2012 Chevy Cruze Maintenance Issues

  • Last Updated:
  • May 10th, 2019 3:59 am
Feb 25, 2017
18 posts
1 upvote

2012 Chevy Cruze Maintenance Issues

Hello everyone,

I bought a 2012 chevy cruze lt almost 2 years ago (june 2017) and I have had to do a lot of repairs on it. When I bought it there was a coolant leak I believe and we factored that into the sale price and I would just take care of it later. A few months after the purchase my car started to run really loudly after the car was on for a while. I took it to a mechanic and he told me the thermostat was leaking coolant and needed to be replaced. I paid $120 to fix that. 6 months after that I noticed that my coolant level was getting quite low again so I took it to the mechanic. He said it was the hose coming out of the reservoir tank that was leaking. I paid $130 to have that replaced. At the end of december of last year I noticed that my coolant level was getting quite low again. This time it was the water pump that was leaking. I paid $270 to have that replaced. Then march of this year I noticed that once again the coolant level was getting low. I had another mechanic inspect everything for me and they said that it was water pump. I took it back to the original mechanic and he replaced the part for free because it was in warranty but I paid $100 for labour. Just 2 weeks ago the check engine light came on and the car was rough idling especially at stop lights. I took it in to the mechanics (another one this time) and was told it was the valve cover/gasket. I paid $226 to have that replaced. Just last week the check engine light came on and I took it in just to make sure that they did everything right. The rough idling was gone but they told me that the intake manifold needed to be replaced and if it wasn't then the valve cover may get screwed up again and it would not be covered under warranty. The price they gave me for swapping that out was $580. I am probably going in today to get that fixed.

I guess I am getting fed up with this car and how many problems it has. I just wanted to know if this sounds about right for a used car or if it it seems like I am incurring too many problems? I have also read a lot about 2012 chevy cruzes online and it seems like there is a lot of issues that come up with it. Before I was quite inclined to sell it because I have a bad back and no matter how many cushions I tried the drivers seat was still uncomfortable. However, recently I have found a cushion that is working so now I am looking at the maintenance issues as the only reason for getting rid of the car. I was considering fixing this issue and selling it and buying a more reliable car like corolla or civic as I feel like there may be even bigger repair costs to come with my current vehicle. Also, I live around the Mississauga area and any prices I mentioned included the part and labour. Any input would be appreciated.

Edit: the cruze had 83k km when I bought it and now it has 101k km on it. It also is a 1.4L turbo
Last edited by Juggernaut92 on May 8th, 2019 11:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
16 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
11125 posts
Toronto, Ontario
It does seem like you are having a lot of issues in a short period of time. I'm not sure your budget but with all these problems I would likely fix it and sell it. Maybe iff possible buy something new or maybe 1 or 2 years old that still has factory warranty so you can bring it to the dealer to repair.

Another factor maybe going to your mechanics they may be using the cheapest part they can get which is why the water pump failed so early. Also dont be fooled recent Honda/Toyotas are not as reliable as they once were. Yes they are still ok but no way as good as they were years ago which is why I suggest get a car with factory warranty (not warranty from a used car sales man)
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
14433 posts
The valve cover/pvc (one unit) is a known issue for all 2010+ 1.4T engines. Mainifold valve is probably toast as well, its made of the same material as the pvc. Same thing happened to my 2012 sonic. New part addresses (I think) the issue as it's redesign. GM fixed mine.

Start reading.

Also, don't know how many kms are on your car, so can't comment any further. But overall, fantastic cars and pretty reliable.
DYI difficulty scale:
10-no joke

Feb 25, 2017
18 posts
1 upvote
@sickcars: thanks for your input. I wasn't aware that recent Toyota's and Honda's are not as reliable as they once were. I could ask about what parts they are using going forward. Getting a vehicle with a factory warranty seems smart. I wanted to know if factory warranties easily transfer over to other owners?

@koffey: okay that makes sense. My bad when I bought the car it had 83k km on it. Right now it has 101k km on it.
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2010
2860 posts
Which engine do you have? The 1.8L NA had different issues than the 1.4L Turbo, but most of what you've described happens to both. Neither was particularily reliable, but at least they're fairly simple engines and don't have any annoying or troublesome/hard to troubleshoot problems.
Sr. Member
Dec 10, 2007
621 posts
For what it's worth, you're fortunate to have this happened with a Chevy and not a BMW.
To put in perspective, even when done by an independent mechanic, the water pump and valve cover gasket jobs alone would have cost you at least $2,000 on the BMW.
Remember when you liked what you currently have
Temp. Banned
Jun 18, 2008
5095 posts
You bought a used car OP, that car was dumped because the previous owner anticipated or already knew about these issues. Buying another used car will still be a lottery and you can end up with other issues. Dump it and buy yourself a brand new manual Spark LS or a base Micra for $11k plus tax and enjoy 5-6 years of problem free driving.
Sr. Member
Mar 13, 2005
703 posts
Cruze's with the 1.4's have an extended warranty for the water pumps: 240,000kms or 10 years.

