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Discussion Starter #1
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel sedan 6mt

I'm on vacation in Vermont and this morning the clutch goes all the way to the floor and sticks there. I cannot shift into gear.

Yesterday I noticed the clutch was "erratic." First thing in the morning it seemed like the takeup point of the clutch was very close to the floor, but after a little bit of driving it went back to what felt close to normal. Now I have this problem today.

Suggestions?
 

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Sounds like the slave cylinder. Hopefully you're still under warranty, even then it took me three times to get Chevy finally to replace it. If you are comfortable doing so you can limp it home by rev matching to shift between gears. I was fortunate to be able to do that the first and third times that it went out. The middle time I too was on vacation, had it towed and rented a car. That's another sordid story - it was the weekend and the dealer's preferred rental company was closed. I grabbed any car that I could, and was assured by the service manager at my home dealer that I would be reimbursed for the cost (around 1k). I wasn't, and he won't return my calls.

I hope that your episode goes more smoothly. Chevy will tow the car to the nearest dealer if you call roadside assistance. Insist that they change the slave cylinder. It's a difficult repair and they do everything they can to dodge it. In my case they replaced the master cylinder, the issue recurred, they replaced some pipe in the system (this was the vacation episode), the problem recurred, and finally, they replaced the slave cylinder.

Good luck!
 

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The car was towed to the Chevy dealership in Burlington (I was camping on Grand Isle, on Lake Champlain). The tow truck flatbed had a bee-eye-itch of a time getting back to where my car was parked!

Because Vermont is a state where they want the possible COVID-19 infected plague rats to hit the bricks ASAP, they got me into the shop. The diagnosis was the above TSB telling me I could just yank the clutch pedal back up if it happened again and to go see my hometown dealer about getting that fixed. Oh, and it was $133 because it's not covered by the powertrain warranty.

Sounds like it is the clutch slave cylinder. It still seems to be driving intermittently. The clutch isn't what I'm used to feeling, it engages very far into the pedal travel (almost all the way to the floor), and when I parked it on top of Mt Washington in NH the pedal stuck again when I started the car to go back down the road.

In the next days I'm headed to Maine (Acadia National Park) and then on the return to Montauk NY, NYC, and probably some places in Pennsylvania. Here's to hoping it holds together for as long as I need it.
 

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With no offense intended, it's not the stupid pipe. It's Chevy being cheap. I hope for your sake that it doesn't go completely out on you during your trip, but given how it felt and when it went out the three times that it happened to me, I wouldn't count on it. I was fortunate that only once when it was fully out was I in a situation where I had to do any stopping. In that instance I pulled it out of gear, then when the light changed, gently pushed it into first, letting it move the car until I could get enough of a mesh to get it fully into gear. That was late at night at a light to get onto the highway. Once you're moving it's not terribly difficult to manage shifting with out the clutch. I wouldn't want to deal with it in a situation with stop and go or heavy traffic. Whenever you get it back to your primary dealer I'd advise you to insist that they change the slave cylinder. I went a week or two after the master cylinder was replaced before it failed again, and maybe a week after the above pipe was replaced before the third failure.

It looks like that TSB calls for the slave cylinder replacement in the gas engine, but not in the diesel, so you likely will have to battle to get it replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Driving the past few days has the clutch feel/engagement all over the place. First thing in the morning it will stick and I have to really stomp/pump it a few times. Then, the pedal will have to be absolutely all the way to the floor to shift gears and the clutch engagement point is very far toward the floor. Then, sometimes while driving, it will be back to what I consider to be normal. It really fades in and out as an intermittent problem.

I'll see the dealership sometime next week. The powertrain warranty does cover the slave cylinder, so if I can get them to replace that maybe it will fix it.
 

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Barry, the powertrain does cover the slave cylinder(clutch actuator) the problem is, that the PI that keeps getting talked about specifies replacing the pipe. The pipe isn't covered. The procedure called out in that document isn't a powertrain covered repair.

