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Defect Alert – Chevrolet Cruze Coolant Leak

March 16, 2012 By: LemonLaw Category: antifreeze smell, Car Lemon Law, chevrolet cruze, Coolant and Oil Problems

Driving a Chevrolet Cruze?  Check your coolant levels because it appears that there may be a problem.  Forums are popping up discussing the issue and we recently opened a claim where the car has been in the shop for over six weeks for a coolant leak because parts are unavailable.   In another situation, a consumer is complaining of coolant leaking into the car.

If you smell coolant or see a puddle under your Chevrolet Cruze, it is essential that you get to a General Motors authorized dealership as soon as possible to have the issue diagnosed and fixed.  Make sure that after your car is repaired, you receive a detailed invoice which outlines the problem, the fix, the mileage and the days out of service.  If a part is on back order or the problem continues to occur, you should look into your rights under State Lemon Laws and Federal Warranty Law.  You could be looking at a complete repurchase or a new vehicle and legal help is completely free.

For more information on your rights under the Lemon Law if you are dealing with a Chevrolet Cruze coolant leak, contact an attorney in your state.  You can view a list of Lemon Law attorneys by clicking here.

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89 Responses to “Defect Alert – Chevrolet Cruze Coolant Leak”

  1. #1 dan dault says:

    I have a 2011 cruze i dont have a leak but the smell is there when the heater is on and no response from the dealer I have been dealing with Oshawa but no fix I dont want my car to smell that why I bought a new car I WANT MY MONEY BACK if they cant fix it .
    I need help.

  2. #2 LemonLaw says:

    I think you need to reach out to a lemon law attorney. Visit to find a lawyer in your state.

  3. #3 Michelle says:

    I bought a Chevy Cruze in June… It kept getting a film on my windshield… then as the weather got cold and I started putting my heat on the smell started coming in…The dealership said it was the oil leak and fixed the recall…and my husband found a exhaust leak… they fixed that… it still smelled… then they put the seals that were supposed to fix the smell… it made it worse. The smell gets so bad sometimes my eyes water and I have to pull over cause I can’t see. Me and my husband have both had eye infections… I’m to the point now I’m afraid to drive the darn thing… I’m to the point now I have to keep the heat off just so I can stand to drive it… I live in the Upper Peninsula it’s cold up here.. It really sucks.

  4. #4 Heather says:

    I bought a 2012 chevy cruze in december. I’ve noticed a anitfreeze and a sweet smell coming through my vents when my car is up to temperature and the heat is on. I took it to the dealership the first time they couldn’t even smell it. Then the service supervisor took it home with him that night and said he could smell it. They said they did a pressure test and all the levels were ok but i dont believe this. It does look like my antifreeze is a little low but it could be a leak somewhere. They are waiting for a part to come in called a “hood seal” i dont know if this will even fix the problem. does anyone else know whats going on? or have any other advice or comments about any problems their having?

  5. #5 Tom says:

    I purchased a new 2011 Cruz. Around 14,000 miles I noticed a coolant/chemical smell in the cab when the heat was turned on. After 3 trips to the dealer, and a heater core replacement, the problem persists. It gets so bad, it burns my eyes and nostrils. I think GM needs to recognize this issue and come up with a solution.

  6. #6 LemonLaw says:

    @Tom: Please fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form at

  7. #7 Theresa Taylor says:

    Our 2012 Cruze is now in the shop for the 5th time for antifreeze odor. After a heater core replacement and a faulty air intake replaced it still smells. the mechanics are stumped, i cant imagine that NOONE knows what the problem is and how to fix it. We are still under warranty

  8. #8 LemonLaw says:

    @Theresa: I am curious what state you are from. Fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form at and we will put you in touch with someone who can help you.

  9. #9 Rick says:

    RE: # 3 Michelle Says:
    January 6th, 2013 at 7:12 pm
    I bought a Chevy Cruze in June… It kept getting a film on my windshield… then as the weather got cold and I started putting my heat on the smell started coming in…The dealership said it was the oil leak and fixed the recall…and my husband found a exhaust leak… they fixed that… it still smelled… then they put the seals that were supposed to fix the smell… it made it worse. The smell gets so bad sometimes my eyes water and I have to pull over cause I can’t see. Me and my husband have both had eye infections… I’m to the point now I’m afraid to drive the darn thing… I’m to the point now I have to keep the heat off just so I can stand to drive it… I live in the Upper Peninsula it’s cold up here.. It really sucks.

    Would love to hear how Michelle solved her problem – mine is similar. Dealership no help and now GM quit talking to me. Car hasn’t been driven since 11/3/12. Still paying insurance and making payments for a vehicle that is unusable. What to do?

