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Subject: Odor from HVAC System with Temperature Control Set on High Heat and Engine at Operating Temperature
Models: 2011-2013 Chevrolet Cruze
Equipped with 1.4L Engine (RPOs LUJ, LUV)
[HR][/HR]Condition/ConcernSome customer may comment on an odor from the HVAC system. This condition occurs with the engine at operating temperature and the instrument panel temperature control set on the full heat setting. This condition may be described as a coolant odor among other descriptions.
This condition may be caused by an unpleasant odor coming from the grease used to lubricate the components inside of the heater and air conditioning evaporator case.
Recommendation/InstructionsUse the following steps to diagnose and repair the condition:
  • Bring the vehicle up to operating temperature and verify the condition by closing the vehicle doors, idling the car and selecting full heat. You may wish to leave vehicle idle for several minutes with heat on high, open the driver door and verify the concern.
  • Follow PI0740 to ensure that the odor is not coolant, as described in the PI.
  • Tip: Using a digital camera, photograph the routing of the instrument panel wiring harness before removal. This will aid in the re-assembly process.

  • With the condition verified, replace the heater and air conditioning evaporator case. Refer to Heater and Air Conditioning Evaporator Case Replacement in SI.
  • With the heater core removed from the case, inspect for contamination from the assembly grease. Clean as necessary.
  • Transfer the following items from the old assembly:
    • Floor air outlet cover
    • Temp valve actuator/screws
    • Mode valve actuator/gear/screws
    • Temp sensor(s), if equipped
    • Wiring harness
Parts InformationThe revised Heater and Air Conditioning Evaporator Case Assembly is not in stock at this time. Use the Warranty Parts Center (WPC) form below to obtain the assembly. The balance of the parts should be ordered through normal channels.
Part Number
Description
Quantity
WPC 710
Heater and Air Conditioning Evaporator Case Assembly
1
13406309
Heater and Air Conditioning Evaporator Case Gasket Kit (With RPO C67 or C68)
1
13406315
Heater and Air Conditioning Evaporator Case Gasket Kit (With RPO C42)
11514519
Steering Column Nut
4
11611451





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  • Follow PI0740 to ensure that the odor is not coolant, as described in the PI.
This is great news and it also show that GM is aware there may be multiple source of this odor. One question though to any GM Techs here, does the clip I highlighted mean apply the stupid hose or just verify and fix any unexpected leaks, either in the engine coolant system or through the firewall and into the cabin air intakes?
 

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Stickied.
 

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Great to read some thing is being addressed or undressed.
 

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Wow- And I thought they would be developing a repair procedure that would be easier than remove the evaporator case in accordance with SI.

I'm also curious as to the labor payment for this work. Removal of the front console, instrument cluster, parts of the dash, full dash assembly and removal of electrical wiring harness is major surgery.

And transfering parts, after all the labor involved to get it out you would think it would be a complete swap assembly.
 

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lol, only took them 3 years to get this out... Lets see if this works.
Considering we have identified the source of the problem without any doubt, I'd say it works.

Great news for some of us! I wonder how much longer it will take them to figure out whats going on for those who have the smell outside the car?
That probably won't be "fixed" because it isn't considered a "problem." I don't believe people expect cars to smell like roses and daffodils, lol. All of my cars have smelled coolant inside the engine bay and around the car on occasion. As long as you're not loosing coolant, I'd consider it normal.
 

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That probably won't be "fixed" because it isn't considered a "problem." I don't believe people expect cars to smell like roses and daffodils, lol. All of my cars have smelled coolant inside the engine bay and around the car on occasion. As long as you're not loosing coolant, I'd consider it normal.[/QUOTE]


Not a problem? Your kidding, right? I can't believe you would say that man! I know you're a big influence on this forum and I appreciate all you do and say but we have to agree to disagree on this one. I have been buying and driving cars for over 30 years and I've never had one that stunk of antifreeze like that car did. It's not OK to smell antifreeze every time you get out of the car or be unable to park it in the garage because it stinks up the house when you do. I'm a GM fan too and I even traded in that problem car for another Cruze but I can't dismiss the problems I had as being normal or not a problem. Many GM customers are still dealing with this issue and it needs to be figured out and corrected!
 

