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I bet the Sonic is using the same HVAC ducting the Cruze uses. In addition, since the engine is the same there will be a lot of common parts between the two, so if the Cruze has a batch of bad water pumps, the Sonic will as well. Likewise the steering notchiness reported in the Cruze has also been reported in the Volt.
 

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Coolant always circulates through the cabin heater core. The HVAC lubricant is unrelated to the heater core.
 

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Discussion Starter · #785 ·
Let me make this simple for everyone in this thread.

This is Version 2 of the Antifreeze Smell Thread. Due to the sheer length of the original thread (in excess of 100 pages), it has exhausted its usefulness and has been locked.

This thread is dedicated to the discussion of the antifreeze smell that some of us are experiencing with our Cruze. You are free to complain or vent frustration, but not free to do so excessively or to troll. I understand that for many of you, this is a big concern and a huge inconvenience, but in the interest of everyone's sanity and of maintaining a positive environment, keep your complaints limited. Believe me when I say we've heard them already, in every possible variety you can imagine.

To be clear, this thread is not for the reporting of your problem, but for the discussion of the problem, its nature, GM's progress with a fix, and any other related topics. If you wish to report this problem, I have created a thread that GM is watching: http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-service-issues/10677-antifreeze-smell-support.html. Please read and understand the original post in that thread before posting.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Anyone who takes this thread off-topic will earn themselves a 3-day vacation from this forum. Repeat offenders will earn themselves a 7-day vacation. You will not receive a warning!

This is not the thread to tell us about how much you hate the/your Cruze.
This is not the thread to tell us about how many problems you think the Cruze has.
This is not the thread to tell us about how you just traded in your Cruze and rid yourself of "headaches."
If you do not own a Cruze and have no interest in helping others resolve their issues, you have no business here. Telling people to sell their car and buy something else is not considered helping.

I already locked the first thread because it went too far off-topic, and I made it very clear at the beginning of this thread what its purpose is. If you wish to discuss something outside the scope of this thread, create a new thread.
 

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Update:

Three weeks have passed since my HVAC case assembly R/R. Everything continues to function great and engine compartment and cabin remain odor free.:)

While working with my service manager through the antifreeze/lube issues in the engine compartment and cabin I asked my service manager to work an extended warranty for me. Today I received a letter from Chevy Customer Assistance Center (on behalf of my dealership). My bumper-to-bumper warranty was extended an additional 4 yrs/up to 83,000+ miles into 2018. So, it has paid big dividends working side-by-side with my service manager and his service department.

Additionally, I wrote a letter to the general manager of my dealership to recognize the work that my service manager and the service department accomplished to fix my coolant/lube issues. Upon receiving the letter the general manager of my dealership took the time to personally meet and greet me thanking me for the letter. I hope others will share the same experience with their dealership.

There are some great dealerships out there who do care for their customers and want to provide great services to work through this coolant/lube issue. If you have had a positive experience with your dealership while working through this issue, I encourage you to post your positive experience on this thread.
 

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You should also write to GM/Chevy and tell them about your great dealership and let them know just how they went above and beyond to understand and ultimately with success, address the severity of your antifreeze issue.

The way your dealership kept you informed, worked with you side by side on the issue, and tried every solution they could until the problem was solved, is awesome and should be the rule at Chevy dealerships, not the exception. Chevy needs to know about the good dealerships (like yours) out there so that they can be rewarded and recognized and get positive reinforcement for continuing to do things the right and fair way. Too many dealerships give Chevy a bad name so it'll be nice if they know of one that still puts GM in a good light.
 

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You should also write to GM/Chevy and tell them about your great dealership and let them know just how they went above and beyond to understand and ultimately with success, address the severity of your antifreeze issue.
A letter is in the works heading up-channel. It is the right thing to recognize those dealerships who are making a positive difference. Hopefully, those dealerships who lack the skills, motivation, and commitment to honor their customers will get some support from upper management to be successful in managing and providing the services they're expected to deliver. It would be productive to see more positive dealership postings on this thread regarding the coolant/lube issue.
 

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Update;

I have had all of the coolant smell repairs done by my dealer. They include the revised overflow tank venting, HVAC box, heater core and water pump replaced. The odor was definately lessened. Thought it may actually have been eliminated. I was wrong. I had not used the heater for several weeks. Today, after 20 minutes of driving, I slid the temp control to hot and the fan to low. Two minutes later both my wife and I had to roll down the windows. The smell was as bad as ever. Drove straight to my dealer. Manager went for a ride and admitted, in writing on the repair order, that the car cabin smells like coolant.

