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Hello Cruzer's decided to join this forum, got a lot of good tips and have some of my own so thought I would join in. Bought a 2011 Cruze LTZ and did not realize the issues common to this model year. Went through two turbo's three water pumps, and the rest of the weird stuff going on from coolant smells, climate control issues, and the basics.
Sadly all these problems happened before hitting 50K in miles!. I sure hope the next 50K is better, because my skepticism of this small turbo engine living past 100K is questionable.
I am dealing with the mysterious disappearing coolant that doesn't show signs externally of a leak, nor does pulling plugs show its burning it. I lose about a cup full every month.
Being a former mechanic I never saw much good come domestically in turbo engines. I am hoping this time around GM got it right? My other choice was a Dodge Dart turbo but was tipped off that would not be a good choice. My MPG has been 29-30 mpg in mixed driving which even in the dead of winter I managed 27 so I really can't complain about mpg but clearly you have to drive a small turbo conservatively to achieve any kind of decent mpg. I still think the Cruze is a bit too heavy for this 1.4 engine and its horsepower. But it's also clear GM was aiming for the low end torque not HP in the 1.4. Its really a economically focused engine not performance.
 

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Welcome! This forum is great for suggestions from how to fix stuff to appearance mods. Hope you enjoy it here!
 

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Welcome - my coolant loss and smell went away when I had my water outlet replaced along with the water pump and new coolant cap on the tank. I personally don't think the water outlets on the 2011's were put on or torqued properly at the factory thus letting air into the cooling system which I think leads to failed pumps. But that is just my opinion and is only based on observation for about 12,000 miles (that is how long I have on the new water pump and water outlet).

I think the engines will last a long time as long as you take care of them by using good gas, clean oil and changing the air filter more often than what the owners manual says.
 

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Welcome. Like jsuanka said, coolant outlets, as well as the hose over from there to the expansion tank, is a common leak point. You may see it pooling on top of the transmission.

Water pump - they use torque-to-yield bolts; if those are not replaced with the pump, it will probably start leaking again. I also suspect many of these cars that take out multiple pumps have bad serpentine belt tensioners (mine did, noticeable when the A/C was running).

Yeah, the 1.4T was definitely designed for drivability - not top-end HP. Having owned a high-pressure turbo car with all the power at the top end, I much prefer a small engine with a torquey low-end powerband - that thing was scary trying to move quickly from a dead stop.

There are quite a few of the motors well past 100K already, though the 2011's have been known to kill pistons. Use good oil, use > 87 octane gas, and I think for the most part, you'll be fine.
 

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Hi!
I have the first 50k miles on mine as well, and never had any turbo issues, but the coolant smell was very predominant in winter (only when using the heater).
In summer, I never noticed.
Coolant leaks also happened a lot.

I find the engine very well fitting the car, as long as your outside temperatures are 75F or below.
At 100+F, you really will want a 1.6liter version, or, a better tuned car.
Great for the city, just perfect actually.
If you want better hwy mpg, get the NA version.
A well tuned 1.8-2.0 liter NA is more fuel efficient than the 1.4l turbo at speeds of 60MPH and up (which, sadly is what we mostly ride on the interstates and highways over here).
 

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The water neck is a finicky piece. I had slow coolant loss for a while then it disapeared in a hurry. Carrying around a jug of coolant for a couple days.i couldn't find the leak due to rain and no room in the garage. When we changed it out we couldn't find a crack or anything wrong with the gasket. Everything was tight so still not sure what the issue was but upon replacement? I stopped losing coolant. Just waiting for the water pump to go yet. Hope you figure out where ur leak is quickly. If you have a garage drop down the cardboard and hope to pinpoint the leak.
 

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Hi!
I have the first 50k miles on mine as well, and never had any turbo issues, but the coolant smell was very predominant in winter (only when using the heater).
In summer, I never noticed.
Coolant leaks also happened a lot.

I find the engine very well fitting the car, as long as your outside temperatures are 75F or below.
At 100+F, you really will want a 1.6liter version, or, a better tuned car.
Great for the city, just perfect actually.
If you want better hwy mpg, get the NA version.
A well tuned 1.8-2.0 liter NA is more fuel efficient than the 1.4l turbo at speeds of 60MPH and up (which, sadly is what we mostly ride on the interstates and highways over here).
Many 1.4 MT Cruzen owners and every 1.8L owner would disagree. The 1.4 returns some very excellent 40+ highway mpg figures at 60-75.
 

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Since doing a little playing with mine basically air box silencer delete and upping psi in tires to max sidewall I run about 53 mpg at 55 mph roll with the hills to keep it up there. DIC current readout is 52.8 mpg for 340 miles. If driven nicely and staying low boost during acceleration you can push 60 mpg for longer trips if you stay off the freeway. Australian couple proved that something like 65 mpg cross country trip. Clearly hypermiling but that's besides the point. It's doable. I'm looking to go for a 55+ mpg tank this summer all with less than 30 mile trips. 13 to work 15 into town and 15 back is my longer ones and I can maintain over 50 mpg in warmer weather.
 

