Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: What’s that smell – it’s a tad sweet with a tinge of chemical toxicity? If you own a 2011 Cruze it’s probably a coolant leak. It’s a widespread and notorious problem for the car and is the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed in the state of New York. And that’s not the only problem 2011 owners face…

Many say the 2011 model year suffers from a throttle lag that is probably due to a fauly electronic throttle control. The problem is signifigant enough that some owners say they are too scared to drive their cars. Those that do get behind the wheel often say their transmission isn’t shifting properly and problems start occuring as early as 15,000 miles.

All of this leads us to say you’re probably better off without this car’s headaches (they’re probably chemically-induced anyway).


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,259 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #51

May 082014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles


The 2011 Cruze should be taken off the market. This car has caused me to almost crash 10 times in the past month that I have had it. There has to be a defect with the acceleration of the car. When I merge on to the interstate and try and speed up the car stalls out and has a hard time shifting. Thousands of others have complained about the same issue. This is a hazard to vehichle owners as well as other motorist. When will something be done about this? GM should have to fix these units.

- Selma, AL, USA

problem #50

Jan 182013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 27,514 miles
Car overheated on drive home. Pulled over immediately and had car towed to dealership. Water pump was replaced. Since that time can continually smell antifreeze inside car. Also have found puddles under car several times. Have taken car back to dealership. Was told they could find no leak. They stated the surge tank cap was loose and that they refilled tank. But it still smells. It is serviced by the dealership only. So why are they having to tighten the cap" and are they having to fill the surge tank repeatedly"

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #49

Apr 072014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 68,906 miles
I purchased the 2011 Chevy Cruze with approx 55 K. when I drove the car at the lot everything seemed to be in good working order. The next day I kept hearing a surge like sound in the engine and when the accelerator was pushed the car would not gain any speed or power. I contacted the dealer and explained what was going on with the car and was told that this was common in the Chevy Cruze because of the engine size and that why the car is able to get such great gas mileage. I could not stand the noise any longer March 19, 2014 I took the car to the dealers service department where car was purchased. I informed them of the issues I was having with the surging sound and the loss of speed & power. The next day informed me they could not hear any surging sound and only found 1 problem leaking thermostat. I was referred to the GM dealer to get fixed under the powertrain warranty. It has not even been a full year since I purchased this car. On April 7th 2014 I was driving on the freeway during rush hour and all of sudden I hear a dinging sound all the engine lights came on, along with the hazards lights and the car began to lose power, the center panel kept reading transmission hot idle engine. I had not had any other previous warnings, all the gauges appeared to be normal with no sign of over heating. I contacted the Chevy dealer and took the car down right away.explained to them what happened and the issues the diagnoses that was given from the service dept where car was purchased. The next day the Chevy dealer contacted me and said they had replace the water pump. Also the transmission had burnt oil and needs to be flushed and it was not covered under the warranty. They too could not find anything else wrong as to why transmission is running hot, not even with the surging sound and lose of power. April 11th 2014 had the same issues again.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #48

Oct 012013


  • 49,000 miles


Problem started close to winter, October 2013. Coolant level slowly decreased, not concerned at the time, just topped off during oil changes. Fast forward to April 2014, refill of coolant needed daily if heat is used. Coolant tank is completely empty after car is off and sitting for a few hours! large puddle of coolant under engine, not the radiator. Remains to be a slow leak. When heat is on, coolant begins to slowly leak underneath engine. Temp gauge is always normal. No signs of overheating, no excess coolant in engine bay. All routine maintenance completed by Chevrolet dealerships. Dex (GM specific coolant, orange in color) coolant used exclusively. Every time heat is turn on, at any temp, at any fan speed, at any setting (defrost, floor, etc.) there is a strong odor of burning/hot coolant. I am unable to put my children in vehicle!, when heat is needed in vehicle. Odor is too strong and children complained of nausea and lightheadedness. To many instances similar to this listed. GM needs to provide resolution.

