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Wow, glad i found this thread. i get the coolant smell, but at very rare non random times. I need to have the car at operating temperatures, high load, up hill, from sea level to higher altitude (lots of that where i live) with the intermittantly noisy blower motor on. but it only happens at high speed. I live at the top of a large hill with high load from sea level to snow line and I don't get the smell. but i'm not going any faster than 70(kph). on the highway theres a hill that i need to take a run at (eco 6 speed manual) and by the time i hit the top of the hill i smell coolant and sometimes that very familar smell of a burnt GM blower motor resistor (I've been a tech for 5 years now, 4 years dealing with a lot of GMs, just went to ford) I never put much thought into it being a problem, but the first few times i got real dizzy from it haha.
As it turns out I've been in the local dealer every weekend for the last 5 saturdays. the first 4 were finding an oil leak that they apperently didn't fix (but we'll get to that) and the last saturday was co-signing on a sonic for my ex.

I just went out to check my coolant level and my degas bottle is empty! i've also had a belt noise since the coolant smell started and while i couldn't find any staining under the water pump, the AC compressor is oily.
I also found oil all over my transmission to engine seam, which the dealer 'fixed' after 4 weeks of trying to find it, calling it a faulty PCV.

anyways, sorry for the rant, i've just spent too much time in the dealer this year and it sounds like i'll be in there for another few weeks fixing the coolant issue, and re-fixing the oil leak.

At least when ford has these problems I get paid to fix them :)
 

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Thanks Stacy, the service guy actually called me today before I could call him, and I'm leaving my car with the dealer for 2 weeks while im away to try to fix everything. I will update when i get the car back on the 16th
 

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So as an update, I picked up my car after leaving it with the dealer for 11 buisness days.

My coolant bottle was empty and i could smell coolant if i got the car real hot and had the noisy blower motor on any speed, could reproduce the smell if I turned the heater to full cold, but it often did it while on full hot.

They didn't say anything about the smell, but found the waterpump was leaking, so they replaced that and I will try it out.

if i get the smell back I will report back!
 

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Whoa!!! 11 days! That my friend is a long time, was it in for the water pump? And you still have odor with your tank empty? Have you swapped out your air cabin filter?
I was gone to arizona for 2 weeks so i left the car there while i was gone. I left it for 7 problems
coolant smell/low coolant - did water pump
belt noise - no fault found
clutch pedal squeak/twang - no fault found
ac compressor green and oily - no fault found (but it was cleaned up)
brake vibration - recomend machine rotors
blower motor noisy '3rd attempt'- no fault found (i reproduced the noise when i got back today and they ordered a blower motor)
engine oil leak after spending '4' saturdays getting fixed already - tech forgot to clean up oil spill after fix

I still had coolant smell with the bottle empty, and the cabin air was replaced the first time i had the blower motor noise checked. I havn't gotten the car up to full operating temp yet but i'm going for a good drive tonight and will confirm the fix i hope.
 

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My dealer has been pretty good. most of my problems are intermittant, and i'm a tech at the ford dealer in town, so I understand how hard a 'no fault found' can be with a warranty issue.

It does suck having the car in the shop that much, next saturday will be the 7th saturday in a row the car has been in the shop!
 

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I took a 200km highway drive last night with my new waterpump, 80kms into the drive i turned the blower motor on and got a huge stink of dex-cool. hot or cold didn't matter but the blower had to be on to make the smell.

when I take it in next weekend for the blower motor i can bet they'll say it's residue from the waterpump replacement and i'll be back the next weekend again!

I wonder how the buyback program works here in canada. i'm sick of this car
 

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Can you elaborate on this? Is your surge tank completely empty? If so, how did it get this way and does the dealer know about it?
my tank was as close to empty as it could get. a few mms of coolant in the very bottom of the bottle. I left the car with the dealer for 10 work days and they replaced the water pump and thermostat housing. when i got the car back i took it on a 200km drive and i still have the coolant smell.
 