  10. #10 Andy says:

    There are two issues with bad smells entering the Chevy Cruze’s interior. One is an anti freeze smell and the other is a burning rubber smell, both coming from the heater. Last I have heard there is no permanent fix for either yet. GM is aware of the problems and trying to solve them thru trial and error, and from what I read that is not working out very well.

  11. #11 Michelle says:

    no fix,get a lemon law lawyer.

  12. #12 Tom says:

    After 4 trips to the dealer, a new heater core, replacement of many plastic engine parts and a lot of grief, I must admit, that the car seems better, at least good enough to drive. My dealer was curteous and sympathetic throughout the ordeal and I am satisfied they did all they could. An engineer from GM was on hand to investigate and supervise the upgrades. There was never any charge to myself. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones.

  13. #13 LemonLaw says:

    @Tom: Even if the problem is fixed, you still have right to monetary damages to reflect the diminished value of the car as a result of the issue. Four repair attempts is certainly too many. If you would like to have your claim reviewed, please fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form at

  14. #14 Eileen says:

    By: Eileen
    I bought a 2012 Chevy Cruze brand new with only 2 miles on it , there are no leaks but the smell is very bad, it causes my eyes to burn and the smell get into my hair and clothing. I’m going to the dealer on friday 5/24/13. Hope they can resolve the problem.

  15. #15 Keith L says:

    I own a 2011 Chevy Cruze, i have had the window film numerous times, but just thought cause i drove alot it gets dirty.. now i had an engine light come on, Onstar told me it was failure to turbocharger system.

    dealer called this morning and said the car has a coolant leak and they are fixing that first before looking at the engine code.

    once and a while i have smelt the antifreeze, but never got hot on the engine temp, nor lost much coolant. so never thought much about it.

    is there a lemon law in canada? based in ontario…

    please help, my warranty is almost up..

  16. #16 LemonLaw says:

    @Keith: While our fir is in the US, my understanding is that there is consumer protection available in Canada. I would turn to Google for more info.

  17. #17 Rick Scherf says:

    Visit WSB TV click the “news” drop down box and go to “2 investigates. Click Jim Strickland videos and find the picture of my Cruze. Click the video and learn my story about the defective heater cores in Chevy Cruze’s.

  18. #18 LemonLaw says:

    @Rick: We were also featured in the WSB story and we are now representing Gina. I am sorry to hear what you are going through.

  19. #19 Rick Scherf says:

    Mr. S. Thank you for providing your representation and thank you for your kind words. This really is all about raising awareness of this product defect to the general public, on a national basis. 20/20 and I are talking. Infants are riding in these vehicles. It’s a public atrocity.
    Please join on facebook @ clyde richard scherf. Thank you sir.

  20. #20 LemonLaw says:

    @Rick: Let us know if we can help with the 20/20 piece. We have plenty of clients anxious to share their story, and should have another TV story running next week. We have to make GM aware that this problem needs to be fixed now. Bob does not have facebook, but you can like our page and post your thoughts at

  21. #21 Jesie says:

    I purchased a 2012 Chevy Cruze in August of 2012. About 6 months after buying the car I began smelling burned rubber. At times it feels as if my heater is on when it isn’t. It gets horribly hot inside the vehicle. I am having issues with my brakes which at times feel as if I’m going to hit the vehicle in front of me. The brakes go all the way down. To add to all the issues, my car now lags when I turn the AC on. Went to the dealer and they claimed everything was fine. Problem continued scheduled to go back this week AGAIN. This is ridiculous..

  22. #22 Victoria says:

    My 2012 Cruze is at the dealership for the 5th time re: coolant smell-they are having a GM rep out to look at it because they say that can’t smell it. My husband feels physically ill from the smell when he drives the car with the heat on. So far, water pump, an “O” ring, and the hood seal fix GM recommended have been done with no change. Cabin air filter replaced as well. Looking at heater core this time but GM doesn’t want to admit there is any issue. If the 20/20 piece is aired please post when on this forum.

  23. #23 LemonLaw says:

    @Victoria: You have to file a claim. Otherwise, it does not appear GM will do much. Call us at 1 800 LEMON LAW for more info.

  24. #24 Cindy Schulte says:

    I have a 2012 Chevy Cruze and also had the nauseating smell and took the Cruze for service with no success to to the problem. The dealership told us that GM has a bulletin out that says the smell will go away in time. This is not true. The smell did not go away. We came to realized that GM didn’t want to fix the problem because it would be extensive and costly. We made the contact about the Lemon Law. But I love my Chevy Cruze and just wanted it fixed. My husband is a GM Retiree so he made a call to someone who handles new car problems at the plant he retired from. The problem was addressed immediately! There is a fix and GM knows about this problem! It requires ordering several parts and it took three days at the dealership. My Cruze is now fixed and odor free! Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Don’t give up or put up with the smell any longer. There is a fix!

