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I would like to say I took my car in this week & they checked the system for leaks. None were found so they added the vent tube to the surge tank & upgraded engine compartment seals. I have driven about 100miles so far & have not had one wiff of antifreeze in the cabin. Both days were below 15degrees(today below zero) which normally would cause the smell the whole time once the car was at 180-230degrees.

I still have smell under the hood & slight smell standing next to the car but as long as I can drive & breath freely I'm happy. I will watch my surge tank level to see if I loose any. I see the dealer filled to the arrow(it was always low), I added a couple inches a few thousand miles ago which seemed to have vented into the atmosphere.

Overall I am happy but feel the car should not be loosing antifreeze or smelling even under the hood.
It is promising to know that apparently the PI was able to provide you with some relief. My car is going in on Monday and I feel confident that the PI will be completed as outlined. Working closely with my service manager has given me hope that "fresh air" is on the way. It is good to hear some news that is promising. From Xtreme's previous posting it appears that a permanent fix will replace the tape/tube maintenance and address the smell under the hood. Thanks for the positive update.
 

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Off to the dealership today with a grin on my face. Left with the service managers 2013 Traverse LT while they worked on my car--nice vehicle for a loaner! They went back in, took everything apart, and started from the bottom up with seal replacement. I will admit that my dealership got it right this time (completing the PI as outlined). Actually, they went above and beyond trying to seal the vapors from coming into the cabin. Job completed in a few hours. Left with a smile, handshake, new seals, and they even replaced the cabin filter per my request. Down the road I went--time to test drive and determine the outcome. Sniff, sniff, what's that smell, the diesel pickup in front of me?--No. Did I put my deodorant on this morning?--Yes. The car that I passed wasn't burning oil? SNIFF, SNIFF:sick:--Dex-cool! Of course--I called my district specialist and left a message to return my call.

I have been doing my own research and I think I found a fix (Plan B)--at least for now.

Plan B:

Personal protective equipment


I know how frustrating:blowup: this is, but I am trying to keep a good attitude and a sense of humor. That 2013 black Malibu sure looked nice at the dealership today!
 

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I'd be pretty livid if I was in your position. After all that work, the car still smells of antifreeze? I'm curious to hear what your case specialist says.
I am also interested in what the next step will be? My dealership is open to help me anyway they can, but, they need some further guidance from GM. Otherwise, they are shooting in the dark trying to troubleshoot this problem. I don't want my car to be yanked apart in pieces to figure this out (unless it is GM engineers doing this and I will take the 2013 black Malibu I saw today on my dealers lot). Wish I had better news to share with everyone.
 

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They got a call from GM engineering to go ahead and put the vent tube on...... From what I've read on here, this doesn't seem to help anyone. Has anyone had this done and the smell completely eliminated?
My experience is that after 3 attempts my dealership completed the PI correctly as outlined. It appears that there is a difference before/after the PI maintenance. Here is the difference: Initially, the vapors entered the cabin when the coolant temp reached 170ish or higher. Now it appears that the vapors are entering when the temp is hitting around 200 or higher. So apparently, something has changed. I am not sure if this fluctuation is from the PI maintenance, or something else surfaced. If anyone has a theory why this has changed please share your thoughts.

Today is day 2 since they went in and resealed the outlined areas. No smell going to work this morning, but the temp only reached 189. Yesterday, I did some highway driving until the temp reached above 200 into the 220s. What I do know is vapors came in and my car reeked (inside and out) like antifreeze for several hours after parking in the garage. I deliberately had the temp control fully open to hot with the fan on high until I knew it was coming in. For safety, I kept a window cracked for fresh air and still encountered the smell. I needed to adjust the temp control fully open to fresh air to purge the cabin with windows open.

So in my case it appears that the tubing to vent vapors is not effective or the seals to divert the vapors elsewhere. I guess there is a possibility that my heater core could have a slow leak, but I don't have the fogging issue or when I recirculate the air I am not smelling antifreeze. I think every owner needs to decide what may be best for them when it comes to the PI maintenance. It appears that the problem varies from car to car.
 

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I'd be pretty livid if I was in your position. After all that work, the car still smells of antifreeze? I'm curious to hear what your case specialist says.
GM specialist called today. Confirmed that vapors are still entering the cabin after PI maintenance. I was informed that the specialist is advancing this problem to the the next level and they will contact me on Friday. I did ask what GMs plan was and was informed that a discussion would have to take place with other GM representatives to answer my question.

