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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
AMSOIL Signature Series Fuel-Efficient Automatic Transmission Fluid
Application: All Cruze automatic transmissions (including Diesel).
Exceeds AW-1 and DEX6 specificaitons.

Benefits:
- Guaranteed and warrantied for 2X the severe service interval specified by GM for the Cruze. GM specifies 45,000 miles severe service for all Cruze trims, making this a a guaranteed 90,000 mile transmission fluid.
- Improved cold shifting performance and cold fuel economy.
- Small improvement in overall fuel economy through reduced friction (traction coefficient) of true synthetic base stock.
- Reviewed as a "night and day" difference in shift quality by Cruze owners that have used it, eliminating shifting harshness and erratic/delayed shifting.
- Unparalleled extreme service protection and heat tolerance (see video below).


AMSOIL Signature Series Fuel-Efficient Automatic Transmission Fluid is a group 4/5 based true synthetic lubricant that has no equal in the industry. Service interval guarantees are backed by a transmission repair/replacement warranty by AMSOIL should the lubricant fall out of OEM specifications within those intervals. Owners save money with AMSOIL through doubled severe service intervals. Extended drain intervals reduce environmental impact. All AMSOIL products are made and packaged in the USA.

Order Information and Pricing:
Due to the quantity of fluid required, I recommend purchasing at least the 6-month preferred customer account ($10) to save 25% on pricing. More wholesale pricing options.
If you plan to change this yourself, purchase the 2.5-gallon jug.
If you plan to have a shop perform a complete flush, you will need either a 12-quart case or a 4-gallon (16 quart) case. Contact your local automotive service center to determine how much fluid to bring them.

Warranty Information:
The AMSOIL warranty certificate can be found using the following URL: AMSOIL Warranty

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Isn't it cheaper to get GM fluid changed?
A: 90% of drivers drive "severe service" conditions, and GM's initial fill requires replacement by 25k miles. With AMSOIL's 2x severe service interval guarantee, you only pay for one fluid service that will be food for 90,000 miles as opposed to paying for two OE fluid services that will only be good for 45,000 miles each.

Q: Will this void my warranty?
A: Regardless of what your dealer tells you, the Magnuson-Moss act protects you from having your warranty voided by using a product other than what the dealer recommends. If there is a failure, GM has to prove that the fluid caused the failure. Since AMSOIL recommends this fluid specifically for the Cruze in their product guide, it has been tested to be within the specification of the OE fluid and AMSOIL can prove that it is within spec. It will be GM's burden to prove that it is not within spec, which they will not be able to do. Furthermore, GM's liability ends at 5 years/100k miles, while AMSOIL's guarantee extends to the recommended drain interval of the fluid. The answer is NO, your warranty will not be voided. If your dealer refuses to change this fluid in for you or asks you to sign a waiver, take your car to an independent transmission shop.

Q: Will this affect my fuel economy?
A: Excellent cold-flow fluidity will allow the fluid to exceed the fuel economy of the factory fluid during short trips, warm-up periods, and cold weather.

Q: Will this fix my erratic shifting?
A: Cruze owners who have changed to AMSOIL ATF have noted that the fluid significantly smoothed out the shifting issues they were having on as little as 26k miles on OE fluid. Since shifting issues can result from many problems, your results may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I wanted to share a couple of quick reviews posted by two owners that used this fluid from other boards I'm on:

This was John, from Oregon:
Update, Just switched over to Amsoil in the trans and the motor. Holy cow what a difference in shifting and motor smoothness thanks again for all the info you gave me... ...the dealer did not do it. I went to a local oil changing place because I didn't trust the dealer for one and for two I wanted to watch it being done to make sure they would use what I brought. Of course the oil place pointed out to me that I was suppose to change out my cabin filter on my car at 15k, which the dealer never told me about, and boy it was dirty. LOL. Anyways they did the job a whole lot better I feel and cheaper than the dealer as well. I only have 26k on my cruze but glad I did the change . The techs showed me the tranny oil before the change, and boy it was garbage. I highly recommend to change over trans fluid to Amsoil by 25k for peace of mind. Also it smoothed out the shifting issues as well.
John mentioned that previously, he was having these issues, which the fluid alleviated:
Hard shift down or somtimes up. Appeared to have some slippage from 3-4 gear
This was Joe, from Virginia:
Just got my 20k mile transmission fluid flush the other day. I replaced the GM fluid with Amsoil transmission fluid and the difference is truly night and day, power increase, shifting smoothness and cold weather shifting etc. it's a 100% improvement across the board, if you aren't running Amsoil in your transmission, you should be in my opinion.
 