To all who keep talking about it, I hope this is the last time I need to say this, but the gas cars get a slave cylinder because they are switching over to the diesel hydraulic system. The diesels get a new pipe and elbow, because the elbow gets clogged with debris from the pipe, the gas cars also get a slave cylinder because they get switched over to diesel parts and the new parts being installed won't connect to the original slave cylinder.

If you experience this out of warranty, or want to try to fix it yourself, you can remove the elbow, and drill out the orifice to a larger size. This elbow is basically an anti-abuse valve for the clutch. It's so that no matter how quick you dump the clutch it can only engage at a certain speed. Cobalts had the same issue. Except many Balts didn't have the small orifice, but would get one installed during clutch or trans service, especially if abuse was expected. There was even an ABS update that was applied on cars that broke axles and transmissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you are comfortable doing so you can limp it home by rev matching to shift between gears. I was fortunate to be able to do that the first and third times that it went out.
Performance was intermittent all last week and yesterday, on the interstate during construction, it got really REALLY bad. I went to stop and the clutch went to the floor and did nothing. I jerked it out of gear and then couldn't get it into gear. I had to do the trick of pushing and pushing toward 1st gear to let the syncro slowly limp the car up to speed before it would jam into 1st gear, and then just rip through shifts without a clutch. Doing this in stop & go traffic for several miles was torture. Then, later that evening, as I was nearing my home dealer, it was back to normal. I took the car home. Went to take it to the dealership this morning and it was back to non-functional. I was limping it across town and it was back to working normally at the dealer.

It was really nice of the dealership to say it was a $79.95 diagnostic fee after I was already billed a $125 diagnostic fee in Burlington VT, and after I handed them the TSB and said "This is the problem." They insisted they couldn't take a diagnosis from another dealership.

Quote for repair today is about $500. That's nice to have a car that's 2-years-old and already needs a major repair. My Hyundai went 150,000 miles with never any trouble.
 

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Glad to hear that you got it back ok, sorry to hear that you had such a hassle in the traffic. In the instances where it occurred with me, once the pedal would go to the floor without engaging, it would never come back to working again. I minimized shifting when that occurred, so maybe I didn't push it enough. I hope that you are able to get it repaired ok, and under warranty. Best off luck, please let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I hope that you are able to get it repaired ok, and under warranty. Best off luck, please let us know how it goes.
I'm certainly going to write some letters to GM customer service to see what they do. Two diagnostic fees (if I have to pay a second one - I'll argue with that dealership tomorrow about that) is a bit much. Even then, it's aggravating that gasoline vehicles with this issue get powertrain warranty coverage but diesel vehicles with THE. EXACT. SAME. PROBLEM. do not get that coverage.

I could have bought a Honda Civic and not had this problem.
 

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You're assuming it's just the elbow causing this. If your slave cylinder (clutch actuator) is the problem, it's covered under powertrain, just like a gas car. The fuel type doesn't affect warranty coverage on the clutch, only the causal part does.

The fact that your pedal goes to the floor and doesn't actuate the clutch is an indication it's likely not (just) the elbow concern from the document.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You're assuming it's just the elbow causing this. If your slave cylinder (clutch actuator) is the problem, it's covered under powertrain, just like a gas car. The fuel type doesn't affect warranty coverage on the clutch, only the causal part does.

The fact that your pedal goes to the floor and doesn't actuate the clutch is an indication it's likely not (just) the elbow concern from the document.
I'm aware of that problem. I'm gleefully awaiting the result of this. The dealership is doing the repair that I'll have to pay for out-of-pocket and they said the slave cylinder is not the cause of [or contributing to] the problem.

This will be nice to see how quickly it goes bad again, if it goes bad again.
 

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$487.98 charged by Miles Chevrolet in Decatur IL. They included a $79.99 diagnostic fee because they absolutely refused to accept the diagnostic ($133.75) from Key Chevrolet in Burlington VT. The repair was the hydraulic hose and elbow, they insisted the slave cylinder was fine, and none of it was covered under warranty. That's a total out-of-pocket cost of $621.71.

The car made it 12 miles before the clutch went to the floor and it will not go into gear. It's being towed back to Miles Chevrolet for me to scream at them on the phone in the morning.
 