- Dawsonville, GA, USA

problem #47

Apr 022013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 8,115 miles
Hesitant acceleration issue. After coming to a stop. I put my foot on accelerator and vehicle did not go forward at first. Then engine rev up but vehicle started to move slowly. When it did I could only go 27 mph in a 45 mph zone. Had to pull over and turn off vehicle. This is a very dangerous issue when trying to merge on to a highway. Went to two authorized Chevrolet dealers on 12/02/13 and 4/02/14. Both dealers stated they could not duplicate problem and all trouble codes indicated everything is ok. Which it is not. This is a 1.4 turbo 4 engine. I am afraid to drive this vehicle. Please help!

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #46

Mar 152014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 48,200 miles
Since I first purchased my 2011 Cruze, I have experienced hesitations in the automatic transmission changing between second and third gear (approximately between 35-40 mph). In the last month, the hesitations happen every time I start from a stationary position. Some of the hesitations are more pronounced (I.e., an actual lurching of the vehicle). There have also been occurrences of the car not responding properly to pressing the acceleration pedal. I found this very alarming, as it happened during rush hour traffic.

- Seabrook, TX, USA

problem #45

Jan 172011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles


6 to 8 recalls...and the transmission jerks when you take off from a stop since day one. Keep taking to dealer and they claim to not find anything. (1/17/2011-now) the brake peddle switch had to be replaced. (1/2014) the spark plugs and coil pack had to be replaced due to the spark plug being tightened to tight from the factory! engine light came on indicated the service traction control system. (3/12/2014) was driving home from work as always and the engine light came on and indicated that the ac cut off due to engine over heating. (3/21/2014) this car has been a lemon from day one. It stays in the dealer service more that we drive it...

- Edgefield , SC, USA

problem #44

Dec 062013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 39,243 miles
On 12/12/13 my problems with my 2011 Chevy Cruze began. The engine began making a humming noise, the check engine light would come on intermittently, it began to randomly lose power and overheat. On 12/20/13 3-way Chevrolet replaced the cam phase and water pump. On 01/01/14, the vehicle began making the same humming noise but louder and had a consistent loss of power. On 01/08/14, 3-way replaced the turbo charger. I picked up the vehicle on 01/09/14 and within 1 hour the check engine light came back on. I took the vehicle back to 3-way on 01/10/2014 and did not get the vehicle back until 02/20/2014. During that time, the cylinder head and valves were replaced, pistons and rings were replaced, injectors and coils were swapped from another vehicle and the car still had misfire. A GM engineer was brought in and the turbo charger was replaced again and the oil feed line was plugged. On 02/21/14, I noticed fluid in my driveway. The car is leaking something and the power is still not consistent. I contacted 3-way late Friday and am waiting for a call back. I have be inconvenienced beyond words, the vehicle is unsafe and I want GM to purchase the car back.

- Bakersfielc, CA, USA

problem #43

Feb 112014


  • 75,000 miles
Turned on car in the morning and received 2 messages of "engine power reduced", "service stabili-trac", service traction control" as well as a check engine light. Engine would not go above 1500 RPM's. took it into dealer and was told that I had a transmission leak and because they didn't have time they wanted me to reschedule for the following week. Problem continued to happen and on my way in to work on 02/11/14 the problem happened two times in the morning and was forced to put car in park turn off engine and restart. Then happens 3 times once on a very busy highway into downtown denver and twice in downtown. Called dealership and was told that I needed to bring it in. Was told that it was the "throttle body" which is a $450 fix not covered under power train warranty. With so many people having this problem and almost being hit every time it happens due to it happening abruptly when cold it is a clear safety issue and needs to be recalled. I sense that if they don't there will be a class action law suite in their future.