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When you got the car back, how much coolant was in the surge tank? When it's cold is it filled to the first rib where the arrow is pointing, or below that? Many people are discovering that their surge tanks stop venting if they lower the coolant level in the surge tank. See discussion above.

However, if you had the coolant smell issue before with less coolant in the tank your problem may be with the lube in teh HVAC system.

mine was filled to the line below the one with the arrow cold. 3rd rib down I think. when it's hot it sits just below the arrow line. not much change really from full cold to full hot.

I had the smell when the bottle was pretty much empty as well. I took it in tonight and the service guy wanted me to drive with the head tech, and we re-created the problem right away, once we drove hard up a hill with load, then a full 1-2-3 gear acceleration with the blower on.

he also found the car is still leaking oil after 5 visits :) said they have to call the tech hotline (or whatever GM calls it) about the leak and the smell.

so i'm driving an automatic base model 1.8 until they fix it :)
 

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honestly, this thread made me check. I had smelled it for a while but didn't think much of it until i read the first many pages of this thread. I may have had a leaky water pump and that's where the coolant went, or maybe the dealer found a coolant related TSB and did my water pump. i will never know. but it was first topped up when the water pump was done.
 

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In your case, I suspect the time you smelled coolant, yet the tank was low, likely was the coolant from the pump being thrown onto the hot engine block and exaust.......Odor concern#1
I contend your tank has been filled to that top line we continue to talk about, causing the tank to vent....Odor concern#2

Tomorrow, before starting car, would you look at the fluid level and report please?

Thanks,
Rob

I would do that for you but the car is at the dealer and im in a rental.

If and when I get the car back i will gladly check and report the coolant level
 

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Out of curiosity, where's the coolant level in the surge tank on your 1.8L base Cruze? Any signs of venting taking place (crusty coolant residue around the vent deflector)?

I wonder if the venting issue is confined to the 1.4T or if it affects the 1.8 as well? Has this been discussed yet? I don't recall reading this yet...
The 1.8 is a 2012 with 300kms on it, no chance for any real problems yet I'd hope.

the crusty vent thing though, I can say my eco didn't have that at all. no smell under the hood either
 

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sounds good, but the fact that you still have a faint smell.......means they kind of fixed your problem...

get the car real hot with the heater off, then turn the blower on. see if it smells...
 

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just a weekend update, The dealer has had my car for 4 days now with the oil leak and coolant smell, and the service guy called me today to say that they found damage to the bottom end, bad rings, damaged piston holes, so they've ordered me a new engine. They'll have the new engine in a week they hope and then will start to look at the coolant smell!
 

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Just thought i'd update.

the dealer has had my car for 3 weeks and 2 days and i just picked her up tonight.


She was in for an oil leak, coolant smell in cabin and loud blower motor.

Blower was fixed, hasn't made any noise.
Oil leak was cause by my piston ring lands being....gone
Coolant smell they said was fixed with the engine (even though the old engine had a new water pump in it)

so on my drive home the car feels great, I'd been in a 1.8 auto for 3 weeks so it felt good to be back in my 6mt eco!

at least until my radio shut off, I lost power steering and all boost, with a service stabilitrac warning on the dash.... 2 times on my 4km drive home. No coolant smell though....yet!

I had to drop my little one off at her moms so i packed her up, dropped her off, then drove around like a madman to get the car hot so i could turn the heater on to see if the coolant smell was fixed. after a few more stabiltrac warnings and loss of boost i turned on the heater and felt dizzy. physically sick from the smell of dexcool.

i'm sitting at home typing, dizzy, I can taste dexcool in my mouth. it's not good!


car goes back tomorrow again.


I talked to the dealer owner yesterday about a buyback, and he said they would only do it if they can't fix the problem. and even then It's only a percentage of what new value was!

so i'm trying to get an enhanced trade in value and a 'very' good deal on an ATS 2.0t.

I'll post again when they've replaced more parts and the smell is there still.
 

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It baffles me how different the service is for Canadian Cruze owners than it is for US Cruze owners.

