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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,210 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.

2004 Chevrolet Aveo cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Chevrolet Aveo Owner Comments

problem #14

Oct 172010


  • 68,000 miles


2004 Chevy Aveo thermostat housing - cracked and overheated. Tons of references on internet on this same problem.

- Hallowell, ME, USA

problem #13

Sep 162010


  • 112,024 miles
Thermostat housing busted on the middle of highway causing car to immediately run hot.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #12

Jul 122010


  • 67,000 miles
My 2004 Chevrolet Aveo's thermostat housing busted today at 67,000 miles. This resulted in over heating the motor and dumping about one gallon of anti-freeze on the roadway. It turns outs this part was made out of plastic. A replacement aluminum version is now available by the dealer for $95.

- American Canyon, CA, USA

problem #11

May 262010


  • 65,000 miles


Thermostat housing busted for the 3rd time!!!

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #10

May 212010


  • 125,395 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) my name is [xxx], I have a 2004 Chevrolet Aveo ls with a 1.6L engine. On May 21 of 2010 when I was on my way to school lodi ca, to sacramento ca, the thermostat housing cracked. I was unable to make it to class and had to pay over $100 dollars to get my vehicle towed. When I got the car home I noticed that the thermostat was made of a "plastic" material. How could something that flows coolant and holds such an important part of the cooling system be made of "plastic." I then did some research on the part, and finding out that the thermostat housing has been replaced with a factory correct replacement. So this is not the first time it has happened to this vehicle. My vehicle is at 125,000 miles and has been well maintained, all necessary tune-ups, oil changes, trans. Fluid changes, coolant flush, plugs, ect. I also know this is not the only Aveo that this has happened to multiple times. This is an ongoing problem for the Aveo. Once again, why is something so important made of "plastic?" I feel that this is a safety hazard, for example, if the engine got to a higher temp. Than it did, I would be looking at a warped head, are even worse, a cracked block. That could cause major damage and even a wreck. I also feel Chevrolet should take responsibility in this poor judgment of a part. A recall should be issued and a better quality part should be used. I am now forced to replace this part without any assistance from Chevrolet, and it is not cheap. I am a college student that bought this car for the economical and what I thought was "reliability" value. If there is anything you can do I would appreciate it. I and a lot of other people would feel a recall is due for the thermostat housing. [xxx]

- Woodbridge, CA, USA

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problem #9

Apr 142010

Aveo 4-cyl

  • 62,560 miles
Smelled smoke got almost home saw smoke white in color opened hood and saw the housing on the thermostat was blown and fluid spraying out with steam.

- Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #8

Feb 032010


  • 53,000 miles


While on my way home, I noticed that my vehicle started smoking from the hood and without warning the "check" dash lights came on. I noticed that my car started slowing down and I coasted it to the side of the road. At this point my vehicle cut off and wouldn't start. Once, my vehicle was transported home, I had my mechanic to come out and inspect my vehicle. My mechanic looked under my hood and saw that my vehicle had lost alot of antifreeze/coolant. He looked to see what cause this and realized that the thermostat housing unit had busted-actually it was split in half. My mechanic also stated that the busted thermostat housing had caused the leakage of the antifreeze/coolant. My mechanic informed me that the thermostat housing had to be replaced. After having the thermostat housing replaced, my mechanic tried to start the car, but it wouldn't turn over. I had my vehicle jumped, and even the battery inspected but it wouldn't start. In addition, the starter, timing belt were inspected as well and were in good condition. Please be advised that I only have 53,000 miles on my vehicle. My mechanic did a thorough check of my vehicle and realized that some water had leaked into my oil and that antifreeze/coolant had spilled into an engine valve. From my own research, I've found that Chevy has had numerous problems from the 2004 Chevy Aveos-thermostat housing units from other customers. In addition, originally the thermostat housing was plastic, but Chevy changed it to an aluminum one because the "plastic thermostat housing" that originally came with the vehicle was extremely faulty. It is very dishonest and a shame that GM/Chevy never notified me that I needed to bring my 2004 Chevy Aveo in to get the plastic thermostat housing replaced with the new aluminum one. I bought this vehicle brand new in 2005. It was Chevy's responsibility to notify me of this situation. Also, from what I've gathered, the plastic thermostat housing was unsafe.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #7

Aug 142009


  • 70,000 miles
Car: Aveo 2004- 4D. The ac got damaged, then the blower. The car got overheaded and stopped working. $1,361 worth of work was done (machine work, head gasket set, gasket sealer, timing belt, sparks plugs, timing belt tensioner). Two weeks after the car started overheading again and had a strong smell of gas. The mechanic recommended to buy a clip to adjust the gas hose!! and to put water to coool it down... the problem continued. I got tired and took the car to another mechanic who awknowledged the first mechanic assembled some things backward. Less than an hour after picking up the car from the second mechanic and after I parked it...the car burst on fire... it is gone...gone!