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What gets me about using amsoil transmission fluid is that it is a universal product reccomended for use in vehicle transmissions from ford to volkswagen and every manufacturer between. I have always been under the impression transmissions are very specific about which fluid they require and are built and designed around the fluid specifications. Or the transmission fluid is created and engineered depending on the requirements for the transmission.

Im fairly certain the OE cruze fluid used in the m32 transmission would not be reccomended in any other car manufacturer transmissions. How is it that amsoil is able to create such a universal product " compatiable " with im assuming more then 50 different transmissions ? What would you tell somone that feels more comfortable using a product specific for the transmission rather then a universal product ?
 

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There is Jelly Beans in there Dawg , and all trannies love Jelly Beans ..
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
What gets me about using amsoil transmission fluid is that it is a universal product reccomended for use in vehicle transmissions from ford to volkswagen and every manufacturer between. I have always been under the impression transmissions are very specific about which fluid they require and are built and designed around the fluid specifications. Or the transmission fluid is created and engineered depending on the requirements for the transmission.

Im fairly certain the OE cruze fluid used in the m32 transmission would not be reccomended in any other car manufacturer transmissions. How is it that amsoil is able to create such a universal product " compaitable " with im assuming more then 50 different transmissions ? What would you tell somone that feels more comfortable using a product specific for the transmission rather then a universal product ?
The fluids between vehicles are not as different as you think they are. They have the same base stocks since there are only a handful of companies out there like Shell and Exxon-Mobil that produce them. They have certain additives that they add to change the characteristics of the fluid, but the bottom line is it's still oil. There are some special cases where specific viscosities are required, such as certain Mustangs with a track package that need a 5W-50 oil, or certain Mazdaspeed 3 revisions that have an LSD with a clutch that needs a specific additive for the LSD to work, but otherwise, they are about the same.

If you walk into a store to buy some transmission fluid for your old truck, whether it's GM, Dodge, or Ford, it will be a universal ATF that meets Dexron3/Mercon/etc. There is no specific fluid for a specific vehicle. With the exception of CVT transmissions, the fluids are about the same. Each company has a minimum specification requirement for viscosity, oxidization, volatility, and etc, but at the end of the day, if the fluid meets those minimum requirements, it will be suitable for that car. DEX6 is the specification for the automatic transmission in the Cruze. It is actually a pretty good fluid from the factory being a synthetic fluid with a low viscosity and high heat tolerance. AMSOIL's Signature Series ATL meets and exceeds the DEX6 requirements, so there's really no reason to believe that it will not outperform the factory fluid and provide even better protection.

The OE fluid in the M32 transmission is horrendous. I have been wrenching on cars since I was 15 and I can tell you I have never in my life seen a fluid that performed as poorly as this fluid does in our transmissions. You might be able to get away with it with light all-highway driving averaging 50.2mpg with practically nonexistent stress levels on that fluid, but everyone else has experienced otherwise. Even the guys in the UK hate it. It is a weak petroleum-based fluid that cannot handle the heat and stress of the compact M32 under anything but extremely light driving.

That said, I recommend AMSOIL Synchromesh for the M32 for because it has friction modifiers that promote quick synchro engagement, it is the correct viscosity (Gear Weight 75W-80), it is GL-4 compatible as specified by the owner's manual, and it is a synthetic fluid. This allows the fluid to handle the heat of the M32 far better than the petroleum-based OE fluid (which by the way is ridiculously overpriced), it flows better (and allows the transmission to shift better) when cold, and lastly, it has a far higher film strength than the OE fluid, which protects the gears better. All this results in a fluid that performs excellently in the transmission, eliminating notchy shifting and either greatly alleviating or eliminating the 1-2 shift grind some of these transmissions are plagued with. However...that is my recommendation, not AMSOIL's. AMSOIL doesn't have a recommendation for this transmission, so it was up to us to do the research.

It is easier to understand if you have a technical background in mechanics and if you understand how fluids are formulated and what requirements components have. Your biggest concern with manuals is the viscosity of the fluid. As long as you have the correct viscosity, you could probably use any fluid you wanted to in this transmission with the same results as the OE fluid. Gears, synchros, and bearings are fairly simple components that simply need lubrication. Beyond that, you have antioxidants that keep the fluid from "sludging," rust inhibitors that keep components from rusting when the car sits for a long time, friction modifiers and anti-wear additives that protect moving parts under severe heat and stress (which add to the cost of the fluid), and so forth. Some applications require a specific fluid, such as VersaTrak fluid. Those are transfer cases/differentials that also have solenoid-based clutches. Most automatic transmissions, manual transmissions, engines, and differentials are not among the list of applications that require a very specific fluid. I said most because there are some exceptions. The Cruze Diesel is one exception. Since AMSOIL does not recommend any specific fluids for that vehicle, I will not either.