  25. #25 LemonLaw says:

    @Cindy: Glad to hear you were bale to resolve your matter, but how many times have you been in. if you were in three or more times, you may still have a claim and be entitled to recourse. Find your state statute here:

  26. #26 jim says:

    I bought a 2012 cruze and after about a year it developed a antifreeze type smell. It was so bad it would give my wife a astma attack.After 4 visits to the dealer and the engineer visit they wrer stumped. GM did a buy back but i had to purchase a new car at msrp.It was a long process. It cost plenty to get the new car and guess what I think it smells too. It is possible its just new car smell but im afraid it is not.Its the antifreeze type smell again

  27. #27 LemonLaw says:

    @Jim: Why would you be forced to buy another car? this is why we ALWAYS tell consumers to use a lemon law lawyer. Had you used one, free of charge, you would have been able to get a buyback WITHOUT having to buy a new car. Yes, it’s most likely the antifreeze again as the problem is still happening. You start your case anew so start going back and documenting the issue. After three repairs, reach out to a lemon law lawyer. GM took advantage of you!

  28. #28 says:

    Well I just got a Chevy Cruze 2012, with 53,000 miles, and last week started the leaking….seems like antifreeze, called the dealer where I got it and they said, I have to take it to the chevrolet dealer. But they dont know if the warranty stills covers me, b3cause of the high milleage.

  29. #29 Gennifer says:

    What years of cruzes has this been happening to? I have a 2013 with 13,300 miles that started smelling like something electrical or rubber was burning when I start the car.

  30. #30 Brian says:

    I just bought a used 2012 Cruze a few weeks ago and of course it now starts smelling. It only has 27,000 miles. Has all these repairs been covered under the 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty?

  31. #31 Keisha says:

    2011 chevy cruze has been nothing but trouble. Here’s a list of the problems we have had.
    -First month, overheated. Replaced the thermostat.
    -persisting antifreeze smell and rainbow fog on the windshield
    -brakes popping. Unable to diagnose, but they greased them up. The sound came back 3 days later and they had no answers or fix.
    – As i was driving down a 4 lane road and my lane was coming to an end. It threw a code for power steering, the car died, and the steering completely locked up leaving me unable to control the car. I almost hit the guard rail and was nearly hit by oncoming traffic. Car wouldnt start, so i unhooked battery cables to clear the code and it started. They replaced the power steering control module, the gears, ECU, and reprogrammed the PSCM.
    -the day after, i took it back complaining of strong antifreeze smell. No leaks found.
    -1 month later, i took it back to get a front end alignment and they found the water pump was leaking. It was replaced
    – then it started bucking one day. I thought iI had some bad gas but took it to the dealer.they replaced the ECM and the MAP sensorhen one day, i put the car in reverse to back out of my parking spot. Backed up, and then the car wouldnt go into drive. It finally jerked really hard and went into drive and displaying codes on the dash. It wouldnt change gears correctly, the turbo wouldnt work, the cruise control wouldnt engage, i couldnt put it in manual, it would not accelerate, and it rolled when i put it in park. Got in it the next day and it drove fine! Took it to the dealer and they replaced the Transmission control module and ECM.
    -when doing the inspection and test drive, the car started SMOKING. They replaced the PCV. I took it back the following day for oil leaking on top of the motor. They replaced the PCV again and the valve cover. I took it back AGAIN for the same reason, and they replaced the PCV and valve cover for the 3rd time. I took it back again the same day because of a leak around the oil cap. The service manager replaced the oil cap and a pressurized hose without doing a work order on the computer or giving me a paper for the service.

    -NOW I have an oil leak stemming from the oil return feed hose coming from the turbo, so they refuse to fix it because its considered “part of the turbo” although i believe the problem arose from the previous problems with oil leaks.

    The car also has other miscellaneous problems including the trunk latch. The only way i can open my trunk is by crawling through the back seat and pulling the emergency opener. Also the passenger seatbelt will not fasten and they refuse to fix it even though its a safety concern

  32. #32 Jamie says:

    I’ve had this same problem with antifreeze leaking and leaving a film on the windshield and a horrible smell. I bought the car in Dec 2012. I have 50,000 miles and no warranty left. I can’t afford a lemon law lawyer, nor can I afford in and out trips to the dealership. Any suggestion?

  33. #33 LemonLaw says:

    @Jamie: If you have a claim, you would not need to worry about paying for a lawyer, the help is cost-free under the Laws. If you were back three or more times under GM warranty, please click here to find a lemon lawyer in your state.

  34. #34 robert higgins says:

    I purchased a new 2012 Chevrolet Cruze in april 2012.I had a coolant smell from day one. Returned to the dealership numerous times, nothing found . Coincidentally a couple of days after the one year time frame for filing a Lemon Law complaint they found a bad water pump.Water pump replaced 4/13 again 12/13 and now a catastrophic failure of the water pump 1/17/14. This would be pump number four. Dealer service great, GM useless.Too many other problems to list including loss of braking for over a year. Never another GM car, this one is gone as soon as repairs are completed again.