I believe that I have exhausted what my dealership can do for me. They have been very supportive and even though it took them 3 attempts to complete the PI correctly they took responsibility and ensured that they did what they were directed to do the best they can. I could allow them to yank the water pump, heater core, or other components, but I don't think this is proper use of management, time and money and as of now there is not any reason to remove/replace these parts. They are the "nuts and bolts" level of intervention, not the engineers. I believe the vapor problem lies elsewhere.

My intentions now is to exhaust all avenues within the GM headquarters for a answer. My hope is that they will have some good news on Friday giving me or my dealership the next direction to resolve this issue. I have and will give GM the opportunity to make things right. I know there are other resources that many of us can utilize if we come to a dead end with GM. But, for now I will exhaust all levels of intervention that I have available through my dealership and GM. I want GM to make this right for everyone and I do have expectations of them to resolve this issue. If I have to utilize the BBB, NHTSA, lawyer or other resources I want to feel like I gave GM the opportunity to make things right first. If I have exhausted all avenues available through GM and my problem is not resolved then I will feel justified to take additional actions for resolution. My hope is that this problem is rectified not only for me, but for everyone who is dealing with this issue through GM.
 

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I applaud you for your patience in dealing with this issue!
Thanks fastdriver. Sorry to hear that your experience was not a pleasant one. I feel that I am in a position to have some patience for various reasons. First, I am going to step back and take a look at this issue, not only as a consumer, but as an outsider. I want to give GM the opportunity to take care of their customers and show that they are doing something to help remedy the problem. I am trying to take an approach that is patient, but yet exhausting all the resources I have available with GM and my dealership and placing accountability where it should be. I am choosing to post my progress on this thread so everyone can see the approach I took and GMs response. I understand that others have been here before me without the best results. I am hoping that something will surface to benefit not only me, but everyone thorough this process. I am not looking for an immediate fix at this moment as I understand this issue is quite complex. But I am looking for progress, updates, and eventually a permanent fix. GM owes that to all of us. I know this thread has been a valuable tool in helping me work thorough this process. I do think someone realizes "GM, we have a problem" and they have returned to the drawing board.

So with that in mind I thought I would post some tips that are working for me to "survive" in my Cruze while I wait patiently:
1) I always have a window cracked when driving.
2) I monitor the DIC. When the temp reaches the 190s - 200s, I back the temp control to the 1:00 position.
3) The cabin appears to be more comfortable with fan switch in #3 position. If I go to fan switch 1 or 2 - :sick:
4) I never use defrost mode unless absolutely necessary.
5) I use the heat only when necessary (hard to do in Montana during the winter).
6) I noticed that keeping my cabin properly ventilated by rolling down two windows in the garage after driving helps to eliminate any buildup of vapors and the next morning the cabin is clear of strong odors.

Is this an inconvenience? Absolutely, but I am making it manageable at this time.

Fortunately, my wife has a 2012 Honda Odyssey which is our family vehicle. So, I choose not to transport my wife or son in the Cruze due to the nature of this problem.

After my last trip to the dealership to ensure the PI was completed correctly I took the Cruze on the road for a test drive. As the temp reached the 200s I cracked the window and "blasted the heat" - full temp control (3:00 position), fan on #4. I drove for several miles. In a short period of time I needed to purge the vehicle with fresh air.:sick:

Results:
1) Cabin reeked like antifreeze (strong smell) for an extended period of time. After parking in garage antifreeze smell in garage for several hours. (Somewhat common after driving - just appeared to be a much stronger smell then usual after this drive).
2) Appeared to have an antifreeze taste in my mouth and residue in my nostrils. This is not a common occurrence as I think it is because my commute to work is usually a short drive. It appears that I pushed the car a little harder then usual after the PI maintenance and appeared to encountered the smell at a much higher level leaving a bad taste and smell in mouth and nose. Did not last for an extended period of time, but enough to be irritating.
 

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Information available on the NHTSA, Action #10050279 for 2011 -2012 Cruzes. I have a call into my service manager to discuss this service bulletin and if it affects my 2012 Cruze.

PI - 0851

CHEVROLET: THE OIL FEED PIPE NEEDS CHECKING AND REPLACED. IF RESTRICTED, AND TURBOCHARGER ASSEMBLY SHOULD BE REMOVED AND REPLACED, AND THE ECM SHOULD BE VERIFIED FOR LATEST CALIBRATION TO ALLOW TURBOCHARGE TO COOL, TO REDUCE LIKELIHOOD OF OIL COKING OIL FEED PIPE. MODELS 2011-2012 CRUZE, SONIC.
 

