Common Chevrolet Cruze Faults. Do They Cost too Much?

The compact sedan is the most crowded segment. Dozens of cars compete in this segment to come out on top of each other. If a car has even the slightest hint of being problematic then buyers avoid buying it.

Chevrolet Cruze has seen ups and downs in its reliability over time. With every new model coming in, this car has improved. But due to the severity of issues with it, Chevrolet has discontinued the production of Cruze.

In this article, we’ll cover all the common problems with Chevrolet Cruze.

32% of all issues reported with Chevrolet Cruze were related to the engine. But the most problematic engine issues included those relating to the PCV diaphragm & valves, valve cover, and a piston.

1. Faulty PCV Diaphragm:

PCV valves and diaphragms are responsible for the exhaust of crankcase gases. These crankcase gases are then transported through series of hoses to the combustion chamber. Here, these gases are combined with incoming air.

If the PCV valve or diaphragm is faulty then the composition of intake air is compromised. This issue isn’t that bad usually but if it progresses then it can take down the entire engine. With Chevrolet Cruze, this was the case.

Cost of fixing: $35 to $75

How to fix it yourself:

  1. Locate PCV valve.
  2. Unplug hoses attached to it.
  3. Remove the old valve.
  4. Reconnect the new valve with hoses.
  5. Start the engine and check for any leakage.

2. Valve Cover Defects:

The valve cover of Chevrolet Cruze is reported to leak oil. Not only that, this issue can be worsened further by leakage of air. This might lead to incomplete combustion, sluggish acceleration, and low performance of your car.

Cost of fixing: $200 to $250

How to fix it yourself:

  1. Disconnect battery and electrical connectors by the oil fill cap.
  2. Remove mounting bolts and pull out the PCV valve as well.
  3. Remove sensors and unclip the valve cover.
  4. Open all the Torx bolts around the valve cover.
  5. Remove the old valve cover.
  6. Place new valve cover and install new gas kit upon it.
  7. Reverse the above steps for reassembly.

Also read: Are Chevrolets Good Cars? 17 Things You Should Know

Transmission Problems

After engine transmission was the worst-performing system in Chevrolet Cruze. 25% of all issues reported were related to transmission. Oil leakage was a common issue among all systems and in addition to that, transmission failure was reported in abundance.

1. Oil Leakage:

Due to loose gaskets and bolts, there were numerous reports about oil leakage from the transmission of Chevrolet Cruze. It was quite a headache for users since it was difficult to check where the actual leakage was.

Cost of fixing:$20 to $30

How to fix it yourself:

  1. Get the car washed thoroughly.
  2. Check for the exact area of leakage.
  3. Inspect for any leakage in gaskets or look for loose bolts.
  4. Replace the defective gasket or tighten the loose bolts.

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2. Faulty Gear Shift:

Due to continuous leakage of fluid from the transmission, the system had to run dry. Due to this, you would notice considerable difficulty while shifting the gear. The gears become hard and change with some resistance. Or in some cases, they don’t change at all and cause permanent damage to the transmission.

Cost of fixing: $500 to $1,500

How to fix it yourself:

  1. If gears are shifting hard due to low fluid levels then refill the fluids.
  2. Other than that, transmission repairs are difficult procedures. You might do more damage than good by attempting to fix it.
  3. Visit a skilled professional for transmission repairs or replacement.

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Cooling System Defects

HVAC and cooling were not among the best systems of Chevrolet Cruze. Several leakages and smell issues were brought to attention by the users.

1. Leakage and Failure in Water Pump:

Fluids from the engine would leak into the water pump and contaminate it. In older models of Chevrolet Cruze complete failure of the water pump is also very common. The associated parts of the cooling system also posed problems. This resulted in the overheating of the engine.

Cost of fixing: $400 to $600

How to fix it yourself:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and remove the air filter housing.
  2. Remove the front passenger side wheel.
  3. Drain the cooling system, and remove the accessories.
  4. Remove the bolts and thermostat.
  5. Disconnect the heater hose from the water pump.
  6. Remove the water pump and gasket from the timing chain cover.
  7. Reassembly is exactly the opposite of tear-down.
  8. Apply the new gasket to the timing cover and then install the bolts.

2. Antifreeze Smell:

Not sure whether it qualifies as a problem or not but it was quite a messy issue. Every time you sit in the cabin, you’ll get the stringent smell of anti-freeze up your nose. The smell wasn’t the only issue, the actual problem was tracing the leak and fixing it.

Cost of fixing: $50 to $200

How to fix it yourself:

  1. Use exactly the same procedure you used to fix the oil leakage problem.
  2. But this time look for a green fluid rather than dark-colored engine oil.

