2011 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems: check engine light on and reduced power

Check Engine Light On And Reduced Power

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chevrolet dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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:
54,050 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. replace throttle body (3 reports)
  3. replace air intake manifold (1 reports)
  4. replace coil pack (1 reports)
  5. replace tcm (transmission control module) (1 reports)
2011 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #14

May 162017

Cruze ECO

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,500 miles


I was on my way to work this morning, as if it isn't stressful enough dealing with idiots in traffic, and the check engine light comes on. The car was still running, still going forward, and I didn't want to be late for work, so I pressed on toward work. Just as the highway traffic came to its usual standstill (because our civilization ought to, by all rights, be nuked from space by a more logical civilization), in addition to the check engine light the information display flashed two warnings in succession: Service Traction Control; and Service Stabilitrac. I thought okay, things have gotten a little worse perhaps, but the car is still inching along in those rare moments when traffic allows one to inch along. Then in addition to the warnings, when stopped in traffic the car started to lurch and run very roughly, sometimes seeming as it the engine would die. I did the usual "come one baby don't die on me" chant that should be familiar to anyone who has owned a car with 150,000+ miles on it, which is to say, most of us.

So I made it to work, got online during a spare moment at work, and made an appointment at the Chevy dealership to look at this traction control doodad the display was warning me about. I go straight from work to the appointment, and lo and behold it's a $1,400 repair to replace the intake manifold and a few various other parts along with it. 4 hours of waiting in the lobby as if on death row, later, and I escaped with a rumbling belly (having missed dinner) and a maxxed out credit card.

What kills me is, this is the kind of problem that's supposed to happen to cars with mileage in the 6 figures, not less than 60K miles. You might as well wad up some aluminum foil and slap wheels on it and say "EUREKA, another BRAND NEW CHEVY CRUZE! Sign your life away on the dotted, kid..."

Never again. This was a one-time experiment buying American instead of Japanese, and not only did the American hucksters teach me a lesson, they punished me for even considering such an idiot move.

- Ron B., Annandale, MN, US

problem #13

Jan 202017

Cruze LT 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,971 miles

Had a issue with the car while on the highway. Traffic was heavy stop and go. Car lost power and could hardly move. Got off the highway and entered our destination parking garage. Car would not go up the ramp to the next level. Backed down and parked in a lower level. After the event we arranged to have someone follow us in case we could not make it home. Made a appointment at the dealer. Brought the car in and was told they would call with the problem. Was told the TCM needed to be reprogrammed. Got the car back and drove home. Everything looked good until we got home and the check engine light came on again. The car would not go up a small incline into our garage without a running start. Called the dealer again. Brought the car in and later that day was told that the TCM needed to be replaced and it required the complete removal of the transmission and the cost was $1800.00 going to pick it up tomorrow.

This was the first issue we have had with this car but it only has 29,700 miles on it. Never had a car with this low mileage would have these issues. I have been a Chevy owner most of my life but after this I might reconsider buying another one.

- Daniel B., Ewa Beach, HI, US

problem #12

Aug 012016

Cruze LS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

The coil pack went bad at 58,000 miles, which is ridiculous. A multitude of lights and warnings came on and it was running extremely rough and sluggish.

- porterhouse, Fayetteville, NC, US

problem #11

Mar 242016

Cruze LT 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


My daughter was driving at 65 mph on cruise control and the went into reduced power mode and had to be pulled off the road due to having no power or acceleration. After starting it back up the engine light was on but it was able to be driven the remaining 25 miles home. I had it checked and they couldn't reproduce the problem. We have had it for two years and 25K miles of driving with no problems at all. It had 55K miles on it when we bought it.

Update from Apr 11, 2016: I took it to the Chevy dealer and they said it was the throttle body. It was replaced and has been fine for a week now. Hope it stays that way!