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Many members on this forum are working and thinking hard to help solve this problem. It appears that there are some dealerships thinking and working just as hard. A few members have reported success, but it appears that each one has had a different scenario. It is always exciting when someone posts a repair that appears to have helped solved the problem. The hope is that the problem was resolved and the data reported will help GM, the dealerships, and other Cruze owners. I believe this still remains a complex issue, but every post that is reporting success is one step closer to the solution. I think there is another challenge that complicates this problem and that is the level of experience of technicians at the dealership. As we know it takes an experienced technician or team to tackle a problem as complicated as this one appears. It took my dealership 3 times to get the PI done correctly and that was with my assistance. I am not saying that my dealership is incompetent. I know I could drop off my car and have them replace the water pump, heater core, remove the dash, work on the ventilation system, etc. and get the car back with/without the same problem. I would rather take my car in knowing the problem has a permanent fix instead of "gutting" my car trying to solve the problem part by part. It is cheaper for the dealerships to do all the troubleshooting and solution finding rather than GM. I think it is great that we have dealerships wanting to help us find a solution. But the bottom line is that GM is responsible and hopefully they are working daily behind the scenes with us and the dealerships to help solve the problem. My GM rep or service manager has not returned my calls these past few days. This is unusual. Both my GM rep and service manager have been punctual in returning calls on time. Not sure what's up, but I will wait to see what's next.
 

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I have a 2013 eco mt on order, and this thread is really causing me to pause. Sounds like this is a common issue, and there is no final fix from GM. I really was impressed with this car during my test drive, and research, but should I think twice about this purchase? Is this the same old crappy GM quality?
It sounds like you have done your homework shopping for a vehicle. It appears that this is not a common problem with many Cruzes. I really like my Cruze, feel that it is a well built vehicle and overall a fantastic vehicle. I have not had any further problems other than the antifreeze issue. Honestly, if they offer me a deal for another GM vehicle to include a Cruze I would consider. This is my first GM vehicle. I have owned 4 Subaru's and I will report that I feel Subaru designs a fantastic vehicle. I have never had problems with a Subaru, but did have recalls and they fixed the problem. Other then the recalls the only thing I ever replaced on my Subaru's were "wear and tear" items after thousands of miles. My last Subaru was 2008 Outback and I loved the vehicle. It was great as an all-wheel drive and just an overall fantastic car. I ended trading it in so my wife could get a 2012 Honda Odyssey as a family vehicle. Later we needed a second vehicle so I bought a 2012 Cruze. So, I am giving GM the opportunity to stand up and honor it's commitment to fix this problem. The competition is competitive in the auto industry and GM knows that other manufacturers are designing some awesome vehicles. So, what I am saying is don't allow this issue to have you second guess the quality of the Cruze or GM. GM knows that if they don't stand up for their products then eventually productivity and sells will head on the downward slope. I think people are becoming more attentive to not impulsively purchase a vehicle, but to do their homework like you before a purchase. I think GM with other auto manufacturers know this. I shopped for approximately 2 months before considering the Cruze. You have to make the call, but all vehicles are recalled for some design flaw or they need some tweaking. Unfortunately, my Cruze is having this issue, but somehow, someway it is going to get resolved.
 

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Does anyone know if the 2013 Cruze's are affected regarding the glycol based lubricant in the HVAC boxes?

Update: My dealership informed me that GM engineering contacted him to contact me regarding my temp control knob position relating to the smell coming into the cabin. My service manager informed me that GM wanted me to back off my temp control from the 3:00 to the 1:00 position and report the findings. I informed my service manager that I do back off the temp control when it starts reaching 190 - 200 to allow fresh air to mix to help purge the smell. He informed me that he would report this to GM. Apparently they are aware of the HVAC lubricant issue after I mentioned it to the service manager. My service manager did mention that it appears that GM is possibly looking into a PI regarding the lubricant issue.
 

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I am still in the process of communicating by phone with my GM rep. I don't have much to update other than the last call I received was one that advised me that they wanted to elevate my problem to the "next level." After I questioned what the "next level" was I was informed that it would apparently keep me in the troubleshooting mode (been there - done that). I informed my rep that I am open to resolving this issue, but feel that GM doesn't have a fix and further troubleshooting (my opinion) is not an option at this time. Apparently, it appears that GM wanted my dealership to tackle the dashboard next. At this time I am not comfortable having my dashboard yanked out as I still remain skeptical that this is the fix. I feel it is too early to confirm that this is where the problem lies. We have thousands of Cruze's that don't have this issue. Do they have lubricant in the HVAC boxes? If so, why are only certain Cruze's affected? I understand this is a complex issue and I don't think anyone has all the answers yet.

My point to the GM rep: My Cruze has 7110 miles. Other than an oil change and software update this is my maintenance record.

1) Hack job on the engine shield
2) Tape/tube/seal job - did not solve the problem
3) Can we yank your dashboard out? No thanks.