  35. #35 Dustin D. says:

    We have had our Cruze for a year and a half now and the problem is still persistent. I tried to have it taken care of while under warranty and the installed a tube and said that fixed it. After 10 min. in the car it was just as strong as before. I went back to the service dept. and told them and they said nothing else was wrong with it and to give some time. In the meantime I was putting up with the odor. Now it is out of warranty and they said that there is nothing that they can do to fix it. We have a new car with an antifreeze odor that will NOT go away. Worst of all the smell is only there when you need the heat and that is when you cannot roll down the window. I have been a Chevy fan my entire life and this has ruined me. I will be getting a new P/U withing the next year and it will NOT be a Chevy. They are not standing behind their product. If they wont stand behind this, what else will they lay down on…

  36. #36 Rita N says:

    I have a 2011 Chevy Cruze LT 1.4L with 71K miles. Since this winter has been so brutally cold I have noticed the irritated eyes and dry throat, but figured it was just because of heat on high for the long commute. Then, just recently, I noticed the “rainbow film” as someone put it. This film is more greasy and when you wipe it smears and reflect swirly in on coming lights. Again figuring just the defrost and cold combination.
    If their is an order it is not that strong, yet. With thruway driving there are all type of fumes the come and go through the car. However, just this week I noticed the cooling fan runs when I am parking my car at work. I also noticed that the needle on my interior temp gauge moves to the half way point in a matter of 5 minutes in this brutal cold! Yes, my heat works.
    I have an appointment this week. I have an extended warranty – wish me luck with both.

  37. #37 Rita N says:

    Update…my water pump had to be replaced, for the second time.
    First at 50K and then at 71K. A spring sprung per work order.
    Still a lot of winter to be had.

  38. #38 Brian says:

    Hello everyone who had the water pump replaced…did that fix the smell issue?


  39. #39 Dustin D says:

    Had my water pump replaced two days ago but we have not used the car due to weather. I will post my findings in a week.

  40. #40 Michelle Roberts says:

    I purchased my Chevy Cruze new in March 2012. Winter came and my heater went out. Dealership treated me like I was stupid because he said all they had to do was add coolant. I told them “they should not HAVE To be adding coolant. 3 months later it happened again. Took it back to the dealer…SAME scenario!!! I having been dealing with this now for 2 years and I am tired of it. I know by the pitch of the fan WHEN it is time to add coolant. WELL, guess who just had to change out my water pump!!!!!!! It is of course out of warranty due to the mileage that I drive everyday. I can PROMISE you that I will NEVER purchase another Chevy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. #41 LemonLaw says:

    @James: Without the car, there is no case.

  42. #42 Dustin D says:

    It has been 21 days since the water pump was replaced and the problem still persists. It takes about twenty days for a film to develop on the windshield. They are barely cooperating at Hatfield Chevrolet and keep telling me it is not the heater core. There is no other way for a film to develop on the w/s unless it was that. Neither one of us smokes nor does anyone else who drives the car. Maybe it is time that we let go of all Chevy products. I have been a Chevy person for over 25 years but I am fed up with this. Something has to give and it is not us.

  43. #43 Melissa says:

    Have a 2012 Cruze 67k miles w issues.

    Couple weeks ago defrost seemed to be having issues.

    This week, heat works sometimes and doesn’t work sometimes.

    Heat works = blows hot air.
    Not working = does not blow at all.

    Start checking out the engine w a friend and we realize coolant is extremely low. After trip to shop, I have learned of a coolant leak at thermostat housing unit. Repairs include removing exhaust manifold – cost parts $25 & labor $290.

    Immediately call dealer and am told by one person definitely not covered under power train. And then manager advises they will decrease diagnostic to $50 and a possibility it will be covered.

    Follow up with call to GM to learn case opened and to call back w dealership diagnostic results and they (GM) may cover costs. If severe car trouble before appt, they will cover towing even though not covered under bumper to bumper.

    I’m frustrated. Although I am impressed w GM, I don’t believe a car with this many miles should have this problem. Additionally I’m concerned about long term engine damage.

    Not happy w my Cruze.

  44. #44 Melissa says:

    Correction: GM will split costs of repair – not cover costs. They will tow at no charge if needed.

  45. #45 Karim Ali says:

    I’ve had my 2011 Cruze for a while. I use it to travel from the Santa Monica area to Pomona on a daily basis. I have had the smell numerous amount of times but did not think anything of it. I have taken the car in before and they replaced the thermostat. A couple days ago, however, my car started smelling VERY bad. I opened the hood and noticed that most of my coolant was gone. I went to buy the recommended coolant and put it in to the coolant reservoir. A couple hours later, it was gone again. I took it into the dealer and its now the heater core (~$1500 because its not covered by the powertrain warranty). The car is not even three years old I don’t believe that I or anyone deserves to pay that much for a repair cost when the car is still that new!

