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Methanol-fed 2012 Cruze Eco 1.4T

14165 Views 32 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  NickD
I am new to this blogging but I figured, why not?! I have learned a lot about the Cruze through CruzeTalk.
  • I have got 6,000+ miles now on my 2012 Eco and have a few observations. At first, I was frustrated at the cars “turbo lag”. However, it was not really the turbo’s fault. The transmission was programmed to quickly upshift to the highest gear and hold it for too long. The car was designed for max EPA MPG. I read some CruzeTalk threads and fixed my “problem” with premium fuel and an Engine and Transmission tune from Vermont Tuning. Wow! What a little more boost, octane, and timing can do for this car!
  • My next “problem” was heat soak. I live in the desert southwest where 100+ degree days are common. The intercooler on the Cruze is too small and in a poor location, sandwiched between the radiators. Not a true FMIC. I got worse mileage due to the ECU programming rich air-fuel ratios in extreme high temps to avoid knock. I also heard the high pitched high-temp warning sound coming from the engine after I parked. Premium fuel helped the hot temp MPG, but my intake temps were still way too high. I thought about a ZZP FMIC, but went with a Snow Performance water-methanol injection system instead. It injects progressively based on the Mass Air Flow. I am using the small 100ml injector and tapped my existing windshield washer fluid reservoir. I just add 2 cans of HEET to a gallon of -20 windshield washer fluid. My heat soak problem is solved, and I get additional power! I also have a water-meth tune from Vermont Tuning that can run more timing and use the additional octane and detonation suppression provided by water-methanol injection.
  • Another problem that I read about was the infamous “coolant smell”. I had not experienced it yet since I had not used my heater. So, a few weeks ago I did a test. On a nice 90+ degree day, I crazily, turned my heater on and smelled the vents. Yes, it smelled real bad! But I changed my vents from floor and dash, to just the dash vents, and then to just the floor vents. It seemed that the smell was only coming from the upper vents; maybe it is from the grease that was used. My pressurized coolant reservoir seems to be maintaining the same level and has no leaks in the system.
My number one suggestion for any GM 1.4 Turbo is to get a tune and use premium fuel.Now I love my tuned Cruze Eco!! It is both really fast, and super-efficient. I am going to drive it until the wheels fall off!:partytime: Land vehicle Vehicle Car Engine Auto part
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Water-Methanol Injection video: How Water/Methanol Injection Works & How It Makes Horsepower in Gas Engines - YouTube

Edit: After reading about the inconsistant factory spark plug gapping of the 2011 and 2012 Cruzes, I plan on checking mine and setting them all to .030 This may have been part of the reason for the initial hesitation problem (along with the low octane fuel and transmission tuning). Because of my tune, I have extra boost and elevated effective engine compression, so I do not want to gap too large or I'll get blowout at WOT. But I need to check for consistant gapping, and maybe increase my spark plug gap to aid my everyday low RPM driveability.
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