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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Occasionally there will be the odor of engine coolant inside my 2013 Volt when driving in HOLD mode. On cold days it occurs sporadically with the climate control in Comfort/AUTO mode and the temperature set to 74° after switching from NORMAL to HOLD while merging onto the freeway, accelerating to 65 mph and then almost immediately traveling up long hill during which the ICE RPMs increase. The odor becomes noticeable within the first minute and continues for another ten minutes or so while continuing to drive 65 mph on a less hilly stretch of freeway and then dissipates. Prior to this, the vehicle normally sits parked for eight hours. Ironically, it seems to be more noticeable on Mondays after the vehicle has been used minimally during the preceding weekend. It has also occurred in a seemingly random fashion on other occasions while driving in HOLD mode, but with no consistent pattern that I can describe.

The vehicle has been to the service department twice for the problem but to no avail, and there is neither visible evidence of coolant leakage nor a noticeable drop in any of the coolant levels. I've read that the 2013 Cruze has had some problem with coolant odor; maybe there are common components and thus common problems. Has anyone else had this problem?
 

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I thought I had the same problem last year. Turns out my container of Rain x had a loose top and had spilled over in the hatch area. Good thing it was still in the tupperware bucket I keep my car cleaning supplies in.
Khey, I hope your issue is as easily fixed as mine was!
 

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Take a look at this heating loop explanation with diagrams.
Scroll down to simplified heater coolant circuit

http://gm-volt.com/2010/12/09/the-chevrolet-volt-coolingheating-systems-explained/

In Hold mode when the I.C.E. runs it circulates engine coolant through the heated core inside the cabin, expanded hot coolant also flow into the reservoir.

possible cause: if you are smelling engine coolant.
possible leak of coolant by the heater core.
This would also be noticeable as coolant level drops in the engine coolant reservoir ( placed between the passenger side front body fender and engine air cleaner element housing.



or
when the I.C.E. is ON, heated coolant expands, hot engine coolant level rise in the reservoir; the reservoir vents to outside air. how ever this would be subtle and usually gets vented out form the engine bay. It is possible that air/smell gets pulled into the cabin by the heater blower/fan.

Keep an eye on the engine coolant reservoir.
Or have the dealer pressure test the cooling system for possible leak.
 

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One has to ask - has a second party taken a sniff of the coolant in one of the cooling tanks and said the smell was the same ?

I have to admit I have not tried smelling the coolant but my dealer did get it on the engine while refilling the battery coolant tank.

the tanks do have a vent -
 

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I say take it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all who have replied to this thread thus far. In fact, css28, I left the car at the dealership yesterday asking them to keep it until the problem is identified and addressed. Since I have a Volt loaner, it can stay with them for as long as they need to keep it. The service manager is good to work with; he told me that they had recently replaced a couple of heater cores for the same reason, though not on Volts. He has been in contact with the GM field service engineer and I believe there is a genuine commitment on their part to take care of this. The Volt adviser with whom I spoke recommended that I take the car in to the dealership and let them keep it for as long as it takes to solve the problem, so that's pretty much what I am doing. The adviser said that he would follow up with the dealership early next week on the progress. Can't think of much more to do at this point.
 
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Originally Posted by kheybrockThanks to all who have replied to this thread thus far. In fact, css28, I left the car at the dealership yesterday asking them to keep it until the problem is identified and addressed. Since I have a Volt loaner, it can stay with them for as long as they need to keep it. The service manager is good to work with; he told me that they had recently replaced a couple of heater cores for the same reason, though not on Volts. He has been in contact with the GM field service engineer and I believe there is a genuine commitment on their part to take care of this. The Volt adviser with whom I spoke recommended that I take the car in to the dealership and let them keep it for as long as it takes to solve the problem, so that's pretty much what I am doing. The adviser said that he would follow up with the dealership early next week on the progress. Can't think of much more to do at this point.
Hello kheybrock,

I'm bummed to hear about your recent situation. I'm pleased to hear you're working with your Volt Advisor. Additionally, I'm glad your dealership has been a pleasure to work with and put you in a Volt loaner for the time being. Please keep us all updated on any developments.

Katie O.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Occasionally there will be the odor ...ccelerating to 65 mph and then almost immediately traveling up long hill ... .... Has anyone else had this problem?
I have not, but I have an additional suggestion: do you ever run your windshield washer at the start of your driving? if you do that, and then drive uphill, is possible that you are sloshing the runoff washer fluid into or just "under" your cabin air intake vent.
 
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