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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
tl;dr -
My 5 year old Chevy Cruse w/ 65k highway miles and routine maintenance has a failing transmission, brake system and cooling system.
Chevy essentially says to go fly a kite, you are on your on your own.



After trying all the Chevrolet channels, I have decided to air my grievances.

We have a blue 2013 Chevy Cruze Eco w/ just over 65k miles on it.
All standard maintenance has been followed up to now.

To begin:
In mid September, we got turn AC off, turn engine off, overheating messages from the car on the way to work.

Fill it with coolant at lunch (completely empty reservior).
Within a day or 2, same problem pops up.

No Chevy dealership in Boulder (Boulder Valley Automotive Repair) so we took it to a mechanic that we could actually get the car to without overheating it.
BVAR says that the thermostat and radiator hose are leaking. $500 repair.

Within a couple more days it becomes obvious that the car is still losing coolant.
Take it back, more pressure tests and they conclude that the car isn't having any issues and drive it around for a day to watch the coolant level. No problems still.
When they are driving it around they notice some problems that we had seen w/ the brakes just after the car starts up (tried to have diagnosed 1 year ago, dealer mechanics couldn't replicate the issue).
Additionally he said that he felt the transmission had some slip and that we should check with the dealer for warranty related to both of these issues.

We get the car back, drive it for a week and watch the coolant drop below any visible level in the reservoir and have decided that the mechanic clearly was not capable of actually diagnosing the issue.
So we brought it out to Century Chevrolet with the list that the other mechanic gave us as well as a description our recent experiences.
Of course they charge us $200 to diagnose the vehicle and take 4 days to do it.

Century Chevrolet is nice enough to cover the warranty on the water pump (although they charge for the diagnosis and note no issues with the replacement "aftermarket" parts).
Additionally, they claim that we should replace the transmission (a hair under $4k) and that the brakes don't work because a vacuum pump and switch are failed (note the previous inability to diagnose this exact thing, also $500).

We obviously don't have 4 grand today to put into a pretty new car, so we take the water pump repair and take it home to figure out whats next.
Within less than a week, the car is again out of coolant so we prepare for our 4th trip to the shop for that issue.

After fixing the water pump, they do an overnight pressure test to see whats what.
They claim that there was a little wiggle issue with the hose and believe that the car is good to go.
Wiggling the hose was pro-bono (such a generous place).

Driving the 12 miles home, car makes it all the way.
Pop the hood on return and there is an empty reservoir, coolant spraying out of some place near the reservoir/thermostat, as well as coolant all over the undercarriage of the vehicle.

Had to have the vehicle towed back to Century Chevrolet in Broomfield, now at the shop for the 5th time for coolant related issues.
Century mechanics claim that the aftermarket parts used by the mechanics over at Boulder Valley Automotive Repair are to blame.

I gave the Chevy customer service channel a chance to right some wrongs, and the "Senior Advisor", Arneatha, took a week to call up on the case.
At the end of the day, she says that there is no assistance due to the fact that we took it to a 3rd party mechanic using aftermarket (NAPA) parts.

They might consider assistance on the transmission but that we would have to pay for the teardown and diagnosis (again?) of the transmission.
Still a good chance that after we teardown and diagnose the transmission, which will take forever and cost a lot, they still wouldn't help, so thanks Arneatha.
And finally the brakes (which is a scary problem where the brake pedal can randomly go rock-hard and require a lot of force to press down and get and response), wouldn't be covered under power-train to begin with.
Let me repeat that, Chevrolet does not cover the cars ability to stop under the vehicles warranty. Seems wrong to me, but w/e.
Also, we tried to have that issue diagnosed under the powertrain 1 year previous and supposing they had found it then, they obviously still wouldn't have covered it.

At the end of the day, we have a car w/ 65k miles on in which needs about $4,700 worth of work done so that it stops normally, cools itself, and shifts correctly.

To anyone considering buying a Chevy, please reconsider.
This is easily the worst vehicle experience I have ever dealt with.
Dealership, car, mechanics, customer assistance. All absolutely failed here.

I will never purchase another vehicle from GM.

Thank you to all the people who made this possible:
Boulder Valley Automotive Repair
Century Chevrolet
Arneatha, somewhere in Michigan with Chevy customer service.