Anyone else have all these items replaced and still have the smell? Or does my service manager's parting comment say it all, "that's quite the car you've got there".
 

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upstater - did your dealership replace the insulation surrounding the heater core and under the front footwell areas? If not, you may be getting "hold over" coolant odor. Also, was the cabin air filter replaced? Although these are possible, I wonder if the new HVAC box wasn't new and had the old glycol based lubricant.
 

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upstater - did your dealership replace the insulation surrounding the heater core and under the front footwell areas? If not, you may be getting "hold over" coolant odor. Also, was the cabin air filter replaced? Although these are possible, I wonder if the new HVAC box wasn't new and had the old glycol based lubricant.
Cabin filter was replaced. Dealer said heater core showed zero signs of leakage so no on the matting. The car has zero smells when the heat is on and the engine temp is below normal operating on the guage. Today the HVAC box had no heat going thru it for the first 20 minutes. I slid the temperature knob to hot after it was at full temp on the engine.
 

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upstater - if the correct HVAC case assembly was installed you will have an odor initially when running the heater. It will take some time for this odor to dissipate. Mine took several heating cycles before the odor was clear. Others whom have had the case R/R have reported the same. After my HVAC case assembly was replaced I took the time to run the heater through all the mode and fan settings to help clear the "new grease" smell. Maybe this is what you are smelling--maybe not. Also, there may be a way to confirm if the correct case was installed. My case identified the new grease on the side of the case. If the supplier is consistent when marking all new case assemblies in the same locations, you may find an identification marking located on the lower right bottom of the case assembly (passenger side). You may be able to see this marking by removing the right lower center console panel or have your dealership take a look. This is where my marking is located and reads (New Grease Uniflor 8172). Apparently, Uniflor 8172 is the replacement grease--at least in my case (See posting #742, pic #3 on this thread). If I have the case oriented correctly, this would be the correct location to possibly confirm if you have an updated case installed. There is always a possibility that the wrong case or lube was utilized. Let's hope this isn't your case if this appears to still be the issue.
 

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I posted about my 2011 Cruze having the antifreeze smell. After 7 trips to two different dealerships the problem was fixed. they installed the PI that vents the pressure from the antifreeze tank under the car. This required the mechanic to do a dye test(fourth time). This mechanic decided to take a closer look at the heater core and he found a crack in part of the core!!!!! With the new heater core and the PI installed, I only get the smell every once and a while at speeds below 30mph. I have am very happy with my car now. If you get the antifreeze smell and your windows fog up while driving, you have a bad heater core!!!!! I have experience with heat exchanger manufacturing and I believe that the manufacture of these had some problems with the early exchangers. It took about a week for all of the smell to dissipate. I wish you all luck with this. Thanks to Bradshaw Chevy for your great mechanic. It has been two months and I have no smell now.
 

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I sent Chevy.com an email requesting additional information to process my letter to recognize my service department for the awesome job they did in fixing my antifreeze/lube issue. Chevy Customer Assistance Center actually opened a service request case to process my letter. They contacted me both by phone and email to assist me in coordinating a contact to process this letter. I was expecting a point of contact at the Chevy management level to receive my letter. This week I received an email from the Chevy Customer Assistance Team. The email was to send my correspondence to the CEO, Mr. Akerson. So, the letter will head his way. It would be nice if not only my Chevy dealership service department, but all Chevy dealerships receive recognition by upper management when they do an outstanding job. Maybe this is happening. There are great dealerships doing a good job and if Mr. Akerson and his staff take the time to acknowledge the dealerships doing good work then this is good sound management and everyone benefits. Hopefully, any comments to this posting will be positive and antifreeze related. This is a great forum to share your positive experiences.
 

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The issue now is, will GM be replacing every heater core with a redesigned one or are they going to keep using the same faulty parts and cross their fingers?
My experience with GM suggests the latter. That's the main issue with GM-they don't permanently take care of the problem.
 

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The issue now is, will GM be replacing every heater core with a redesigned one or are they going to keep using the same faulty parts and cross their fingers?
My experience with GM suggests the latter. That's the main issue with GM-they don't permanently take care of the problem.
The part itself is not faulty. The new part is exactly the same but with a different lubricant.
 

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