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I spoke to soon about my Cruze - another issue!

3206 Views 32 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  joshuab
I have a issue it seems w/ my Cruze, today I was rolling down the road & then I smell this awful smell like something is dead under my car mixed like something was burning. After inspecting the coolant its full, checked the oil its full, checked the brake fluid its full. Then I turn my wheel all the way to the left & got a couple pictures of some type of fluid, my initial thought was axle grease. However its really wet not really greasy at all really. Please see attached images.

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks guys for the replies. I can honestly say this time I didn't inspect the cam cover, but I will go take a look & see if I see any leaks around this. There is currently not a CEL light on at this time. So I am assuming you all are pointing towards the cam cover, the only thing that baffles me is its on the lower arm so I just automatically assumed its something to do w/ the brake line, then kinda had a theory of maybe the axle leaking but its not a thick like grease.

Edit : I went checked for leaks around the the cam cover there isn't any visible leak that I could see anywhere. The oil level is perfect. anywhere else I should look?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Leaking shock?

Broken CV joint boot spewing lubricant?
Leaking shock maybe, but wouldn't you hear some sort of sound that would indicate the issue?, & see streams of leak that would show? Broken CV joint boot spewing lubricant, possible, but its not all over the inner finder plastic piece. just down on the brake hose a bit as shown in the picture & on that arm only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah guesses are fine, I appreciate all the help! I have a Automatic transmission, & I did check the plug on the side transmission just to be safe & its dry. Its just isolated to that one area, & again I can put my fingers in it & it really wet like oil, but you would think that much the dip stick would show a drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In my experience, (which may not apply to a newer car like the Cruze), is the CV lubricant is a grease, not a oil. If the CV boot failed, you'd be seeing bits of grease flung about. That looks more liquidy. And in order to get the smell, it's got to hit the exhaust system - or at least something hot. So, I'm thinking this is either a red herring, or it's coming from somewhere else.

It really doesn't take much, so the fact your coolant and oil levels appear to be fine doesn't mean anything.

Just for fun, check out the rest of the exhaust system. This might be nothing more than a stray plastic shopping bag that got caught on your exhaust.
You know I thought the same thing so I looked further at the exhaust & it seems fine & the catalytic converter & it all seems fine, just as mentioned in my last reply it just isolated to that area, now maybe I can get the car higher up tomorrow & take a closer look.

& yes its oily ( not saying its oil ) because I do not know at this point, but there isn't any type of thick like grease that I can see at all.

So you are saying even tho my oil level seems fine that I could still be leaking oil but spraying only when under pressure? Possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not sure about oil, but as a veteran of many a coolant leak, they can be really hard to find. It has to be at just the right temperature and pressure before they go. You'd be surprised how big a mess a few thimble full of oil can make. And you'd never see that on the dip stick.

But please remind me, has this car had transmission work done? My fear would be that this is transmission oil and you've got no dipstick for that.
No it hasn't had any transmission work done at all, expect for fluid changes. Only thing it has had was a engine replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am going to get it up higher up in the air tomorrow to get a closer look at where this maybe coming from & I'll report back. Then I am going to clean it off good & see if it comes back & take a clean white towel & dab it on there & see what color it is to give me a starting point.

So @jblackburn you think possible a cooler line, should I check them as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have now found the cooler line right above the axle where the leak is at. I cleaned the whole area & the cooler line. Going to take it for a ride today & then grab the color of the fluid & let everyone know today & then possible its off to the dealership if its nothing I can do myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
This may be exactly the issue & we shall see in a bit when I do my run. Is this cooler line connected to the engine & is this considered a 'seal' that would be covered under my warranty that I have so I know what is covered & what isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
As mentioned in my earlier post, I cleaned the whole area prior to my drive to look for any visible leaks & to maybe pin point the exact location. Well that being said, I started off on my drive & doing the same stuff I did yesterday when I noticed the foul smell that I smelled along w/ the burning smell mixed into it. So I drive around 25/miles to the place I needed to be & then raised the hood smelling for this same smell & failed to smell it & looked under the driver wheel & its dry as can be no visible leaks anywhere, so I do my drive back home 25/miles again & its raining coming back so this makes it a bit more harder to tell for any leaks so i decided to smell that I smelled yesterday & nothing could be even closed to smelled like burning oil, leaking coolant, or anything of such.

So my conclusion to this matter is I must have ran over something that was really foul smelling & it just some how oddly got caught in the groves of the control arm & some must have got on the exhaust giving off that awful smell.

But I will report back again on a dry day tomorrow as I will clean any dirt off that area & take another 50/mile run to look for anything & then I'll report back my findings. I am only hoping that this issue is as simple as I think. Wouldn't that be great for me to get a break that easy, it would honestly be the first for me w/ this Cruze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
You might look into any workmanship warranty for the engine replacement, since that's what we're thinking might have caused it.
I would speak w/ the service manager prior too taking it in on a appointment & see if this is something that could be done on there part. But right now I am not even sure if its leaking, because I know within a 25/mile run I should have seen a sign of something. But only time will tell this story, I plan on cleaning the area yet again & doing another 50/mile drive just to check this & make sure its not leaking.

But that smell I smelled guys/gals, was foul like something dead was caught in there. But there wasn't I duplicated everything today as I did yesterday to see if the smell/leak would happen & so far nothing so again fingers crossed & hoping this was just something that splashed up there in some oddly way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yes. If it comes to that, I'd check to see if the work they did might have had something to do with it. If you do find it's transmission oil, then I'd change the oil since it's hard to check it's level.

But since you're not able to duplicate it, I'm not sure what to suggest. You might try a uphill run to put the drive train under stress.
Yes in fact part of my run is uphill pull there isn't any indication of transmission problems, such as slippage, excess revving, long delayed shifts. All of these is shifting like butter & no sign of struggle from the transmission

Sounds like you are addressing this pretty well, I would probably take brake cleaner and then clean the excess with paper towels and clean every around there very well. Good luck.
I actually thought about using brake cleaner, however it didn't seem sticky so I just took my water hose & some paper towels & it cleaned up quite well & there didn't seem to be any 'staining' left behind so that was a plus far as being able to eye for any further leaks.

So this basically where I am at, just keeping a close watchful eye on this & keep the area cleaned daily & watch for anything that I can take a paper towel too, to test the color of the fluid of whatever it maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Which suggests it's recent stuff. Worrying. But not much else you can do at this point.
Exactly, its recent. My theory right now is I must have ran over something that oddly splashed this foul smell at the time up on the control arm & just kinda stuck there & some must have got on the exhaust at the time as well because the odor was foul. So yeah worrying is about all I can do at this point & keep cleaning & watching for new leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I was able to catch today being a good day w/o any rain going & coming back from my round trip to check for any further leaks. During the whole round trip it didn't leak anything & is currently still dry & clean under there w/o any seen stains or leaks that I could possibly see. So I am just going to keep monitoring it & watching it closely.

There doesn't seem to be any changes in shifting, the brake fluid is full, coolant is full, oil is full. So all checks OK & again just going to keep a watchful eye on it & I'll update in a few days to make sure it doesn't return.

But I am pretty sure I am just going to caulk it up as to being something I must have ran into & got it on there & made it smell the way it did. Again I'll update this thread again in a few days w/ any change.
 
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