You will all be getting my reviews on every medium I can find.
 

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Lot of different people with a lot of different experiences, I've owned all GM vehicles my whole life and have had few issues in related to accidents or poor maintenance from previous owners.

My wife has owned all Japanese, and leased from new, and has had more issues. Which is not typical, however.

I preform all in covered repairs myself and have found the domestic vehicles are cheaper and easier to work on, maybe not as well thought out with some placement or design of parts though

I would not pay more for a Corolla/civic/Altima to then have to pay more to repair (maybe not as often, but you WILL need repairs)

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To anyone considering buying a Chevy, please reconsider.
Nope.

I have four and will keep buying them. I've previously had two others that have been wrecked (I'd still have either of them had they not met an unfortunate end), including a Cavalier with 258,000 miles that ripped a fire hydrant out of the ground and threw it five feat and **** near survived it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yeah, I get that.
Very frustrating when you put it in GM certified mechanics hands and they keep handing you back a broken car though.
Meanwhile the toyota 4runner with 175k on it shuttles us to and from the Chevy mechanics.

I think that the car is one thing, the awful service and refusal to stand by the car they made is another.

They are on their third attempt to repair a system that never should have failed in the first place- looks to me like people all over these forums have had issues with the cooling system.
We have been lucky on 3 occasions not to be stranded outright by Chevrolet not recalling the vehicles and correcting the water pump issues.


I absolutely recognize that it would not be standard for an experience like mine.
On the other hand, if it is so rare, the company should be trying to figure out what is wrong with the car they made and maybe attempt to rectify the issue.

Just know that if you do have problems, you are on your own.
 

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sorry, but your poor choice in mechanic shops and lack of vehicle repair knowledge has no influence on me buying another Chevrolet vehicle, which I will :) First shop RAPED you on the $500 fix and chevy now has no reason to fix that for free. Good, used, transmissions go for a 5-600...have a good shop swap it or rebuild it elsewhere, simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
No one asked Chevy to fix anything for free.
However they did tell me the problem was fixed twice. And the problem got worse each time they touched the vehicle.

We didn't know where the coolant was going when we gave them the car, but it was spraying all over the engine compartment by the time they were done with it.

Rip me all you want, a decent vehicle needs nothing but routine maintenance at this point in its life.
A failing transmission at 65k should be important to somebody.

And it may not be relevant to you, but to someone thinking about buying a Chevy new, because they don't want to be dealing with a car that falls apart, it probably would be.
 

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No one asked Chevy to fix anything for free.
However they did tell me the problem was fixed twice. And the problem got worse each time they touched the vehicle.

We didn't know where the coolant was going when we gave them the car, but it was spraying all over the engine compartment by the time they were done with it.

Rip me all you want, a decent vehicle needs nothing but routine maintenance at this point in its life.
A failing transmission at 65k should be important to somebody.
Sorry for your problems but at this point I don't believe you are due any further remedy from G.M. once the factory warranty has run its course. All this stress and grief could have been lessened if you had insured yourself with a supplemental 3rd party Service Contract.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry for your problems but at this point I don't believe you are due any further remedy from G.M. once the factory warranty has run its course. All this stress and grief could have been lessened if you had insured yourself with a supplemental 3rd party Service Contract.
Thanks, yours is a reasonable reply.

Original point stays, a vehicle shouldn't need this type of work done at 65k.
If they are all so decent and this car is an outlier, then they should have no problem helping out a customer that buys new cars from them, whose car is essentially totaled by the cost of their own recommended repairs.

Your brakes should work, your cooling system should work, and your transmission should work.
This is the experience of someone who bought a car brand new from Chevy.
 

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Thanks, yours is a reasonable reply.

Original point stays, a vehicle shouldn't need this type of work done at 65k.
If they are all so decent and this car is an outlier, then they should have no problem helping out a customer that buys new cars from them, whose car is essentially totaled by the cost of their own recommended repairs.

Your brakes should work, your cooling system should work, and your transmission should work.
This is the experience of someone who bought a car brand new from Chevy.
They are all reasonable replies, nicely, I feel you're expectations are unreasonable for chevy. They will not stay in n business if they give everyone with complaints something for free. They make warranted information explicit, they do not know your vehicle, or what it's been through or maintenance it has missed on, so they cannot just "help out" a customer.

