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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Two times in the past week the dreaded 2nd gear grind is plaguing me. It's only during the times when I need my transmission the most too. Pulling out and trying to get into small fast moving gaps in between cars. When I run 1st gear to 5,500 RPM and try to get into second gear quickly, it grinds. And to me it sounds like the transmission is destroying itself in the process. I am so sick of this stupid Getrag M32 MR5 transmission. I NEVER had this problem with my Getrag F23 in the Cobalt. I can not STAND grinding gears. It's not user error, I know how to drive stick, and yes the clutch was all the way down.

I was having this problem last year and I replaced the transmission fluid with 2.3 quarts Amsoil Synchromesh 5W-30 fluid. Apparently it wasn't enough. I'm so frustrated with this grinding that I'm about to drop another $60 on the Amsoil Synchromesh 75W-90 and make sure to put in 2.5 quarts. I don't have the level plug so I didn't want to over fill it last time but at this point I don't know what else to do.

Any suggestions? It was fine all winter but now that the temperature is starting to rise, the problem is surfacing again. I can not STAND the sound of grinding. I've been reading that it may be a defective clutch disk too, but I really don't want to replace a clutch if I don't have to.

Note: My car is a 2014 Chevy Cruze 1LT 1.4L turbo 6-speed manual with 25,600 miles.
 

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I've yet to figure out why some vehicles grind and others do not. My 2012 never had that issue; just inconsistent shifting with OE fluid. Synchromesh never caused a grind unless I spun the tires in wet pavement and shifted, and that was only twice, at redline, in the 60,000 miles I've had this car. After two changes of 75W-90 GL-4, I'm back to Synchromesh, and still don't have an issue with it. Jblackburn, on the other hand, always had the grinding issue, and Synchromesh made it better but did not eliminate it. He has repeatedly noted, however, that 75W-90 GL-4 completely cured his 1-2 shift grind. He's not a fan of Synchromesh.

GM updated the spec for these transmissions to 2.32 quarts, so filling 2.5 quarts won't be overfilling it by any consequential amount.

Are you coming to Lordstown?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ugh, that doesn't help my indecision right now. I've put ~20,000 miles on the amsoil synchromesh 5w-30, and in that time I have only had the grinding happen 4 times versus the 4 times it happened in the first 5,000 miles with the stock fluid. It's had gear grind 8 total times in 25,000 miles. I didn't know how to drive a manual when I got my Cobalt, I put 93,000 miles on and only had gear grind 4 times in 6 years. Also each of the Cobalt grinds I admit was my fault because I was letting the clutch out too early before I had completed the shift.

Can't figure out why with the Cruze 90% of the time I make a hard, quick shift from 1-2 over 5,000 RPM it doesn't grind but every once in awhile, seemingly at random, it will grind. I just want it to stop doing that. I feel like now I have to drive it like a grand-ma and short shift first below 4,500 RPM so I don't destroy it. It's kind of irritating. The car has so little power that getting up to speed in a timely manner requires revving the nuts off, but I really don't have the money to spend on more transmission fluid right now so I'm just gonna wait until I have more money to try the Amsoil 75W-90. Until then I'm just going to drive it gingerly and wait longer until there are large gaps in traffic before pulling out of anywhere. I can't risk hearing and feeling the transmission attempt to commit suicide on my watch anymore.

Also, I can't make it to Lordstown this year. I have to work as many shifts as possible to get this car paid off asap. I really would love to go but It'll have to be another year.
 

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I know what you are saying. But may I make a suggestion...This car wasn't built to be a super performer...rather a fuel efficient car.

That being said, if you can shift from first to second at no more than 3500 rpms then this shouldn't be a problem. Yes, it won't have the get up and go one might at times want...but it is still acceptable isn't it? I bought this car for fuel efficiency and over time have found this thing has more capacity that I originally thought. I especially love passing cars that are going 55 or 60 mph by dropping from 6th to 4th. That is a fun "move" to make and the car just goes!

I drive a 2014 cruze eco MT on 89 octane. So I know a little of what you are talking about...although I never have even tried nor want to try shifting from first to second at anything more than 3500 rpms. I've always found the shift from second to third to be smooth and bring me the power I need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know what you are saying. But may I make a suggestion...This car wasn't built to be a super performer...rather a fuel efficient car.

That being said, if you can shift from first to second at no more than 3500 rpms then this shouldn't be a problem. Yes, it won't have the get up and go one might at times want...but it is still acceptable isn't it? I bought this car for fuel efficiency and over time have found this thing has more capacity that I originally thought. I especially love passing cars that are going 55 or 60 mph by dropping from 6th to 4th. That is a fun "move" to make and the car just goes!

I drive a 2014 cruze eco MT on 89 octane. So I know a little of what you are talking about...although I never have even tried nor want to try shifting from first to second at anything more than 3500 rpms. I've always found the shift from second to third to be smooth and bring me the power I need.