- Henderson, CO, USA

problem #42

Feb 122014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 41,432 miles
While driving on the highway my "engine power reduced","service traction control", and "service stabilitrak" warning notices appeared. Frantically I pulled over on the up coming exit ramp, even though the engine would not go over 5 mph with my gas pedal pushed all the way to the floor, and was fortunate not to be hit with my 3 children in the car. After doing my research, I turned off the car let it rest and continued driving only for it to happen 4 more times with in 25 minutes. This has also happened 3 other times throughout the week! there seems to be no answer from the dealership even though I took pictures of the warning lights and provided many other exactly similar complaints all across the country! I will not drive this car and especially not with my children in it I have just wasted 16K of my money ! why is there not a solution for this issue yet and if there is why does it take such extreme remedies to find the solution. This is a recall material situation! I would like someone to call me in regards to this situation, I feel there is no excuse my children and I could have died tonight !

- Willow Springs, IL, USA

problem #41

Feb 052014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


While parked in a parking lot waiting for the snowy conditions to slow down, I waited about 15 minutes with my car on idle. I pulled out of the parking spot to go to my destination. As I was on drive, my car slowed down to 5 mph and couldn't accelerate, message pulled up on my screen saying "engine power is reduced". took it to the dealership and quoted me $500 to fix the valve body system. I've read on a forum that this is a common problem for this model.

- Milford, MI, USA

problem #40

Feb 032014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 97,213 miles
My 2011 Chevy Cruze ltz went in to reduced engine power mode and said to service stabilitrak and traction control. This happened in below freezing temperatures with frozen precipitation on the ground. Research online indicates this is a common problem with Chevy Cruze vehicles. The car was drive able after powering down for a few seconds, but a few miles down the road it would go into reduced engine power mode again. This has happened multiple times over the last week. Likely throttle body problem.

- Seminole, OK, USA

problem #39

Jan 232014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 73,710 miles
My children & I almost didn't make it home! was experiencing issues with the heat not heating up the car on Tuesday and on yesterday, I was driving North on the 394 expressway and received an error message on my dashboard of "A/C shut off due to high temperatures" so I turned the heat off and the gauge slowed moved back down. However, after driving a short distance further the temperature gauge had moved all the way to the "red" line and I receive the error message to "shut the engine down" because of overheating. I immediately pulled and slowly the gauge moved back to the normal position. I called the dealership that worked on my car less than 3 weeks ago and the service advisor informed me that it may be another glitch but he wanted to ensure that all of my fluids were fine and since I wasn't very far from the dealership to bring the car in (even though their service dept was closing in about 20 mins). After looking at the car, the service advisor informed that just about all of the coolant ran out and there was probably an issue with the water pump. I was shocked, bothered & frustrated because it had been less than a month that I just had to have this car worked on. Fortunately, the water pump didn't cost me anything due to it still being under warranty but that still doesn't change the fact that I'm a very dissatisfied customer.

- Olympia Fields, IL, USA

problem #38

Dec 102013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
Driving home from work on busy tollway, after it snowed all of a sudden my service stabilitrak-reduced engine power lights came on. The car cut to 20 miles per hour.I couldn't go any faster and nowhere to pull over since the tollway was under off the tollway called the dealer to take it in.the Chevy dealer told me to shut the car off wait 5 min. It will reset. Ok it did, took it the next day to Chevy, they cant find anything wrong, took it home. Went to work 3 days later it did it again I brought it back to Chevy still cant find out what is wrong.this car has continued to do this 15 more times.the reason why I am telling you this is because there is a problem with these cars there have been more Chevy Cruze with the same problem.I am afraid to drive this car I have borrowed a car to get to work, the first time this happened to me on the tollway I thought my life was over it could have caused a serious accident im glad im here to tell someone about my problem and hope someone takes some action with it.

