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2014 2.0 Turbo Diesel, Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Automatic 2.0 Turbo Diesel Cruze is slipping out of drive into neutral at red lights after is has been driven at highway speed for 10 - 15 mins. When i get the green light and give it gas to proceed it clunks into gear a little hard but goes as normal. This is only when it is hot and up to temp. Anticipating this happening i can shift it into neutral when it get to the light and then into drive at green and it will not clunk into gear. Also at these times when i slow down because of traffic or speed limit changes I can feel it down shifting into the lower gears almost like it has a shift kit in it or something. Has anyone had similar experiences? My Cruze has 123000 miles and up to this point no other issues. Please help, the dealership will not drive it long enough for the problem to start.
 

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Gunk in valve body probably. Usually it’s worse cold but sometimes it can be worse warm as well.

You can attempt a flush but it’s probably a new valve body.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Yeah, this isn't uncommon with the AF40-6 - a few of us have this issue with the trans just kind of...not remembering to shift back into gear when you go to leave a light. I'd say, for us, it happens 95% during the winter, though long stretches on the freeway are almost guaranteed to make it happen, even in winter (probably due to drainback from it sitting in one gear for a long time).
 

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14 Diesel Cruze, ‘14 volt, ‘72 442
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As far as downshifting, mine have always seemed to act like they have a trans brake, fairly aggressive downshifts. Mine struggled this winter with not wanting to upshift cold. 107k and the original fluid was nasty, so I did a trans flush with Amsoil. Night and day for me so far.
 

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2015 CTD
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My Automatic 2.0 Turbo Diesel Cruze is slipping out of drive into neutral at red lights after is has been driven at highway speed for 10 - 15 mins. When i get the green light and give it gas to proceed it clunks into gear a little hard but goes as normal. This is only when it is hot and up to temp. Anticipating this happening i can shift it into neutral when it get to the light and then into drive at green and it will not clunk into gear. Also at these times when i slow down because of traffic or speed limit changes I can feel it down shifting into the lower gears almost like it has a shift kit in it or something. Has anyone had similar experiences? My Cruze has 123000 miles and up to this point no other issues. Please help, the dealership will not drive it long enough for the problem to start.
Instead of putting it in neutral put it into manual mode by pulling shifter towards you before stopping completely. When the light turns green push the go pedal while pushing the shifter back to automatic mode.

These cars are designed to come of gear at a stop and upon brake pedal release go back into gear during the transition back to fuel pedal. This reduces engine load and saves fuel.

It also irritates me.

Mine will also sometimes downshift hard also. And your right describing it like a shift kit. Good old turbo 350 with a shift kit was a hard shifting tire chirping mofo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gunk in valve body probably. Usually it’s worse cold but sometimes it can be worse warm as well.

You can attempt a flush but it’s probably a new valve body.
yes the valve body has 123000 miles on it which is relatively new. this trans has no level bolt opening to check level that's actually what i thought was wrong maybe it was low on fluid. is there anything that could be added to the vent opening to maybe loosen up any gunk or sludge?
Yeah, this isn't uncommon with the AF40-6 - a few of us have this issue with the trans just kind of...not remembering to shift back into gear when you go to leave a light. I'd say, for us, it happens 95% during the winter, though long stretches on the freeway are almost guaranteed to make it happen, even in winter (probably due to drainback from it sitting in one gear for a long time).
so they trans is SUPPOSED to shift into neutral every time I stop it a red light? doesn't sound right to me..
As far as downshifting, mine have always seemed to act like they have a trans brake, fairly aggressive downshifts. Mine struggled this winter with not wanting to upshift cold. 107k and the original fluid was nasty, so I did a trans flush with Amsoil. Night and day for me so far.
so does the trans come stock with Amsoil fluid and from what I'm learning its the only fluid that should be used, is that true? what about using the dextron VI? or is the dextron VI only for the gasoline versions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, this isn't uncommon with the AF40-6 - a few of us have this issue with the trans just kind of...not remembering to shift back into gear when you go to leave a light. I'd say, for us, it happens 95% during the winter, though long stretches on the freeway are almost guaranteed to make it happen, even in winter (probably due to drainback from it sitting in one gear for a long time).
on a side conversation, how due your other vehicles measure up quickness wise with your 2.0 diesel?
 

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The AF-40 transmission required Type AW1 ATF to meet Its standards. GM sells their version but is insanely expensive. Amsoil makes a great synthetic that meets the standard. Make sure whatever you do use meets the standard.
 

