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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went to look at a Cruze Eco today. I had previously looked at a Sonic hatchback, but when I heard the Cruze was coming in a diesel I was interested in the car in early 2013. When I saw the pictures I was even more interested. This is a great looking car and a good size. I currently drive a 06 Grand Prix and it feels like a boat at 198" long (Cruze is 181") and even with 200hp from the 3.8L V6 it doesn't feel fast, just solid. I've been on the lookout for small cars like the Golf, Fiat 500, Sonic hatch, Honda CR-Z and a few others all in the 160-170" range and all hatchbacks. I had just about decided on the Golf TDI (enjoying the performance of it even more than the GTI), but the price was really more than I wanted to spend on a car at $27,500 with options I wanted. The Cruze Eco at 3000lbs is 600lbs lighter than my Grand Prix and about 75lbs lighter than the Golf TDI despite it being more than a foot shorter (165"). The Fiat 500 is deceptively heavy also I found out. I really loved the way the TDI pulled with the high torque at low rpm, while still getting great mileage so a Cruze diesel that might list for around $21k in a manual is much more palatable than a $27k VW. I know the Jetta TDI is available at $23-24k but my sister has a somewhat recent Jetta and has had nothing but problems with it. The Golf is assembled in Germany and the Jetta is assembled in Mexico. I know there is officially no difference, but I'm not willing to test it out. If I'm going with an unknown I'd rather go American (Cruze).

So getting back to the Cruze I looked at today, it was a new car with 30 miles on it, it was 108 degrees here today so the car was plenty toasty, but unlike my Grand Prix that even in this temperature puts out at least 'room temperature' air within 30 seconds, the Cruze was blasting hot hot air like the heater was on for several minutes. At first I thought I hadn't set the controls correctly, but verified a couple times that it was correct and decided to just let it run while I checked out the trunk and back seats. After about 5 minutes of checking those areas out I climbed back into the drivers seat and only then was the air starting to become room temperature, and it was another 3-4 minutes before it actually started blowing cool to cold air. I am wondering if anyone else has run into this with their Cruze or is this because the car is new, or perhaps it isn't fully charged with coolant? Most places I drive are about 10-15 minutes between stops and I'd rather it not take most of that trip just to begin blowing cool air.
 

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Cruze AC systems are pathetic compared to any normal car that's not a hybrid. There are more than a few threads here about it. Some have reported that the systems are undercharged.

I really enjoyed the Golf TDI as well, but heard too many reports about VW's being unreliable to consider one.

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mine blows out cold air quickly, even when it was up over 100o i was able to have my AC on the second lowest setting and be comfortable driving in the car, now if the car is not parked in the garage and it sets out in the sun for a while, than i need to crank the AC on high but after 10 min or so i can turn the AC back down to a lower setting

the AC in my cruze is probably the second best AC i have ever had in a car, the AC in my S-10 SR2 would freeze you out of the truck, i susspect that is because it had such a small area to cool down since it did not have back seats and all, just a very small extended cab..
 

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Yeah, i and many others are hoping they will find a fix for this A/C issue and hopefully have corrected it for the 2013's!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cruze AC systems are pathetic compared to any normal car that's not a hybrid. There are more than a few threads here about it. Some have reported that the systems are undercharged.

I really enjoyed the Golf TDI as well, but heard too many reports about VW's being unreliable to consider one.

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Yeah, I found the multi-page thread in the service section. Still making my way through it. If it's not a simple fix this might be a deal breaker for me as I said it gets really hot here like today it was 108 with moderate humidity (35%). Having a 10 minute session just to get started cooling won't cut it.
 

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Did you consider a Mini Cooper? The non turbo one's are great on gas, crazy fun to drive and have a good resale value.A nicely equipped one will clock in at abiut 22-24k with bluetooth etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I drove a Cooper S. I couldn't get past it's inability to coast and it's extremely busy/quirky interior. Letting off the gas felt like I was applying brakes. At highway speeds and not using cruise I tend to feather the gas letting the car coast a bit and this was impossible in the Cooper S I drove. I think their cars are about 5-10% overpriced. Their reliability and customer satisfaction marks are some of the lowest out there as well.
 

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The A/C in my Cruze needed a brief blast from a bottle of R134a to get ice-cold. Before that it was pathetic. A quick top-off of 2-3 ounces, and it was icy on the inside. I'm betting some bean-counter said not to charge the systems fully at the factory.

