2011 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems: oil leak from crankcase seal

Oil Leak From Crankcase Seal

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).


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
46,750 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. fix the leak (2 reports)
  2. mechanics removed transmission and replaced seal - 9 days (2 reports)
  3. not sure (2 reports)
2011 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 202017

Cruze LS 1.4L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


I bought a new SUV and my daughter wanted to buy my 2011 Cruze since we knew the history and I had done super maintenance on it, so I didn't trade it in on the new vehicle. She began complaining about a smell but couldn't say WHAT it smelled like. We took it into a Tires Plus location and they changed the oil. The smell didn't go away. She went back the next week and they said the top gasket was leaking. It was replaced ($250) but the smell was still there. SO we made an appointment and took it to a Chevrolet dealer. They said that the Oil Cooler HAD FAILED. This caused it to force oil throughout the engine and mix with the antifreeze. Every seal and every hose was ruined. Also the turbo was clogged. They said best estimate was $4,700 but worst estimate was $6,400 if they tore the engine apart OR $6,800 for a whole new engine. The car is only worth about $5,500 in trade. I am so pissed right now I can't see straight. The computer in the car NEVER indicated a problem. The Oil light didn't even come on. Up until recently all the maintenance had been done by a dealership. All recall notices were done by the dealership. I'm ready to choke someone because we had to go buy my daughter another car so she could get to work!!!

- Julia D., Marietta, US

problem #5

May 162016

Cruze 1.4t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I purchased this car in 2011 with 30,000 miles. It now has 85,000 miles. It has been through 3 water pumps, a thermostat, the transmission isn't shifting properly, in park it rolls, & my mechanic said get rid of it asap the engine is starting to knock. Oh & the oil gasket is leaking....plus there is another issue with my cooling that we had to have cooling hoses replaced due to it not cooling right.

- Jess W., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #4

Nov 172014

Cruze LT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I again have been complaining of a burning smell like oil burning on the engine upon stopping and I was told while my car was under warranty that nothing was wrong. But with my car not being under warranty all of a sudden I have an oil leak. Oil is leaking!!!!!!! I have been going to only the dealer, against my ever even trusting a dealer, because I was referred and told that they don't take advantage of you. Mike Anderson Chevy is full of BULL!!! These are the same issues that I complained about when the car was warranted and now that it is not I am going to have to come out of my pocket for $1100. I don't have that kind of money!!!!.

I will never let the dealer maintain my vehicle ever again!!!!!!!!!!!! They are not building loyalty!!! I won't buy from them either because there are many Chevy dealers that I can go to.

- vbates, Portage, IN, US

problem #3

Jun 042012

Cruze LX 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,496 miles


my new cruze is driving me mad. it has done only 2408 km and developed problems in the transmission and leaking oil from the crank head seal. Also the brakes have a mind of their own, and there is a squeak and rattle from the interior plastic which is awful and made from very cheap materials. The dealer is very bad and they do everything to get away from the problem not to solve it. I will sell it, it is a pain and big mistake buying it. My last ever gm purchase for sure

- emad1992, Alexandria, Bahary, Egypt

problem #2

Apr 022012

Cruze 1.4L Turbo

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,500 miles

At 21,5K miles the crank seal failed. The oil that leaked caused the serpentine belt to come off. All this at 70+MPH on the freeway. Little to no oil and no water being pumped due to the loss of the belt. Needless to say the engine got extremely hot- to the point it was popping and snapping when I got off the road and shut it off. Dealer did repairs under warranty without telling me what had happened. I asked GM to address the fact that the engine had reached very high temperature. GM service responded "if the engine runs then there was no damage". Dealer has done little to back me up. Most likely my last GM purchase.

- steve4836, Millington, MI, US

problem #1

Oct 112011

Cruze ECO 1.4L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 500 miles

At not even 500 miles on the car I noticed a few dark brown spots on my driveway at home. I rolled the car back and noticed that more spots were dripping from the car. I crawled under the car the best that I could and noticed that it was collecting right around the transmission and dripping down. I called the dealership and they told me to drive it over. I got there and it was dripping oil constantly on their polished floors in the service bay. They issued me a rental and proceeded to work on it. It took nine days to fix because the mechanics had trouble removing the surrounding parts to gain access to this seal. They ended up bending the replacement seal and having to order a new one. The oil came from the rear main crankcase seal - installed backwards during the installation process in the manufacturing plant. The oil soaked the clutch and made the mechanics suggest replacement. Who seriously delivers a car in the 21st century that forms an oil leak at less than 500 miles.

- Justin R., Chesapeake, VA, US

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