  46. #46 Rita N says:

    It has been a month, a cold month at that, since I had my water pump changed. It fixed the problem with temp gauge etc. but did not improve the film on inside of the windshield. The weather has been so cold that I have not had a chance to properly clean it. When the sun hits it you see swirls from wiping the window down with a cloth.
    This blog has been going on since 2012 and there is no one out there that will mention what the real cause of this problem is, or if there is a fix. You can Google this and just see problems no fixes. I just don’t get that. Must be connected to the engine, to expensive of fix, and or risk a recall. That is what I find frustrating. The consumer is not protected no recourse.

  47. #47 Fred & Kay Kuth says:

    Our 2011 Chevy Cruze was purchased new in 2011.
    The 1.4 turbo engine provides excellent performance.
    During our 39K miles of driving the car there has been no coolant loss.
    A coolant smell in the cabin becomes evident as soon as full engine operating temperature is reached whether the heat/cool system is on or off.
    When I asked the dealer service associate about the smell, he said it was the 1st time he had heard such a complaint but he checked my vehicle for leaks anyway and reported that there were no problems.
    He neglected to enter any service notation about it on my car’s records.

  48. #48 Brian says:

    One of the times I was in they said it was grease in the deflector box or something like that that diverts the air when you change from say panel to defrost and/or from defrost to defrost and floor. (confusing?)
    apparently there is too much grease and when it gets warm it is dripping and giving the smell. The dealer said they cleaned it up, it was fine for a bit but the smell is coming back but not everyday. Has anyone else had a grinding noise/pulsating feeling on the gas pedal after having it in park? I only have 32,000 miles on this car. I am never going to make it to 100,000!

  49. #49 Pete says:

    #53 Brian, had the same issue diagnosed yesterday on the sixth visit to dealership. Had the coolant tank fix, water pump, thermostat, valve cover gasket and heater core replaced. Will see if new heater changes for the grease issueworks!!

  50. #50 Mona says:

    I have a 2012 Chevy Cruz 52,000 highway miles. finally had the breaks fixed with the recall, ( it took 6 weeks for parts)the car kept rolling when it was in reverse and you apply the breaks. Now the car will not heat when idling, I took it in and all three of the transmission coolant hoses are leaking. The transmission place ordered the parts they of course were not in stock, they sent them Tuesday from the dealership and they sent the wrong hoses, said they will have them Wednesday, no show now I have to wait until Friday. This is really unacceptable of GM, I did not have any smell. I thought I would give GM a chance on this purchase, not a good idea.

  51. #51 LemonLaw says:

    @Mona: Time to look into your lemon law rights. Visit to read about the laws in your state.

  52. #52 Stephanie says:

    Has the 20/20 special on this been aired. I’m going through same thing and wouldn’t mind being a part of it.

  53. #53 Glenn says:

    I as a G.M tech have noticed loss of coolant in Chevy cruze vehicles usually simple gaskets or water pump issues. Mostly normal venting at the coolant resevour cap seems to get caught in by the vents. I hope this is not the issue of health complaints because passing a bus or diesel truck seems to affect me so much more. Not to make light of any disturbing fumes.

  54. #54 Brian says:

    #54 Pete,

    Pete, did this fix seem to fix the issue?


  55. #55 LemonLaw says:

    @Stephanie: The stories we have worked on have aired, but you should look into your rights. Visit to read about your State’s Lemon Law.

  56. #56 Dustin D says:

    Well, it would seem that I made some noise at GM Corp. My service dept called me and they are falling all over themselves to fix the car. Funny thing is we had already decided to trade the car off and get anything other than aGM vehicle. We will see, I take it in today.

  57. #57 Lynn says:

    Hey everyone. First of all thank you for sharing your horror stories about the Chevy Cruze. Let me add my story to this forum as well. I live in Ontario, Canada and drive a 2011 Chevy Cruze LS. Since buying this vehicle in Feb 2011 I have had the following fixed, replaced or recalled
    1. Recall for steering wheel column bolt defect
    2. Replaced AC condenser
    3. Recall for heat shield
    4. replaced AC condenser again
    5. Replaced Thermostat including assembly
    6. Engine coolant reservoir crack need to be replaced
    7. Temperature sensor replaced

    Do needless to say I am not impressed at all. In Canada there isn’t really a lemon law but I’m sure there has to be something out there to protect the consumer. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  58. #58 Dustin D says:

