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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

Our Cruze has 120K miles on it. It has been a wonderful car in many ways but it has unfortunately had a lot of body work (deer, tree falling on it etc). At this point the front struts have been replaced twice in less than a year... Once with mystery parts from a body shop as part of an insurance repair and now recently by a Chevrolet dealer. The rear shocks were replaces less than a year ago and frankly, that swap out didn't seem to change anything. The dealer who just did the front struts claims to have carefully inspected the entirety of the front suspension and says everything looked ok. We also replaced the strut mounts/bearings just in case and an alignment was done so it was a very expensive repair. It hasn't appreciably improved our situation.

The performance issue is kind of strange. On good smooth roads the ride is of course perfectly fine. There isn't a single thing that squeaks or rattles anywhere in the car which is amazing to me considering its age and hard life. Over normal crummy roads (lumpy patched asphalt, non crumbling dips and small lumps) the ride is not terrible. It's not supple or great but it also isn't bouncy, loud or upsetting to the cars trajectory. Parking lot speed bumps taken at the intended low speeds are fine. But over slightly sharper bumps (poorly done bridge joints, any seam between two pieces of pavement where there is more than a tiny vertical change in level, some sharper dips etc, some deeper manhole covers) the car SLAMS through the bumps with a very loud and disturbing whack that seems entirely out of proportion to the bump. Sometimes there can be 3 or 4 little bumps in a 1/2 mile section and 3 of them are normal jiggly car suspension doing its job bumps and one (which looks only a tiny bit worse) feels like you drove over a curb at 25 MPH. Not sure how to describe it any more accurately. I can tell you that there is no rattling worn out taxi cab type sounds going over speed bumps etc. I had a Malibu with sway bar issues and that made a distinctive sound which this car has never had.

I remember reading some snarky phrase that said something like... if you think your suspension problem is in the front, it's probably in the rear and if you are sure your problem is in the front, it's almost certainly in the rear..... Assuming that the really great dealer who has seen the car many times hasn't missed something in regular inspections of the front and given that the strut replacing dealer swears they road tested and inspected carefully and couldn't come up with anything other than struts to replace... Is it possible something is terribly wrong with the Z-Link or some other rear component and what would we even look for back there?
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Have you checked your front swaybar end links - or the ends?

That last statement, I'm not really sure where it came from - there are plenty of front suspension problems that clearly comes from the front.
 

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Make sure the first shop did not put on quick struts. The parts are generally far inferior to the OEM parts. If the Chevrolet dealer used springs from a former quickstrut, that could certainly be an issue. I've worked with quickstruts before and the spring rate never seems to be right.

Also, have you changed tires recently? Cheap tires/tires with hard sidewalls could certainly cause this problem. Air pressure in the tires could also be a factor; however, unless you are significantly over inflated that should be a big issue.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the ideas. It goes back in Tuesday to our favorite and very trusted dealer. As I look up the part numbers I am very surprised to see that the strut assemblies they used don't appear to have springs in them, that is a separate part. Sigh. What a waste of money.

More to follow after Tuesday's visit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What tires do you have on it?
The tires are the non Chevrolet specific Fuel Max tires from Goodyear. This is a seriously nasty slamming noise far beyond the range of adjustment from tires or tire pressures.

At this point I actually think I may have bad motor mounts. Dealer will investigate tomorrow.
 

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The tires are the non Chevrolet specific Fuel Max tires from Goodyear. This is a seriously nasty slamming noise far beyond the range of adjustment from tires or tire pressures.

At this point I actually think I may have bad motor mounts. Dealer will investigate tomorrow.
Maybe; I was thinking subframe mounts or some kinda bushing somewhere but they usually take far longer to degrade.

Some tires are seriously rock-hard pieces of crap though (looking at you, Bridgestone EL400).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dealer says confidently that it is a transmission mount. It will be replaced over the weekend. Will report back on results.
 

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Let us know if it ends up being that - see if they'll let you snap a couple pictures of it, that way the rest of us can keep an eye out for the same thing. That's the first I've heard of mounts going bad on the CTDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The transmission mount was replaced (not sure which part # but it's a large plastic thing that looks a little bit like a squirrel cage blower motor oddly... And unfortunately, there are still some non extreme bumps that result in a very loud thud that seems out of proportion to the bump. Maybe not as often but still not resolved. :(
 

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I would forget about the dealer and take it to a suspension specialist. Another thing you could try is if you know someone with a CTD like yours, swap wheels for a day and see if it is different?
 
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Just as an FYI, if you are experiencing noise from the front struts there was a TSB to address a noise issue. The bellow falls out of the top spring seat and they slam into each other. The fix was to glue them together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I gave up. Another dealer looked at it and said that one of the (just replaced last month) strut mounts was damaged. They also expressed no confidence that replacing the coil springs would restore the ride height and suspension compliance. Getting the strut mount fixed (which probably died prematurely because the car slammed into so many bumps) would require some inter dealer co-operation and having the spring replaced was probably going to be close to 500 dollars. Even if I fixed all that AND it worked to fix the ride I still would have had a 122K mile old car that also needed a new NOx sensor replacement before I could even register in our new home state of New York. So our lovely green friend had to go away.

I traded it in and now have a 2019 Cruze Hatchback (gas) LT w/sun and sound and convenience package. Not as many doodads as the Diesel had but I like the way it drives and thought the pricing (about 21K?) was very reasonable. Plus I like hatchbacks and when our Focus departed earlier this year it left us with two sedans.

Overall I feel like our Cruze diesel was a worthy vehicle. The power and quietness of the drivetrain (from inside the car) were impressive and while it did have some diesel related service issues, they never effected the driving or the dependability of the car and for us, all but the last sensor (which we didn't repair) were issues that were covered by the warranties and extended coverages provided by GM.
 
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