I have to assume this was directed at me.

From my experience with Hyundai, US-Canada are 2 seperate companys, different warranties and different TSBs, problems i had with my genesis coupe were widely popular and fixed with the american system, not even a notice to canadian customers

With my experience with Ford (as a tech) I have to assume ours are pretty **** similar, and oh man, i wish i owned a ford right now, because i'd either have my car fixed, or bought back by now (and i havn't seen a ford bought back yet since i've started working there) our biggest problems all have fixes. I'm glad (as an employee) that we don't have this coolant problem


So I'm droppin my car off tomorrow morning and i'm hoping I pick up an ATS instead of a cruze when all is said and done with
 

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another update

after getting the cruze back after getting a new motor the coolant smell was worse than ever before, i could taste it! i dropped it off for the coolant smell, and the new engine was throwing misfire codes...

they gave me the car back tonight and my friend drove it home for me ( wasn't expecting it done, had 3 beer) and he drove the piss out of the car, literally drove 8kms in 2nd gear and we couldn't get the coolant smell to come back! all we could smell was the detailing chemicals they used on the interior (worse than dexcool I think) so I may have a fix here, although they didn't fix anything, so i don't know what to think.

They did scratch the car in 2 places and the dealer is going to fix them, and the oil leak is still happening even after getting a new engine from the ring lands 'de-laminating' but i beleive the 'oil leak' is built up oil in the intercooler and piping that wasn't cleaned due to flat rate shop work ethics, no fault of the mechanics
 

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So I picked up my car saturday and the coolant smell was seemingly gone. There was a chemical smell when running the heater, but the dexcool smell is gone. I still havn't gotten an invoice saying what they replaced (including the engine) but i'm baffled as to what they did. (sorry to whoever asked a few pages ago, still no invoice)

I will add that after a few more days the chemical smell is gone, but when i get her really hot i smell dirty socks from the hvac system, only on heat, only when hottt. I am losing coolant though :( car was cold when i picked her up and i checked everything under the hood. no more oil leak and coolant was right on the line with the arrow. Now i'm half a line down when cold, and oil is still leaking out the throttle body(oil level still full at least)

I do smell coolant in the engine bay, which I didn't before. so this car has gotten very interesting!

as far as they've told me all they replaced was the long block and "A hose that had swelled" but no idea what hose that was. I've also had a few instances of 'hyper active fan' under the hood after a good drive since the new engine and whatever reflash they did to kill the misfiring the new engine caused.


dropping car off saturday for a full day (again) will report back!


*edit* I should also add that I can smell the oil burning under the hood like a champ, but never in the cabin. even though my 'wiper cover plastic'(cowl) foam seal is peeling off I can't smell any of the rancid fumes from my engine bay in the cabin. That makes me wonder even more how i could smell dexcool before and now nothing, when they havn't repaired anything inside to my knowledge.
 

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I can't wait till I can stop posting in this thread!!

I dropped my car off today for the dissapearing coolant issue, and the oil leaking from throttle body after new engine install.... oh and to get the scratches taken care of that happened while the engine was getting installed (right rear quarter...?)

and when i called at 4 to see if they were delivering me 'the rental' or my car, they said they had put a call into hotline(ford term, i'm not sure what they call it at GM) and would call me back when they have a resolution!!

My dealer has been pretty good with me up until very recently. they'd give me a rental when needed or at least give me a ride to work and deliver which ever car to me, but today they dropped off my car, and the poor parts guy asked for a ride back to work. I was shocked that they didn't send someone to pick him up (like last time) so the ford parts guy had to drive the GM parts guy back to his dealer haha.

And they did a full detail on the outside of the car, i know this because they left wax all over the **** car (white car, fair enough) and it's quite obvious now that the scratches are actually dented and the car needs paint now....

so i'm at a loss now. as taylor swift would say, this is exhausting. I hate this car soo much now, if and when they do fix it i will always hate it. They've had the car more than I have in the last 2 months and I'm worse off now than before!
 
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