    GM has had the car for 5 days and waiting on parts. They have decided that they would perform “#PI0935B: Odor from HVAC System with Temperature Control Set on High Heat and Engine at Operating Temperature – (Oct 29, 2013)”. The thing that I am curious about is why did I have to complain 5 times and go through GM to get this done. I believe that it could all still be b/s. They say that the smell is from some grease that gets too hot and it will also put a haze on the w/s when on defrost. I know what anti-freeze smells like, I have worked on heavy trucks for 15 years along my own vehicles. If you open the reservoir it smell exactly the same. GM is doing all they can to NOT fix the issue. I am done! I am tired of the lies and song and dance that they repeatedly give. It is like talking to the gov’t, I will never get the truth and never get it fixed. I am just speaking from experience. Sorry if I offend anyone. They are taking the dash completely out to fix something that is NOT the problem. Still, I will persist and raise a stink since that is what I get in the car and what they continually shovel to me. I will update when we get the car from GM.
    People, stick to your guns and do not give up. Be persistent and remember you are the customer and this is a big purchase item. GM needs to get it right, not you.

  59. #59 Dustin D says:

    The car is gone! Their make shift repair did not fix the problem and the tech that performed the work basically told me that I am stupid and do not know what I am talking about. He told me that I did not smell antifreeze and that there was nothing wrong with the car. Thank you GM for calling me a liar yet again. We now have a Kia Optima and it is a far superior car to the Cruze. Good bye GM and hello cars made in America. I wish all Cruze owners the best of luck.

  60. #60 Kimberly Y says:

    Ok, so I’ve had the whole engine coolant smell and leak, however, luckily for me, it was fixed the first go around with a system flush for which I paid for and a new water pump.

    But this is my BIGGEST problem. I am having continual engine oil leaking from around the head of my engine and dripping down onto my garage floor. They’ve replaced the valve cover gasket and valve cover 4 or 5 times now. As of today, I spotted yet another pool of engine oil on my garage floor and coming out from around my head. I just got this car back a week ago. This makes the 6th time and months of accumulated time of NO car.

    Lemon law rep? any help?

  61. #61 LemonLaw says:

    @Kimberly Y: I absolutely think you need to discuss this with a firm in your area. You can find a lemon law firm in your state by clicking here:

  62. #62 Carol says:

    I am going though the same problem as Dustin the dealer is telling me it’s a lubricant smell.they said the whole dash has to be taken out to repair the problem.i had the car there twice the first time the service agent said he couldn’t smell anything he better have his sense of smell checked.the smell is like antifreeze I have been getting headaches and sore throat every time the heater or defroster is on.took the car back Friday with the strong smell in the car and a service tech turned the heat off and pulled the car outside.And they wondered why they didn’t smell anything again.One of the service techs went online and printed off a paper showing a lubricant smell in the cruze.I think that is a bunch of bs I left the car and told them to fix it so they just called and said it should be put back together tommorow.He said it was a tough job and also there was a noise in the heater system as well but I was told that’s a different issue that’s not related and that has to be addressed at a different time.We will see tommorow what their reason is for the smell.

  63. #63 LemonLaw says:

    @Carol: Click here: to read about State Lemon Laws. It seems you are being taken for a ride.

  64. #64 Dana Speed says:

    I bought a 2014 Chevy Cruze in December. In April I took it to the dealership to be inspected for the half shaft axle recall. They still have my car, and no one can even give me an approximate time the parts will be available to make repairs. They gave me a loaner, but I’m paying for a Cruze and driving Sonic (a lesser vehicle). I’m more than disappointed with this process.

  65. #65 LemonLaw says:

    @Dana: We vare taking these claims. Please visit to find out if you qualify under your state’s Law or fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form at and we will see if/how we can help.

  66. #66 mike says:

    50xxx miles 12 cruze 1.4 no issues until 2 weeks ago..noticed low coolant level. Took to dealer and found bad radiator. Not covered under warranty. Got car home and the coolant level was lower than it was when I dropped it off. Took back and they topped off and said keep an eye on it. Let’s see how it goes.

  67. #67 Mandy says:

    I purchased my 2012 cruze in july of 2012. About late august 2012 i noticed the antifreeze smell in the car, i asked the service guys about it when i took the car in for the oil change and no one (including my ex husband) could smell anything. come winter the smell got stronger and now i only smell from time to time. About a month ago i was driving to work and the fans kicked on high, it was morning and not hot, but the car temp was fine. The next day the check engine light came on. I went to the dealership where i have all my maintance done on the car and scheduled to have the check engine light checked out. That night on my way home the light turned off, was informed by dealership the light would have to be on for them to get a reading. two weeks later the light came back on. i also noticed at that time the car was low in antifreeze. i filled the coolant went to drive to the dealership and the light went off. The light will never stay on long enough to get a reading but the fan comes on more often, i am leaking coolant, and the dealership says i will have to pay to have them hook up the machine do any diagnostic at all. i still have powertrain till 100,000miles but it doesnt cover coolant system ect. I bought the car BRAND new so i wouldnt have to keep repairing a vehicle. I am a single mother, money is already tight (especially with car payment) and now i have to pay to have them tell me whats wrong when it sounds like they already know because there are to many of us out there having the same problem. why no recall? i have always sworn by GM but after my ex-husbands truck and now the car i will NEVER EVER buy chevy again.

