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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2012 Cruze, roughly 103,000 miles. I took it in for an oil change last week and the guy told me the coolant reservoir was empty. He asked if it had overheated at all. No, it had not. I was shocked to hear it was empty. Yesterday, after a few days of driving it, I noticed fluid on the garage floor and smelled antifreeze. I checked the reservoir yesterday and it was almost empty again. I put more in and there’s nothing but a tiny amount left today. Most of it has leaked out. There is still no overheating and temperature gauge not showing hot at all. I have seen other posts about coolant leaks but not seeing one where it’s leaking with no indication of overheating? The mechanic can’t get it in for 2 weeks. Has anyone else had this happen?
 

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Well Julie, the Achilles' heel of a Cruze is the cooling system. First thing, nice job on keeping the coolant level up. This is absolutely critical you keep doing that. (y)

My question to you is, have you actually seen the source of the leak? Because the way you described it, I have my doubts. For now, lets awesome it is the coolant reservoir leaking. This is a common failure, and with your mileage 100% expected. Get a Dorman replacement, they are better than OEM and 1/3 the price.
Here is the deal it is a $20 part, that is very easy to replace using only basic tools. I actually replaced mine a couple weeks ago, it only takes a few minutes. if you bring it to any shop your looking at a $200 bill.


That said, judging by the amount of coolant you are losing the reservoir isn't the source of the leak. It is your water pump, if the water is coming from (and leaking down) the passenger side of the engine compartment. Bob is your uncle.

but not seeing one where it’s leaking with no indication of overheating?
This is very common issue not many people understand. The engine coolant normal operating temperature is about 230F. If you have a leak, but you still have coolant (and this is a huge butt :LOL:), the car can't "overheat" because water at atmospheric pressure can't get hotter than about 212F.
One of the most common failure modes of the water pump is the seal goes bad. And while the car is running probably won't leak that much, but about an hour after shutting it down (or maybe less) the seal cools releasing the coolant from the engine. Regardless of the leak location, I still highly recommend replacing the coolant reservoir.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. I looked yesterday and it is definitely leaking from the passenger side. I replaced the water pump about 2 years ago and it was expensive. I was hoping maybe it was just the reservoir. When I took it in to get the oil changed, the tech told me the reservoir was empty and asked if the temperature gauge has showed hot. It hadn’t at all and still isn’t. I appreciate your explanation of why it hasn’t been overheating. I can’t get it into the mechanic for 2 weeks. It’s going to get expensive to keep putting coolant in. So I will take your suggestion of at least having someone replace it. I’m an almost 70 year old woman so don’t do the work myself. Will this allow me to keep driving it until I can get it into the mechanic?
 

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First thing, I have some really good news for you. The repair should be covered under a "GM special coverage" warranty. Here is deal though, you are on the edge of not meeting the 10 year limit. But you are well under the 150K miles limit. So here is the deal, if they deny to pay for your repair now. They should reimburse you for your previous repair. So either way, this should save you hundreds of dollars. :D


Just so you are prepared, print that document out. And gather all the information you can from the previous water pump replacement. Talk to the local GM dealership and see what they will do for you. If the dealership doesn't honor the warranty, call GM customer assistance. 800-222-1020

Will this allow me to keep driving it until I can get it into the mechanic?
If you keep the reservoir filled you can run the engine for 15 minutes. If it was winter, I'd say maybe 20-30 minutes. Just be aware if you do overheat the engine, the head gasket will probably blow. If that happens the car is scrap. :eek:

Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I bought the car in May 2013 but it is a 2012
so not sure if you j past the 10 years already, I am well under They mileage though. So hopefully this would work. Thank you for the information
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First thing, I have some really good news for you. The repair should be covered under a "GM special coverage" warranty. Here is deal though, you are on the edge of not meeting the 10 year limit. But you are well under the 150K miles limit. So here is the deal, if they deny to pay for your repair now. They should reimburse you for your previous repair. So either way, this should save you hundreds of dollars. :D


Just so you are prepared, print that document out. And gather all the information you can from the previous water pump replacement. Talk to the local GM dealership and see what they will do for you. If the dealership doesn't honor the warranty, call GM customer assistance. 800-222-1020


If you keep the reservoir filled you can run the engine for 15 minutes. If it was winter, I'd say maybe 20-30 minutes. Just be aware if you do overheat the engine, the head gasket will probably blow. If that happens the car is scrap. :eek:

Keep us updated.
Thanks for the information! I just called the dealership and they said my VIN number isn’t showing any kind of so vial coverage for a water pump. Ugh! So I’m going to call customer assistance as you suggested. This car has had to have so many repairs these past 2 year! Ugh!
 

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I just called the dealership and they said my VIN number isn’t showing any kind of so vial coverage for a water pump
Sadly, this is not unexpected. I kind of knew you would need to call GM :(

FYI, most dealerships hate doing warranty work. They can only charge GM a set (reasonable) rate, not being able to gouge EVERYONE pisses them off. :ROFLMAO::cry:
 

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Have you looked for any orange residue around any coolant hoses or around the thermostat housing, specially around the bolts?
 

