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DIY Video - Coolant vent tube to reduce coolant smell/vapor

13980 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  obermd
Made a quick vid while working on the car today. I got rid of the factory shorty vent tube that only goes a few inches off the reserve and added a 5ft hose.

Smell has been greatly reduced but is still evident when the car first hits operating temp. Might be residual in the HVAC system, should know for sure in the next week or so. If it doesn't work as planned i'll post that up also.

I might have to add some tape or something over the part of the duct that draws air from the engine bay, and add some sealant to prevent the duct and molding from allowing air in.

Cheers,

Hoon

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Tools:
Snips (could use scissors)

Required supplies:
High quality epoxy
3 Zip ties
5 feet of 7/32 (5.5mm) "windshield washer" hose


Installing coolant vent tube on 2012 Cruze - YouTube
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Sad it's come to this but thanks for taking the initiative.

I had my AC compressor replaced for a noise and did not get the smell when I got home. Smell was faint before but evident. I'll see if any difference tomorrow.
 

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Excellent video. I still wonder if the problem is the coolant tank pressure cap and that it may be at times venting not only thru the small vent arm but also venting from around the cap itself. If that is the case then the top of the tank where the cap is would have a coolant stain/crust on it.:)
 

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Good job on fix and video.

I was wondering if you did it with a fully cold engine? When mine is cold I get no woosh like you did removing the cap. Might have something to do with the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No it wasn't cold, probably 150* when i started the video, but it shouldn't matter whether it's still warm as long as everything is clean/dry
 

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Thanks Hoon! Thats a great DIY instruction video! I'm going to do it on mine when its no longer 15 degrees here in NY.
 

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Thanks for the instructional video. I'm not taking it to the dealer until something is proven to be more effective, but your video will let me do it myself. Did you have the dealer do the tape job first? Did they do any sealing of the vent area? I think I saw on another thread someone had posted pictures of the sealing, too.

Also, where did you connect the other two zip ties? I saw the last one.
 

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Thanks Hoon! Thats a great DIY instruction video! I'm going to do it on mine when its no longer 15 degrees here in NY.​
My ECO is approaching 15,000 miles but not having any coolant smell issues yet. I plan on modding my expansion tank vent per your video. Nice job! I will be holding off doing the mod until it warms up here in NY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the instructional video. I'm not taking it to the dealer until something is proven to be more effective, but your video will let me do it myself. Did you have the dealer do the tape job first? Did they do any sealing of the vent area? I think I saw on another thread someone had posted pictures of the sealing, too.

Also, where did you connect the other two zip ties? I saw the last one.
This definitely helps but it is not a complete cure. I think vapor is exiting the cap also. My theory is the o-rings compress over time and allow blow-by out of the cap itself, and mine has dried residue and liquid after the upper seal which lead me to that conclusion.

I didn't bother pressing the issue with the dealer. They were useless.

I connected one zip tie to the wiring near the tank and the other to a line above the transmission to keep the hose out of way of the shifter linkage.
 

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Eco owners might be able to omit the last zip-tie if they can wedge the hose under the underbelly pans.
 

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Eco owners might be able to omit the last zip-tie if they can wedge the hose under the underbelly pans.​
Yep-thinking the same, when I add the vent tube.
 

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My '12 Eco isn't suffering from this issue yet, but it's nice to know there may be a diy fix for it if it comes up.

Just some personal experience with GM pressure caps, they suck. My '96 and '01 Saturns as well as my '02 Vette all needed to have caps replaced. Water vapor escapes over time (probably smells like coolant but didn't notice a smell in the car) and "coolant" levels get low, motor sucks air in, I pull hair out trying to bleed the air out of the system. I put "coolant" in quotes because if this happens and is the cause of your low reservoir level you need to make sure you only top up with distilled water, NOT a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/water. Only the water is evaporating, so replacing it with coolant will skew the coolant/water ratio.

It is possible the Cruze suffers from a similar cap flaw. The overflows on all my other vehicles were near the front on the passenger side, so maybe they were far enough away that the smell wasn't obvious? I guess it's possible that the cowl seals are better on those cars as well?

It's also possible that every Cruze has this issue and the cowl seal is the culprit, where only cars with leaky cowl seals could be letting the odor into the HVAC intake. Just a thought.
 

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I have the same coolant smell issue. I took it to the dealer and they did the same fix as in your video, but their hose only went just beneath the engine. They also installed new seals around near the rear of the hood. I am still getting the coolant smell once I have reached operating temperature, but I only get it if I have the heat on and the lower vents running. If I run the heat and only have on the front vents I get no smell at all. Any ideas why this may be?

I am taking it back to the dealer tomorrow. Not sure what else they may do, but I am going to extend the hose length to go further back under the car if they do not. I'll update with any breakthroughs.
 

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I have the same coolant smell issue. I took it to the dealer and they did the same fix as in your video, but their hose only went just beneath the engine. They also installed new seals around near the rear of the hood. I am still getting the coolant smell once I have reached operating temperature, but I only get it if I have the heat on and the lower vents running. If I run the heat and only have on the front vents I get no smell at all. Any ideas why this may be?

I am taking it back to the dealer tomorrow. Not sure what else they may do, but I am going to extend the hose length to go further back under the car if they do not. I'll update with any breakthroughs.
masterchf117, I highlighted the critical portion of your post. Based on this I would have your dealership look into PI-0935, which replaces the HVAC duct control box with a new box. The culprit is a glycol based lubricant used that when it heats up it smells very similar to DexCool. The replacement box uses a new lubricant. The fact that you get no smell with some vents and smell with others it a clear indication that the problem is in the HVAC system and not in the engine bay. If it was in the engine bay you would get the smell regardless of the direction of the air flow.
 

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I have hav my 2012 1lt RS Cruze in the dealer 4 times already. It has 19k on it and has already had the heater core , water pump , thermostat , hoses and seals replaced. I still have the bad smell of coolant inside and outside the vehicle. The dealer also put a hole in the coolant tank and put another drain tube in it. I have owned the car for 8 months and 2 months total it has been in for repairs. So I'm paying for a rebuilt new vehicle. The car is a lemon and GM/Dealer don't seem to want to make it right and buy it back or trade it back for another non lemon. Is there any GM reps or anyone else I can talk to to resolve this matter. I'm ready to stop buying GM and move to another company.
 

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I have hav my 2012 1lt RS Cruze in the dealer 4 times already. It has 19k on it and has already had the heater core , water pump , thermostat , hoses and seals replaced. I still have the bad smell of coolant inside and outside the vehicle. The dealer also put a hole in the coolant tank and put another drain tube in it. I have owned the car for 8 months and 2 months total it has been in for repairs. So I'm paying for a rebuilt new vehicle. The car is a lemon and GM/Dealer don't seem to want to make it right and buy it back or trade it back for another non lemon. Is there any GM reps or anyone else I can talk to to resolve this matter. I'm ready to stop buying GM and move to another company.
Has your dealership put coolant dye in the system and pressure tested the system? There's a leak somewhere they can't find and it may very well be a connector. Take a look at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-s...e-cabin-odors-sources-resolution-summary.html for more information on this.
 
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