I completely understand what you're saying about the car not being a performance car. But I drive with a little more determination than the average driver. I spend so much time in my car for my job, and the quicker I get there and get back, the more money I make. I also spend a lot of time coming to a stop and getting back up to speed again. There is no excuse for this car to behave this way, it should be able to withstand the requests I am asking without me having to baby it, or short shift which will ultimately cause me to "bog" the engine, and I'm really not a fan of piston slap either. Not going over 3,500 RPM is a way to avoid the symptoms of the problem, but it's not a solution. The car should be able to shift to 1-2 within the tolerated RPM range no problem especially since it doesn't have a lot of power. I would have a much easier time keeping a V8 under 3,500 RPM let me put it that way.

I mean the Cobalt I had was an eco-box too, but It felt like it had a much more robust transmission. I never replaced the trans fluid or anything and it rewarded me with driving pleasure. The reason I love the Cruze so much is even when I drive with a lead foot, I still get excellent gas mileage. Sure the acceleration is "Acceptable" with a short shift, but it's even better if you get to wind it out.
 

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I completely understand what you're saying about the car not being a performance car. But I drive with a little more determination than the average driver. I spend so much time in my car for my job, and the quicker I get there and get back, the more money I make. I also spend a lot of time coming to a stop and getting back up to speed again. There is no excuse for this car to behave this way, it should be able to withstand the requests I am asking without me having to baby it, or short shift which will ultimately cause me to "bog" the engine, and I'm really not a fan of piston slap either. Not going over 3,500 RPM is a way to avoid the symptoms of the problem, but it's not a solution. The car should be able to shift to 1-2 within the tolerated RPM range no problem especially since it doesn't have a lot of power. I would have a much easier time keeping a V8 under 3,500 RPM let me put it that way.

I mean the Cobalt I had was an eco-box too, but It felt like it had a much more robust transmission. I never replaced the trans fluid or anything and it rewarded me with driving pleasure. The reason I love the Cruze so much is even when I drive with a lead foot, I still get excellent gas mileage. Sure the acceleration is "Acceptable" with a short shift, but it's even better if you get to wind it out.
I can understand where you are coming from...but it makes me think of a gun collector I use to know...God rest his soul. He wasn't a hunter...just a guy that loved the history behind guns and the physics. He was an expert in both. He once commented that there was no best gun when I asked him which ones he liked best. He said he "liked them all."

When I asked him to explain himself, he said it is "the great dyamonic." I'm not sure I am spelling that right. But he was saying everything that make a gun better in one way, made it worse in another. Something tells me that is largely the same with cars. Although the sweet spot with rifles in my opinion is the 30-06. With cars I'm not so sure.
 

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I completely understand what you're saying about the car not being a performance car. But I drive with a little more determination than the average driver. I spend so much time in my car for my job, and the quicker I get there and get back, the more money I make. I also spend a lot of time coming to a stop and getting back up to speed again. There is no excuse for this car to behave this way, it should be able to withstand the requests I am asking without me having to baby it, or short shift which will ultimately cause me to "bog" the engine, and I'm really not a fan of piston slap either. Not going over 3,500 RPM is a way to avoid the symptoms of the problem, but it's not a solution. The car should be able to shift to 1-2 within the tolerated RPM range no problem especially since it doesn't have a lot of power. I would have a much easier time keeping a V8 under 3,500 RPM let me put it that way.

I mean the Cobalt I had was an eco-box too, but It felt like it had a much more robust transmission. I never replaced the trans fluid or anything and it rewarded me with driving pleasure. The reason I love the Cruze so much is even when I drive with a lead foot, I still get excellent gas mileage. Sure the acceleration is "Acceptable" with a short shift, but it's even better if you get to wind it out.
Don't be too concerned with keeping RPMs low unless you're driving for fuel economy. A bit of throttle is a good thing. I've heard some people have piston slap, and have heard it in my car, but only a couple times on a very cold start a year and a half ago. Hasn't done it since, and I've been driving wide open throttle, to redline, on a daily basis. The car gets a workout, and at 60,000 miles, I've yet to see any issues caused by that, in oil analysis or with part failures.

I had the flywheel replaced, which even conservative drivers experience an issue with, in addition to the intake manifold due to the check valve disappearing and an oil pan seal leak. Oil analysis shows that no matter how hard I beat this engine, the wear levels stay low.
 

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I'm in no way trying to hijack your thread, but my automatic transmission is ticking me off too, and the only reason I'm responding is it's the 1-2 shift with mine too.

I have problems usually in the morning, or when the car has been sitting for a while. I live in a subdivision, and to exit I have to turn left on a sometimes busy intersection. When traffic is a you-know-what, I get impatient and give it about 50% throttle to get the thing going (don't want to WOT a cold engine). It goes in first, feels like it slips into second, loses power, then engages abruptly and off I go. It's really annoying, and I was going to post a thread on it, but Lordstown is only a few days away.

Good luck with your trans.
 

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I had the same issue with the Synchromesh. 75-90 cured it for me. I was being a putz the other day and ground 3rd, but it's pretty rare now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It F#@%ING did it again today! The only thing I noticed that was different to most of my 1-2 shifts is that I was holding the shifter hard to the left against the gate when I was shifting instead of going straight back into second. I put pressure on the shifter to the left and back instead of just straight back if that makes any sense.

