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I just really wish someone would come up with a solution for this problem that has plagued so many cruze owners.
I've given up hope to get mine fixed.

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Discussion Starter · #103 ·

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Had the PI done on my car yesterday it seemed better but didn't even last 24 hours and the smell was back. If I turn the temp down to 3/4 instead of full hot it isn't as bad. I do kinda think the coolant could be boiling or there is stuff cooking in the heater box cause it does get really hot.
 

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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?
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
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?
There's a high chance you won't even have this issue, but should you have it, I am confident that there will be an effective and permanent fix for it. I wouldn't make a purchasing decision on this car based on the possibility of this issue.
 

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More "progress" with investigating this issue.

I went out at lunchtime at work yesterday to run an errand and left the heater control set to full cold the whole time to get the car nice and hot. It was snowing quite heavily yesterday also, so pushing the car around through deep snow is extra work for this little engine and gets it heated up real quick. When I got back into my underground parking I sniffed around the edge of the hood and could smell coolant.

So on my way home from work yesterday for the last 10 minutes of my drive I set the heater to full cold again to get the car as hot as possible. I pulled into the garage and shut the car off, immediately popped the hood and recorded this video (you might have to turn up the volume a bit to hear it properly):

Boiling Coolant 2 - YouTube

Low and behold, beneath all of the popping and creaking of cooling metal parts (which is normal by the way) you can hear the sound of air bubbles making their way through the turbo/oil cooler coolant feed line. This means there IS localized boiling of coolant in either the turbo or oil cooler, and I'd put my money on the turbo being the culprit.

NOW BEFORE WE JUMP TO ANY CONCLUSIONS, all I've shown here is that there's enough residual heat in the turbo after shutting the engine off to boil the coolant inside of it. Whether or not the turbo actually boils coolant while the engine is running is another question I'm not sure I'll be able to answer, but I will offer this information. I was driving the car very easily at low speeds (without the heater going) on clear plowed roads prior to parking it in the garage, and was doing so in -12C (10F) weather. When I opened the hood there was a very faint smell of coolant, not strong at all but it was there. I could not detect any vapour escaping from the vent on the overflow tank. I would guess that someone blasting down the interstate at 80 MPH on a 100F day would be introducing thermal loads far greater than what I have done here.

Whether the Oil Feed TSB discussed above has anything to do with this issue I don't know, but it certainly seems like the two could be related (reducing either oil or coolant flow to the turbo will cause it to heat up more). It would be interesting to see someone with the coolant vapour problem have the TSB done and report back their findings. I will be contacting my dealership to see if the TSB applies to my car, and if it does I will try to get them to show me the whole TSB so I can understand exactly what is going on with the fix and what it does and does not address. If the turbo is boiling off the coolant in it after the engine shuts down, the turbo's center section could be getting hot enough to "coke" oil in the bearings and feed lines.
 

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I have a 2013 eco mt on order, and this thread is really causing me to pause.
I agree with XR. I wouldn't let a "potential" issue like this influence a buying decision. Any issue such as this will definitely have a fix coming, and it now looks like there may be two issues in play here, the most severe of which (coolant smell inside the car) appears to have been solved in the other thread. Sure it's only a one car sample at this point, but there is some very convincing information there and it sounds like it could be a legitimate solution. Also keep in mind how many hundreds of thousands of Cruzes there are running around. Not everyone has these issues.

I just got my '12 Eco MT in July last summer and I'm loving it so far. I'm sure you'll love yours too.
 

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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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OK, so I've done some reading. I Googled "turbo coolant boiling" and found lots of people claiming that coolant boiling inside the turbo is normal after shutting the car off. The hot turbo will cause the hotter coolant to rise and cause thermosiphoning (hot coolant rising flow) similar to the way a tank circulation block heater works.

What I still don't know is whether this boiling is enough to cause the pressure in the system to exceed the cap relief pressure and vent vapours. I also don't know if there's coolant boiling inside the turbo while the engine is running and there's coolant flow through the turbo. I would assume no, but there's that TSB thing that still needs to be looked into.

Does anyone feel like putting a camera under the hood of their car to record the venting of coolant vapours from the overflow? :)
 

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Well, I am now a member of "club stinky"... This past week I noticed a strong coolant smell in my garage. I looked at the coolant level this am (car was cold) and it was one "line" from the bottom. I have had the car just over 2 mos and it rolled 7k today. I stopped by my local Chevy dealer (never been there- this is my first GM) and asked the service guy about it. He stated it was a well known problem and that a "good fix" is in the works... whatever that might mean.

I asked about an appt to have it checked, but need a loaner. They do not offer loaners there, so I will check other Chevy dealers in the area to see who wants to help me. Anybody in the Denver area have a recommendation?

I absolutely love this car, and am sure that this issue (the only one I have) will be resolved soon.
 

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I appreciate all the responses to my concerns over this issue. I really do like this car. I looked at the Focus, Mazda 3, Elantra, and spent over a month reading every major review out there, and following Cruzetalk. At the end of the day, the Cruze Eco seems the best fit for me. As a Quality Manager for a Medical Device Company, I get a bit anal about these things, and I don't want to over react to this one issue. As long as GM truly is working on a permanent fix, I have no problem going forward with my purchase. By the way, this is the first GM product I ever thought looked, and felt, of sufficient quality to warrant my consideration.
 

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milehigh - did they at least refill your coolant level for you?
 

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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.
Just curious why you didn't buy an Impreza. I test drove one and that's my go to car if the 2014 Cruze doesn't get any improvements.
 

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Truepath,
I would like to apologize for the issues that you are having with your Cruze. I would like to look into this for you. Can you please send me a PM with your name, address, phone number, VIN, current mileage and the name of your dealer? I look forward to hearing back from you.
Thank you,
Stacy Chevrolet Customer Service
Stacy, I sent you a PM, but haven't heard from you.
 
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