said there was nothing. Turned out it was my clutch burning and it has cost me a fortune to have a new clutch and fly wheel. Make sure the smell is investigated it could cost you a fortune!!!
 

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Isn't the clutch covered under the powertrain warranty? Pardon my ignorance when it comes to clutches and warranties since I haven't owned a manual before. But if it wears out from normal use shouldn't that be covered?
 

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My car also had the rather distinct burning smell, but now, two weeks after getting it, I have about 615 miles on it and the smell has practically disappeared.

Clutches are generally not covered under powertrain unless something catastrophic happens to them in the first few thousand miles that is not caused by driver error. Since they are a normal wear item most warranties do not cover them, at least in my experience.
 

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VERY frustrated. I have a similar issue, now with 11,000 miles on mine. I've only noticed it when the heater is on, but it's worse if the blower is set to the floor, rather than defrost. It smells like wiring or hot plastic, definitely not normal. I don't seem to notice it nearly as much the cooler the thermostat is set. I took mine in the dealer and they said they felt it was some oil spilled from the last oil change. I disagree. If it were so, it stands to reason a person would always smell it, not just when the thermostat is turned up. I like the car, but am frustrated I can't seem to get answers as to the cause of the smell.
 

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I have the same problem. I notice it with the heater or AC on. 11,000 miles on car right now. I brought in because the engine was leaking coolant about a month ago. Was told burning smell would leave -- it has not. It is making me sick. I get indigestion and my stomach feels all messed up any time I am in the car. Sometimes I will get light headed or a headache. I didn't drive the vehicle the first few months I had it (injury) and our winter was unseasonably warm so no real need to ever run heater or A/C before the last couple months.

I'm bringing the car back in, but there seems to be something seriously wrong with it. Its getting to the point where I can't really drive the car. I mean I have to, but I really dread it at this point.
 

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The people that still have the issue after 10,000 miles...it sounds like you guys are mistaking something else for the burning smell. At 1500 miles, the smell is more or less gone on my Cruze.

Someone mentioned above that there was a gasket missing on the oil return line to their turbo. My Volvo always leaked oil down onto the exhaust in some form or another - turbo, cam cover bolts, cam seals, etc. It smells like CRAP and will really make you feel nauseous. If the gasket was missing on one car, it's possible that some of the rest of you may have that issue as well.

If it's still persistent after that long, don't live with it. Take your car to the dealer and demand they figure it out.
 

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I have the same problem. I notice it with the heater or AC on. 11,000 miles on car right now. I brought in because the engine was leaking coolant about a month ago. Was told burning smell would leave -- it has not. It is making me sick. I get indigestion and my stomach feels all messed up any time I am in the car. Sometimes I will get light headed or a headache. I didn't drive the vehicle the first few months I had it (injury) and our winter was unseasonably warm so no real need to ever run heater or A/C before the last couple months.

I'm bringing the car back in, but there seems to be something seriously wrong with it. Its getting to the point where I can't really drive the car. I mean I have to, but I really dread it at this point.


Cruze772011,
I would suggest that you take your Cruze back into your dealership. If you would like me to contact your dealer and set up an appointment for you please send me a PM with your name, VIN, dealership and your available days and times. Either way, please keep me posted on this. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me.
Thank you,
Stacy Chevrolet Customer Service
 

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Stacy --

I have brought it back this week. I was told by the service manager that the problem was reproduced but the problem was not something that could be fixed and that I would have to live with it. It was his opinion that was related to the coolant. He was unable to put any time table to the solution, but he was hopeful that at some point would go away. Clearly that is an unacceptable response. I can't be inhaling toxic fumes while driving the vehicle.

I have written directly to dealership about receiving a refund on the vehicle, but they have not responded as of yet. I guess my next step will be directly to GM. Either way, I don't see how I can drive around in the car with this issue in it.
 
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