Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating

By | May 14, 2023

Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating
The Chevy Cruze is a great car, but like all vehicle’s there are certain specific problems that can plague some models.

One such problem for the Chevy Cruze is the coolant system which is notorious for having issues.

From overheating to not heating at all, the coolant system causes problems for many owners.

The first thing to do with any vehicle that is overheating is to check that it has a coolant and there are no leaks.
Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating Reservoir
The coolant is checked and added at the reservoir located on the passenger side up against the firewall.

The car may just need some coolant added, but usually, if it is low, there is a problem somewhere.

Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating

  • Thermostat
  • Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating Thermostat
    The thermostat is what controls the amount of coolant flowing in the system and regulates the temperature.

    When the car is cold, the thermostat stays closed, allowing the vehicle to warm up quickly.

    As the car heats up, the thermostat opens, and coolant flows into the system.

    If the thermostat does not open properly, the vehicle will overheat.

    If the thermostat gets stuck open, it will not let the car heat up quickly and can be an issue in very cold weather.

    When it is very cold, a good thermostat will stay closed or partially closed to help the engine warm-up.

    The opposite can also happen in freezing weather when the thermostat is stuck open.

    If it becomes stuck open and the weather is freezing, the heater inside the Cruze will not work.

    It is a common complaint to mechanics in some climates about the Chevy Cruze that there is no heat when it gets cold outside.

    Often when the thermostat goes bad, it will leak, but in some cases, there is no leak.

    Read Here for more about the Chevy Cruze thermostat troubleshooting.

  • Water Pump
  • Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating Water Pump
    The water pump is what circulates the coolant through the cooling system and will cause overheating if it goes bad.

    The pump works from the same belt that powers the alternator, so be sure the belt is good, or the same symptoms will appear as a bad pump.

    The water pump usually leaks when it malfunctions, causing a coolant smell often described as a sweet smell.

    Read Here for more about the Chevy Cruze water pump troubleshooting.

  • Radiator
  • Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating Radiator
    The radiator is what cools the coolant as it flows through it.

    The hot fluid goes into the radiator and as air passes outside through the fins, the coolant cools down.

    Often the radiator is just low on coolant, which can be added, but it may also have a leak.

    A small leak or a bad radiator cap can allow coolant to slowly evaporate as the engine heats up.

    A big leak will be very obvious as coolant will drip or pour out; small leaks can be harder to find.

  • Cooling Fan
  • Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating Cooling Fan
    The cooling fan passes air through the radiator when the vehicle is stopped or going less than 20-30 MPH.

    If the car is overheating while stationary and not moving but does not overheat while driving on a freeway over 20-30 MPH, the fan has likely failed.

    A loud fan is a common complaint when it goes bad, but the fan can also fail and make no noise.

  • Coolant Hoses
  • Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating Hoses
    There are several hoses that can cause issues as they become old that can start to crack and leak.

    This includes the big hoses going to the radiator and also a small third hose on the water pump and the reservoir hoses.

    The heater coil inside the car will also have hoses going to it.

    Following the hoses around looking for aged ones that are leaking is the quickest way to troubleshoot a problem.

    For small leaks that can’t be found, mechanics will often use a smoke machine to input smoke that comes out of the leak.

    Also, a pressure test can be done with the right machine.

  • Coolant Temperature Sensor
  • Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating Coolant Temperature Sensor
    The coolant temperature sensor sends the onboard computer (ECM) and dashboard gauges the engine temperature.

    If the sensor goes bad the car will get bad data and may display it is overheating when it is not.

    While rare for this to happen it is something to keep in mind.

    Read Here for more about the Chevy Cruze Coolant Temperature Sensor troubleshooting.

The Chevrolet Cruze is a great car for many and can operate well for a long time with no issues.

Like all vehicles, the Cruze does have some common problems, mainly with the heating and cooling system.

The system is not complicated with the main components, including the radiator, fan, water pump, and thermostat.

As long as these parts are watched for failure and swapped out as they age, the Cruze will continue to drive and operate.

Aging hoses can also be an issue and should be replaced if they look old and cracked.

Have you had a problem with the Chevy Cruze overheating? Let us know your thoughts below.

Category: Chevy General Automotive Repair

About Bob Thomas

Bob Thomas is an automotive mechanic with 30 plus years experience. He is a contributor to several publications and has written many articles on automotive maintenance and repairs. He also has created many auto repair videos on YouTube.

6 thoughts on “Causes and Fixes Chevy Cruze Overheating

  1. April

    2014 Chevy Cruze has under 60 thousand Miles overheated twice. Water pump, temperature sender and bleeder replaced.
    Started car and immediately shows on gauge car is hot. Fan starts running. Turn car off fan is still running.

  2. Connie

    I have replaced the water pump, thermostat, one bad hose plus the part it’s attached to. The coolant is boiling out of my overflow. The issue just started. I had my radiator flushed to ensure it wasn’t clogged or anything. After about 20-30 minutes the water is boiling and then it starts to overheat. Once it get to halfway I stop the car let it cool down and I have to add more coolant. The block test was negative. I’m not sure if the fan is even working properly.

  3. John

    I have a 2015 chevy cruze 1.4 turbo constant overheating issues…. I have replaced the head gasket, both temp sensors twice the thermostat/housing twice, radiator and coolant fan. I monitor the ect it goes to 260 degrees fan runs on high the radiator sensor stays around 90 degrees and the thermostat never opens more than 55%. I am at a loss how this is possible, yes I have bled the system correctly and there is no coolant leaks, no milky oil funny though the coolant in the over flow tank never boils. To let you know I am a certified technician for 35 plus years and I am scratching my head on this one?????? Never seen this before on any car but this one… VIN 1G1PG5SB8F7250083 production date 04/15. I also called and talked to several GM techs who said to scrap the car???? Called GM corp they said never heard of this problem to take it to one of their dealerships???? Note all parts came from GM no aftermarket parts were used in this repair.

    1. Amber Thomas

      Worst car EVER. 2016. Nothing but problems. Oil leak, transmission, radiator, turbo, replaced thermostat, water pump, hoses …. STILL OVERHEATS CONSTANTLY. Where is the recall?

    2. Dan B

      Hi John, I am having the same exact issue. Were you able to fin the problem and correct t? I ma baffled and scratching my head hers as well.

    3. Chris

      I know this is old thread, but i have teh same year, turbo. bought for gf brand new. same shit. replaced turbo on it three times under 70k miles, almost all the damn heater hoses, lines, water pump, inlet, outlet, thermostat 5x, even cut a hole in it to allow it to flow. Here is somehtingn i noticed, when i drain the radiator, its cooler not hot while i see it boiling in the overflow tank, thought head gasket, but nothing in oil. but maybe through manifold exhaust into the coolant, bubbling like that. i’m stumped and have just bout given up but day in and week out i keep trying.

      did you solve your issue?


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