- Edinburg, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 292009


  • 125,278 miles
I own a 2004 Chevy Aveo. The thermostat housing broke. You must replace the entire thermostat and the thermostat is not broke it works fine. There was no warning and the engine did not overheat. I do not think a part should break apart and if it does you should not have to replace a good part. The oil light flickered so I checked under the hood and the housing had steam coming out.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #5

Apr 052009


  • 70,000 miles
I was driving my 2004 Chevy Aveo (with 70K miles) and without any warning the engine starting making a lot of noise. I was about a block from home, and when I pulled in, smoke started pouring out of my engine. The thermostat housing had busted which is apparently a very common complain with this car, and the manufacturers are clearly aware of the issue since they have made the replacement part out of metal. I don't know yet what kind of damage the engine has sustained.

- Elizabethton, TN, USA

problem #4

Mar 202009


  • 54,000 miles


I was driving down the road and smelt burning fluid and thought it was another car on the road. After the car wasn't close to me anymore I smelt the same odor. I looked down at my thermostat to see my car was in the red, no check engine light had come on or anything. I pulled over and noticed immediately that my thermostat housing(which is plastic and a poor design) had cracked in half right along the seam.I have read that this problem has lead to very expensive repairs due to the fact that it warps the heads right away and it can be easily prevented by a better quality part and / or design.this could have been a very dangerous problem if I had been going down a hill, far from a parking spot, on the freeway etc. Do something about it.

- Cathedral City, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 052008


  • miles
We purchased a preowned Chevrolet Aveo within aprox a year (low mileage still under warranty, also purchased extended warranty & gap insurance), taken very good care of it, including routine services as needed. Suddenly 3 weeks ago without any warning at all the engine blew.. no steam, no gage warning, no warning lights, nothing. Suddenly the engine light came on & within less than 30 seconds engine blew while driving with no warning. We had it towed to a mechanic who determined that the thermostat had went bad causing the engine to blow. We decided to have it towed to the dealership in order to process our warranty and possibly trade it in.. the service dept at the dealership states that without taking apart the motor all they can truly say is the car got hot and the engine blew. Once again, I stress- no steam, no raised temp in gauges or check lights came on. We had no warning or notice of any problems with the car. After 3 weeks the car is still sitting unusable at the dealership service dept until we decide what we are going to do, as we wait on having more diagnostic work done to file with the warranty. We decided to do some research on the car and found hundreds of complaints identical word for word on what happened to us- all stemming from thermostat and engines randomly blowing up without warranty. We have printed all of these out to present to Chevrolet & our dealership where our car currently sits unusable. We have already contacted Chevrolet, & our warranty company in hopes to find a resolution and we wish/hope a recall will be issued for the many cases like ours. I am willing to provide any proof if needed. This car has many complaints and commonly this complaint regarding sudden engine blowing up.. the part that has us upset is that the manufacturer and dealerships seemingly aren't taking responsibility for this and many people are losing money and possibly safety in their cars because of this issue. Please help us.

- Hendersonville, NC, USA

problem #2

Aug 172008


  • 53,963 miles
My 2004 Chevy Aveo broke down in the middle of an intersection at 47,652 miles. The car wouldn't start and couldn't be moved while my daughter and grandson were stranded in traffic. The problem turned out to be the timing belt which should have lasted 2X the mileage. Then engine rattled after that repair. On 17aug08 my car started smoking from under the hood. When I opened the hood, antifreeze covered everything. I took it to the dealer who told me the belt tensioner was bad causing the rattle and the thermostat housing cracked causing the antifreeze to spew upward and cascade over the top of the entire engine.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 242004

Aveo 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 723 miles
Purchased a 2004 Chevy Aveo from mccluskey Chevrolet in reading Ohio-on December 12/01/04. VIN # klitd526X4B196935. On December 24, 2004 our car of almost 4 weeks old broke down on us at approx: 2:45 pm. We notice smoke coming from the engine and a gurgling noise. My husband lifted up the hood and there was a milky substance on the upper left hand in front of driver's side under the hood. We called and had the car towed on X-mas eve day. It had taken the towing service over five hours to tow our vehicle. We had to be inconvenienced and find a ride home. Then we did not have a vehicle until December 27, 2004 at around 5:55pm. My husband called the dealership and talked to the sales person who sold us the car "he basically told us that they are not responsible for the vehicle now and it is the hands of the manufacturer. My husband has made several phone calls to the service dealer who has the vehicle for the repair they stated several times to him on the phone that they did know what the problem was with the car. Still no answer. Nothing to date has been done to the vehicle to date.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

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