I'm going to replace the fluid with 75W-90 and see if that helps. I really can not stand that grinding!
 

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I'm in no way trying to hijack your thread, but my automatic transmission is ticking me off too, and the only reason I'm responding is it's the 1-2 shift with mine too.

I have problems usually in the morning, or when the car has been sitting for a while. I live in a subdivision, and to exit I have to turn left on a sometimes busy intersection. When traffic is a you-know-what, I get impatient and give it about 50% throttle to get the thing going (don't want to WOT a cold engine). It goes in first, feels like it slips into second, loses power, then engages abruptly and off I go. It's really annoying, and I was going to post a thread on it, but Lordstown is only a few days away.

Good luck with your trans.
Had the same thing. My auto always did it when it was cold, but only a couple times. Just attributed it to odd torque converter lockup programming for cold transmissions.


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Had the same thing. My auto always did it when it was cold, but only a couple times. Just attributed it to odd torque converter lockup programming for cold transmissions.


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Makes sense. I just hope the thing doesn't go kablooey before I pay it off.
 

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I have not had a lot of manuals, last one was the 14 eco, I only shifted like your talking about 1st to 2nd a few times, there is very little power in first gear at least on the ECO at that rpms, engine in mine just made lots of noise at those rpms. I did drive it super hard like your describing the day I traded it in. Just my thoughts is that sort of driving on a regular basis may not turn out well. I only had the ECO manual for 22k miles.
 

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Meh, I run out 1st and 2nd at least once a week. Approaching 50K; all is well.

Drove my high-mileage Honda like a bat out of **** in high school; the engine/transmission was about all that never let me down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I fear that this thread makes me sound like I ALWAYS drive 1st gear to redline. I certainly don't run 1st all the way out everytime. I wouldn't even say I drive 1st over 4K frequently. I do it occasionally. I'm a delivery driver so I drive A LOT. My car has 25,600 miles and I've only owned it for 14 months. Almost all of my driving is done in towns dealing with stop signs, stop lights, and neighborhoods. My car doesn't have a very easy life.

I also would like to point out that 90% of the time that I do hard pulls in 1st to 2nd it doesn't grind. But seemingly at RANDOM maybe 1 out of every 10 hard shifts it will grind. But to me, 1 out of 10 is too many. I drove the cobalt like a mad man and it NEVER had gear grinding unless I messed up my order of operations. I feel I'm not being unreasonable by asking my car to just simply change gears without grinding at 5,500 RPM. Otherwise why wouldn't the redline be lower? Or why wouldn't the owners manual say something like "Don't redline first gear"

There has to be something wrong.
 

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My 1->2 shift will grind occasionally. On the OE fluid it would grind every single time I tried a WOT shift above 3500 RPM, even if I let the engine speed drop back to idle. On the AMSOil Synchromesh it will only do it if I speed shift at 6000 RPM. The 2nd gear grind was a major topic of discussion back in 2012 before XR tried the AMSOil Synchromesh in his 2012 ECO MT. The ECO's 1->2 shift has a larger gap than the LS and LT trims and the OE fluid simply isn't up to the job.
 

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I think the clutch is slightly slow to disengage sometimes, and the synchros are terrible. I can feel it in the mornings.

I changed and bled the brake/clutch fluid in mine and it seemed to help a bit, and the thicker 75W-90 fluid helped more still.

A common thing on Hondas is to remove the clutch delay valve. Idk where that is on these.
 

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My 1->2 shift will grind occasionally. On the OE fluid it would grind every single time I tried a WOT shift above 3500 RPM, even if I let the engine speed drop back to idle.
Ugh, yes, I've had that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think the clutch is slightly slow to disengage sometimes, and the synchros are terrible. I can feel it in the mornings.

I changed and bled the brake/clutch fluid in mine and it seemed to help a bit, and the thicker 75W-90 fluid helped more still.

A common thing on Hondas is to remove the clutch delay valve. Idk where that is on these.

I think this is what is happening. I think the clutch isn't completely allowing the synchros to blip the shaft to the proper position before the shifter fork slides the gear that engages 2nd into it's place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My 1->2 shift will grind occasionally. On the OE fluid it would grind every single time I tried a WOT shift above 3500 RPM, even if I let the engine speed drop back to idle. On the AMSOil Synchromesh it will only do it if I speed shift at 6000 RPM. The 2nd gear grind was a major topic of discussion back in 2012 before XR tried the AMSOil Synchromesh in his 2012 ECO MT. The ECO's 1->2 shift has a larger gap than the LS and LT trims and the OE fluid simply isn't up to the job.

It was WAY worse before I put in the Amsoil synchromesh. It seemed to be completely gone allwinter until this past week. and now 3 times it has happened. I feel like the rising temperature is making the fluid less viscous? Or maybe after 20,000 hard miles it's starting to lose it's lubrication properties? Either way, I want to try the 75W-90 and see if that will eliminate it.
 
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