- Keith M., Middletown, DE, US

problem #10

Mar 042016

Cruze Limited 1.4turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,125 miles

My 2011 Chevy Cruze works fine but as of a few weeks ago I got a check engine light on and my oil was low so i figured it needed oil change. I went got that done and the engine light stayed on. I asked to have a diagnostics done and i got back this code P057C. I called the dealer and they have no idea what code this is, I check online and nothing for this code. So the next day i turn my car on and the light is gone the car is fine? so i keep driving and then boom! I get check engine light back on car still driving normal just with light on. I start to think its not engine related but more something to do with a sensor maybe? car has engine light on for about 2 days after it came back on. then off again. last week i drove to work in Los Angeles traffic and I am a complete stop to turn left and I press the gas and the car revs and no acceleration and the D for drive was blinking and the R for reverse as well. I did not get this (!) light that I have seen many comments say pops up when they had this issue. Anyhow I press the gas and i can only go up to 5MPH and i had engine RPM up to 4000RPM but still 5MPH.Today I drove on Highway got off got close to work I am at a red light again and same thing loss power would not go more than 5MPH pulled over turned car off for a few min and started again and it drove normal again. I am afraid this will happen to me on Highway and possibly kill me! or someone else. I like the car but the dealership cant help me they say that they never heard of this and to bring the car for an inspection for $135.00! that's crazy. I can go to auto zone and get a diagnostic free or call on-star. I will get a diagnostic done soon and see if I get the same code again. and will keep posted. But if you know of a reason why this is happening please advise .. Thanks guys and god bless!

Update from Mar 8, 2016: well I have the same problem I have been doing plenty of research. today i got in the car no check engine light on and i drove fine t work in stop and go traffic on highway 101 in Los Angeles county. As soon as i exited the freeway my check engine light came on. the car started to sound and feel different again i touched the accelerator and the car just revs and the RPMS go to 4 or 5 or more. This time i just kept the pedal pressed down to see what happens as soon as I had enough space between me and the car in front to avoid it the car all of a sudden jolts and hits the car in front of me. I pulled into a small street and kept the pedal down car started to gain momentum but car seemed to work very hard to just get up to 15mph. this is not good guys the cars should work! I take good care of my car and this is just stupid because the dealer does not know how to solve the problem. then I think they sold all of the cruze drivers a bunch of LEMONS! this is not an issue that can be fixed at home or fast its just as bad as driving blindfolded! I took videos if you would like to see them I am going to start a youtube page with the videos on them for your revire I will let you know what the name of the channel will be soon. good luck be safe and be careful!

- tommygunn818, Woodland Hills, CA, US

problem #9

Apr 262014

Cruze LT 4.1L

  • Manual transmission
  • 8,078 miles

I purchased the car new in July 2011. Had problems with it ever since. In Nov 2011 took it to dealer and they had to change an injector in it because they said the oil was not change enough. So be careful about that Dexos oil and do not go by that oil change percentage indicator as it is not appropriate. I was at 12000 km and went to the dealer ship for an oil change and they told me not to do it because the indicator only read 32% remaining at the time. So I waiting as I was told and then service light came on, not power in vehicle, brought it back two weeks later to have an injector changed on warranty.

Since I bought this car it has been nothing but a headache. I travel 150 km each day return trip to work so I do add up on the km but that is no reason to have such problems. Engine light will always come on the minute there is another issue. For instant, the " service traction control" message and "service stability trak" message.


- Rose F., Chapleau, ON, Canada

problem #8

Sep 142014

Cruze LS 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles


This issue has been on going since two months after I bought the car. They have replaced my throttle body and pedal, still a reoccurring issue that cannot be resolved. Car is unsafe to drive.

- Maria L., Marcellus, MI, US

problem #7

Feb 132015

Cruze LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Also the Chevy Cruze 2011 loss of power and reduced engine power. Seems to only happen in the winter months two years in a row now. Says service traction control stabiltrac, engine power reduced, it cuts off. I was in the fast lane 75 mph, no snow, roads clear. All of sudden, engine cuts off to nothing, had to cross three lanes on the interstate to pull over. They want $100 to look at it, sounds like a manufacturer problem to me.

Please comment if anymore of you out there. I've read one on here that is exactly like my issue. It even happens when I have the stabiltracking system off.

