Chevrolet Cruze Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone, I am very new here and am not very knowledgeable when it comes to vehicles, but I am eager to learn and I thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

I have a 2013 LS Automatic Transmission with 75K miles in the U.S (Got it at 44K, have put mostly highway miles on since then, driving it pretty roughly admittedly, averaging about 70-80 MPH on my 45 minute commute to school for about half of that time).

About a month ago I noticed my coolant level was somewhat low, I filled it up and was keeping an eye on it.

This past Monday, a couple minutes after starting the car in the morning, I noticed my coolant was about halfway low along with white smoke coming out from under the hood, once I checked I saw a wet spot on the right side of the engine right below the oil filter. Here are pictures of the area I am trying to describe.

IMG_20200221_082530.jpg
IMG_20200221_082514.jpg
IMG_20200221_082538.jpg


















IMG_20200221_082554.jpg























This spot is exactly where the smoke I noticed is coming from, after a couple more minutes, the smoking seems to stop which I assume is the fluid being burned off. This was recently after I received an oil change so I assumed it might have been the oil filter leaking and that it was oil, so I tightened the oil filter which didn't seem loose in the first place. However the liquid appeared as a clear color on my finger, which makes me want to believe that this is not oil.


I don't know if newer oil in small amounts can appear clear, but it did not seem like oil to me. I went and put transmission fluid on my finger after the fact and noticed it felt and looked similar but I could be wrong about that.










Here is a wet spot on cardboard from the car sitting overnight, I believe it to be in the same area I am seeing the leak. This is closer up and the spot is roughly a foot or so in length (I think that dried up spot next to it is the same leak from a different day)
IMG_20200221_082816.jpg


I only ever notice anything after the car has been sitting for a long period of time, once I drive somewhere and check it again, the liquid seems to have been all (burned?) away. Here is an image of the spot after I drove to work (about 20
minutes on the highway). Also, the leak varies day to day, It was fairly prominent on Monday, but on Tuesday I didn't see any thing, on Wednesday there was another decently sized puddle, and Thursday I noticed nothing.

IMG_20200221_085345.jpg
































I am wondering if anybody has an idea of what this liquid is and where it could be coming from. I would hope that if anything this is coolant and would explain my mysterious slow loss over time.


Edit: More Pictures later the same day after the car has sat.

Here is the bottom of what I believe to be the oil filter housing where it fits in. There is definitely a noticeable drip coming from the area at the bottom there. Also, here is liquid on my finger which doesn't seem to be oil.

IMG_20200221_154744.jpg


IMG_20200221_154921.jpg


















IMG_20200221_154631.jpg


Again thank you for any input that can be given, I appreciate the assistance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
Is it oil or antifreeze? Looks like oil to me, but I am not there. I am not a 1.8 owner, so I can only guess, so maybe @plano-doug can elucidate.
I'll try not to hallucinate :)

Looking at the pics, I see red drops, so I'm thinking coolant. The water outlet and thermostat housing are just above and to the right of the wet spots in the pics. There are several places prone to leaking in this area.

The water outlet can leak where it joins the head below the plastic housing indicated by the yellow arrow. I have experienced this leak.

The thermostat housing may leak. Several members here have complained of that. It can leak where it joins the water outlet at the red line. And it can leak where the hose attaches - orange arrow.

The pipe indicated by the green arrow goes to the oil cooler (off to the left, under the exhaust manifold). To the right, as indicated by the curved green arrow, this pipe joins the water outlet below the thermostat housing. That joint can leak. I've experienced that leak.

I would rent or borrow a pressure test kit from the auto parts store and connect it to the coolant reservoir. Inspect all these places I've described and clean off any moisture with towels. Let the engine warm up, apply some additional pressure, and inspect for leaks. An inspection mirror can be very handy for this. 2-5 dollars where tools are sold.

If you can pinpoint the leak, then we can guide you to the right info for repairing it.

Shotgunning it, you can get a new water outlet from Autozone that includes the thermostat housing and the coolant temperature sensor. It's an improved part over the original equipment. That and a new oil cooler pipe would probably fix it, but diagnosing it first is the best approach. Could be all you need to do is tighten the clamp on the radiator hose.

HTH.

Doug


forum_coolant_leak2.jpg


.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'll try not to hallucinate :)

Looking at the pics, I see red drops, so I'm thinking coolant. The water outlet and thermostat housing are just above and to the right of the wet spots in the pics. There are several places prone to leaking in this area.

The water outlet can leak where it joins the head below the plastic housing indicated by the yellow arrow. I have experienced this leak.

