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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I have been running into some issues again with my 103,000 mile 2011 Chevy Cruze LT and need some help. I will start from the beginning.

Friday I was leaving for work and noticed the engine sounded a bit weak when I was turning it on. As I went about 1 mile down the road I began having random warning lights come on and the radio cutting out, etc. Pulled into Autozone so they could do some checking. The battery tested "very weak" but they could not get an alternator reading because the battery was so weak. I told them a little about the issues and they were 95% sure I needed a new alternator. So I buy the part and my friend and I change it this weekend.

Everything was working fine Saturday - Wednesday (today) when on my way home I was going up a fairly steep incline in the rain. My power to the car went completely off for 2-3 seconds and the little wrench came on my screen with "Service Stability Control". Radio and lights and dash all went completely out. Suddenly everything came back on and the rest of my drive was fine. My battery reads 14.4 when going straight or downhill and 13.5 when going up a hill. It reads about 12.7 when I am stationary.

The alternator was the only thing we changed during this past week. I would also like to point out a little but of a different issue I am having. My interior begins to smell like rotten eggs when I am running AC and am STATIONARY. If I begin moving the car, the smell goes away. It also seems to only happen through the front top vents, not the feet or the dash vents.

If anybody has any insights to either issue that would be excellent!
 

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Hey guys,

I have been running into some issues again with my 103,000 mile 2011 Chevy Cruze LT and need some help. I will start from the beginning.

Friday I was leaving for work and noticed the engine sounded a bit weak when I was turning it on. As I went about 1 mile down the road I began having random warning lights come on and the radio cutting out, etc. Pulled into Autozone so they could do some checking. The battery tested "very weak" but they could not get an alternator reading because the battery was so weak. I told them a little about the issues and they were 95% sure I needed a new alternator. So I buy the part and my friend and I change it this weekend.

Everything was working fine Saturday - Wednesday (today) when on my way home I was going up a fairly steep incline in the rain. My power to the car went completely off for 2-3 seconds and the little wrench came on my screen with "Service Stability Control". Radio and lights and dash all went completely out. Suddenly everything came back on and the rest of my drive was fine. My battery reads 14.4 when going straight or downhill and 13.5 when going up a hill. It reads about 12.7 when I am stationary.

The alternator was the only thing we changed during this past week. I would also like to point out a little but of a different issue I am having. My interior begins to smell like rotten eggs when I am running AC and am STATIONARY. If I begin moving the car, the smell goes away. It also seems to only happen through the front top vents, not the feet or the dash vents.

If anybody has any insights to either issue that would be excellent!
Have you had the Negative Battery Cable replaced yet?

See Special Coverage https://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-...al-coverage-14311-negative-battery-cable.html
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No I have not. Would it be covered? Bought from used dealer last May and it has 103k miles
 

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No I have not. Would it be covered? Bought from used dealer last May and it has 103k miles
Not to sound snarky but whatever it ends up costing you it will be less than the alternator you replaced.

Though not your fault, it wouldn’t be the first time that someone sought advice in a similar situation and needlessly replaced their alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No I have not. Would it be covered? Bought from used dealer last May and it has 103k miles
Not to sound snarky but whatever it ends up costing you it will be less than the alternator you replaced.

Though not your fault, it wouldn’t be the first time that someone sought advice in a similar situation and needlessly replaced their alternator.
So you essentially believe I unnecessarily changed my alternator? I knew I should have just taken it in for a servicing!

Why would it be performing better now though after the switch? The car almost wouldn't run at all before the switch..
 

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So you essentially believe I unnecessarily changed my alternator? I knew I should have just taken it in for a servicing!

Why would it be performing better now though after the switch? The car almost wouldn't run at all before the switch..
It’s possible that the existing alternator was functioning correctly. No one will know for sure until that original alternator is tested by a qualified dealer with the appropriate equipment and following the required procedure.