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Not a problem? Your kidding, right? I can't believe you would say that man! I know you're a big influence on this forum and I appreciate all you do and say but we have to agree to disagree on this one. I have been buying and driving cars for over 30 years and I've never had one that stunk of antifreeze like that car did. It's not OK to smell antifreeze every time you get out of the car or be unable to park it in the garage because it stinks up the house when you do. I'm a GM fan too and I even traded in that problem car for another Cruze but I can't dismiss the problems I had as being normal or not a problem. Many GM customers are still dealing with this issue and it needs to be figured out and corrected!
If it's bad enough to the point where you can't even park it in a garage (something I never smell when I park mine in the garage), then there's something your dealer isn't finding. I should have been more clear in saying that it's normal to have some smells around your car especially when it's running, but it sounds to me like you have some kind of leak somewhere.

The biggest smell issue we've had here is a direct result of the grease GM used in the HVAC box, and I know exactly what that smells like, but I also know what antifreeze smells like and if it's unusually strong, I'd take it in to have it looked at. If you already have and the dealer couldn't find anything, then find another dealer. Do you have a case with GM?
 

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If it's bad enough to the point where you can't even park it in a garage (something I never smell when I park mine in the garage), then there's something your dealer isn't finding. I should have been more clear in saying that it's normal to have some smells around your car especially when it's running, but it sounds to me like you have some kind of leak somewhere.

The biggest smell issue we've had here is a direct result of the grease GM used in the HVAC box, and I know exactly what that smells like, but I also know what antifreeze smells like and if it's unusually strong, I'd take it in to have it looked at. If you already have and the dealer couldn't find anything, then find another dealer. Do you have a case with GM?
I don't have the car anymore. I traded it because of the smell. And yes, I had a case open on it and gave GM every chance in the world to fix it. I've outlined my problems on this forum a few times already so I wont explain everything again but beleive me they tried everything with no luck! And there are still many people out there with this problem.
 

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I'm beginning to think that I may not even bother with a fix for the smell. I'm the only one in the family that notices it, and it seems like it's only the grease giving off the odor. Unless someone determines there's a health risk, it may not be worth it. I don't seem to have any coolant leaks, and I could have sworn it was a coolant smell like many people on this forum.
 

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I'm beginning to think that I may not even bother with a fix for the smell. I'm the only one in the family that notices it, and it seems like it's only the grease giving off the odor. Unless someone determines there's a health risk, it may not be worth it. I don't seem to have any coolant leaks, and I could have sworn it was a coolant smell like many people on this forum.
I'd get it fixed just in case it gets worse, while your car is under warranty.

Wait, so this fixes the Coolant smell inside the cabin?! Or is this just one of many different fixes?
It fixes the odor in the cabin that most people associate with coolant/antifreeze. It has been reported to be a very effective fix.
 

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I'd get it fixed just in case it gets worse, while your car is under warranty.



It fixes the odor in the cabin that most people associate with coolant/antifreeze. It has been reported to be a very effective fix.
This is WONDERFUL news!!!! Man I LOVE this site, I have everything written down so when I go in next I'm prepared.

P.S. I called Chevy and told them about the odors and they noted my account "Will fix ANY antifreeze/coolant odors beyond Bumper to Bumper Warranty".
 

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Wait, so this fixes the Coolant smell inside the cabin?! Or is this just one of many different fixes?
People who have had it done say that it fixes this smell inside the cabin. There is also PI0740 which was a first attempt to resole this problem and may be necessary in some cases too. Since it's easier to do, GM (or you) may opt for trying PI0740 first. If so, you'll need to determine whether it is enough.
 

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This is WONDERFUL news!!!! Man I LOVE this site, I have everything written down so when I go in next I'm prepared.

P.S. I called Chevy and told them about the odors and they noted my account "Will fix ANY antifreeze/coolant odors beyond Bumper to Bumper Warranty".
If you have not yet picked up on it, culture at GM has been slowly changing, and the Cruze is very important to them.
 

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How old is this TSB? Were looking to pick up a new ECO in the next few days and if this just came out would rather wait a few weeks. I'm hoping GM is smart enough to have changed this on the line already.
 
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