When they replace the water pump the thermostat gasket is replaced as well. Hit up the Cruzetalk forums as the coolant and valve cover gasket problems are covered like crazy.
I have a '12 ECO (which I LOVE) and have had a few water pumps changed out under warranty (almost every 30k like clockwork), but other than that it's been rock solid for 140k (if I can call covered water pumps rock solid?).
I knew about the issue when I bought it used and take it to the dealer on the first sign of a coolant leak.

Here's a link
to a bit of the info about the water pump extended coverage, although that's not from an official GM site.
Feb 25, 2017
18 posts
1 upvote
@Viperoni: It is a 1.4L turbo. That is good to know about the engine.

@ellesdad: yes I was smart enough to avoid german cars because even if I had money to pay for it doesn't mean I have the money to pay for the repairs.

@ottofly: hmm is it the spark that has no AC? i would probably pass on that but I do see the benefit of getting a new car

@MikeyP: Really? I actually did not know that at all. I heard after 100,000 km there is no support. I will call up my local chevy dealership then. Yes I was considering posting on their forums but posted here first because there is more input from people in canada. LOL that is hilarious. It seems like you are making good use of the extended warranty. Do you just call up the dealership saying you have a coolant leak and they take it in to repair it? Is it any chevy dealerships or there are specific ones that do the repairs?
Thanks for the link.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35212 posts
Center of Universe
Hey OP, not that it helps your situation, but to give you another perspective, as I had more major issues than you had with a used Cruze on a 2016 Ford Explorer that I bought brand new.
Fortunately, everything was covered under warranty, but I'm already looking to get rid of it right before the 5yr powertrain warranty.
At under 60K km and just over the 3yr mark since taking delivery, the tranny, transfer case, front axles, electronic throttle body, cooled/heated seat motors had to be replaced.
User avatar
Oct 2, 2018
388 posts
What is dis-heartening is that for the one item you have had to go back multiple times to have it addressed to no avail. For a 2012 model i would think most mechanics would have a good grasp of vehicle/engine known problems and be in position to get it corrected, doesn't mean it won't happen again due to a known issue but it should have been dealt with long before now.

Tough to say if changing vehicles is a good idea seeing we don't have any idea of your vehicle like anticipated millage or typical driving habits city or highway. Personally have never been a fan of those very small displacement engines with turbo's however many manufacturers seem to have transferred over to them.

When researching models it is always a good idea to research known issues before taking the plunge and purchasing. One of my current vehicles is a Hyundai Tucson AWD and i wanted to purchase another only to find it now had a 1.6l turbo with dual cluth tranny, doing a google found out the tranny is giving huge problems and software either does solve or doesn't depending on reports, ultimately decided to look for something without a huge issue going in.

Good luck on your repair, sounds like you have a different mechanic for each occurrence i prefer to stick to one knowledgeable mechanic to help limit things down. Tough to do at dealerships, but out of warrant tee i usually use another guy i have used for years.
Sr. Member
Mar 13, 2005
703 posts
Just ask your dealer to run your VIN to see the extended coverage for the waterpump. The GM powertrain was 5yrs/160k for a 2012, which my first water pump was covered under last summer. I did replace a leaky water outlet myself. Easy fix when that leaked and got the part off amazon. Cruzetalk forums are definitely your friend. :)
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 25, 2018
784 posts
Milton, ON
Get rid of the car if it's getting to the point of "what's going to break next?" Not worth the stress and constant worry imo.
Sr. Member
Oct 12, 2014
809 posts
London, ON
I have a 2012 Chevy Cruze, I've had many of the problems you have as well. I have family who fortunately do the work for me, as the parts are generally pretty cheap. The issues you're having are well known issues with our car... the coolant system sucks, GM didn't build this car very well. I believe this is the second year of the first gen as well. Truth be told, I wish I bought a Toyota or Honda as well. But most of these issues are minor fixes if you're good with your hands. Check out the cruzetalk web forum, cruzetalk facebook group for more help/info. I bought my car brand new, currently at 225, 000 km. If you're annoyed with your Cruze, sell it for a Toyota or Honda. If I had to fix these problems myself I'd sell mine asap as well.
Public Mobile
$38 month
5GB Data
Unlimited international texting
Unlimited Canada-wide minutes
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2013
680 posts
Oshawa, Ontario
My 2011 Cruze has 93000 km, and I've not done anything beyond normal maintenace on it.
Feb 25, 2017
18 posts
1 upvote
@vkizzle: That is a lot of things. I will definitely avoid those in the future.

@Ballroomblitz1: not working at the moment so my driving habits are not too crazy but once I start working I will be putting in a lot of KM. Yes that is a smart idea. It was dumb but i actually used a quote calculator and bought a car based on that. However, next time I will definitely do my research. I had a little disagreement with my previous mechanic but the one I am with now is good and that is where im going for all my repairs.

@mikeyp: Alright I will do that. Also, i will join cruzetalk as well

@mrbanks321: that is a lot of mileage on it. Yes I will wait it out another year and see what happens

Thanks everyone for the help. I think I am going to wait till my school is over in about a year and when I have a job and then sell it. I may go for a corolla that is 1 year old with a factory warranty at that point.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 24, 2012
5669 posts
All fairly common Cruze issues. They’re fairly reliable IMO. It sucks to have that many issues in a short span. I had a similar issue with my Chevy when I hit 160k km. After that hiccup, it’s been 60k km of zero issues. Sometimes shit just happens.