I understand that GM and dealerships are working to resolve this issue. I have a NEW vehicle. I really would like to try to "keep it together" as much as possible.
 

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Does a new entry on a carfax report get generated each time an attempted fix is made on the Cruzes? If so, taking it in to the dealer each time an attempted fix has come out could be hurting the resale value of the cars as people generally get spooked by lengthy carfax reports on used vehicles.
I ran a carfax on my vehicle prior to the tape/tube/seal job. Oil change and software program update showed up on carfax - not the engine shield recall. I am not sure if dealership's have the ability to choose what shows up on the report or not. Apparently someone does since my oil change and software program was documented.
 

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SO IN A NUTSHELL, you may be right and the silver bullet to kill this issue may not have been found yet. Based on comunications with GM posted here, it shouldn't be long now.
Blue Angel, your postings have been helpful. As I posted earlier "At this time I am not comfortable having my dashboard yanked out as I still remain skeptical that this is the fix." I understand we have had 2 vehicles completed which appear to have solved A problem—but did it solve THE problem? For me it is not that I will not have them yank my dashboard, but WHEN do I have them yank the dashboard? I am more comfortable waiting and seeing what the outcome may be and if there is the fix. Now this may mean I will have to wait for some time. The point is I am not going to allow my car to be the "experimental vehicle" to help solve this problem. I understand that other members may not agree with me and that is fine. I feel if you have this problem with your vehicle, it is the owner’s choice to decide what is best for them as a fix and when it is fixed. So, hopefully you are correct and we will see something surface soon to help everyone.
 

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It has been in the 40's here so I drive to work with the heater off and still get occassional smells of antifreeze.
High of 54 today and I kept fan off and temp control to 9:00 position with windows closed. I also got an occasional whiff of antifreeze. Obviously, engine temp climbed quicker with heater off and stayed in the 200 - 225 range. I did decide to crack my window prior to arriving home and got a bigger whiff when initially cracked. My first opportunity today to keep heat off and temp control to cool position since owning the vehicle. Hard for me to understand that this could possibly be a cabin duct problem with temp control and fan in this configuration while driving today.
 

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Montana, can you do me a favor and check the coolant level in your reservoir with the engine COLD? It needs to be checked while parked on a level surface. Have you ever topped it up since owning the car? How many miles on your Cruze now?

I've read quite a bit on this topic now and it seems that the coolant level in the reservoir may be related to the smells that originate under the hood.
Yes, I have had to top the coolant off once as it was a couple marks low from the full mark. I have approximately 7200 miles. I have also had the PI completed for the tape/tube/seal job which did not work. A couple of other things I just recently noticed:

1)When I change HVAC ventilation positions from (defrost/floor) to (dash/floor) I am encountering a scraping sound inside the HVAC unit. Appears that it might be happening when the vents are changing position.

Non antifreeze related:

1) Squeaky steering - fixed that myself with some dry lube.
2) When I initially start the car and reach approximately 11 mph I hear a "clunk" under the hood as if something is either engaging or disengaging. Happens after initial start of driving the car and happens only once.

I have looked for another thread on this "clunking" noise, but did not find anything. I don't want to get off track on this thread addressing the antifreeze issue, but if there is something else out there addressing the "clunking" noise please let me know. Thanks.
 

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At this time, even though I have decided to wait on any further repairs both my GM rep and service manager continue to contact me. The tone of their calls are "What can we do for you?" Both my GM rep and service manager appear to understand my position and concerns. I continue to share the information I have learned from this forum with both my GM rep and service manager to help in the decision making process - "Where do I go from here?" I appreciate everyone posting updates on this forum as it is very helpful working through this process. So thanks!

I am wondering - Did anyone have the HVAC "heater box" replacement completed without the PI tape/tube/seal job or any other repairs? If HVAC job only, did the smell go away?
 

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I had the tape/tube/seal PI and heater core replaced with no improvement.

When the HVAC cases were replaced the smell went away entirely, but was replaced with a grease smell which is almost gone by now.

i was told the new HVAC case was assembled with a different grease. That is why I smell grease and not antifreeze any more. The original HVAC case must have had a glycol base to it making it smell like antifreeze.

I am happy with the outcome
It would be great if we can confirm cases that only HVAC case repairs were effective without any other further repairs completed. I think we may start to see that soon. If and when I decide to have the heater box replaced I think I am going to ask for my surge tank to be replaced also to get rid of the tape/tube job as it did not work for my Cruze. In addition, I am thinking about asking for extended bumper to bumper warranty since they have to drop the dash. I am understanding that this is quite a job and I don't want to have other issues surface later due to dropping the dash. The work is only as good as the technician doing the job.
 
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