Your brakes need maintenance. Your coolant system needs maintenance, your transmission needs maintenance. So to your original point, you can only speak on your experience and because you're not happy that a particular shop you keep returning to (for some reason) cannot fix your particular car with your particular history, where more others feel very differently because of similar and different experiences, that does not mean one should not buy another chevy. There are consumers of every make and model that have had similar experiences to yours.

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Discussion Starter #10
They are all reasonable replies, nicely, I feel you're expectations are unreasonable for chevy. They will not stay in n business if they give everyone with complaints something for free. They make warranted information explicit, they do not know your vehicle, or what it's been through or maintenance it has missed on, so they cannot just "help out" a customer.

Your brakes need maintenance. Your coolant system needs maintenance, your transmission needs maintenance. So to your original point, you can only speak on your experience and because you're not happy that a particular shop you keep returning to (for some reason) cannot fix your particular car with your particular history, where more others feel very differently because of similar and different experiences, that does not mean one should not buy another chevy. There are consumers of every make and model that have had similar experiences to yours.

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Yours also is reasonable.
Although this is the second mechanic shop, not the first, and it is a Chevy dealership, which must be representative of the company.
Additionally, it is the 3rd time it has been to this second mechanic/Chevy dealership in as many weeks.
If the problem was so simple as some of the people who have replied think, wouldn't you think that any one of these "certified" mechanics would have figured it out?

Needing maintenance and outright failure are 2 very different things.
Chevy didn't recommend I "maintain" my transmission, they call its condition severe and recommend "replacement".
If when you talk about maintenance, you actually just mean that you should have to replace your transmission every 5 years, then sure.
If your brakes failed on you in a parking lot, I assume you would have a different grasp on the problem.
Chevy actually did have to recall the 2011 and 2012 because of the issue that my car is dealing with.
Absolutely hazardous if you don't know its coming and the NHTSA clearly agrees with me on that one.
https://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1086541_2011-2012-chevrolet-cruze-recalled-for-brake-issue

Once again, no one asked for anything for free and in fact, they do know the maintenance, that is all available through their own records.

Statistically speaking, this car has had far more issues than it should and I would assume that anyone who has an experience like mine would never go back to the brand in question.
I should hope that my car is an extreme outlier.

I have had several other vehicles, of different makes and models, of varying ages and qualities.
Not one has had issues like this one. Even with twice the miles, over far longer durations.
 

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These cars have coolant system problems. You will get a tremendous push back from folks who have not experienced these issues. The problems pertain to the use of plastic parts (water housing), an overflow tank that has a vent for the over pressurization these engines experience and the low volume of coolant.

The parts for the coolant system are cheap and are available on Rock Auto. The parts are also readily changeable. The huge mark up from the stealership and that garage make owning any car that you cannot work on beyond annoying. That is why it is not helpful when people choose to post “take it too the dealership” as advice.

You have to find the leak. Any minor volume loss sets off a chain reaction where coolant will steam out of the vent hole in the overflow tank. I also am a big fan of changing out the v belt once you identify and stop the leak.

I assume you have a 1.4t engine. The transmission you will have to provide more info on. In the end it is a simple choice: ask questions to people that have been there and fixed that and get your tools ready to work on it yourself or trade it for a Honda (they are bullet proof). In either case, expect problems with the PCV system next. Your frustrations are well placed and valid. This car is not one of Chevy’s finest moments.
 

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These cars have coolant system problems. You will get a tremendous push back from folks who have not experienced these issues. The problems pertain to the use of plastic parts (water housing), an overflow tank that has a vent for the over pressurization these engines experience and the low volume of coolant.

The parts for the coolant system are cheap and are available on Rock Auto. The parts are also readily changeable. The huge mark up from the stealership and that garage make owning any car that you cannot work on beyond annoying. That is why it is not helpful when people choose to post “take it too the dealership” as advice.

You have to find the leak. Any minor volume loss sets off a chain reaction where coolant will steam out of the vent hole in the overflow tank. I also am a big fan of changing out the v belt once you identify and stop the leak.

