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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2018 Hatch here. So I've read through some of the mountains of info on the gen 1 cruze coolant smell issues but just wondering if any of that carried over to the gen 2?

I've been smelling coolant in the cabin for a couple months now and it seems to do it cold or hot. Took it to the dealer and right on cue, "could not duplicate - no service bulletins." Ok sure buddy.

So I come to ya'll for help in my time of need :)

I'm going to dig around a bit more but wanted to get the conversation started. I did check in my cabin by the heater core sine I was in that area recently routing my wires for my boost gauge but everything looked dry. No damp carpet, etc so I really don't think it's the heater core.

Just wondering if anyone else has had their car in for service on this and what they came up with?
Thanks!
 

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On my gen 1 when I had coolant smell inside the cabin it ended up being my oil cooler crossover tube that was leaking onto the hot exhaust. I’m not familiar with the setup of the gen 2 but might be worth a shot to look around the front of the engine driver side
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'll check that out.

Just got home from the dealer and popped the hood to look around a bit. I did notice that the cowl was loose so if there was any vapors coming off the tank or hoses or anything they'd have a straight shot into the cabin. But the cap was tight and they said they pressure tested it and it was fine so I really don't know.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nobody said there was an oil smell…. @Iamantman you find anything new with your coolant? You weren’t low on coolant?
That pic was taken when it was cold so not sure if it's actually low or not. It's hard to see the tank labels. I was going to have a closer look today and zip tie the cowl down really good since those factory push clips are junk but it's pouring down rain right now so that'll have to wait.

I'll report back when I do though. I'm thinking that's probably all my issue is.
 

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You appear to be losing it somewhere...the fill level is the seam on the tank. Mine hasn't moved since I bought the car 4.5 years ago (I also need to do a coolant change soon!)

Sniff around the belt side of the engine, or look for any hose connection that appears to have white crusty stuff around it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You appear to be losing it somewhere...the fill level is the seam on the tank. Mine hasn't moved since I bought the car 4.5 years ago (I also need to do a coolant change soon!)

Sniff around the belt side of the engine, or look for any hose connection that appears to have white crusty stuff around it.
Ah that's easy to remember, thanks. And will do. Gonna check that tomorrow and see if I see anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK just checked today again on my lunch break. I don't see anything obvious anywhere on either side of the engine. Felt around as well on the undersides of connections and no wetness anywhere. The only wet area on the car I could see was the intercooler inlet. Our cars have air to air intercoolers though I believe so that's just 30k of oil buildup there. Another problem but not my coolant issue I don't think.

I also zip tied all of the cowl push clips down so they are nice and sealed now since last week.

The only thing I can mention that might help with the diagnosis is that I don't seem to smell it as much when the hvac is on max ac. As soon as I turn it warmer I smell the coolant again. I also marked my overflow tank with a sharpie so that when I take it back I can show them how much as leaked off.
 

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OK just checked today again on my lunch break. I don't see anything obvious anywhere on either side of the engine. Felt around as well on the undersides of connections and no wetness anywhere. The only wet area on the car I could see was the intercooler inlet. Our cars have air to air intercoolers though I believe so that's just 30k of oil buildup there. Another problem but not my coolant issue I don't think.

I also zip tied all of the cowl push clips down so they are nice and sealed now since last week.

The only thing I can mention that might help with the diagnosis is that I don't seem to smell it as much when the hvac is on max ac. As soon as I turn it warmer I smell the coolant again. I also marked my overflow tank with a sharpie so that when I take it back I can show them how much as leaked off.
Most common coolant leaks are;

overflow tank nipple
Overflow tank breather
Water outlet cracked
Oil cooler bypass tube oring
Water pump
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most common coolant leaks are;

overflow tank nipple
Overflow tank breather
Water outlet cracked
Oil cooler bypass tube oring
Water pump
Thanks. Yeah this is all stuff the tech should have seen/checked when they did a pressure test. Which I have a nasty hunch was never done. But that's another story all together. I'll be taking it back soon and I'll have to get all Karen with them so that they fix it which is always fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have noticed in the last couple days as well that I can largely mitigate the smell by keeping AC on max with the air on recirculate. However when I either turn off recirculate or swing the temp knob to heat I smell the sweet coolant smell almost immediately. Switching back to max ac and recirculate usually makes the smell go away pretty quickly.

I'm definitely leaning to a leak under the hood somewhere.
 

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I have noticed in the last couple days as well that I can largely mitigate the smell by keeping AC on max with the air on recirculate. However when I either turn off recirculate or swing the temp knob to heat I smell the sweet coolant smell almost immediately. Switching back to max ac and recirculate usually makes the smell go away pretty quickly.

I'm definitely leaning to a leak under the hood somewhere.
That makes me think that there is a leak in your engine bay that is being drawn into the cabin only through the hvac. So not so much a leak in your cabin as the hvac is just picking up the scent. Def seems to be under the hood at this point.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah definitely. Checked under the hood again to see what the cap looked like after reading through some other threads. Definitely see signs of corrosion in between the o rings on the cap but the top seal is dry so might not be an issue. I marked the tank as well so that I can keep an eye on it. Didn't see too far off from when I looked at it last week but without a mark it's hard to say.

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I’m telling you check the crossover. Leaking coolant that drops onto the hot exhaust will vaporize and you will smell it in the cabin but you won’t see the leak under the hood since it turns to vapor.

I’d say get your car to operating temp. Pull over and open the hood quick to see if you have any smoke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I’m telling you check the crossover. Leaking coolant that drops onto the hot exhaust will vaporize and you will smell it in the cabin but you won’t see the leak under the hood since it turns to vapor.

I’d say get your car to operating temp. Pull over and open the hood quick to see if you have any smoke.
Which hose are you referring to as the cross over?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I gotcha. Thanks I'll check. I didn't see anything but this leads to my next question. Gonna put in some dye and use my UV light to check. Pretty sure it's the cap (which I'd think a negative pressure test would have hinted at) but want to make sure before I bring it back in with photo evidence.

Just picked up some dye from the dealer and they gave me this. I'm having a hard time getting good info when googling but I just want to confirm that GM part 88864127 is also compatible with GM dexcool coolant. I've seen mixed results when googling this online. Some say don't use generic ac/coolant dye, some say you can.
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