I’ve been on this forum for over five years, and in that time I’ve observed many people act out of anxiety and fear of getting ripped off at the dealer - only to end up paying more by seeking cheaper options. Batteries and alternators are the most common.

Free advice at a part store doesn’t always save money.

In this case, testing an alternator or battery at a parts store is not as simple as it seems. It’s not a matter of checking your oil level or tire pressure.

The charging system employed in the cruze is quite complex and likely beyond the scope of knowledge of the vast majority of people pushing parts.

The symptoms you describe fit with those associated with a bad negative ground cable. Your battery may also have been drained, but could still be good if desulphated and charged on an appropriate charger, like a Midtronics, CTEK or NOCO.

Your situation may have improved by simply having the cables moved and tightened. That could be one explanation. In addition, any new battery will perform better than a flattened one.
 

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No I have not. Would it be covered? Bought from used dealer last May and it has 103k miles
Yes you’re still covered. If you bring it to a GM dealer and request Special Coverage #14311 they will replace it free of charge.

The part costs about $20 bucks. Some (myself included) opted to just swap it out (takes about 10 minutes, no special tools) rather than spend an hour at the dealership.

Here’s the pertinent language from SC#14311:

This special coverage covers the condition described above for a period of 10 years or 120,000 miles (193,000 km), whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership.
Dealers will replace the battery negative cable, which will now require a bolt to fasten the small regulated voltage cable. The repairs will be made at no charge to the customer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for the comments and suggestions. When I went to start my car today for work it took a solid 3 attempts to get it fired up and then it ran a perfect 14.7 v 99% of the way there. I had one little hiccup about halfway right after a red light where voltage dipped to 12.0 - 12.6 and then jumped to about 15.0 and did the whole power off stabiltrak think again. I also noticed that the rotten egg smell I mentioned usually happens when the voltage dips down or I am stopped. When I got to work and left my car it smelled pretty bad around the hood area.

I am calling at 8 to make a service appt but my question is realistically how long is it okay to drive the car like this? Is it just a nuisance thing where it can wait a few days (which is likely when they will be able to get me in) or is this urgent and needing fixed ASAP (today).

EDIT - Called service dealership and his initial thoughts are something with catalytic convertor in some capacity. Said it could be a very broad price range and issue so he could not give me a rough price or if it would be okay to drive about 300 more miles (50 miles to and from work 3 times) until appointment on Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update on this issue:

I made it to and from work yesterday (90 miles) and when I pulled into home I thought for the heck of it to pop my hood and take a look. Turns out the battery was smoking very bad and leaking acid which was the source of the rotten eggs smell. When we replaced the alternator, we did NOT also replace the battery, and the new alternator was overcharging this battery. Quick 0.5 mile drive to Autozone and we switched out the battery. Started the car and went on a drive and everything was running fine again. Constant 14.7 volt reading and you can tell everything runs smoother such as the buttons on my remote always working and the windows coming down and up much faster.

Going to keep my service appt for Tuesday and just get everything looked over again and hopefully will be good for thousands of miles again! I'va had this car for 1 year and put 40,000+ miles on it because of 90 mile round trip to work everyday.
 

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Update on this issue:

I made it to and from work yesterday (90 miles) and when I pulled into home I thought for the heck of it to pop my hood and take a look. Turns out the battery was smoking very bad and leaking acid which was the source of the rotten eggs smell. When we replaced the alternator, we did NOT also replace the battery, and the new alternator was overcharging this battery. Quick 0.5 mile drive to Autozone and we switched out the battery. Started the car and went on a drive and everything was running fine again. Constant 14.7 volt reading and you can tell everything runs smoother such as the buttons on my remote always working and the windows coming down and up much faster.

Going to keep my service appt for Tuesday and just get everything looked over again and hopefully will be good for thousands of miles again! I'va had this car for 1 year and put 40,000+ miles on it because of 90 mile round trip to work everyday.
Great news! Thanks for the update.

While it’s at the dealership have them do free Special Coverage #14311 just to cover all the bases.
 
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