Historically, GM has made some questionable decisions with fluids. One example is recommending ATF in the C5 Corvette manual transmissions. Those owners are switching to a gear lube or synchromesh fluid for a reason. I know you have mentioned that you prefer to use the OE fluid, even though it costs you over $30 per quart. Personally, I have seen the results of the OE fluid as has everyone else on this forum and on four Facebook groups I'm a member of, and nobody swaps out OE fluid for more OE fluid. Everyone swaps in a fluid to fix the issues caused by the OE fluid, and those issues are very well documented.

If anyone mentions they have an automatic transmission (6T40), I recommend AMSOIL SS ATL because it will improve cold shifting, improve cold and short trip fuel economy, last them 2x as long as the GM fluid in severe service intervals (saving them money), and will be protected by AMSOIL's warranty. It exceeds the requirements of the OE fluid.

If anyone mentions they have a manual transmission, I recommend AMSOIL Synchromesh because it will improve cold shifting, eliminate notchy shifting, alleviate or eliminate a common 1-2 shift grind, improve shifting consistency, cost 1/3 the price of OE fluid, improve fuel economy (particularly in cold conditions), extend synchro and bearing life through superior protection, and last 4x as long as the OE fluid in severe service intervals. That, and it has been tried, tested, and proven in our vehicles by well into 100 owners.

There is really nothing special or specific about DEX6 automatic transmission fluid. It is used in almost all of GM's passenger cars regardless of transmission type and is listed as compatible in vehicles requiring DEX3. As a result, there is nothing product-specific about it either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got some more info. I cross referenced the Aisin-Warner AF40-6 transmission in the Cruze Diesel and found that it is also found in the 2006-2009 Saab 9-3 mated to the 2.8L Turbo engine. The transmission is also called the TF-80SC. The transmission is also found in the Cadillac SRX with the same 2.8L Turbo.

Recommended fluid for that according to Saab forums is: GM Part # 93165147 or Ford Motorcraft XT-8-QAW.

AMSOIL only has one recommendation for this application in the Saab:
AMSOIL OE Fuel-Efficient Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid

However, the 2010 Cadillac SRX with the same listed AF40 transmission does not have any fluid recommended by AMSOIL. Instead AMSOIL refers you to the AW-1 Automatic Transmission fluid from GM.

Here is the application list from wiki:
AWTF-80 SC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This following document also suggests that the valve body in the transmission changed based on the application:
https://www.automaticchoice.com/Catalogue/aw_tf80sc.pdf

The changes in the valve body may explain the changes in recommended fluid. All I know is that for the time being, AMSOIL has nothing for this transmission, and based on what I am seeing with the Cadillac SRX, they may not have anything for quite some time, if ever. Unfortunately for Diesel folks, that fluid is $25 a quart. That will make for one very expensive fluid change.
 

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How much fluid will I need to buy for a total exchange of fluid. If the dealer does the changing do they need more than what the transmission holds for whatever machine they use?
 

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How much fluid will I need to buy for a total exchange of fluid. If the dealer does the changing do they need more than what the transmission holds for whatever machine they use?
Don't think you find a dealer using a flush machine for transmissions, GM has been a drain and fill only company for some time now. Have heard getting a flush can push debris through the transmission and actually cause issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How much fluid will I need to buy for a total exchange of fluid. If the dealer does the changing do they need more than what the transmission holds for whatever machine they use?
12 quarts will do it. Refer to the initial post.

Don't think you find a dealer using a flush machine for transmissions, GM has been a drain and fill only company for some time now. Have heard getting a flush can push debris through the transmission and actually cause issues.
That may be true with transmissions that are old, but as long as it's not under pressure, you won't have an issue. If you stick with the correct drain interval and don't try to go 150k miles on one change of ATF, you won't have any issues with debris. That said, I don't know how other shops do it, but most of the guys I've sold oil to simply take it to a transmission shop and have them get the old stuff out and the new stuff in.

Because the old transmission fluid in 2011 and 2012 Cruzes have an anti-corrosion additive that is causing a lot of shifting issues, people need to get as much of the old fluid out as possible.
 

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That may be true with transmissions that are old, but as long as it's not under pressure, you won't have an issue. If you stick with the correct drain interval and don't try to go 150k miles on one change of ATF, you won't have any issues with debris. That said, I don't know how other shops do it, but most of the guys I've sold oil to simply take it to a transmission shop and have them get the old stuff out and the new stuff in.
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Remember the cruze automatic has no serviceable transmission filter during routine maintenance, I would not recommend using any machine to flush these cars even when low mileage. Part of the problem with a machine is the pressures is not consistent with what the transmission was designed for and forces everything through. Sure someone could tap into the trans cooler lines to swap the fluid using the trans internal pump, this is what allot of shops do & is probably a bit safer.