The thermostat housing may leak. Several members here have complained of that. It can leak where it joins the water outlet at the red line. And it can leak where the hose attaches - orange arrow.

The pipe indicated by the green arrow goes to the oil cooler (off to the left, under the exhaust manifold). To the right, as indicated by the curved green arrow, this pipe joins the water outlet below the thermostat housing. That joint can leak. I've experienced that leak.

I would rent or borrow a pressure test kit from the auto parts store and connect it to the coolant reservoir. Inspect all these places I've described and clean off any moisture with towels. Let the engine warm up, apply some additional pressure, and inspect for leaks. An inspection mirror can be very handy for this. 2-5 dollars where tools are sold.

If you can pinpoint the leak, then we can guide you to the right info for repairing it.

Shotgunning it, you can get a new water outlet from Autozone that includes the thermostat housing and the coolant temperature sensor. It's an improved part over the original equipment. That and a new oil cooler pipe would probably fix it, but diagnosing it first is the best approach. Could be all you need to do is tighten the clamp on the radiator hose.

HTH.

Doug


View attachment 285771

.
Thank you for the input and the helpful arrows! Yes this is definitely coolant. I have not noticed anything coming from the hose leading to the thermostat housing or the housing itself, I replaced the housing a couple of years ago with a nicer one so I am confident its not that. The odd thing about this is that I only ever notice the leaking when it is cold and the car has been off for a long time. If the car was driven I won't notice anything for hours. I have developed a leak coming from that oil cooler pipe where it meets the thermostat housing that exhibits the same behavior. Leaks when cold, after it warms up, no leak.

I am fairly confident this leak sprung up after this original one from under the oil filter, so I think these are 2 separate leaks. There is no trail of fluid I can see that leads me from one leak to the other one. I am assuming this is the o-ring in there going bad where after so much heating and cooling it is constantly expanding and contracting. When I notice the leaks the most, it is usually around 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes me want to believe that the o-ring on the other side of this same pipe has also gone bad and that is where the leak going under the housing is from. Also, recently I have noticed when it leaks in that area it is also coming down the side of the heat shield which makes me think its coming from back there where that pipe is.

I am replacing that oil cooler pipe tomorrow to at least address the one leak near the thermostat housing because I am sure that is the cause of it. I will see if it also stops the other one. I will keep the thread updated with the results.

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So with the oil cooler pipe changed it looks like that was the culprit. The car sat overnight and it got to be pretty cold which is when it would leak the most and when I checked all was dry.

A tip for anybody in the future who stumbles across this and is changing this pipe. It is definitely doable with out taking off the exhaust manifold. The only thing I removed was the hose right above the pipe going into the thermostat housing, be prepared to lose a decent amount of coolant. Once the pipe is undone from under the thermostat it pops out fairly easily from the other end and with some maneuvering it wiggles out from behind the manifold.

For putting the new one in, maneuver it in the same way it came out. With aligning it with the pipe end behind the exhaust, I recommend taking a phone camera and pointing it behind there where the pipe goes in order to guide yourself as you can see the hole fairly well with a phone camera. Make sure to put some coolant and the o-rings before installation as well.

Thanks to @plano-doug again for the help!
 

·
Super Moderator
2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red
Joined
·
7,916 Posts
So with the oil cooler pipe changed it looks like that was the culprit. The car sat overnight and it got to be pretty cold which is when it would leak the most and when I checked all was dry.

A tip for anybody in the future who stumbles across this and is changing this pipe. It is definitely doable with out taking off the exhaust manifold. The only thing I removed was the hose right above the pipe going into the thermostat housing, be prepared to lose a decent amount of coolant. Once the pipe is undone from under the thermostat it pops out fairly easily from the other end and with some maneuvering it wiggles out from behind the manifold.

For putting the new one in, maneuver it in the same way it came out. With aligning it with the pipe end behind the exhaust, I recommend taking a phone camera and pointing it behind there where the pipe goes in order to guide yourself as you can see the hole fairly well with a phone camera. Make sure to put some coolant and the o-rings before installation as well.

Thanks to @plano-doug again for the help!
Can you tell me if this tutorial appropriate for the 1.8 as well? If not, what are the differences? Also if you have any pictures would be nice.

How-To: Replace 2011-2016 Cruze 1.4L Coolant/Water Outlet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Can you tell me if this tutorial appropriate for the 1.8 as well? If not, what are the differences? Also if you have any pictures would be nice.

