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Discussion Starter #22
I detected a new smell on my 13 cruze, it is some sory of chemical but being honest I dont know what kind is it, and it happened around 3-4 times now...

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Does it go away after you run the blowers? If so, go sniff one of your socks before it gets washed and compare the smells - seriously. (I don't want you sniffing my socks. :))
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I should probably explain my suggestion to sniffing a dirty sock. You need to try to identify and eliminate types of smells that are similar to what you are getting. This will narrow down possible causes. Dirty sock and other "earthy" smells are a sure sign of mold and/or mildew growing on the coolant coils. There is a TSB for this. This can happen to any car at any time and place. While mold & mildew can also sometimes come across as a chemical like smell they more commonly emit a dirty, earthy smell.
 

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Had leak check performed today after dye drop. No leaks detected (have to give my service manager and department A+ for another pleasant visit and services received). I previously posted that I noticed more coolant smell in cabin after parking in garage. I suspect it is not a cabin issue, but an engine compartment issue. Been parking outside after arriving home and allowing engine to cool down before pulling into garage. No coolant smell in garage or cabin during this configuration after pulling into garage. I have an extended warranty to 85,000 miles (compliments of my service department and GM after HVAC case R/R), so I will just monitor and take action if and when something surfaces (keeping water pump in mind as a possibility, but uncertain). Voted and commented on the coolant poll thread just posted.
 

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obermd, to answer your question you posted on the coolant poll thread, I noticed that I have some coolant residue buildup around the reservoir vent. If you remember, when I had my service department seal the cowl areas and perform the HVAC case R/R , I had them replace my tank and cap (to rid of the tape and tube job outlined in PI0740). They left the disconnected tubing attached and routed at that time (not attached to the reservoir as once configured, but attached to the engine compartment as outlined per PI0740). Today my service manager asked if I wanted the tubing removed from the engine compartment and I told him that I would have it removed next oil change. Obviously, I am losing some coolant somewhere/somehow (as indicted coolant drops approximately an indicator mark a month--unsure whether it is a leak or an evaporation issue). I am curious about the coolant smell, so today I thought I would pop off the vent piece and push the tubing back into the vent on the top of the reservoir. I am not applying any tape as it appears to be a tight fit. I will drive this configuration for a week or two and see if I notice a decrease in smell. Apparently, the verdict is that this configuration has not worked previously, but I thought I just read on the coolant poll that this configuration apparently worked for another Cruze (first posting I am aware of). But, I am curious and since the hose is still attached in the engine compartment I plugged it in and will see if anything changes these next few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
We had one other member report that the tubing fixed their smell for about a week. I'm definitely losing coolant through the pressure cap and vent but I don't have any odor in the engine bay, so my loss is apparently so slow that the fumes dissipate before there are enough of them to create an odor issue. Like I said in my response to the poll I'm treating it like the fabled "jeep factory oil seep".
 

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Success with eliminating coolant smell under hood and inside cabin!