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Forgot to mention if your looking for more highway economy the panels on the bottom of the eco do help a bit to reduce drag. Would look into that. I'll look for the thread but I believe it was 2-3 mpg different with them added to a non eco. Something I'm considering doing to the 02 explorer (4.0 SOHC 260k miles) lol 22 mpg isn't bad but 24 would be better.
 

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Many 1.4 MT Cruzen owners and every 1.8L owner would disagree. The 1.4 returns some very excellent 40+ highway mpg figures at 60-75.
The elantra gets about 60MPG at 60MPH, and still in the fifties at 75MPH. My '11 cruze eco gets 50MPG at 50, and about 30-33MPG at 75.
 

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Welcome. Like jsuanka said, coolant outlets, as well as the hose over from there to the expansion tank, is a common leak point. You may see it pooling on top of the transmission.

Water pump - they use torque-to-yield bolts; if those are not replaced with the pump, it will probably start leaking again. I also suspect many of these cars that take out multiple pumps have bad serpentine belt tensioners (mine did, noticeable when the A/C was running).

Yeah, the 1.4T was definitely designed for drivability - not top-end HP. Having owned a high-pressure turbo car with all the power at the top end, I much prefer a small engine with a torquey low-end powerband - that thing was scary trying to move quickly from a dead stop.

There are quite a few of the motors well past 100K already, though the 2011's have been known to kill pistons. Use good oil, use > 87 octane gas, and I think for the most part, you'll be fine.
On a motorcycle I prefer the reverse, less power on the bottom, more on the top, because they have plenty of low end torque, that could get one in trouble.
I think fuel wise, I probably will want to go with a NA engine, that builds acceleration. If I need to get out of a situation, even with the automatic, I can always downshift 2 gears (eg: 5th to 3rd) and have plenty of acceleration. The automatic does this often. It downshifts 2 gears, not 1 gear.
If you want to downshift 1 gear on the cruze, there's a very fine line, and it's easier to downshift 2 gears, and upshift 1 gear. Not sure why it's configured to only downshift 2 gears.
This all results in better MPG for regular cruising.
The Cruze 1.4t is built to cruise at 1800 to 2250 RPM. Anything faster, and the turbo will work MPG numbers negatively.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for info, yes have looked at coolant tank and did find some residue on top of trans. But I also still see wetness on front of motor. So think water pump is more likely going to fail again. Going to talk to dealer about how soon they can condemn another water pump for special warranty. Most definitely driving of the 1.4 is very good for everyday driver. The early turbo torque boost is great but the drawback is the engine losing steam real quickly. But I've been averaging 30 mpg so can't complain. I do run synthetic oil and don't wait for oil monitor to recommend a change. Yes, air filter critical in turbo's which use more air. I run 87 in winter and 89 spring and 93 summer. I don't see big moves in MPG or power but I do feel the little engine likes more octane in hotter temps.
 

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The elantra gets about 60MPG at 60MPH, and still in the fifties at 75MPH. My '11 cruze eco gets 50MPG at 50, and about 30-33MPG at 75.
I seriously doubt an Elantra goes that high. (the trip computers on Hyundais wildly over inflate numbers). An Elantra Eco with the underpowered 1.4T, and Civic with a CVT, maybe 50s.

But if we're comparing apples to apples - the Cruzes 1.4T is MUCH more efficient at highway speed than the 1.8L, especially when coupled to a manual with the first generation. The automatics really weren't MPG champs. I could easily do 38-42 at 70-75 with a 1LT gearing, and an Eco MT will easily add 4+ to that.

Going past 80, yeah, mpg tanks, but you're fighting all kinds of resistance at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Those getting better MPG have the Eco version probably with automatic trans which has a higher top gear than other Cruze models. This really drops RPM's on highway more saving more fuel. Guy in trans shop told me the eco model has different gear ratio's. Besides its other aero saving options.
 

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Those getting better MPG have the Eco version probably with automatic trans which has a higher top gear than other Cruze models. This really drops RPM's on highway more saving more fuel. Guy in trans shop told me the eco model has different gear ratio's. Besides its other aero saving options.
All AT gas-driven Cruzens, Eco included, have the same gear ratios.

The MT Cruze Eco has 3 overdrive ratios, making it and the Cruze Diesel AT the highway stars.
 

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Welcome aboard
 

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Welcome!

If I drive my 2012 LS 6MT conservatively, she gets around 33-40 highway(65-80mph) and 16-26 city (the wide range includes stop-and-go and up to 45-50mph cruising). But, I don't keep my foot out of it enough lol...

Everything has seemed solid for the past 22k miles (1 year) I've had it.

Safe Travels,
Jay
 
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