I assume you have a 1.4t engine. The transmission you will have to provide more info on. In the end it is a simple choice: ask questions to people that have been there and fixed that and get your tools ready to work on it yourself or trade it for a Honda (they are bullet proof). In either case, expect problems with the PCV system next. Your frustrations are well placed and valid. This car is not one of Chevy’s finest moments.
lol @ bulletproof Honda while talking about transmissions....my buddy went through 2 trans in his v6 accord...kept loosing 4th or 5th
 

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Folks, I guess each car has it's own personality. Just before seeing this thread I had posted something about my car, a 2013 MT ECO with about 61,000 miles. It's been running like a top and I was wondering what to expect might fail.

Reading this, I've got some ideas....
 

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Unfortunately, some of the issues (brake pump switch) are common, and this dealer has run you through the wringer. I doubt the assist pump was bad.

The water pump and manual transmissions are also very weak points on these cars.

If you intend to keep this car on the road (might be a lost cause at this point), I strongly suggest that you find a good independent mechanic that can be trusted. I think if it were me, I'd find something else to drive.
 

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I've been having the same issues with my 2013 Cruze LT. About a year ago I got the High Temp message and took it to Century Chevy in Broomfield and they replaced the Pump under warranty with $200 diagnostic. About two months ago I started gettign the same messages and found that my coolant reservoir was empty. I find it hard to believe that "after market" parts are to blame whe I took mine to a Chevy Dealer and am having the same issues. I loved my Cruze when I first bought it but after replacing the Shift Module THREE times (within ONE year of ownership- new off the lot) and the jerking still occuring, and now the hose/pump issues I will also never be buying a GM again, nor reccomeding it!
 

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Unfortunately, some of the issues (brake pump switch) are common, and this dealer has run you through the wringer. I doubt the assist pump was bad.

The water pump and manual transmissions are also very weak points on these cars.

If you intend to keep this car on the road (might be a lost cause at this point), I strongly suggest that you find a good independent mechanic that can be trusted. I think if it were me, I'd find something else to drive.
A moderator that isn't a die hard Chevy yes man. I appreciate your honesty and decency good sir.

I have 2 cars made in 2011. A Suzuki Kizashi SE AWD w/CVT (owned since 2013 and 127 miles; currently at 46000-ish miles) and a Cruze Eco w6MT (owned since 2015 and 45000-ish miles; currently 60070-ish miles)...

In the time I've owned these two vehicles I've had to do the following interesting jobs on these vehicles (not including oil changes, tire rotations, air filter changes, wipers, etc.)

Suzuki KizashiChevy Cruze
Shift lever switch that could be yanked out of park without foot being on brake pedal (recall fix at dealer, preventative - I had not experienced issue when fixed)Defective battery cable (replaced under special warranty within 30 days of purchasing at dealer)
EVAP hose can get clogged by spiderwebs (recall fix at dealer, I didn't experience any issues with the EVAP hose)First Self Oil Change (mentioned here because I had to buy addtional tools to complete oil change: 10MM deep socket for the oil drain plug & 3 inch 1/2 drive extension for the oil filter housing cap; I was unpleasantly surprised at this as it was something I hadn't had to do for any other vehilce I'd done oil changes on prior)
New set of tires (regular maintenance)Installed Pod Air Intake Filter
Transfer case and rear differential oil change (regular maintenance; did it myself)PCV valve failure ruined intake manifold one week after Pod (intake repaced under aftermarket extended warranty at dealer -$1000 covered, PCV hose, PCV valve and crank case cover NOT covered - $500 not covered; PAIN TO TROUBLESHOOT)
New set of tiresWater outlet reservoir return hose failed (valve completely detached from the hose into the water outlet housing, fixed myself)
Throttle body cleaning (regular maintenance; did it myself)Oil Drain Plug seized and I stripped the head trying to get it off due to how ridiculously small/soft the head is (I don't have an impact wrench and had to take it to a shop; $100+ oil change)
One bent wheel (bent for years, but finally got around to replacing)Complete water outlet replacement due to failed gasket at engine block (replaced myself; I'm positive that this is (at least) the second water outlet that has been installed on this vehicle since it rolled out the factory; same shop that charged me $100 oil change wanted $300-400 to replace water outlet; same shop claimed they changed 5-6 Cruze water outlets per month due to service contract with a local CarMax)

Despite owning the Cruze 2 fewer years, it has had to spend roughly 400% more time getting worked on/in the shop due to poor engineering and crappy parts than my Suzuki ever has, EVEN THOUGH SUZUKI DEVELOPED THE "REPUTATION" OF MAKING CHEAP, SUB-PAR VEHICLES IN THE LATE 90's/early 2000's. The Cruze has been a regular source of stress due to maintenance issues which is something I expected from a Ford, not a Chevy. Like the OP, I am not at all interesting in purchasing another GM product, knowing now to what degree Chevy likes to cut corners on construction and engineering.