However the best method with the lowest risk is to do two drain and fills. Do it the first time and drive 10 miles or so to warm and circulate the fluid, then drain and fill again. This is very easy to do as the cruze has a drain plug on the automatic.

For the 5year/100K power train warranty you only need to change the transmission fluid once in 100,000 miles(97,500K). Severe service is more in line with what should be done if you want to keep your car beyond that point though, its at 45,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Remember the cruze automatic has no serviceable transmission filter during routine maintenance, I would not recommend using any machine to flush these cars even when low mileage. Part of the problem with a machine is the pressures is not consistent with what the transmission was designed for and forces everything through. Sure someone could tap into the trans cooler lines to swap the fluid using the trans internal pump, this is what allot of shops do & is probably a bit safer.

However the best method with the lowest risk is to do two drain and fills. Do it the first time and drive 10 miles or so to warm and circulate the fluid, then drain and fill again. This is very easy to do as the cruze has a drain plug on the automatic.

For the 5year/100K power train warranty you only need to change the transmission fluid once in 100,000 miles(97,500K). Severe service is more in line with what should be done if you want to keep your car beyond that point though, its at 45,000 miles.
The problem with the drain and refill is that you only get 75% of the old fluid out. A transmission shop that disconnects the lines to perform the swap is the best idea for the money spent. That's what I've recommended people do with their cars.

The problem with doing this yourself is that it is difficult to get the car raised and level, and you need a way to scan transmission temp and bring it up to the correct temp.

I've discovered that 90% of people fall under the severe service category. I wouldn't go 90k miles on the stock trans fluid even if I was doing 100% highway driving.

Sent from mobile.
 

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This is slightly off topic but related to the transmission fluid. My cruze has always seemed to shift poorly 1st to 2nd when the car is driven cold in cold weather(below 10F). I've even had it a few times shift from 1st to 2nd while accelerating, start to accelerate in 2nd then downshift back to 1st to accelerate quicker(hunting for gears without any extra foot feedback given).

When the weather is warm my car does not behave this way. I began to notice if I remote started my car and ran until the motor was 75degrees(about 3-4minutes) the shifting was much smoother and predicable(no hunting). At least in my car it seems the stock fluid does not preform that well when really cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is slightly off topic but related to the transmission fluid. My cruze has always seemed to shift poorly 1st to 2nd when the car is driven cold in cold weather(below 10F). I've even had it a few times shift from 1st to 2nd while accelerating, start to accelerate in 2nd then downshift back to 1st to accelerate quicker(hunting for gears without any extra foot feedback given).

When the weather is warm my car does not behave this way. I began to notice if I remote started my car and ran until the motor was 75degrees(about 3-4minutes) the shifting was much smoother and predicable(no hunting). At least in my car it seems the stock fluid does not preform that well when really cold.
This is related directly to the transmission fluid's ability to flow in cold conditions.

I hate to always sound like a fanatic AMSOIL fanboy, but one of the things AMSOIL is known for is the fluid's ability to flow excellently in cold conditions. This of course also improves fuel economy while the transmission fluid warms up. Transmission fluid is an entirely different lubricant from engine oil because it operates at a different range and has different viscosity and heat tolerance requirements. AMSOIL transmission fluids will hold up to over 350 degrees F and flow well to under -25 degrees F.
 

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This is related directly to the transmission fluid's ability to flow in cold conditions.

I hate to always sound like a fanatic AMSOIL fanboy, but one of the things AMSOIL is known for is the fluid's ability to flow excellently in cold conditions. This of course also improves fuel economy while the transmission fluid warms up. Transmission fluid is an entirely different lubricant from engine oil because it operates at a different range and has different viscosity and heat tolerance requirements. AMSOIL transmission fluids will hold up to over 350 degrees F and flow well to under -25 degrees F.
This is why I mentioned how poorly the stock fluid seems to preform(at least in my case). In 10,000 miles I plan to pay the dealer to swap the fuid(so I have paper work for the warranty), might have to try some AMSOIL sometime after that. Mine seems to have gotten worse this winter so It may be a sign of the stock fluid being toast.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is why I mentioned how poorly the stock fluid seems to preform(at least in my case). In 10,000 miles I plan to pay the dealer to swap the fuid(so I have paper work for the warranty), might have to try some AMSOIL sometime after that. Mine seems to have gotten worse this winter so It may be a sign of the stock fluid being toast.
I've noticed people reporting that the stock fluid is gone by 20k miles. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case in your situation. I also wouldn't be surprised if the DEX6 fluid uses a Group 3 base stock, which will still have VI additives that deplete over time, causing gradually degrading cold shifting performance.

