Print this page Notes: In many ways, the 2012 Cruze continues the legacy of its predecessor. It's a legacy of sluggish transmissions and coolant leaks, but it's still a legacy.

To be fair, the number of complaints about the cooling system are way down versus the 2011 model which led to a class-action lawsuit.

On the flip-side, there's more concerns about brake problems.

However, there were far more Cruze vehicles sold for the 2012 model year so we'll give it our "Beware of this Clunker" badge rather than the "Avoid Like the Plague."


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,800 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace valve cover (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
  3. replace cam shaft cover (1 reports)
2012 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 242020

Cruze LT 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


A couple weeks after buying the car it starts running weird and check engine light comes on. Well none of the auto parts stores would check because covid. So I bought a code reader and the codes it was given pointed to just replacing the valve cover. Bought the parts and tools in the store and fixed it in the parking lot. Took about 30 minutes.

- Brett B., Mount Sterling, OH, US

problem #3

Apr 022017

Cruze LT 1.4L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,117 miles

Mere months after having an issue with this car losing power, it started idling really rough. At red lights, the RPMs would drop below 500 and in order to not stall, I had to put the car in park and rev it for the duration of the red light.

Thankfully covered under my extended warranty.

This car has had 2 strikes in the 9 months I've owned it. One more and it's out!

- Jennifer G., Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #2

Aug 222016

Cruze ECO

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I was having problems with my car starting and had to be jump started every time I left the house. So I replaced the battery and the car seemed to be doing fine until this week. I was driving home from work and the service power steering illuminated and a few seconds after that the car shut off. I pulled over and put in park and the car started up again and then drove couple miles down the road and the service airbag illuminated and the car stalled again.

I took the car to Advance Auto who checked alternator, starter and battery and all were fine. GM wants to charge $150.00 for a diagnostic test to determine the problem but what I have read online, nobody can find the problem. I read online that maybe it was the negative cable terminal but GM said why keep spending money trying to fix the problem and just come here. I have read several complaints of the same issue and GM SHOULD OFFER A RECALL ON THIS PROBLEM AND FIX IT FOR FREE.

- Denise Y., Lignum, VA, US

problem #1

Oct 142015

Cruze LS 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Car began stalling and kept showing a running lean code. Engine started idling up and down, and traction control lights started coming on, and off occasionally. What used to be a simple fix, Chevrolet made it a more profitable problem. A simple pcv valve( not called that anymore), has now been built into the valve cover. SO the entire cover has to be replaced now, instead of a $10 fix. Just for other cruze owners, order a replacement online to save money. I found one under $100 with free shipping. Dealer cost around 160, and they still have to order it. Fairly easy fix, but do not overtighten. Back up and running great again. Unplug neg battery cable before changing. This will also reset the computer. May run rough at start up, but will smooth out. Drive for about 15 minutes, turn off, and crank right back up. All lights should be off by now. Hope this helps.

- Lee S., La Fayette, GA, US

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