  68. #68 LemonLaw says:

    @Mandy: I would certainly look into your lemon law rights. Visit to take our Lemon Law quiz.

  69. #69 Katie says:

    I own a 2012 Chevy cruze. Its going to the shop tomorrow for an overheating message on the dash and a coolant leak or thermostat issue. I haven’t had any recall repairs nor was I notified. My brakes grind when I slow from high speeds. Really hope I don’t have to get a lemon law attorney involved but I will. I too smell antifreeze and my kids ride in this car. As a military family my husband purchased me this car so he wouldn’t have to worry about a vehicle while deployed and now look at this mess. I’m under 22,000 miles so both warranties apply thankfully.

  70. #70 Shanell says:

    I purchased my 2012 Cruze in Dec 2012, it was used…about 2,200 miles on it. The problems started about 4 months after I got it. The radio goes in and out & all my warning lights flash & then they go off. Sometimes the power steering seems stiff when I go to turn, & this happens in the midst of the radio going in & out. One day it overheated & took it in, they did the recall & that should’ve been it…NOT! Also my car is losing antifreeze. I haven’t seen a leak under the car. I take it to a GM dealership today & he tells me it has a really bad leak (BS), and that it would cost me around $1300 to fix. No leaks & all of a sudden a large puddle when it gets to the dealer?! Am I covered under the Lemon Law?!

  71. #71 LemonLaw says:

    @Shanell: I am wondering why they would change you to fix this?

  72. #72 Rene says:

    Purchased a 2011 Chevy Cruze Lt (tagged RS series) used in June of 2014. It had a little over 42,000 miles when we drove it off the lot. In the 4 months that we have owned it, we have noticed
    1. a huge loss of power whenever the air conditioner is turned on.
    2. a moldy smell due to the cabin air filter
    3. a coolant leak that we just received a recall about
    4. a ABS brake light that pops ON/OFF on its own
    5. a battery that needed replacement after the positive terminal corroded to both the cable and the fuse connector under the plastic battery box.
    I have contacted GM already and they requested that I go to my local dealership to have a “diagnosis” of the car but our local dealership won’t return our call.
    Not real happy.

  73. #73 Mona says:

    I took my 2012 in because the car will not heat when I am idling, when I am driving it heats. I found out from my local garage the water pump is bad. This is covered by the Powertrain warranty.

  74. #74 Clark says:

    I’ve had my Cruze for a year and a half and have had the problem for sometime but at first it was very intermittent. Now at 35k miles it got bad enough to take in. The dealer said flat out that G.M. doesn’t have a TSB that will actually fix it but they will perform them anyways. Funny story is since day one I started having not only allergies but eye problems. I have been in and out of doc and was finally diagnosed with Blepharitis. Hmmmm coincidence! I think not! The dealer pretty much told me im screwed! No LIE! Can anything be done at this point? Is it too late or do i have to pointlessly keep taking it back to get any kind of recourse?

  75. #75 LemonLaw says:

    @Clark: If you want recourse, you should reach out to a lemon law lawyer to discuss strategy. Visit

  76. #76 jose says:

    do not buya cruze 2011,mine just had problems with the ac,power windows,power seat,lights,smell coagulant,horrible

  77. #77 Misti says:

    I bought my used 2013 Cruze about 4 months ago. Up until this morning, I had no problems. This morning as I was pulling out of my driveway, the lights started flashing and the message “Reduced Power Failure” came on and the car wouldn’t hardly move. I pulled the car over and shut it down. I then started it back up and started to take off and it done it again. I then shut the car down again and just turned it around and parked it and switched vehicles. My friend purchased a 2014 Cruze 2 months ago and it has been in the shop three times with the last time the dealership having the car for 2 1/2 weeks. Her car was doing the same thing as mine. I haven’t noticed any smells (but I have really bad allergies so I cant smell a lot of things) When I got home today, I fooled with the car and the only light on is the MIL (Check Engine Light) and when you push the brakes in, it makes a weird buzzing noise in the motor. I had the oil changed last week and the dealership told me that I had a leak around my water pump but it would be a while before they could fix it. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this to happen??? Also, I have noticed the “rainbow” on my windshield. If this is supposed to be fixed with a recall, how can I find out if mine has been worked on?

