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We picked my wife's Cruze up from the dealer last night, said they had it fixed. Wife was driving home and called me on cell and said it's still smelling when it's on defrost. She drove it to work today to see if it might clear up but it didn't. Took it back to the dealer service this evening. They didn't try the heat on defrost while they had it there before we picked it up last night, only on the front vents. You can still smell the coolant when it's on defrost. This is the third time in the shop for this.
Hi John,

Sad to see no resolution yet! Please let me know if you need any additional assistance with this.

Patsy G
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Discussion Starter #362
We picked my wife's Cruze up from the dealer last night, said they had it fixed. Wife was driving home and called me on cell and said it's still smelling when it's on defrost. She drove it to work today to see if it might clear up but it didn't. Took it back to the dealer service this evening. They didn't try the heat on defrost while they had it there before we picked it up last night, only on the front vents. You can still smell the coolant when it's on defrost. This is the third time in the shop for this.
Take a look at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-service-issues/12369-pi0935-odor-hvac-system-temperature-control-set-high-heat-engine.html. Since the engine bay coolant leaks have been addressed this is the remaining item. GM changed the HVAC boxes sometime through the 2013 model year to address this issue but it's very possible your wife's car predates this change. The odor from the HVAC box is very powerful and nauseating. Unfortunately it's also nearly impossible to diagnose until any engine bay issues are dealt with.
 

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Take a look at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-service-issues/12369-pi0935-odor-hvac-system-temperature-control-set-high-heat-engine.html. Since the engine bay coolant leaks have been addressed this is the remaining item. GM changed the HVAC boxes sometime through the 2013 model year to address this issue but it's very possible your wife's car predates this change. The odor from the HVAC box is very powerful and nauseating. Unfortunately it's also nearly impossible to diagnose until any engine bay issues are dealt with.
Yep, this is the next thing they are going to do. They ordered all the parts and scheduled her Cruze for the 24th. Said they want to take their time on it, so they are getting her a rental for 3 days. I sure hope this takes care of the smell.
 

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Discussion Starter #364
Yep, this is the next thing they are going to do. They ordered all the parts and scheduled her Cruze for the 24th. Said they want to take their time on it, so they are getting her a rental for 3 days. I sure hope this takes care of the smell.
Excellent. This replacement takes three days as it's major surgery on the inside of the car. I got to see my car at the start of reassembly (after the A/C refrigerant lines had been reconnected) and it looked like my car was on life support.

It sounds to me like your dealership is a keeper. They're doing the cabin odor repairs in the correct order - simple fixes under the hood to the most complex one. While you're waiting go get a carbon based cabin air filter and take that with you. Have the tech put this filter in during reassembly. The last thing you want is an odor free car running the cabin air through a odor filled filter.
 

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Excellent. This replacement takes three days as it's major surgery on the inside of the car. I got to see my car at the start of reassembly (after the A/C refrigerant lines had been reconnected) and it looked like my car was on life support.

It sounds to me like your dealership is a keeper. They're doing the cabin odor repairs in the correct order - simple fixes under the hood to the most complex one. While you're waiting go get a carbon based cabin air filter and take that with you. Have the tech put this filter in during reassembly. The last thing you want is an odor free car running the cabin air through a odor filled filter.
Thanks Obermd, You're right. I will get the new Cabin air filter. :th_salute:
 

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Discussion Starter #366
kentuckyjohn,

I've been throiugh the entire process plus the joy of having to have mold/mildew cleaned out of my HVAC so I know exactly what your wife is going through. It can be fixed but it appears that only a very small number of dealerships are equipped mentally to deal with issues that don't involve a CEL light. Based on your posts I think you found one of them.

Mike.
 

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kentuckyjohn,

I've been throiugh the entire process plus the joy of having to have mold/mildew cleaned out of my HVAC so I know exactly what your wife is going through. It can be fixed but it appears that only a very small number of dealerships are equipped mentally to deal with issues that don't involve a CEL light. Based on your posts I think you found one of them.

Mike.
They have been really good about trying to help resolve this issue. Thanks for your help Mike !!!!
 

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Got my car back. Dealership was unable to replicate my issue. I still think it smells. They said there's no leaks. They checked the engine and heater core. They told me my floor mats smelled. I smelled the carpet up close and the rubber all weather mats and there's no smell.

At at this point I'm going to change the cabin filter (it's only got 10k miles on it) and spray some Lysol down the fresh air vents. Any other ideas?
 

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Got my car back. Dealership was unable to replicate my issue. I still think it smells. They said there's no leaks. They checked the engine and heater core. They told me my floor mats smelled. I smelled the carpet up close and the rubber all weather mats and there's no smell.