I'm lucky that I've been able to do fix most of the issues on my Cruze myself or under warranty. You can't blame the OP for not being the most technically savvy person, and then getting fleeced by Chevy/local mechanics, and then being subsequently pissed at Chevy about their experience. Chevy sells most of their cars to not technically savvy people who are under the impression they are getting reliable car that's not going to need $1000's of dollars & days/weeks of maintenance work in the first 2-3 years of ownership on a vehicle that's already going to take them 5-7 years to pay off.

This is an Economy car, for sure. I get it. It's cheap and you get what you pay for. But, in general, a lot of the people who buy this car are in the market at this level because they can't afford a more upmarket vehicle. And if they can't afford a more upmarket vehicle, it's also safe to say they probably can't afford losing the vehicle for many days in the shop and losing many hundreds or thousands of dollars in maintenance costs on it as well. Yet, these are the people that Chevy and their dealers are more than complacent in taking advantage of despite their lack of ability to afford potentially $1000's of dollars in repairs.

Is Chevy the only manufacturer that does the predatory practice on lower-income buyers? No. Of course not. But, that does not justify the Chevy's choices to participate in the practice, nor their sloth in addressing the issues. It also doesn't justify berrating the OP as some of the earlier commenters had, for voicing discontent at being a victim of this practice. Discontent shared by thousands of other Cruze owners, based on the sales volume of this car, and the ubiquity of the issues.
 

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I think the Cruze is good car IF you do your own maintenance.
It is easy to work on and parts are cheap, but requires semi-regular work.

That's been the deal with buying American as long as I've owned cars.
 

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I've been having the same issues with my 2013 Cruze LT. About a year ago I got the High Temp message and took it to Century Chevy in Broomfield and they replaced the Pump under warranty with $200 diagnostic. About two months ago I started gettign the same messages and found that my coolant reservoir was empty. I find it hard to believe that "after market" parts are to blame whe I took mine to a Chevy Dealer and am having the same issues. I loved my Cruze when I first bought it but after replacing the Shift Module THREE times (within ONE year of ownership- new off the lot) and the jerking still occuring, and now the hose/pump issues I will also never be buying a GM again, nor reccomeding it!
If the vehicle was brought in for repair and the repair is under warranty and that dealer is still trying to charge you a $200 diagnostic fee they are probably breaking the law. They should not be able to charge you for that since it is incorporated into the warranty work and they charge back a diagnostic fee to GM along with parts replacement. Sounds like a shady dealer and I would report them.
 

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Sorry to hear all the problems with your Cruze. I have a 2012 2LT that I bought CPO with 32000 miles, Now 53000 Since i have had the car only problem was water pump which was replaced no charge, a couple months ago I had a flashing check engine, I have maybe rare mechanic. He has seen it before moisture got in tank put a can of seafoam code P3 gone but i did not drive the car for a couple weeks out of city then one day over 50 it started again, I had already guessed Coil and Plugs so I got my friend at AutoAnything.com ( Shane) got a Delphi for $85.00 Bought Plugs for $30.00 they always ship fedex ground free , He charged me $20.00 Labor I already looked up your 2 parts you paid $500.00 Cost $107 shipped, The Transmission really is strange. But like others said, do a little research I have had GM cars since 2007 and if i had a issue I called the owner center. As others have said maybe get a used transmission, stay away from Dealership
Most make more in service , than they make selling cars, reason Most advisor's make over $100K and from first hand never get your car inspected at a dealership a great deal of them are trained to find something wrong. Bill
 

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I can't say I blame you given your experience. I had the same coolant problem at 120,000 miles. I fixed it myself in a couple of hours for less than $40. The water outlet on the driver's side of the engine(made of plastic)had a pin hole in it. While replacing that I also found one of the heater hoses that attach to it was deteriorated from having oil spilled on it. Not a great design but not hard to get to and replace.
 
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