- Cheryl W., Dry Ridge, KY, US

problem #6

Feb 272015

Cruze ECO 1.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 77,000 miles

The throttle body was changed at 33,000 miles - but that was under warranty. Now it must be changed again at 77,000 miles, cost of $ 384. There were 7 recalls in 77,000 miles. Car is a definite disappointment.

- Brian M., Nazareth, PA, US

problem #5

Jan 062015

Cruze LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Last week out of the blue I received a "service stabili trac" warning, a "service traction control" warning and a "reduce power" warning. It happened once, then everything seemed to go back to normal thinking maybe it was just the cold. Then it happened a second day. Just once each day. Then on the third day going from work to home about a 2 mile drive it happened 4 times. On a busy road no where to pull off. Even though it says reducing power you cant drive. It has no power to go forward. You have to pull over and shut off car and restart.

I tried to get information from dealers all they told me was bring it it we will look for $100 fee. I had an appointment to have it looked at but there was a delay for my daughters school which meant I couldn't go because they didn't offer a loaner car. Finally the next day I get to take it in, however from home to work it happened 6 times and from work to garage, about 5 miles, to have it looked at 9 times. He sprayed some grease and everything seemed to be fine for two days then again this morning on way to work 4 times. So I am back to the garage again, probably tomorrow, because again no rentals available.

I bought this car thinking it would be reliable and for whatever reason even tho this has something to do with the power and engine of the vehicle they claim its not covered under the powertrain warranty. I have had this car less than 2 years and it has been serviced regularly. As a single mother of a 6 year old I need dependability not something that is going to be a constant problem leaving me stranded and not able to get to work.

- skyontheroxx, Johnson City, NY, US

problem #4

Oct 042013

Cruze LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,669 miles


I DO NOT like this car. All kinds of problems with it. Engine light is constantly on and NO power going up hill. It is the worst car I have ever bought in my life.

- Bernice D., Crownpoint, NM, US

problem #3

Dec 152013

Cruze LTZ 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

When I was driving to work one morning, my engine power reduced warning came on and the engine light, traction control light came on and I could go no faster than 2or3 mph. I called my husband, and he took me to work, than got the car back home. It ran fine for a month or so, then it happened again. Then several more times in the next month. Now it is happening almost daily, and the car completely shuts down. Sometimes now, it takes 10 times to get it restarted. I contacted GM and they didn't seem to want to do any thing about. There is no recall, my car is not under warranty. I have read on forums about several 2011 Cruzes with this problem. Always seems to happen afet warranty, around 50,000 miles. That is way to early for serious complications.

- neisie50, Brookville, PA, US

problem #2

Jan 142011

Cruze 2LT Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles

My check engine light randomly came on as i was driving to work. I had to drop everything and immediately take it to the dealer. I thought it had something to do with the horrible shifting and accelerating problems i had been having. It ends up they ended up replacing my thermostat on a car that was only 2 months old. and told me that they were not able to duplicate the delay in acceleration and shifting, so they weren't able to fix it, but they did replace the thermostat.

- hkandren, Maple Valley, WA, US

problem #1

Jan 262013

Cruze LT 1.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

On January 26,2013 My engine light came on and the car said my engine power had been reduced and I could not go faster than 5 mph. Took it to the dealership stated that I needed a new throttle body on the car and it was not cover under warranty since I was at 52,000 miles. I have only owned the car for 16 months at the time. I understand normal wear and tear on a car but to have a throttle body changed at 52,000 is insane. This car is giving me nothing but problems and GM wont give assistance because it is no longer under bumper to bumper warranty. This car had a lag the from the moment I bought car but nothing was done about it. Now after warranty when the issue has manifested I have to be the one to pay. I am looking into filing a lawsuit because this car is cheaply put together and GM is doing nothing to help.

Update from Feb 27, 2013: The Throttle Body was replaced and fixed on my car. The cost was $374 and not covered under warranty due to being over 36,000 miles. The part was on back order for over two weeks. GM did not supply me with a rental until the last 5 days of the part being on back order.

- swashington04, Chattanooga, TN, US

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