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yes the valve body has 123000 miles on it which is relatively new. this trans has no level bolt opening to check level that's actually what i thought was wrong maybe it was low on fluid. is there anything that could be added to the vent opening to maybe loosen up any gunk or sludge?
The check plug is on the bottom of the engine, in the middle of the drain plug. It's...pretty inconvenient to use, because you have to add a certain amount of fluid back in after you've closed it, once it drips at the required rate.

so they trans is SUPPOSED to shift into neutral every time I stop it a red light? doesn't sound right to me..
Yes - many modern transmissions do this.

on a side conversation, how due your other vehicles measure up quickness wise with your 2.0 diesel?
My Cobalt is easily my fastest car, followed by the Volt (right off the line, I'd expect it is faster), then the Cruze and then my Camaro.
 

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Yes, you are allowed +\- half a quart. Make sure it is at proper temp and cycle through the gears first and all that. Also, if you remove the level check screw, the one mentioned above by MP81, inside the main drain plug, you are supposed to replace the little oring…or at least take a good look at it
 

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Yes, you are allowed +\- half a quart. Make sure it is at proper temp and cycle through the gears first and all that. Also, if you remove the level check screw, the one mentioned above by MP81, inside the main drain plug, you are supposed to replace the little oring…or at least take a good look at it
Also, if you are going to check the level, always make sure the fill cap breaks loose first…
 

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yes the valve body has 123000 miles on it which is relatively new. this trans has no level bolt opening to check level that's actually what i thought was wrong maybe it was low on fluid. is there anything that could be added to the vent opening to maybe loosen up any gunk or sludge?

so they trans is SUPPOSED to shift into neutral every time I stop it a red light? doesn't sound right to me..

so does the trans come stock with Amsoil fluid and from what I'm learning its the only fluid that should be used, is that true? what about using the dextron VI? or is the dextron VI only for the gasoline versions?
Yes, this vehicle shifts into neutral automatically when it comes to a stop in park. I believe it's a fuel saving feature.

If I were you, I would just do a fluid exchange. It's not that hard to do. The factory fluid in these is as black as used oil after even 50,000 miles. I've done 2 fluid exchange, once at 75kish and another at 150k ish and mine still shifts just fine, so it can be reliable.

Please do not use the vent port to add fluid. That port gets full of sludge and you would just be washing it back into the transmission. These do not have a serviceable filter so you do not want to do any type of flush at all, just exchange the fluid.

The procedure really is just to first remove the fill port which is located on the top of the transmission, just look under the intake/throttle area you'll see a small torx or hex next to a badge. Once that's open, you know you are able to fill fluid back in (always do this before draining fluid). Then drop the bottom tray from the car by pulling out the push pins around the edge (some guys cut a hole in it, I dropped mine because I like my car to stay in good condition). You'll see the drain plug on the bottom which is a larger hex bolt with a smaller torx inside it. It's basically a drain tube which sets the level, you'll see when you remove it. Remove the larger one to drain the fluid. Replace it and fill it back up with 3-4 quarts of fluid. Run through the gears, then drain it again, then replace 3-4 quarts, run through the gears, then drain it again and fill it with 3-4 quarts. At this time, get the car up to operating temperature by driving it. Go back in the shop and this time open the small inner screw and with the car running, wait for the fluid to stop dripping. Once it stops dripping put the screw back in, add 1/2 quart, and put it all back together.
 

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Per the manual, it's actually supposed to drip at the highly-scientific rate of one drip per second.
 
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Yes, this vehicle shifts into neutral automatically when it comes to a stop in park. I believe it's a fuel saving feature.

If I were you, I would just do a fluid exchange. It's not that hard to do. The factory fluid in these is as black as used oil after even 50,000 miles. I've done 2 fluid exchange, once at 75kish and another at 150k ish and mine still shifts just fine, so it can be reliable.

Please do not use the vent port to add fluid. That port gets full of sludge and you would just be washing it back into the transmission. These do not have a serviceable filter so you do not want to do any type of flush at all, just exchange the fluid.

