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obermd, there is only one location for the tank to vent with or without the modification done. When pressure builds and exceeds 20 psi, vapor exits through the cap. The cap exit goes through the vent on the side of the tank. GM did not add a second exit with the PI, they just took the existing vent and extended it to below the vehicle.

The cooling system still pressurizes as intended.


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...I'll ask my service adviser today if this information is available, and if so, what the actual cold fill level should be.
This will be interesting. Be sure to let us know what they say!

A while back I went to my dealer to investigate, and though I didn't talk to anyone I did get to check the coolant level of a brand new Cruze on the showroom floor. The cold coolant level was right at the tip of the arrow, so apparently someone at the dealership doesn't know this is the "HOT" level line. If all the cars they sell are topped up to this level before delivery, every car will vent fumes... DOH!
 

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All this, for something as simple as overlooking the need for a 'FULL COLD' marker.
Rob, how did you determine that the arrow on the surge tank is actually indicating the "Full HOT" level?

I just examined my surge tank with a flashlight and can't find any markings whatsoever on the tank, other than the two arrows and the "ribs" on the front passenger side of the tank. There is absolutely no indication of whether the arrows indicate "Full COLD" or "Full HOT".

In my (somewhat limited) experience, any surge tanks I've seen with only one indicated fill level have shown "Full COLD". I've seen several tanks with both hot and cold fill levels marked (my Corvette has both), but I've never seen a surge tank with only a hot fill level marked. As you suggested before, this wouldn't make sense to do and would lead to the assumption that the arrows are indicating the cold level?

Is your surge tank marked differently from mine? Did you find something in the owner's manual? A service manual?
 

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Rob, I did a little digging and found this Vauxhall Workshop Manual: Cooling System Draining and Filling

Vauxhall Workshop Manuals - Astra J - Cooling System Draining and Filling

It is for the Vauxhall Astra J (current model) which is built on the DeltaII platform (same as the Cruze) and also uses the LUJ 1.4L Turbo engine.The procedure and illustrations suggest that the Astra shares the same radiator and surge tank as the Cruze (they look the same in the drawings and appear to have the same features). It also indicates that with the engine COLD and the cooling system properly purged of air, the coolant level should be set to the weld area (where the top and bottom half of the surge tank are joined). This is roughly where the arrows are... thoughts?

EDIT: Just checked again, the arrows point to the first rib BELOW the weld line, so it is possible the arrows were added as a revision to lower the coolant level slightly. Here's the pic from the manual:

Line art Auto part Parallel Drawing Coloring book

(1. Points to the weld line, the arrows are set at the first rib below that)

My coolant level seems to be holding pretty steady at the arrows (fill mark) and I haven't noticed any coolant vapor smell in a while. When I topped it off it was just a hair above the fill mark. It is relatively cold here, though, so this may change as temps increase along with the thermal load on the cooling system. After I topped the level off I was getting regular "whiffs" of coolant vapor whenever coming to a stop after having a load on the engine, but that seems to have stopped. Could it be that my cooling system has "stabilized" and is no longer exceeding the cap pressure?
 

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Been away from a computer all weekend...

Robby said:
The entire thrust of this conversation is pointing out that there isn't enouph airspace in the tank if the coolant is at that level at cold start.
Agreed.

Robby said:
...I filled it to the arrow (28f ambient)… ...22psi and the level is right at the weld line. If it had the cap installed it would've vented.
Next morning, I dropped it to the second line down… ...18psi.......probably OK BUT i like a bit of a buffer.
Following morning, sucked it down to the third line down and repeated......17psi after the ride.
And again, dropped a line and repeated.....14psi........at this point it was clear the airspace in the tank, if filled to the arrow tip, is likely inadequate.
I decided, using past experience, this line, second from the lowest line up will be a safe 'COLD' starting point.
After 10 to 15 minutes driving, it is up to the third line from the bottom........driving to the airport and back, it is still at the third line from the bottom.
Very cool! This is pretty much what I would do if I had access to a cooling system pressure tester! What make and model of pressure tester are you using? Does it come with different adapters to replace different styles of cap?

As far as the Vette mentioned.....you did not say what year it is but I will assume it has a surge tank as opposed to a coolant overflow tank.
If it is a surge, notice how much airspace it has when the cooling system is at the 'Full Cold' line.
It's a 2002, and yes it is a surge tank, plumbed in very similar fashion to the Cruze. I would have to check the volume of air, but you are probably right; I bet there is a larger volume of air in that car's surge tank. I would expect that for two reasons, first being the relative size (volume) of the Corvette's cooling system (proportional increase), and second would be the higher designed operating pressure of the Cruze system (~5 psi based on pressure caps). From what I've read, the Cruze routinely reaches temps above 230F, wheras the Corvette fan-on temp is set to 226F. The Cruze also cools a turbocharger and oil cooler with post ECT sensor coolant, both of which increase the amount of vapor generated in the system.

Just think, had G.M. simply cast a barbed nipple with a hose leading to a low pressure area under the car it would vent to airstream and we wouldn't have anything to fret over.
You are probably right, but as with everything else it would add cost. If it weren't for the HVAC lube issue this would likely not even be on GM's radar as the only people likely to complain would be those who park in a residential garage confining the smell.
 

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While I was there my service adviser and I looked the equivalent instructions for the Cruze (US/Canada). They are identical with one exception, the location of the "cold" fill line. This manual shows the cold line to be the first tank rib below the weld line. I marked this rib in red and with a red arrow. View attachment 11939
Just to clarify, my Canadian Cruze has the arrow indicating the same cold fill line as the US car, the first line below the weld line.
 