- Marengo, IL, USA

problem #37

Jan 292013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The car check engine light came on, then it said power reduced. Luckily no one was behind me. If I let the car set for a bit, it will start and run ok. The problem occurs only in the winter when it's damp or foggy and the temperature is at freezing. In the winter of 2013, it happened twice. It happened again on 01/07/14. I had the car towed to a mechanic, and was told that although the car's computer told him when it happened, it could not be determined why it happened. When it is warmer outside, it ran fine and probably will until it gets colder again! I asked the dealer if this was a problem anyone else was experiencing and was told no. Based on what I see from postings on various websites, I am not alone! the throttle body appears to be an obvious a factory defect, but GM won't offer a recall. I commute about 60 miles to work each way, so the car is well beyond its warranty. It would be nice to not have to watch the weather report to decide if I think the car is safe to drive because it might cold enough to have it happen again. I was contacted by Chevrolet customer service, and was told that they would check into the problem with my car. All they did was refer me to my dealership where it would be fixed at my expense, and did not recognize or admit that this is a problem with the design of the engine (factory defect). GM will not recognize that there is a problem with the 2011 Cruze that many people are dealing with. The conditions under which the car loses power (cold weather) cannot be simulated by the dealership mechanics because their diagnostics in a heated garage. The problem has not and will not show up when they test it. When the car loses power it happens abruptly. This is a safety concern as the car cannot maintain its speed, and during heavy traffic flow it is likely that someone is going to end up in a crash as a result. It is a defect with the car!

- Sardinia, OH, USA

problem #36

Nov 222013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Sudden loss of engine power. The first occurrence happened exiting a fast moving expressway. The engine suddenly stopped power and the car was reduced to less than 5 miles an hour. The car was pulled to the shoulder and turned off. Eventually after restarting the car the engine went to full power and the car reached its destination. There was some luck involved as traffic was light. Since, the loss of power has happened five more times. At least one occurrence was very dangerous - pulling from a stop sign onto a busy road. I feel that this issue makes the Cruze one of the most dangerous cars on the road. The issue happens without warning and can happen at 65 miles an hour or from a stop. I know that I am not the only person with this issue and I am upset that this has not been addressed by Chevrolet. Thanks for the opportunity to voice my concern and hopefully help others.

- Gurnee, IL, USA

problem #35

Oct 312013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 51,100 miles
1.4 liter 2011 Cruze heater blowing cool air. GM inspection done on 10/17/13 and they said everything was good. They told me not to worry about the intermittent check engine light that keeps coming on. This happened within two weeks. We added a almost a quart of coolant following the directions in the owners manual. Now a month later it is a quart low again blowing cool air from the heater and a strong sweet smell permeates the car. The car also fails to properly brake at times and gain speed at times. It has stalled while idling at stoplights. There is a oily residue on the plastic shield located near the oil pan.

- Embarrass, MN, USA

problem #34

Nov 072013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 92,751 miles
2011 4dr eco.vehicle leaking antifreeze, strong smell of coolant and recall NHTSA campaign 12V288 GM 12081 oil on engine shield, repair done 11/7/2013 while visiting Colorado springs, co... dealer invo claims thermostat housing leaking, replaced control not holding...not address...11-12-2013 2nd failure coolant leak and oil mileage at failure 93513 dealer found leak at the corner of water outlet on rear cylinder head, and replaced outlet tube..11-23-13 went to start my car found antifreeze and oil leaking on the ground....calling dealer in Colorado springs again...this is [xxx]...something when its cold is causing coolant and oil to leak...found many service bulletins for these items and 2 recalls for this problem... information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #33

Nov 032013


  • 101,263 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated while driving 55 mph, the vehicle over heated and the check engine warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician diagnosed that the cooling system was defective which caused the cooling fluid and oil to mix. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 101,263.

- Elmwood, TN, USA

problem #32

Apr 132013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 59,214 miles
While driving at any speed for it has happened several times the RPM's go so high the car accelerates and it sounds like the engine is going to blow up... at the same time the steering column locks and I loose all ability to steer the vehicle and the brake also try to lock. Making the car feel like I ran something over and it stuck under the car.... pulling the emergency brake and putting the car in neutral help bring it to a stop-

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?