The procedure really is just to first remove the fill port which is located on the top of the transmission, just look under the intake/throttle area you'll see a small torx or hex next to a badge. Once that's open, you know you are able to fill fluid back in (always do this before draining fluid). Then drop the bottom tray from the car by pulling out the push pins around the edge (some guys cut a hole in it, I dropped mine because I like my car to stay in good condition). You'll see the drain plug on the bottom which is a larger hex bolt with a smaller torx inside it. It's basically a drain tube which sets the level, you'll see when you remove it. Remove the larger one to drain the fluid. Replace it and fill it back up with 3-4 quarts of fluid. Run through the gears, then drain it again, then replace 3-4 quarts, run through the gears, then drain it again and fill it with 3-4 quarts. At this time, get the car up to operating temperature by driving it. Go back in the shop and this time open the small inner screw and with the car running, wait for the fluid to stop dripping. Once it stops dripping put the screw back in, add 1/2 quart, and put it all back together.
Yep, if the large hex drain plug is removed (12 i believe) the crush washer needs to be replaced. I just went to oriellys and got the 4 pack of assorted washers and the aluminum one needed was in there.

GM wants the trans temp to be between 158-176F
Drain plug (big one). 35 ft lb
Fluid check bolt (inner one). 71 in lb. INCH LB
Filler plug 30 ft lb

crush washer. 93183578
O ring. 93183574
 

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Yeah, good idea to replace the seals. I did do that on both of mine, I forgot to mention that. Don't want to find out you need to after you change the fluid 😁

What's interesting is after I did my 150k mile 3 quart refresh, the fluid was still red after 75k miles. The stock stuff turns black and has a burning smell with little miles on it.
 

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Yeah, good idea to replace the seals. I did do that on both of mine, I forgot to mention that. Don't want to find out you need to after you change the fluid 😁

What's interesting is after I did my 150k mile 3 quart refresh, the fluid was still red after 75k miles. The stock stuff turns black and has a burning smell with little miles on it.
Just a shot in the dark here, you refreshed with Amsoil…you get what you pay for. Only thing I will ever use, wether it’s one of my CTDs down to my ‘72 442
 

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Just a shot in the dark here, you refreshed with Amsoil…you get what you pay for. Only thing I will ever use, wether it’s one of my CTDs down to my ‘72 442
I used Pentosin and it was still red after 75,000k miles. Car now has 180k and still shifts like it did at 30k so I'm happy with my choice.

Thanks.
 

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I dont believe in typical flush instructions. Ive found that old '80s and '90s Torqueflite and Hydromatic transmissions die early deaths from the silver gunk that is too fine to be trapped in the pan filter. The problem is ten times worse for Ford Ranger/Explorers and newer Chrysler electronically shifted transmissions with sensitive solenoids. I bet the Cruze trans is no better.

I've restored to operation many "bad" transmissions by putting an inline filter on the transmission cooling return line. I start with a clear fuel filter backwards. Fuel filters are about 10 micron filters versus the 100 or 200 micron junk you'll find in the pan. They often start off almost totally silver. One bad trans took a dozen fuel filters over 200 miles before a nice bright translucent red ATF was visible where the silver junk used to be. That one was "flushed" and new fluid but it wasnt until I invented this method that all the gunk inside the torque converter and valve body actually got flushed out slowly over many miles.

I use cheap plastic ones but they sometimes leak or split after only a week or two of use. Once the fluid is nice and bright and devoid of silver I stop using the plastic ones and use a solid filter designed for inline ATF application or I simply put a solid tube back in.

Fuel filters are designed to crush in and stop flowing when clogged. Thats good to protect carbs and injectors downstream from damage. Thats not good on a transmission line that always needs flow and wasnt originally meanr for a filter. Thats why theres an arrow for direction of flow. I put it backwards and instead of crushing down when clogged the interior clogs until the pressure defeats the glue and the element pops off and just bangs around in the housing. Once clogged the fluid just automatically bypasses and flows around, which is very important.

Alternatively the transmission fluid can go to a spin on filter. I sometimes use the housings they sell for a log splitters hydraulic fluid. A big spin on filter can be fine and still have the surface area to pass sufficient flow rate. The in pan filters have to be crappy micron levels because they are just too small to properly filter and still have a high flow rate. I've had transmissions die at 50K and others last to 300K without any difference except how clean the fluid is.
 

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The shift to neutral while stopped is an NVH thing. Take note how the vibrations you feel decreases when it does this. I'd prefer it didn't personally.

I just bought a gallon of Signature Series from Amsoil this week. It was $81.18 shipped. I don't have the Amasoil membership, but it would have only saved like $10, vs the $20 membership fee. If you're buying more than a gallon, it'd be worthwhile to get the year membership in order to offset the cost.

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