Print this page 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).


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
63,700 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. top up dexcool (4 reports)
  3. replace thermostat housing (3 reports)
  4. replace engine (1 reports)
  5. replace thermostat, hose, outlet housing (1 reports)
  6. replaced coolant outlet housing/coolant reservoir hose (1 reports)
2011 Chevrolet Cruze cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #16

Sep 012015

Cruze ECO 1.4L Litre

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles


Suspect a slow coolant leak somewhere in the engine compartment. Did not see any coolant puddles on the bottom of the parked car. Generally need to go through a 2 quarts of coolant every summer.

- Nicholas R., Neenah, WI, US

problem #15

Jan 162018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,058 miles

Now I am really getting pissed with this whole situation. I am afraid to drive my car because I get ominous messages about the car overheating. This last incident happened on the coldest day in January at - 35 degrees Celsius. I barely made it home from a funeral only to discover again - no coolant in my system. I have now had the coolant system replaced 5 times over the period of May 2013 and January 2018. GM Canada refuses to take any responsibility for this LEMON. I have to find every way possible to fight them - I am a Senior and cannot keep affording these bills!!!

- Wilhelmina C., Toronot, ON, canada

problem #14

Dec 272013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,512 miles

This was the second time in 7 months that this same issue happened. The same code appeared again PB 00B7. This time there was a leak at the hose and housing. Replaced coolant outlet housing and coolant reservoir hose to outlet housing. Refilled and bled system again!

- Wilhelmina C., Toronot, ON, canada

problem #13

May 292013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,689 miles


At this point, my car was only two years old and this was the start of an ongoing issue with my 2011 Chevy Cruze!

- Wilhelmina C., Toronot, ON, canada

problem #12

Jan 012016

Cruze 2LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

2nd of 3 times that I've had issues with overheating. This time it was because of a leak in the coolant system.

- David R., Wentzville, MO, US

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problem #11

Mar 112018

Cruze LT 4 Cycle

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,327 miles

All fluids in car were checked and on way home the engine overheated and dashboard said there was a problem with the engine coolant system. This made no sense since I had just had everything checked at Jiffy Lube. I stopped the car, waited a few minutes and then restarted it and the engine temperature dropped. (I was only a mile from home). After making it home, I had the car towed to the local Chevrolet dealer.

The dealer did a diagnostic and said there is an internal coolant leak - they could find no leaks on outside, would have to dismantle the engine to find the leak, which was costly. Recommended installation of a new engine for $7700.00 plus tax. Not knowing what to do at that point, I had to get car towed back home where it sits in my driveway.

I did a Kelly Bluebook check and the quoted repair is worth the same as the car. What to do? I don't have the money for a down-payment for another car. Why did this happen? Why does this vehicle have mysterious flaws? We were taking very good care of this Chevy Cruze. I am so upset, almost at a complete loss for words. When I look on this website I see that other people have had the exact same problem. Why hasn't Chevrolet addressed this problem? Why is the engine replacement with labor so expensive? Why did Chevrolet make a lemon vehicle? A car should last more than 7 years with the amount of miles and care we have afforded it.

- Deborah M., Alpharetta, US

problem #10

Aug 052015

Cruze LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I thought it was a leaking hose, but when I took the car to a garage for service the technician showed me the thermostat housing oozing coolant!!!

- Rosemary T., Chickasaw, AL, US

problem #9

Jan 152016

Cruze LT 1.4L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,600 miles

Ever since I've owned this car no lie, it makes lots of rattles, squeaks, it also loves having multiple issues with coolant leaks and coolant system. I will never buy another Chevrolet. However I'm still paying on a unreliable vehicle. In hopes it can continue getting me to work until it's either paid off or until I am able to trade it for a Toyota or Honda. I just had the last leak fixed in November last year before Thanksgiving. Now it's leaking again. I'm above and beyond pissed.

- Jeffrey H., North Freedom, WI, US

problem #8

Oct 152015

Cruze ECO

  • Manual transmission
  • 54,360 miles

I bought the car in December of 2014. Everything was great for several months then out of nowhere it overheated. I lost the car I had before to this same problem so I was very concerned. Turns out there was a recall on the car because of it "loosing coolant without evidence of a leak". I took it to the Chevy dealer for them to look at it and they said the recall only required them to top off the coolant. They did replace a part that was covered under the drivetrain warranty but after driving it for a week it overheated again and has continued to do so ever since. It's been about two weeks and I'm taking it back to the dealer tomorrow. I do a lot of driving, I make sure it has coolant in it before I start off. This is very frustrating.

- Susan S., Tampa, FL, US

problem #7

Jul 222015

Cruze LS 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,800 miles

Chevy Cruze would constantly run out of antifreeze but it would not be on the ground so it has to be going into the engine.

- asager, Opdyke, IL, US

problem #6

Jun 082015

Cruze LT 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


My daughter bought this car 3 years ago and just here lately she's had nothing but trouble with it. First, she had no spare in the car. Then it was the battery. Now it's a problem with the coolant and check engine light. So I personally feel like the dealer sold my daughter a lemon or the manufacturer built these cars to fast.

- Henry D., Dermott, AR, US

problem #5

Nov 192014

Cruze LT 1.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I took it to the shop soon after I bought car.The dealership said they did not find anything wrong with the cooling system. I told them it smelled like antifreeze was leaking or overheating. I finally had my temperature gauge tell me my car was getting heated so I stopped and had it topped off with dexcool. I still smell the anti-freeze.

- cruze owner, Broken Bow, OK, US

problem #4

Jun 022014

Cruze LT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,830 miles

Came out to car to go to work noticed a puddle underneath turned out to be antifreeze. My car had just been in the shop a few days prior for oil change not sure why the leak was not noticed then.

- Tina C., Martinsburg, WV, US

problem #3

Oct 032014

Cruze LT1 V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

I wasn't aware there was a problem with the coolant although I had smelled it occasionally since about one year after purchase and had noticed some spots on the driveway, hit thought it was from the AC condensation. I received a notification from GM a weeks or two ago noting that the cooling system may be low and could have it checked at a dealership. I took it in on 10/3/14 and was told the cooling system is leaking around the thermostat housing. They replaced it and I haven't noticed any more leaks on the driveway or smells when driving it.

- Dan S., Hermitage, TN, US

problem #2

Nov 052013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

My 2011 Chevy Cruze has been losing antifreeze gradually since I bought it in Sept 2013, I have been adding antifreeze when I notice that it will blow out cold air when I'm stopped at a stop light or idling. I have been watching for leaks under the car but have not found any, yet I noticed a large puddle of water from the exhaust pipe larger then normal. I tend to believe that my antifreeze is going out my exhaust pipe.

- carriend, Minot, ND, US

problem #1

Jul 012011

Cruze 1LT 1.4t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles

When my Cruze was about 6 months old I noticed the coolant was below the add line so I bought a gallon of Dexcool and topped it up. A few months later I noticed the same thing again. I occasionally smell coolant but it's not as bad as others have reported. I added 2 Barsleaks tabs to the surge tank and I still lose coolant. I don't believe I have a leak but rather that it's a design problem (either the 20 lb. pressure cap on the surge tank is too high or the turbo boils off the coolant).

I'll just add coolant every few months.

Otherwise the car is pretty good except that the MPG claims were much higher than actually achieved.

(I get about 32 MPG highway with the 1.4T and 6 speed A/T). The 6 speed A/T can be indecisive at times.

- pat in ny, Greenwood Lake, NY, US

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