2011 Chevy Cruze Most Likely To Need A Head Gasket Replacement27
Nonprofit consumer organization Consumer Reports recently released a list of older vehicles identified as most likely to need a head gasket replacement. Among the list of vehicles was the 2011 Chevy Cruze.
According to Consumer Reports, the 2011 Chevy Cruze typically requires a head gasket replacement around 107,000 to 143,000 miles. The organization did not specify between the turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine or 1.8L four-cylinder engine.
The Consumer Reports list is based on an analysis of data collected in the organization’s Annual Auto Surveys, identifying which models were most prone to expensive repairs.
“Head gasket issues are among the problem areas that stood out, because they are legendary for the potential damage and cost,” Consumer Reports states with regard to its data analysis.
The list identifies those models produced in the past decade that had the most severe problems, as determined by frequency and cost. The 2011 Chevy Cruze was at the very top, identified as the model with the greatest problem rate for Consumer Reports members.
Other General Motors vehicles on the list include the 2011 Buick Lucerne and 2015 Buick Encore.
As Consumer Reports points out, a failed head gasket can lead to a litany of issues, including coolant or oil leaks. Repairs can cost thousands of dollars.
According to a Consumer Reports review, the 2011 Chevy Cruze showed poor reliability and owner satisfaction, scoring just 1 out of 5 in both categories. What’s more, the organization’s research showed a “Worse” rating for Engine Reliability (Major), Engine Reliability (Minor), Engine Cooling, Transmission (Major), Transmission (Minor), and Fuel System, while the Drive System was rated as offering average reliability.
In related news, Consumer Reports recently identified the 2006 Buick Lucerne as likely to need an engine rebuild at some point in its lifetime. The organization said that research revealed the Lucerne’s engine could experience major trouble between 116,000 and 143,000 miles.
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Another non scientific finding by Consumer Reports.
Ever notice they never publish hard data of the number of reported issues vs number of cars surveyed? They just like to do 1-5 ratings. This is because they are not consistent in their reviews as they are reliant on just those who from their own customer base to reply.
I imagine Cruze owners are not a large number of subscribers. In fact in today’s decline of magazines I expect CR no longer has as large of readership base anymore. On line magazines are struggling too.
CR is also now offering buying services, raffles, pass-through links to merchants, and contests. All are indicators- at least to me – that their allwged impartiality is long gone.
I drive a 2011 Cruze and have never had any major issues. It’s a great car to drive and own. My parents also had a 2011 Cruze between 2011 and 2019. They liked it a lot and never had any problems with it. But GM under Mary Barra managed to piss off my dad so much that he bought a Camry instead. Now he says that he’ll never go back to lowercase gm. My next car will probably be a Mazda 3, Corolla or Civic. I’ve always owned Ford or GM compact cars but since I can’t buy them anymore gm will lose another customer.
The 1.8l is the more reliable engine has less headgasket issues than the turbo 1.4thats pile of junk
Big deal. Any shade tree mechanic can change a head gasket.
The Cruze is a great car. Mary blunder Barra screwed up again by axing the Cruze.
It’s time to axe Mary Barra.
Actually the Cruze is still in production in S/A and Asia. Seems GM/Ford focus is cars outside America and trucks inside America.
It’s really a shame that GM has these types of issues, as they have a very long track record of building vehicles and “know how to build decent cars”. It all comes down to the bean counters trying to cut costs. For a difference of $100, I would rather have a good reliable car than a P.O.S..
My daughter’s Cruze overheated twice. Head gasket still good at 130k miles.
On the good twice baked:
That’s proof in the pudding right there that what Scott 3 and Grizzly alluded to is true. Consumer Reports is flawed.
CR = I don’t care.
How’s this? You have a vehicle, it will have issues at some point. Period. And for those who are under the allusion that Toyota, Honda, Mazda, etc, etc, are better than the rest? Better take a closer look. The real list of issues on those brands is long. Bottom line is that if you drive a vehicle, it will have issues at some point and cost you money. The luckier ones are the people who can go further before having those issues WITHOUT spending a ton on required upkeep.
Spending more for foreign cars?It will teach you to look after them!
I Have the 2013 1.4 turbo with 187,874 miles on it an is consuming coolant a sign that need a gasket replacement.
It could also be a bad radiator cap. Try changing your engine coolant when you’re supposed to. It doesn’t last forever. Don’t assume, LEARN!
ACZ I did my duties fixing minor leaks an replacing the coolant tank. I work in a dealership an I have seen all kind of brands, with the same problem with far less mileage than my Cruze, my point is that the GM engine is 10 times better. Remember my car has more than 187,000 miles on it.
People at CR couldn’t find their arse with both hands. All they do is look at complaints lodged, whether or not they are valid doesn’t concern them. The fact is that when people take care and properly maintain their vehicles, they last longer and have less trouble. The people that don’t take care of them are the ones that complain when something goes wrong. Period.
When something happens they just whine and say “It’s not my fault”, just like they did when they were kids, but now their parents aren’t around to bail their stupid arses out. They cause their own problems.