surge tank.jpg

After reattaching the tubing previously installed from PI0740 (no tape) it appears that the coolant smell is now eliminated under the hood and in the cabin. I reattached the routed tubing on 8/7/13 and so far successful results. The heavy coolant smell I was experienced under the hood and in the cabin appears to be venting through the tubing and under the vehicle as designed. For those who have followed my previous postings it appeared that PI0740 with the tubing was not successful when initially installed. To quickly recap - At that time I was focusing on the cowl seals as I discovered gaps around the cowl box that was allowing vapors to enter the cabin. When I went in for the final reseal I had my service department replace my surge tank and cap and disconnect the tubing per my request. At the time, my service department left the tubing routed (but disconnected). It appeared at that time that the coolant issue was resolved as I had a faulty O-ring on my pressure cap. The lube issue in my HVAC box continued to draw "vapors" into the cabin which smelled like coolant. I then had my HVAC case R/R'd which appeared to resolve the "coolant smell" issues once again. As the summer months moved in and the temperature started warming up I faintly begin to notice that I was encountering the coolant smell once again. It started to become much heavier and left a heavy odor in my garage after driving. Returning home after two weeks vacation it appeared that the smell had penetrated the cabin as my Cruze sat in the garage for two weeks. I had my service department perform another dye/pressure check (3rd time in 8 months) with no indication of any leaks. After arriving home, I decided to reattach my routed tubing initially installed before the HVAC case R/R was completed. Now the tubing appears to be routing the hot vapors as designed below the vehicle. I have a snug fit and have no desire to install any tape. As long as the current configuration continues to work, it will remain configured as it is now. So, why did it (tubing) appear to not work initially? My thinking is that I did not give it the opportunity to work in conjunction with the HVAC case R/R. Now since it appears that the coolant smell is eliminated the one question remains. Where is 1/4" of coolant disappearing every month? I am wondering since I've had my coolant system pressured checked 3 times these last 8 months that it needs to have time for the system to stabilize since there may be a possibility of air pockets in the system? I will continue to monitor the coolant loss and see if at some point it stabilizes.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
If the tube solves your odor problem you are loosing coolant through the pressure cap.
 

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If the tube solves your odor problem you are loosing coolant through the pressure cap.
My thoughts exactly, though it still doesn't make much sense.

The ONLY two things that make sense to me:

1-when shutting the car off, the volume of vented coolant vapors is not exceeding the volume of the tubing and the vapors just aren't making it out of the tube?

2-it's venting so bad that all the expansion takes place before getting the garage closed (but then you would think it wouldn't smell with or without the tubing... ?)

Either way, if the tubing makes a difference it's most certainly coming through the cap or the cap seal. Time to re-visit the o-ring possibility again?

Another good check if you're loosing that much coolant is to get the dealer to measure the coolant mix. If it's more concentrated than it should be then you can be very sure it lost through venting/evaporating. If it's still at the correct concentration there could be an internal leak, assuming they've guaranteed no external leaks exist.

Man, this must have you near the end of your rope...


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I'd get them to order in another surge tank and make sure there is absolutely no defect in the sealing surface.

Mine has a minor defect and appears to be holding and coolant level has been stable for some time. My vent cover is spotless.

I can smell coolant occasionally after shutting the car down, but the odor seems to come from the drivers side of the cylinder head and is very faint.


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Holy Smokes! It has been a long time since I was on here and it is unbelievable that this problems is still going on and I recognize the same forum members still dealing with this.
 

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Alright, so I get the smell in the cabin only, but not on only high heat.. it usually does not appear at high heat. The odor is present when ac is not on but the dial is all the way to the left (as cold as it goes)

Do you believe this to be the same problem? If so do I contact my dealer about solving this?

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #37
pbf98, describe the smell. Is it "earthy" or similar to "dirty socks"? If so, you have mold and/or mildew in your HVAC system.
 

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Since my last posting I have monitored my coolant level and no coolant loss so far. I was losing about 1/4" monthly, but it appears to have stabilized. So, I am thinking I possibly had air pockets in the system. It's been a month since I had my last pressure test completed and reservoir topped off. I did remove the coolant cap around the same time that I reattached the hose and allowed the coolant to reach operating temp and cycle through the reservoir, then reinstalled the cap. I still have the tubing attached and it has been helpful in virtually eliminating the coolant smell under the hood. Since reattaching the hose I did pick up a faint smell a few times this past month, but overall the smell has remained absent. The attached tubing may not be 100% effective, but it appears it has done a great job rerouting coolant vapors out of my engine compartment. I will continue to monitor the coolant level another month and see if I have any further drop. I still have the coolant topped to the cold arrow.
 

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I was contacted by 3 representatives from GM- the last being from Mark Reuss' Executive office. I was told they are well aware of all the Cruze odor problems and even my case but it sure doesn't seem like I to me. It truly does seem like they are only dealing with those who bother to complain about it.
 
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