  78. #78 Lou says:

    I have a 2011 Cruze Eco with just over 42,000 miles and starting getting a bad smell in my car. Since the car had been to the dealer 4x already this year (1-brake compression hose $400 2-transmission rebuild covered by warranty 3-check engine light p057c code $266) I decided to take it to my mechanic as it’s off warranty. It turns out there is a crack in the plastic coolant housing that will cost me $250 to replace (part plus labor). In contrast I also have a 2005 Mazda 6i with over 80k miles that never broke down and only required standard maintenance and no recalls.
    I ‘m thinking of contacting a lemon law lawyer before anything else goes wrong. A 3.5 year old car should not have all these issues plus 6 recalls.

  79. #79 VNeBLOB42 says:

    I didn’t read all of the posts, but I noticed the smell of coolant fairly soon once I started driving my wife’s car (girlfriend at the time) Went to on for a couple years and just last month I noticed the car overheating. Of course the reservoir was empty so I added more water and tried to find the leak. I noticed coolant puddles on the block, etc. Drove the car home and popped the hood, its seeping out from the Water Outlet housing, its cracked.

    Item #5. a $30 dollar part and will fix it this weekend. Not sure if this will stop the coolant smell, but I bet it would. If not I will report back and let you all know. 2011 Chevy Cruze, 1.4 turbo.

  80. #80 Taylor kindred says:

    I own a 2013 chevy cruze,it has 60,000 miles,their was a recal put out on the chevy cruze for antifreeze leaking.unfortunitly I found out 6 months after recal is put out.the car now ticks,and runs like a log wagon.i love the car but too many problems

  81. #81 VNeBLOB42 says:

    Fixed the water outlet/thermostat. When replacing, I noticed the overflow and or the hose from the reservoir to the water outlet housing was now leaking. So I also replaced the hose. $11 part and so far both of these items has fixed my issue. The reservoir hose fitting has been completely remodeled. Makes you wonder why it wasn’t done this way to begin with. I’ll post back if I smell anymore coolant.

  82. #82 john says:

    2014 chevy Cruz, car will not stay at operational temperature. Always have to have foot on gas pedal. Been shop 3 times and still does it new water pump and thermostat

  83. #83 LemonLaw says:

    @John: It’s time to look into your lemon law rights. Visit if you would like a free case review.

  84. #84 Christy says:

    I bought a brand new 2012 cruz and it has been in the shop multiple times for different reasons. I fought with corporate over all the problems including burnt rubber smell and now I have a habitual radiator leak from the coolant loss poll. Corporate wouldn’t help with a trade or or take it back or anything, I have been “stuck” with this car and it’s problems for 2 years. It now has 103,000 miles on it and no longer under warranty, they are selling crap cars and don’t care! Is there anything I can do?? I live in Oklahoma

  85. #85 Alan Gaudry says:

    I also replaced engine water outlet.I had a very small visual leak that was about a 1/4 tea spoon a day.The smell has gone away. My cost $30.00/ labor mine. I will report back at another date to give results.This part is right near the oil filter against the engine also has a electronic thermometer for engine outlet coolant Temp. I also wonder that since the turbo is also water cooled on this vehicle. Maybe there is an internal slow leak that is burning antifreeze through the turbo on the exhaust side of the turbo system? That might be the reason for some folks and mechanics are not seeing a leak. Item 5 for below link.


  86. #86 tina anderson says:

    I own a Chevy cruz 2013 and I have been complaining about a chemical smell coming from vents when defrost/heat is on. It gives me and my husband and kids such a headache that I have to turn off in middle of dead winter when my windows fog up so bad I have to turn it back on… really gives us such a headache this can’t be right and the dealership just says when they hook it up its not detecting anything……what can we do about this??

  87. #87 Steve Addis says:

    Bought a Chevrolet 2012 Cruze brand new. After 3000 miles started noticing antifreeze smell in the garage when we come home. It was a gradual smell that got worse at about 5000 miles. We took it in and the dealership could not find any solution. They tested everything. The reservoir was low so that was topped off. Been in the shop three times. This time they say it is a normal smell that another Cruze has when they checked another vehicle at the dealership. I pick it up tomorrow. It only has 10k miles. I sure wish there was a solution.

  88. #88 LemonLaw says:

    @Tina: If you have been back repetitively for the same issue, you look into your State and federal rights. Visit to find a firm in your state.

  89. #89 Tina Cunningham says:

    I am having the same issue. I just purchased a 2012 Cruze two weeks ago with 12k miles on it. It smells like antifreeze when the heater is on. It is making me nauseous and giving me headaches. I’m reading all of this and it is scaring me. If I take my car into the dealership it may never get fixed, that’s scary. I will call them Monday to get it in for the first time but it seems like I have a long road ahead of me trying to get the problem fixed. I also see that the Cruze has a faulty transmission for the 2011, well let me tell you that my 2012 has a faulty one also. It shifts so hard that the entire car moves. When it downshifts the car actually jerks backwards…HARD. I’ve only had this car 2 weeks and I’m about fed up already.

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