Sure, but some cars require a lot more “care” than others. It’s one thing to perform the specified maintenance items in a timely manner and quite another to be fixing poorly designed components that break before they should. This car has documented issues with the PCV system (google it if you don’t believe me) and coolant leaks from the cheaply designed PLASTIC cooling components. That’s not really part of what should be considered standard maintenance
We own and enjoy our 2011 1.4L Cruze and 2015 1.4L Cruze. Our son leased a 2014 Cruze 1.8L for three years. This German engineered platform gives exceptional handling, economy, quiet interior, and spirited performance. 2011 has only 84000 miles but GM updated our 2011 cooling system. Ours are problem free performers and a fun ride. GM hit a home run with this little sports-like sedan! Stupid GM. Nasty Consumer Reports! In 2012 and 2013 they rated the cruze best overall compact car. Cars take a little maintenance afterall.
I will never buy another chevy. My daughte has a 2011, and just had to replace timing chain, and camshaft for about 700 dollars.I have a 2015 silverado z71 with active fuel management. A lifter stuck, and i had the mechanic work on it, he couldnt fix the issue, so i bought another engine with 56,000 to replace it. I drove it for 3 months, and had the same issue. I had the transmission rebuilt. It still slams hard going into gear. All the labor has cost me a little over 11,000 dollars. I cant wait to trade it in.
Maintenance a timely duty?
You’re an idiot. Take the vehicle to someone who knows what they’re doing. Not you’re shade tree guy.
Who is returning votes given to 0?
I had a 2011 Chevy Cruze. The valve cover went twice. Once under warranty then the second time out of warranty 3 years later. Symptoms for that was misfiring and engine cutting off. The dealer charged me $600 to fix it. (Mostly labor) also had problems with coolant hoses. The transmission cooling line kept leaking and it eventually killed my transmission. To replace the transmission and the cooling line cost me $5k. (I went with a new transmission instead of a used one) later on I had the coolant hose burst and paid 90 dollars to fix that. I gave the vehicle to my nephew last year and 3 months in the valve cover went a 3rd time. His uncle replaced it and it didn’t cost much this time. ($52 for the part and it only took 30 minutes to install). I did like the Cruze because it handled well, and away from the mechanical maladies over the years, I noticed that ti could’ve been low cost to own in the 9 years of ownership for example I only replaced the brake pads twice, didn’t need to do a tune up and went over 10k miles before needing an oil change and it was fuel efficient. But every year I had minor and major problems with it where most of them were covered under warranty and extended warranty. Once out of warranty it just didn’t make sense to keep pouring money into it.
So when I got to the point where I can buy a newer Cruze GM went on and killed it off. It’s sad because the 2nd Gen Cruze I was told was far more reliable than the first gen Cruze. Long story shore I ended up getting my second choice which is a Honda Civic (first choice was the VW Jetta but the dealerships were playing games) and from now on foreign is the only choice because domestics no longer make compacts cars which are within my budget always.
Sounds like your car was a victim of the PCV system flaw that is endemic on these cars. I figured out the issue before serious damage occurred because I was a member of various forums and was able to perform a fix that seems to have remedied the primary problem. With that said, none of that should be necessary.
To add more, the first year of ownership
The whole water pump was faulty and was replaced under warranty. That being said, I still see a lot of first generation Chevy Cruze on the streets and they look in great shape. I think consumer reports exaggerates. But I did have a lot of problems with mine.
This 1.4T in this particular vehicle has a design flaw with the PCV system. Instead of having a user serviceable PCV valve that can be easily replaced, GM designed their system to be part of the intake manifold. The PCV valve, really a rubber stopper, eventually degrades and gets sucked into the engine causing increased engine pressures. This will eventually cause a diaphragm in the engine cover to fail and that will trigger all sorts of CE lights and cause the engine to run badly since it is now sucking in unmetered air. In the meantime, this increased pressure causes the engine to leak oil out of the oil pan gasket, the front main seal, and potentially even cause the head gasket issue.
GM hasn’t fixed this issue, if the failure occurs within the now shortened warranty period, they will simply replace the intake manifold, leaving another 50000 miles or so before the part begins to fail again. The fix, found on sites like Cruzetalk and sonicownersforum, is to plug the pcv valve hole and route the combustion gases through an external valve and back into the intake chamber. It isn’t terribly difficult for someone with moderate mechanical ability and should be doable by any certified mechanic, but knowing about it requires either being a regular member of one of the above sites or knowing what to look for and find when the issue arises. What I suspect will happen in most cases, is that a driver is first alerted to the issue when the diaphragm in the valve cover bursts. Their mechanic will then simply replace the valve cover, leaving the underlying cause untreated. This will cause all sorts of damage to the gaskets and make the oil leaks worse.
Because of that, and the somewhat common coolant leaks, and issues with the sway bar end links, I couldn’t in good conscience recommend vehicles with this engine over it’s asian competition. It’s a shame because aside from those issues, this is a great engine and the Cruze and Sonic are both great driving vehicles.
By the way, did I mention that GM hasn’t done anything to fix this issue (besides shortening the powertrain warranty)? that isn’t entirely true. GM did repackage the intake manifold to no longer include the fuel injectors, thus bringing down THEIR replacement costs. The flawed pcv system remains, otherwise.
I bought a new 2011 cruze in 2012 for some crazy low price (13k? maybe, can’t remember). Stick shift. 1.8L. Full lifetime oil changes from the dealer. Only ever changed the PCV, the brakes once and the tires. The car was bullet proof all the way to 249k miles and just blew the head gasket last week. The best car I’ve ever owned! The Grey Goose! I’m going to re-gasket it and see if we can’t get to 350k. Still looks new too. Great car and always loved the look. Loved the original design.