How-To: Replace 2011-2016 Cruze 1.4L Coolant/Water Outlet
Unsure of what you mean by this. The part I replaced was an oil cooler pipe for a 2013 1.8. The How-To link you provided is for a different part. When looking into my leak I found that on the 1.8 the water outlet piece is not the same as what it is on the 1.4, if that is what you are referring to. I think on the 1.8 the water outlet is a part of the thermostat housing assembly as pictured by @plano-doug 's diagram above, but I could be mistaken. All I know is that for the water outlet How-To you have linked, the process will not be the same on the 1.8. Unfortunately I don't have any experience or information on how to deal with the water outlet on the 1.8.

As for providing pictures, yeah I probably should have documented the fix better but unfortunately that did not cross my mind as I was doing it. I would like to leave this video -> here <- At 3:16 there is a good visual and explanation as to what the pipe looks like and where it is located. Except in the video the whole car is taken apart so you can see everything better, which is not necessary to replace the pipe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Zunchy - I also had a leak near the thermostat housing. I ended up only replacing the gasket on the oil cooling pipe, as I was not able to wiggle it out. How hard did you have to pull on it? My original plan (also based on doug's advice) was to remove it, but it wouldn't pull out for me. It would twist clockwise and counter-clockwise, but it wouldn't come out. I'm actually amazed it's not leaking right now, since I gave it some pretty good twists. But I never pulled too hard, because I was concerned I was going to break it and then render the car undriveable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
Zunchy - I also had a leak near the thermostat housing. I ended up only replacing the gasket on the oil cooling pipe, as I was not able to wiggle it out. How hard did you have to pull on it? My original plan (also based on doug's advice) was to remove it, but it wouldn't pull out for me. It would twist clockwise and counter-clockwise, but it wouldn't come out. I'm actually amazed it's not leaking right now, since I gave it some pretty good twists. But I never pulled too hard, because I was concerned I was going to break it and then render the car undriveable.
I couldn't tell you for sure why the pipe was hanging in the oil cooler. My best guess is that that o-ring on that end was moving such that, instead of being compressed when you pulled the pipe, the o-ring was staying put and being expanded by the pipe; as I recall, the o-ring sits in a groove around the pipe, and as the pipe shifts, it will try to push the o-ring out of that groove thus jamming it against the mating surface of the oil cooler.

Other than pulling harder, I'm not sure how to get it out. I fully understand your reluctance. The Hippocratic oath of car repair is "don't break something while trying to fix something else", right?

Doug

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
BTW, here's one more pic of the oil cooler pipe on the 1.8 LUW engine in the LS Cruze.

The light blue line highlights the edge of the flange where the oil cooler pipe meets the water outlet just below the thermostat housing. The green arrow was where I had a leak.

The bottom pic is for context showing the general area of the water outlet and thermostat housing.

Doug

leak1-3.jpg



oil_coolerr_pipe_big_pic.jpg

.
 

·
Super Moderator
2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red
Joined
·
7,916 Posts
Unsure of what you mean by this. The part I replaced was an oil cooler pipe for a 2013 1.8. The How-To link you provided is for a different part. When looking into my leak I found that on the 1.8 the water outlet piece is not the same as what it is on the 1.4, if that is what you are referring to. I think on the 1.8 the water outlet is a part of the thermostat housing assembly as pictured by @plano-doug 's diagram above, but I could be mistaken. All I know is that for the water outlet How-To you have linked, the process will not be the same on the 1.8. Unfortunately I don't have any experience or information on how to deal with the water outlet on the 1.8.

As for providing pictures, yeah I probably should have documented the fix better but unfortunately that did not cross my mind as I was doing it. I would like to leave this video -> here <- At 3:16 there is a good visual and explanation as to what the pipe looks like and where it is located. Except in the video the whole car is taken apart so you can see everything better, which is not necessary to replace the pipe.
Apparently I did not understand what you were referring to. Thanks for answering though. Always trying to better our resources here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I couldn't tell you for sure why the pipe was hanging in the oil cooler. My best guess is that that o-ring on that end was moving such that, instead of being compressed when you pulled the pipe, the o-ring was staying put and being expanded by the pipe; as I recall, the o-ring sits in a groove around the pipe, and as the pipe shifts, it will try to push the o-ring out of that groove thus jamming it against the mating surface of the oil cooler.

Other than pulling harder, I'm not sure how to get it out. I fully understand your reluctance. The Hippocratic oath of car repair is "don't break something while trying to fix something else", right?

Doug

.
Yeah, I definitely didn't pull too hard. What you're saying with the groove makes sense.. good to know that end is a tight seal. My leak (well, 1 of my 3 leaks!) was exactly where yours is pointing to in the picture. So I just replaced the gasket on that end.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top