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Sadly, this is not unexpected. I kind of knew you would need to call GM :(

FYI, most dealerships hate doing warranty work. They can only charge GM a set (reasonable) rate, not being able to gouge EVERYONE pisses them off. :ROFLMAO::cry:
When I called him yay number you gave me,
Sadly, this is not unexpected. I kind of knew you would need to call GM :(

FYI, most dealerships hate doing warranty work. They can only charge GM a set (reasonable) rate, not being able to gouge EVERYONE pisses them off. :ROFLMAO::cry:
Sadly, this is not unexpected. I kind of knew you would need to call GM :(

FYI, most dealerships hate doing warranty work. They can only charge GM a set (reasonable) rate, not being able to gouge EVERYONE pisses them off. :ROFLMAO::cry:
I am sorry. I misspoke. I talked to someone at the Chevrolet Assistance Center. He just kept saying my VIN number didn’t show any recalls. I told him I didn’t believe it was a recall. It was a special coverage service bulletin. He didn’t seem to know anything about that. He just kept saying no recalls on my VIN number.. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I called him yay number you gave me,


I am sorry. I misspoke. I talked to someone at the Chevrolet Assistance Center. He just kept saying my VIN number didn’t show any recalls. I told him I didn’t believe it was a recall. It was a special coverage service bulletin. He didn’t seem to know anything about that. He just kept saying no recalls on my VIN number.. Any suggestions?
Sadly, this is not unexpected. I kind of knew you would need to call GM :(

FYI, most dealerships hate doing warranty work. They can only charge GM a set (reasonable) rate, not being able to gouge EVERYONE pisses them off. :ROFLMAO::cry:
When I called him yay number you gave me,


I am sorry. I misspoke. I talked to someone at the Chevrolet Assistance Center. He just kept saying my VIN number didn’t show any recalls. I told him I didn’t believe it was a recall. It was a special coverage service bulletin. He didn’t seem to know anything about that. He just kept saying no recalls on my VIN number.. Any suggestions?
[/QUOTE
Have you looked for any orange residue around any coolant hoses or around the thermostat housing, specially around the bolts?
Have you looked for any orange residue around any coolant hoses or around the thermostat housing, specially around the bolts?
No I haven’t. I don’t work on the car myself but it can look, what does the orange residue indicate?
 

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Well, I know for a fact people on this forum have had their water pump replaced under that warranty. :confused:

Is there something weird about your car? Like, did it have a salvage title, was it flooded and totaled by an insurance company?

Compare your car title, to the VIN on the dash. Double check you are giving them the correct VIN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I know for a fact people on this forum have had their water pump replaced under that warranty. :confused:

Is there something weird about your car? Like, did it have a salvage title, was it flooded and totaled by an insurance company?

Compare your car title, to the VIN on the dash. Double check you are giving them the correct VIN.
No, nothing weird about the car. No accidents. The two I talked to got pretty rude. He said it didn’t matter if it was a recall or service bulletin, it would come up with my VIN number. Very poor customer service.
 

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I think if you purchased the car from an "as is" lot, this voids all warrantees that GM will need to replace themselves. I had to sign at least 2 pages regarding this. I assume this was bought privately or at least, "as is"?

With that said, I am not 100% sure about the previous statement (since it's not a recall listed in my Haynes manual) and would continue to fight GM about it. As a former customer service rep, I know that with enough persistence, a lot gets done.

And... if it is the waterpump, it really isnt that hard to change. Do you have a family member that watches YouTube and has a set of sockets? But, if you can afford it, its nice to have a repair shop fix any failures/mistakes.

I wish you the best,
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think if you purchased the car from an "as is" lot, this voids all warrantees that GM will need to replace themselves. I had to sign at least 2 pages regarding this. I assume this was bought privately or at least, "as is"?

With that said, I am not 100% sure about the previous statement (since it's not a recall listed in my Haynes manual) and would continue to fight GM about it. As a former customer service rep, I know that with enough persistence, a lot gets done.

And... if it is the waterpump, it really isnt that hard to change. Do you have a family member that watches YouTube and has a set of sockets? But, if you can afford it, its nice to have a repair shop fix any failures/mistakes.

I wish you the best,
I bought this car new from a Chevrolet dealership. I already replaced the water pump on now.
 

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Oh the joys of the cooling system. The little temp dial is for show... Only time it moves higher is to indicate a problem, followed with an audible warning tone.

For coolant you can use distilled water from the grocery store to get by. Just remember to level the antifreeze concentration after repairing.
 
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Look, first things first, Id stop driving the car until you can get it looked at and repaired. Dont risk doing more harm to it.

Second, the coolant leak is going to be one of four things. The reservoir itself has developed a stress crack and is leaking under pressure, the coolant hose hub located on the drivers side of the engine above the transmission is cracked and leaking, one of the smaller hoses coming from that hub is leaking, usually the one on the front leading to the turbo, or the water pump and/or thermostat located on the passenger side of the engine has failed. None of those are expensive repairs, but they can cause a big headache if not addressed promptly.
All this on-going talk and arguing about if its covered under warranty or not is unproductive.

If at all possible, can you snap a few pics of the areas Ive described above and post them?
 

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All this on-going talk and arguing about if its covered under warranty or not is unproductive.
Agreed, but it is the system arguing with us. As I have stated a couple times, not just in this post, the water pumps are a known issue. IMHO the seals were not designed for the elevated coolant temperature on the Gen1 engines. That is why when my water pump failed at about 60K, I just got an after market one for $60 and with about 2 hours of DIY wrench time I have been golden. Disappointing, but no big whoop :coffee:

But now you take the same situation with an elderly lady, she's looking at $1000 repair bill. A bill that even by GM's admission shouldn't be hers to bare.
 
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