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The Life of my '11 Cruze

1859 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  brian v
Let me start off with saying I will not be purchasing nor recommending a Cruze ever again.

When I bought my Cruze back in 2014, I should've done research but I was young & dumb and only cared about how "cool" it looked and how excited I was to show off my new car to all of my friends... if I could go back, I would have never traded in my Cobalt for this piece of junk. I did purchase my Cruze "used" as the person before me had leased it (it only had 17,000 miles on it), so I didn't expect much to be wrong; however, the very first night I took my car home, I already noticed an issue - there were hail indentation marks all over the hood, top of the car, & trunk. Not sure how I missed this at the dealership in the broad daylight (must have been to ecstatic to just drive it home), so I was immediately skeptical as I've never bought a used car before.. kind of made me wonder if my Cruze was in a terrible storm or flood previously.. I took it to the dealership and they fixed the hail marks.

Other than your typical flat tires (I had to purchase 6 tires in ONE year at one point because I seem to attract nails & road debris LOL), battery change, button on my trunk stopped working and other simple things that come with owning a vehicle, my car was running perfectly. It wasn't until about 2 years ago in 2017 that I noticed severe changes in my Cruze. I knew my car wasn't brand new & shiny anymore but when one thing needed fixed, it seemed like another thing ALSO needed fixed.. a drastic domino effect. First things first, I was driving down to Florida for vacation & the DAY I GOT THERE, my A/C stopped working (lucky me). I got that checked & apparently a rock or something must've flew up on my drive down & put a decent size hole in my condenser (I still haven't gotten this fixed.. I like driving with windows down anyways). Not even a month later, I noticed my fan was kicking on as soon as I would start my car up and it would constantly run & wouldn't shut off unless I obviously turned my car off. I let this problem go for awhile because I honestly didn't know much about cars to begin with and because it was the summer season, I didn't think twice about the fan coming on. A few weeks later, my check engine light came on, my temperature gauge wasn't working & the needle was staying on Cold. I took it to an Advanced Auto to have them run a diagnostics test. The code was reading that I could need to change a few things: a sensor, thermostat housing unit, a fuse, etc. We also checked out my water pump and coolant levels just in case and they were fine. My Uncle is a mechanic so I had him look further into this and after a lot of research, we ended up changing the entire thermostat housing unit & a sensor. This fixed the problem..... temporarily.

Not even a few months later, the same issues started to happen again (the fan, temp gauge not working & check engine light on) so we thought the housing unit & sensor we bought was just faulty, so we traded it in for a new one & replaced it on my car. That issue went away.. a few days later, I was driving down the road and next thing I know, a message for Stabilitrak and a message saying "Engine Power Reduced" popped up on my dash & my car immediately lost power & would not go! I was on the highway and there were cars behind me.. thank God I was in the right hand lane and was able to pull off to the shoulder.. I had to get it towed. I had to have a car for work, so I kept driving my car on the days when I wasn't able to borrow someone else's. Needless to say, the issue kept happening and I had to get it towed about 3 more times... I bet the insurance & tow company was loving me! After even MORE research & looking at my car, we decided to change the spark plugs and my catalytic converter - we found that my catalytic converter was filled with a white powder (not good at all) and very well could have caused further issues with my vehicle. It seemed at first that this fixed the problem though and my car was running fine.. until it wasn't again. Now we were in the winter months and I had been at a friends for a weekend. When I went to leave, those same messages for Stabilitrak & "Engine Power Reduced" came back on my car.. my car would not even accelerate or back up.. there was no power to my car. So I had to get it towed for the FIFTH time. This time, I actually came on here to cruzetalk.com and saw if anyone else was having the same issue. I saw that people changed their coil pack because if too much moisture gets in your coil pack, it can reduce engine power. Needless to say, I was desperate to just get this problem fixed so I immediately changed the coil pack & WHALA! I never had that issue again. I wish I would've known that 5 months later, I would be stranded 5 hours away in my Cruze and dumping $1,700 into it to just to get home.