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At this rate with GM once again out-sourcing many more U.S.A jobs once again to Korea since they feel the American workers are no longer needed to make parts that will now become cheaper for the Cruze and will have more cheap parts fail again perhaps the New Cruze will have its name changed back to the
Daewoo and we will see what sells.:)
Your comment leads me to believe you are very ignorant of the way the automotive world works... hopefully nobody reads this and thinks they have learned something.
 

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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.
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.
 

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You know that your tires are going to wear faster on the inside right? They are designed to be at the correct pressure, not just whatever you like better. If they are under inflated the edges wear faster and over inflated will make the inside wear faster. Food for thought.
Generally speaking, tire wear is reduced by over inflating. True, when the tire does eventually wear out the center may show accelerated wear, but this will likely happen after far more miles have been driven then if the tire had been used throughout its life at the suggested pressures.

The more pressure in the tire, the less tire deformation as it rolls under the car's weight, therefore less heat is generated in the tire. Less heat generated means a longer lasting tire, less wasted energy and better fuel economy.

The main negatives revolve around reduced traction and ride quality. This has been thoroughly discussed elsewhere and is off topic in this thread.

Moving along...
 

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I am a reporter... ...looking for... ...pictures or the actual failed heater coil from his/her Cruze. If you are experiencing the smell I'd also like to see your car.
Your post indicates you do not understand the issue. Don't go making a mountain out of a mole hill... there are hundreds of thousands of satisfied Cruze owners on this continent alone, coolant smell issues affect a very small number of vehicles.
 

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I think this smell issue is a lot more complex than the air space in the Cruze surge tank.
You are correct, but the coolant venting issue may be this simple to resolve for most people.

I personally never ever smelled coolant outside OR inside my car until reading up on this issue and topping off my surge tank out of curiosity (it was low, probably since I bought the car). Now that my surge tank is filled to the indicated "cold fill" line I do experience the odor periodically coming to a stop after the engine has been under load. It is a faint odor, nothing troublesome, but it is noticeable. I definitely do not think this is the same issue most people are reporting... the odors I've experienced are vary faint.
 

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

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Here you go, very simple, factual, and non debatable:

1. A car's cooling system maximum pressure ALWAYS references ambient pressure. A 20 psi rad cap will vent when the pressure delta between the cooling system and ambient air exceeds 20 psi.

2. Because of #1, the maximum ABSOLUTE pressure of the cooling system will drop at higher altitudes.

3. Because of #2, the boiling temperature of coolant at high altitudes is reduced.

============================================================

HAVING SAID THAT... AN EXAMPLE (assuming a rigid cooling system, a safe assumption for this case):

If a Cruze with a 20 psi cap is only reaching 15 psi in its cooling system running at sea level (14.7 psi ambient, 29.7 psi absolute), when it drives up a mountain where ambient pressure is 5 psi LESS than sea level (9.7 psi), the pressure in the cooling system is effectively 20 psi. The absolute pressure has not changed (20 + 9.7 = 29.7) and the boiling point of the coolant remains unaffected.

Drive a little higher to where ambient pressure drops to 7 psi LESS than sea level (7.7 psi) and the cooling system pressure is still only 20 psi because the cap vented. HOWEVER, the absolute pressure has fallen by 2 psi (20 + 7.7 = 27.7 psi), and the boiling point of the coolant has decreased proportionally.

Drive the car back down to sea level and the cooling system pressure falls to 13 psi but the ABSOLUTE pressure and coolant boiling point remain the same as when the car was at its highest point (14.7 + 13 = 27.7 psi).

Now park the car, shut it off, and let it cool down over night. As it cools, the cooling system will develop a vacuum and draw air in through the rad cap (it allows air to pass under a vacuum situation). The next morning, start the car and operate it as usual at sea level, and the cooling system is back to normal, operating at the same 15 psi it was before.

We need not make this any more complicated... :)
 

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..and at <0 PSI internal relative pressure with the venting going from high to low pressure.
The valve in the cap will hold a slight vacuum before allowing air in, that's why you will sometimes get a sucking sound when removing the cap. Generally speaking, the system adjusts to its environment.
 

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...and a crappy car.
That's a little harsh... I might have called it an "old" car instead (in production since 2006, 2008 in North America); a quote from Wikipedia regarding the new 11th gen model (E160) for sale in Japan, yet to be released in North America:

"The redesigned model has slightly smaller exterior dimensions and is easier to drive in narrow alleys and parking lots for the targeted elderly consumers." :)

Link: Toyota Corolla - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm glad something worked out for you, blackcruzelt. Two years ago we sold my GF's 2000 Corolla. It was a great car for her. Not too exciting, but it had ~240,000 kms on it and still ran great.
 

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Having a background in car seals, an easy test to check for seal contact is the dollar bill test (or five dollar bill in Canada :) )

Take a dollar bill, place it over the seal and close the hood on it. If you can pull the bill out or move it side to side with little to no resistance, the seal is not doing its job. If the seal is making good contact you should feel a reasonable amount of resistance to movement.

Be sure to dry the surfaces before testing.


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Could someone please describe to the best of your ability what this antifreeze smells like.... ...Just want to figure out if it's antifreeze fumes that I should be worried about or something else....that I should (not) worry about.
If you want to find out what antifreeze smells like, with the car COLD (parked on a level surface over night to cool down), slowly remove the cap from the coolant surge tank and smell the bottom of the cap. The surge tank is located by the driver's side shock tower at the back of the engine compartment.

If the smell comes and goes and is not very strong I wouldn't worry too much about it, just check your fluid levels as you would normally do. If the smell becomes a problem, keep an eye on this thread for updates.
 
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