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:
No data
Average Mileage:
39,350 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
2011 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 012015

Cruze ECO 1.4L Litre

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles


This occurs on the manual transmission with the 1.4 liter turbo. Typically during very hot and humid days. Turbo lag can be significant enough where additional caution needs to be made when making left turns on busy intersections. A common habit during hot summer months is to rev up the engine up an additional 1-2k rpms in order to be safe and prevent the engine stalling mid turn.

- Nicholas R., Neenah, WI, US

problem #8

Dec 292017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

This car was built horribly!!!! I have a 2011 CHEVY CRUZE and has had nothing but problems with same thing over and over. Oil all over the crankcase. Oil in the reservoir. You press down on the gas and it hesitates, the slipping gear, oil leaking on the manifold, the gauge sensor not working, the fan sensor no working. The whole car is a joke!!!! Not to mention I use to work for the GM Arlington Plant. Eight years and this car is crap!!! I got my oil changed per the instructions. And now I can't afford to fix it again this is the third time now for the same issue. The sludgiest mess is like a milkshake in my reservoir.

- Cheryl M., Fort Worth, TX, US

problem #7

Aug 072017

Cruze LTZ 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,580 miles

car just sucks overall, rev happy, no power, transmission is jerky and retarded when you need to pass another car it cant decide what gear to pick and sometimes it goes into "fits" jerking around like a happy retard. headlights suck too. number 1 cylinder no compression

- T T., Shelbyville, US

problem #6

Oct 072014

Cruze LT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,100 miles


This is an ongoing issue with this car, could eventually cause an accident or injury to others.

- Tina C., Martinsburg, WV, US

problem #5

Aug 042013

Cruze LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

engine light on, car running roughly,

I wish I never purchase this vehicle. It has been giving me so many problems ever since I bought it. I've never bought a car that has so many things wrong with it, and now the engine light is always on and the local Chevrolet Center cannot not find what is wrong with it. Please I need another vehicle before this one dies on me.

- Bernice D., Crownpoint, NM, US

problem #4

May 202011

Cruze LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles

Had a letter sent to me from a law firm it read it has come to our attention through purchasing a mailing list from the DMV marketing that you own a chevy cruze 2011 we are aware of numerous complaints related to defects in the 2011 chevy cruze including but not limited to antifreeze smell while driving with the heater on ,automatic transmission problems control module defects and throttle lag conditions that may cause a delay between the time of accelerator is pressed and the time the transmission actually engages

if you had had some of these problems the law office of Patrick law firm p.c. 3333 lee parkway ,suite 600 Dallas Texas 75219 may be able to help you his number is 1-888-536-6681

I have not called yet

but it is a problem with the accelerator I have my 16 year old daughter driving it and she comes home complaining about how she feels unsafe when crossing traffic because it just wont go it almost feels like a manual transmission like you have to let off the gas then it seems to ketch the gear and go's on then I was told also it was a small engine also but after getting this letter it makes me wonder if there is really something we can do about it.

- Kim B., Floresville, TX, US

problem #3

Jun 152011

Cruze LT 1.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25 miles


When I brought the brand new 2011 chevy cruze I noticed a lag during acceleration. This was very dangerous when making turns with oncoming traffic, could case a possible accident. The dealer said nothing was wrong during inspection.

- swashington04, Chattanooga, TN, US

problem #2

Jun 062011

Cruze LS 1.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,840 miles

When accelerating from a stopped position the vehicle has a two (2) second delay before it engages the transmission. This is very dangerous issue when entering a busy road from a parking lot or other stopped location. A two second delay can place a driver in a life or death situation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who was unable to diagnose the problem. They did mention that it could be "turbo lag" since it needs time to build up. They also stated that all software programs were up to date. It is still dangerous turbo lag or not. According to a road test conducted by Consumer Guide Automotive this problem was a issue for them: "Several test cars exhibited issues with the automatic transmission, including delayed response and slurred shifts. GM was aware of these problems and issued a fix that involved re-programming the transmission's software." It's obvious that this is not a software fix issue since all programs were updated on the vehicle and the problem still exists.

- Jim B., Waxahachie, TX, US

problem #1

Feb 182011

Cruze RS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles

Hesitant acceleration is not the only problem with the cruze! It constantly shifts all over the place causing a jerky ride at best. Transmission was "re-programed" but did not solve the problem. Step on the accelerator and.....wait.....wait....the car starts to move slowly, then you get whiplash as it suddenly lunges forward. We have almost been hit numerous times because the car does not move, especially at intersections when turning. Our daughter won't even ride in the car anymore because it scares her.

Passing on the highway is fun...NOT! The car winds up to almost redline but not much punch. If you apply brakes and then go back to accelerate it takes quite a few seconds before there is much response. I have pressed to pedal almost to the floor but the car does not accelerate. The ride is not that great, and the back seat area is very noisey (a lot of road noise). I have filed numerous complaints with Chevrolet Customer Service and had a case file going requesting a buy back. They sent me to two different dealers to try and solve the problem but neither one could. I was just notified that Chevrolet will not buy the car back so we can get something else because they can't identify the problem and attempt a fix; therefore no problem actually exists (yes, that is what they said). One dealership did tell me GM knows there is something wrong, but they will not create the "code" for it so the techs in the service dept. can identify it. So, I guess we'll "CRUZE" to the Chrysler dealership and trade this poor excuse for a car in. Bye bye GM!!!!

- Kevan M., Canton, MI, US

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