At at this point I'm going to change the cabin filter (it's only got 10k miles on it) and spray some Lysol down the fresh air vents. Any other ideas?
Describe the smells you're getting. If they're earthy/smelly socks it's mold & mildew. GM has a kit for cleaning this out. If it's chemical and not found under the hood it's most likely the HVAC box, especially if it only occurs when running the cabin heater. Since you said your floor mats don't smell like coolant you don't have a cabin heater core leak.
 

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Describe the smells you're getting. If they're earthy/smelly socks it's mold & mildew. GM has a kit for cleaning this out. If it's chemical and not found under the hood it's most likely the HVAC box, especially if it only occurs when running the cabin heater. Since you said your floor mats don't smell like coolant you don't have a cabin heater core leak.
It smells like coolant, that was why I took it in, I was concerned. But I guess it might be the HVAC box. I'm just surprised they said they couldnt smell anything. I smell it right away when the heater warms up. Usually how it goes at dealers tho...
 

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It smells like coolant, that was why I took it in, I was concerned. But I guess it might be the HVAC box. I'm just surprised they said they couldnt smell anything. I smell it right away when the heater warms up. Usually how it goes at dealers tho...
Under the hood or only in the cabin. If it's only in the cabin it's the HVAC box. The link to the PI is in the first post of this thread.
 

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Got my car back. Dealership was unable to replicate my issue. I still think it smells. They said there's no leaks. They checked the engine and heater core. They told me my floor mats smelled. I smelled the carpet up close and the rubber all weather mats and there's no smell.

At at this point I'm going to change the cabin filter (it's only got 10k miles on it) and spray some Lysol down the fresh air vents. Any other ideas?
Very sorry for this! If you need any additional assistance into the dealership again for this, I would be happy to contact them on your behalf. Feel free to send me a private message along with your VIN, current mileage, contact information and the preferred dealership.

Patsy G
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Discussion Starter #375

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The HVAC box was the source of the smell. The surge tank might generate occasional whiffs of odor but not the continuous stench your wife was smelling. Keep an eye on your coolant levels even though the odors are gone.
 

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Hello all, I am the newest affected by the Dexcool smell. I have a 2013 Cruze ECO 6MT and took delivery Oct 15, 2013. As of this moment, I have 34,800 miles (yes, in 14 months, with four cars...) and this has just started. I am a former ASE Master tech and GM Master tech, and still frequent the dealer I last worked for (I am now an engineer). I dropped my Cruze off last Friday without an appointment and told the service consultant they could keep it as long as they needed as the stench of coolant became so overpowering I simply could not drive it anymore. I was called the following day and told the repairs were complete and that a recall had been performed to take care of the issue (surge tank leak without low coolant light?) although the RO did not note the recall number.

Well, on day three of driving (today), the problem has become so bad I had to roll down the windows just to run the heat and I had to borrow the cleaning crews Windex at work to clean the haze on the inside of the windshield so I could drive home. I have no question that it's a bad heater core, although it has definitely worsened after whatever fix was applied Saturday. This isn't a dealer issue; I used to work shoulder to shoulder with the guys who are now team leads, and I am certain they will get to the root of this concern. Although I am a bit startled there are so many customer concerns regarding this issue. If all else fails, I have a 30x50 shop for my own projects so I'll tear into it myself. I've never been one for lemon law, and the only thing that interests me is an 2016 ATS-V which is too far off anyhow. I'll report back later this week after I drop it off.
 

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Hello all, I am the newest affected by the Dexcool smell. I have a 2013 Cruze ECO 6MT and took delivery Oct 15, 2013. As of this moment, I have 34,800 miles (yes, in 14 months, with four cars...) and this has just started. I am a former ASE Master tech and GM Master tech, and still frequent the dealer I last worked for (I am now an engineer). I dropped my Cruze off last Friday without an appointment and told the service consultant they could keep it as long as they needed as the stench of coolant became so overpowering I simply could not drive it anymore. I was called the following day and told the repairs were complete and that a recall had been performed to take care of the issue (surge tank leak without low coolant light?) although the RO did not note the recall number.

Well, on day three of driving (today), the problem has become so bad I had to roll down the windows just to run the heat and I had to borrow the cleaning crews Windex at work to clean the haze on the inside of the windshield so I could drive home. I have no question that it's a bad heater core, although it has definitely worsened after whatever fix was applied Saturday. This isn't a dealer issue; I used to work shoulder to shoulder with the guys who are now team leads, and I am certain they will get to the root of this concern. Although I am a bit startled there are so many customer concerns regarding this issue. If all else fails, I have a 30x50 shop for my own projects so I'll tear into it myself. I've never been one for lemon law, and the only thing that interests me is an 2016 ATS-V which is too far off anyhow. I'll report back later this week after I drop it off.
Print out the first post in this thread and highlight the TSB information for the HVAC box. Then take this and the service ticket to the service manager (bring in the service adviser so the manager knows he's not the idiot) and show him. The tech did the bare minimum and didn't bother to look at the other symptoms. Also, contact Chevy Customer Care here and get them involved.
 
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