From what I've seen of GM's fluids in the ATX, MTX, and engine oil, GM settled for a "good enough" fluid in every part of the car. I wouldn't expect this car to last 200k miles problem-free on the GM fluid.
 

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I can add to this post in that I just drained the transmission and added back what I drained out, in this case it was exactly 4qts. I must say the fluid was way to dark for my liking. It was like the fluid was in there for 150k miles not just 10k miles. Once the weather gets back to being warm again, I plan on doing this about four more times after driving the car for a few miles or so. I have the time and the AMSOIL ATL fluid to go in it since I'm a dealer also. All I can say is if you have an automatic Cruze, I would highly suggest you get the fluid changed out and not wait until what the owners manual states. Unless you plan on trading in often and just don't care.

Our 2011 Acadia's automatic transmission fluid was pretty dark at 30k when I drained and refilled it. Basically the same as our Cruze, drain out measure what came out and filled back up.

Forgot to mention that I send a sample off to get analyzed but it looks like it got lost in the mail because it has been two weeks and I still have not heard anything back from the lab. Good think I saved extra, I'll have to send that off in another week or so to make sure enough time has gone by on the first sample. I know the color doen't always tell that it is bad, from previous samples of ATF that I have sent off, but it still isn't good and the samples that I did send it was showing that the fluid was getting near the end of it's life expectancy.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I can add to this post in that I just drained the transmission and added back what I drained out, in this case it was exactly 4qts. I must say the fluid was way to dark for my liking. It was like the fluid was in there for 150k miles not just 10k miles. Once the weather gets back to being warm again, I plan on doing this about four more times after driving the car for a few miles or so. I have the time and the AMSOIL ATL fluid to go in it since I'm a dealer also. All I can say is if you have an automatic Cruze, I would highly suggest you get the fluid changed out and not wait until what the owners manual states. Unless you plan on trading in often and just don't care.

Our 2011 Acadia's automatic transmission fluid was pretty dark at 30k when I drained and refilled it. Basically the same as our Cruze, drain out measure what came out and filled back up.

Forgot to mention that I send a sample off to get analyzed but it looks like it got lost in the mail because it has been two weeks and I still have not heard anything back from the lab. Good think I saved extra, I'll have to send that off in another week or so to make sure enough time has gone by on the first sample. I know the color doen't always tell that it is bad, from previous samples of ATF that I have sent off, but it still isn't good and the samples that I did send it was showing that the fluid was getting near the end of it's life expectancy.
Thanks for reporting back. To clarify something though, the fluid was dark because of the rust inhibitor that GM put inside the transmission, which is wearing off into the oil and causing massive amounts of shifting issues. That is the biggest reason I recommend people change their transmission fluid no later than 20k miles with these transmissions. Rumor is that GM stopped using that rust inhibitor in their transmissions, but we have yet to determine that based on transmission shifting. This is an unusual case where the color of the fluid does not indicate that it is burned, but rather contaminated.
 

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Don't think you find a dealer using a flush machine for transmissions, GM has been a drain and fill only company for some time now. Have heard getting a flush can push debris through the transmission and actually cause issues.
Regarding flush machines:
Some years ago I ran across an article where they used a homemade "flush" machine. I will try my best to explain what it was.

Construction consisted of 6" diameter x 24"(approx) polycarbonate tubing, floating piston inside, capped on both ends with pipe fittings.
Push the piston to the bottom of the cylinder, fill with approx 10qts of fluid and install top cap.
Using flexible rubber hose attach the cars outlet cooler line to the bottom cylinder fitting and the upper cylinder fitting to the return line of the car or at the cooler fitting.
Start the car up and it will pump old fluid out and new in at the same rate/pressure as normal.

SOME day I want to build one of these.
But instead of expensive polycarbonate tubing I want to use more affordable PVC tubing. The poly allows you to see how much fluid is left while running but the PVC won't. My plan is to install a pressure relief valve on the inlet line going to the cylinder and run it until fluid comes out the pressure relief.

Other items would be shutoff valves for the cylinder, assorted fittings for cooler lines etc.

In the past I've unhooked the return line at the trans cooler, installed a piece of tubing and short hose to a 1 gal container. As the vehicle ran I would add fluid through the dipstick tube 1 for 1 and put 2-3 gallons in. These were larger 4L60/4L80Es.

Unfortunately no pics at this time.
 
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