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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this has been posted about already.

I received a letter in Sept. telling me that my coolant level may be low, and to visit a dealer for a top-up, (-and that it wasn't a big deal basically). I should've looked into this right away, but didn't because the car seemed fine, (2012 model LT).

Then this month, October, I received another letter saying that the coolant system may have a leak, but not to visit a dealer unless you're sure you indeed have a leak. So, this time I checked the reservoir, and sure enough it had barely any coolant in it!

(I hope I haven't damaged the motor, the temp. gauge has read a little higher of late, just a bit lower than the half-way mark)

Anyway, at first my dealer told me that Nov 18 was the first day available to see the cruze, (because of a back-log of warranty issues), then they changed it to Nov. 5, and finally, I spoke to a service advisor, and they'll be seeing the car tomorrow.

Questions: have others had this coolant leak? and does it cause a smell in the cabin, too? ---I ask this because when the fan is turned on, (no heat and no A/C), I've had a rotten smell come from the vents. I did change the cabin filter, and I think it helped. With the A/C on, there was no smell from the vents.

**The second letter specifically notes a possible leak from the weep reservoir or water pump shaft seal**

Thanks,
 

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There are two ridiculously common complaints on the forum related to the 1.4T and coolant loss issues:

1) water pumps. They will ALL inevitably leak, pretty much a 100% failure rate at some point on the 1.4 motor. Fortunately they fall under powertrain warranty and Chevy is also extending coverage to 10 years/150k.

2) HVAC coolant smell - this is due to the surge tank venting or grease in the heater core box that was used during assembly.

Run the car around, get it nice and hot, then shut it off and pop the hood and smell around the coolant surge tank area for signs of coolant venting from the cap. If you can smell something there, that should give your dealer a starting point with tracking down that issue.
 

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My wife's car had the water pump replaced on GM's dime at abut 60K miles... Heck , in the past, it was hard to get much more then 60K out of a water pump anyway... but given GM's 100K warranty, their on the hook. I don't consider this to be a big issue, certainly not what I think could be called a major defect, but obviously GM would have not had to do this under warranty.

The smell... Well I hear the rotten smell typically is the cabin air filter.

We've also had work done on the overflow tank/system... but I've never had any kind of excessive coolant smell in the car. I do often have a faint smell of anti-freeze when the car's parked in the garage right after driving. Never had this issue with other cars, but I personally don't see it as a real 'problem' , I just figure it's a part of the way this car is.

Heck, my dealer will do something with coolant levels if they see the tank level change by even a 1/2 inch. I guess technically, they should not loose any coolant...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I've got less than 30,000 kilometres on my Cruze, (I bought it new in early 2013), and overall I've been very happy with it.

I'll be very interested to see what the dealer says and does tomorrow.
 

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My wife's car had the water pump replaced on GM's dime at abut 60K miles... Heck , in the past, it was hard to get much more then 60K out of a water pump anyway... but given GM's 100K warranty, their on the hook. I don't consider this to be a big issue, certainly not what I think could be called a major defect, but obviously GM would have not had to do this under warranty.

The smell... Well I hear the rotten smell typically is the cabin air filter.

We've also had work done on the overflow tank/system... but I've never had any kind of excessive coolant smell in the car. I do often have a faint smell of anti-freeze when the car's parked in the garage right after driving. Never had this issue with other cars, but I personally don't see it as a real 'problem' , I just figure it's a part of the way this car is.

Heck, my dealer will do something with coolant levels if they see the tank level change by even a 1/2 inch. I guess technically, they should not loose any coolant...
The cabin air filter will need to be replaced if you have been having cabin odors. Otherwise leave it alone for a year or 20K miles, whichever comes first.
 

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Just reminded me I need to do my cabin filter!
 

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Just received my second letter today. It came with a claim form to get reimbursed had I paid for a water pump replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I brought the Cruze in today, and the dealership told me that it was indeed a leak at the water pump, and they replaced it. And the fact that this was done the day after I called them was very nice.

But, on the drive home, the motor's temperature on the gauge remained at exactly the same temp. it was running the day before. I took this pic after an hour of driving on the highway. For a 12 degree celcius day, it seems high to me. My motor used to run with the gauge at the quarter mark....not near the half way mark like it is in the pic.

Here's a pic:

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Gauge Auto part


When I got home I noticed that the coolant tank was over-filled, too. Mind you, the motor was still hot at this point, (-I'll check it in the morning when the motor's cold).

Auto part Engine Technology Vehicle Electronic device


Over the phone, they told me that the engine had been shampooed, and that the temp. gauge was o.k.. But I don't think they did the shampoo, (-not that it's a big deal):

Vehicle Car Engine Auto part Subcompact car


After seeing the motor wasn't shampooed, I hope the water pump actually was changed. I used a flashlight and it seems like it was done....?

Auto part Vehicle Engine Car Fuel line
 

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It should always run at the halfway mark on the temp gauge unless you have the heat cranked up or a bad thermostat.

Normal for the coolant level to go up when it's hot. Check when cold.
 

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Does anyone know what the normal running temperature of the Cruze should be?
185F-225F, depending on how much of a load is on the engine, how much knock was occurring, and what outside temperature is. The thermostat is electronic and the car can adjust the coolant temp to keep it in an efficient operating range for the given conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I believe there's a display in the dash menu for the temperature that will tell me exactly what temp. the car is running at.
Thanks again for the information.
 

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The temperature needle will sit just below the half mark throughout the normal operating range. That coolant tank is over filled, even hot. I'm guessing when cold it will be just above the rib above the arrow top or about 1/4" over the full line. As long as you're not venting odors into the cabin don't worry about it.
 

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That's how full my dealer filled my surge tank for the recall, I'm not getting any smells like I have before when so full either.
 

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That's how full my dealer filled my surge tank for the recall, I'm not getting any smells like I have before when so full either.
That tells me either your cap wasn't seated properly or you had a leak elsewhere the dealer fixed and didn't tell you about. A little over the full cold link is fine. Based on the fact that I've taken my car over passes that dropped the ambient air pressure over 1.5 PSI I'd say there's head room available for at least 2 PSI above the normal operating pressure.
 

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Idk, I think it looks similar to mine once I filled it up completely. I do remember seeing it quite full with the engine hot.

Too lazy to go for a drive now and take a picture :p
 
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