So here we are in the summer months again in August 2018 and I was on my way to work.. I hear some loud crunch sound and a message pops up on my car that says "Service Power Steering", my car immediately pulls HARD to the left and next thing I know, I'm in the oncoming traffic lane! It was extremely difficult to turn the wheel, but I managed to finally pull over. I was so scared to drive it again, so I got it towed (sigh).. for the... SIXTH.. time. I spoke with a few people about this and everyone was telling me it was possibly a rock or something jammed up underneath my car because the next few days afterwards, I didn't notice the issue anymore. I then decided to take a vacation (much needed) 5 hours away from home.. I was debating on whether or not I should get a rental car instead of driving because of the recent history with my car... welp, I made the wrong decision (to save money) and drove. My car ran perfectly fine on my way there. The next day, I start my car to go grab some food & my check engine light comes on & my fan immediately starts running.. the only thing different this time was that when I was just idling, my temperature gauge needle would move towards Hot and a message came on saying "A/C off due to high engine temp".... GREAT. So here I am 5 hours away from home and it's Labor Day weekend, where nothing except Pep Boys is open.. Pep Boys looked at my car and said it was my thermostat housing unit and a bad fuse/relay.. $450 for parts and 30 minute labor! Not to mention after I got my car out of the shop, I accidentally shut the trunk of my car on my keys and it was so hot out that it melted my keys LOL (they still worked)!! Anyways, I drove back home that same day and ended my vacation early.. I was about a half hour from my house, driving on the highway in the fast lane going about 75 mph around a slight turn and my car immediately pulled HARD to the left and I look up and I'm in the grass median of the highway!! I slammed on my brakes, put my car in park and noticed the "Service Power Steering" message was back on... I shut my car off and got it towed FOR THE SEVENTH TIME. Thank the heavens above that I was not in the slow lane because if I was, I would've side swiped the tractor trailer that was behind me in the fast lane... At this point, I was SO over my car. I took it right into the Chevy dealership. They told me I needed a new rack and pinion.. $1,200 fix! I was LIVID. After this, I started looking into new vehicles but at the time, I owed more on my Cruze than what it was worth so I decided to stick it out with my car..

So, almost a year later now with no issues whatsoever... up until about a month ago. I noticed when my car was idling or at a slow speed, I could hear a whining sound.. maybe my timing belt or water pump?? Then one day, I had shut my car off to go into the store, came back out, started my car up & my check engine light was on. Next day, when I went to get it checked out, the check engine light went off. Weird, huh? About two weeks later, it came back on along with my fan, and the temperature gauge needle is stuck on Cold... UGH!!! So I decided to check my coolant level because it was all I could do at the time as I was at work.. I found that my coolant was completely GONE from the container. I checked for leaks, nothing that I could see. I went and bought coolant and filled the container to the correct level. Since then, I still have seen no leaks and have been checking the coolant level regularly. I decided to get my car checked out to see what caused this and what keeps causing my thermostat housing unit to become damaged and stop working and what is causing my fan to constantly run.. I was told I should change my water pump, my timing belt, the thermostat housing unit and an entirely different sensor (one I didn't know about) for my thermostat. Awesome, more money to dump into this car. Not even a DAY later (last week), I was driving to work and noticed my car was shifting funny - I know Cruze's are known for shifting issues - but this time, it was different. Like my car was jerking when it would up or downshift. Especially if I was at a stop and then barely pressed down on the gas, it would jerk the entire car.. same thing with when I would slow down. On my way home from work, it continued to do the same thing so I didn't drive it for the rest of the week. I wanted to get it looked at this past weekend. Well, this past weekend rolls along and I was headed in my car to the shop about a half hour from me. Not even 1 minute down the road from my house, I came to a stop at a stop sign and when I went to accelerate, my car shot all the way up to 5,000 RPMs and went right back down to 1,000 then to 2,000 RPMs.. WTF?! I immediately noticed this and drove with caution, because I knew this is not a good sign and wanted to get somewhere I could pull off. I then was coming up a small hill and my car did it AGAIN. It immediately lost power and I barely made it up the hill and pulled off to the side of the road as soon as I could. I had to have my Uncle come look at it. We checked the transmission fluid to make sure I didn't have a leak - it was fine. I had him test drive it and it was doing the same thing to him.. seemed like the transmission was slipping, even when he used the slap stick to put it in manual.. the car just does not want to shift and has no power.

So I got it towed for the eighth time LOL. I decided I need to get the problems with my transmission slipping fixed/figured out first before I worry about changing my thermostat housing unit, the sensor, the water pump, & the timing belt... so my car is now at the transmission shop. I called them today and they said they ran through the codes and electrical stuff and couldn't find anything, so they are digging deeper into my transmission to find the root of the problem... I am so worried my transmission is shot. I can't afford this let alone a new car right now :(

... anyways, thanks for reading! I hope my car issues can help you solve yours! :)
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So you bought a three year old used car without doing due diligence. Based on the list of problems I'd say the car was either a lemon or was damaged in a storm. I'd wager it was more likely damaged in a storm and never properly repaired.
 

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So you bought a three year old used car without doing due diligence. Based on the list of problems I'd say the car was either a lemon or was damaged in a storm. I'd wager it was more likely damaged in a storm and never properly repaired.
That's what we were thinking. I will be more than prepared when I purchase my next vehicle, knowing what I know now.
 

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That's what we were thinking. I will be more than prepared when I purchase my next vehicle, knowing what I know now.
Is IT silver ice metallic .. Now I know that trading IT in was a godsend .
 
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