The A/C also does much better while moving than at idle. It gets cold very quickly once the car's moving.
 

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I'm betting some bean-counter said not to charge the systems fully at the factory.
I wouldn't be surprised, but my vote goes to the assembly line. I'll bet they are short cycling the charging equipment to meet line speeds and no one is auditing the r-134a usage to see that they are shorting a number of vehicles.

I remember when the car makers installed the first robot painters and the bean counters had a fit that they were using more paint than before. It turned out that the robots were using just what the engineers specified, but the humans before them had gotten so good at laying down a good looking coat that they were using less paint than they should have been. That showed up when the human painted cars started getting a few years old.
 
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mine blows out cold air quickly, even when it was up over 100o i was able to have my AC on the second lowest setting and be comfortable driving in the car, now if the car is not parked in the garage and it sets out in the sun for a while, than i need to crank the AC on high but after 10 min or so i can turn the AC back down to a lower setting

the AC in my cruze is probably the second best AC i have ever had in a car, the AC in my S-10 SR2 would freeze you out of the truck, i susspect that is because it had such a small area to cool down since it did not have back seats and all, just a very small extended cab..
I guess you were one of the lucky ones as far as this A/C thing goes! haha
 

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So if not a cracked A/C compressor, are we assuming that if the Cruze's A/C isn't cold enough it needs to be recharged with the right amount of refrigerant?
 

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Low on refrigerant. Or the recirculate flap doesn't work. Or the expansion valve needs to be replaced.

I think mine was all 3.

I wonder if the people that have *good* AC don't park in the direct sun. I'm kinda thinking that's what's happening. Mine works fine if it's cloudy or it's been in a parking garage.

Now the clutch spring feels funny *rolls eyes*
 

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If my car sits in the sun and I leave the car idling while AC on full blast like you did then it takes quite a long time to cool down. But once I start driving it rapidly gets cooler. for whatever reason my car has to be driving for it to cool properly.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's kind of odd. My Pontiac does it in about the same time driving or standing still. The heater of course works better when driven for obvious reasons, but cooling isn't much of a difference.
 

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Well, it makes sense. Out on the road = compressor spinning faster and more airflow over the condensor at the front of the car than the electric fan can provide. Thus, cooler air. But the Cruze system seems undersized on hot days and in around-town driving when you're sitting at lights. And the blower speeds are stupid.

1 is nothing, 2 is like a mouse breathing, 3 is maybe about 30% of capacity, and then 4 is a tornado.
 

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Cruze AC systems are pathetic compared to any normal car that's not a hybrid.
Are you implying hybrids have lousy AC?

My 06 Prius' AC works fine as does the AC in my mom's 07 Altima Hybrid.

I haven't heard significant complaints on Priuschat about Prius' AC strength, but I will say, I'm surprised re: the Cruze. In general, I've tended to find AC to be stronger on American cars than Japanese cars, at least when the cars are new.
 

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I have to agree about it doing better out on the road than while at Idle. I keep the Cruze under the Carport here at home...but when I go to the store, it gets HOT here. (live in Alabama..to the OP..you've got nothing on us with the Humidity factor! LOL) When I first get in the car at the store after it's been out in the sun for awhile, the AC doesn't feel real cool, but as soon as I start driving, I can feel it getting colder and colder. It takes no time before my daughter in the back to complain that she's too cold.

To the OP..did you push in the snow flake button when you were trying out the AC?? I'm sure you did, but just wanted to make sure.

I really LOVE how it has vents under the 2 front seats for the back seat people to be able to feel the cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. Really LOVING THAT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Yes the snowflake button was lit already.

Interesting thing to note: today when I got off work at the hottest part of the day, my car had been in direct sunlight for several hours, start the car, AC is already on and blowing decent volume, but the air is not hot at all, slightly warm, but certainly much cooler than the air inside the car. In the Cruze it really felt like the heater was on and it took several minutes for that to change.
 

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Ive had my cruze for a little less then a month now but the one thing id have to say Im unhappy about is the ac. When I test drove it I remember I had to turn the ac on setting 1 because I was freezing mind you it was probably 85 degrees out on that day. The one I test drove is not the one I decided to get because I wanted black interior and not the black & red interior. Anyway needless to say I have had it on setting 4 and it still doesnt freeze me out (coming from a girl that is ALWAY cold). Now the days I had it on setting 4 it was almost a 100 degrees with high humidity. It takes forever to feel cool in my car. Other then that I love my car.
 
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