Electrical System Issues

Chevrolet Cruze had a ton of electrical malfunctioning issues. Wrong warning lights on the dashboard, fires due to loose cables and terminals, sensor error, and computer problems are few to name.

1. Loose cables and Terminals:

Loose cable and battery terminals aren’t big issues themselves but they can cause huge damage if left unchecked. No one bothers to check battery terminals and wiring defects in a new car. That’s why it became a serious issue with the Chevrolet Cruze leading to major recalls.

Cost of fixing: $10 to $20

How to fix it yourself:

  1. Remove the negative cable of the battery.
  2. Check for any loose wire in the wiring.
  3. Reconnect that wire more firmly.
  4. Reconnect the battery wires and firmly tighten the terminals.

2. Sensor and Computer Problems:

The dashboard of Chevrolet Cruze showed wrong warning signs. The sensors in the electronic system malfunctioned frequently. Due to the faulty sensors, the operation of major systems like exhaust and cooling was compromised.

Cost of fixing: $50 to $1,500

How to fix it yourself:

  1. This is a broad issue and needs to be dealt with extreme care.
  2. One wrong step can paralyze your entire car.
  3. Hence, it is advised to check with a car care professional to fix computer-related and sensor malfunctioning issues.

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Which Chevrolet Cruze Engine is the Best?

Due to a reliable engine, the 2019 model of Chevrolet Cruze is the best version available in the market. The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze comes with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of churning out a healthy 153 hp. A similar engine is available in the diesel version as well. However, this 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine comes fitted with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

If you’re looking to avoid the common problems with Chevrolet Cruze then the 2019 model comes highly recommended. It has the lowest number of problems reported. The engine of this model offers brisk acceleration, smooth ride, and versatility in powertrain & transmission. The diesel engine tends to make a lot of noise in the city area, but it has a relatively quieter operation on the highway.

Among the trims of the Chevrolet Cruze available in the 2019 model, LT is my top pick. Because in addition to the substantial engine this car offers, it is also laced with a compelling set of features. These features include cruise control, aluminum wheels, a six-speaker stereo with SiriusXM satellite radio, keyless entry, push-button and remote start, heated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Does Chevrolet Cruze Last Long?

Like other Chevrolet cars, Chevrolet Cruze is expected to last for 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Even with all the problems it has, users have reported driving this car 15,000 miles per year on average. With this driving average Chevrolet Cruze lasted for about 10 years.

Newer models of Chevrolet Cruze have rectified old problems. Hence, they are expected to last even longer. There are reports of Chevrolet Cruze crossing the 200,000 miles mark and even the 250,000 miles mark, with proper care and maintenance.

What are the Best Alternatives for Chevrolet Cruze?

Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra are the best alternatives for Chevrolet Cruze. These cars offer the same comfort and compelling features, in addition to being reliable.

Honda Civic: Honda Civic is the key competitor to the Chevrolet Cruze. Honda Civic offers superb riding experience and handling on all models. It offers a roomy and comfortable interior as well. The fuel mileage of the Honda Civic is also impressive, considering the size of its engine.

Toyota Corolla: Toyota Corolla can be an excellent alternative if you’re looking to replace your Chevrolet Cruze. Corolla has been a premium Toyota car for years. It has a powerful engine with a 1.8-liter displacement and is capable of producing 132 hp. It comes jam-packed with all the standard features and latest safety tech.

Hyundai Elantra: Hyundai Elantra is an option to consider before buying a Chevrolet Cruze. Elantra has a very bold and dynamic outlook similar to the Chevrolet Cruze. It comes with a modern and spacious interior. Hyundai Elantra is capable of outperforming any car of the same segment.

Is Chevrolet Cruze a Reliable Car Overall?

It depends upon the model of Chevrolet Cruze under consideration. 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is a fairly reliable car. In a survey done by J.D power, Chevrolet Cruze scored 4.5 out of 5 for reliability. This is a great improvement as compared to the performance of previous versions. The newer models have eliminated the existing problems to a great extent.

Chevrolet has offered an extended warranty on this car. The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze comes with a three-year or 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. This is a testament to the upgraded reliability of this car.

The first generation of Chevrolet Cruze was rated worst for reliability. This car was ranked at 85 number by the reliability index.

The last piece of advice is that avoid buying models of Chevrolet Cruze between 2011 and 2015. You can choose any other car from the alternatives. However, if you’re leaning towards buying a Chevrolet Cruze then look for a more recent model. It should last 10 to 12 years before demanding major maintenance.