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Ugh, sorry. Good luck. Hopefully you can get a full refund for the work. Chevy's handling of this issue is nothing short of atrocious. There should be a full recall.
 

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Ugh, sorry. Good luck. Hopefully you can get a full refund for the work. Chevy's handling of this issue is nothing short of atrocious. There should be a full recall.
I took Hyundai to small claims court over a warranty issue and I won (they settled). I'll do the same for Chevrolet. I live 2 blocks from the courthouse so I can walk there to file, I have a lot of free time on my hands, I play things for the long game, and I'm straight-up a D-hole about things like this.

The tow truck driver helped me park the car right in front of both entrances to their service department. If they want to open tomorrow morning, they have to do something about my car.

288774
 

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That's pretty funny. I know that the situation stinks, but the car blocking the service bays is a nice touch. I'll be interested in following how it goes for you. Hopefully they suck it up, replace the slave cylinder, and you experience no issues after that. I hope that your weekend goes better. It had to be terribly frustrating to have the clutch go out that quickly.
 

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$487.98 charged by Miles Chevrolet in Decatur IL. They included a $79.99 diagnostic fee because they absolutely refused to accept the diagnostic ($133.75) from Key Chevrolet in Burlington VT. The repair was the hydraulic hose and elbow, they insisted the slave cylinder was fine, and none of it was covered under warranty. That's a total out-of-pocket cost of $621.71.

The car made it 12 miles before the clutch went to the floor and it will not go into gear. It's being towed back to Miles Chevrolet for me to scream at them on the phone in the morning.
From all the info I'm reading the hose deteriorated Internally and the debris is jamming up the slave cylinder. Once it gets that far the slave cylinder needs to be replaced as well as the hose. I wonder if GM had a improved hose that wont break down and jam up the slave cylinder.
 

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From all the info I'm reading the hose deteriorated Internally and the debris is jamming up the slave cylinder. Once it gets that far the slave cylinder needs to be replaced as well as the hose. I wonder if GM had a improved hose that wont break down and jam up the slave cylinder.
I have no idea if the hose and elbow are new parts.

I've got a draft of a nasty letter to send to GM if I don't get my money back, and part of that is sending them a copy of the TSB. The TSB was initially created on 02/27/18 and then later edited to remove build dates and substitute model years. Notably, the TSB was created while 2018 model year vehicles were still being manufactured, meaning GM appeared to be building cars with parts that they knew were faulty. Some things never change.

Anyways, I had three separate conversations with the service manager. Conversation 1 was when I dropped the car off to tell him there were two problems:
1. The clutch pedal sticking, and;
2. The clutch pedal not actually actuating the clutch because the transmission wouldn't go into gear. If you put the car in 1st gear, stepped on the clutch, and then pressed the START button, the car would creep forward with the starter motor moving the car!

His phone call later on the 10th was telling me the hose and elbow needed replacing, and I then asked him why not the slave cylinder to fix problem #2. He insisted the slave cylinder was fine and that would fix both problems.

When I picked the car up today the service order only had problem #1 noted on the paperwork. I asked him again: Why wasn't the slave cylinder replaced to fix problem #2? You just ignored the entire problem I described to you, didn't note it on the paperwork, didn't care about it when I talked to you on the phone, and now I can see that the problem still is not fixed. He insisted it was fixed and it was fine.

12 miles later, it was not fine.

I can easily imagine the service technician took it for a test drive and the car drove normally. It was back to normal for the 12 miles I drove it to my parents' house. Then, an hour later, it was back to broken again.

Tomorrow, they'll call me and I'll give them their two options:
1. Fix the car, again, correctly, under warranty, and when I come to pick it up on Monday or Tuesday have $621.71 in cash to hand to me for a refund, or;
2. I come to their dealership and burn it to the ground.
 

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I thought I'd add to the conversation as I'm experiencing the same issue with my '17 diesel, 43K miles. Pedal occasionally sticks to the floor and won't come back on its own. I can lift the pedal up with my toe but hydraulic pressure does not return to the pedal.

It took three weeks to get an official diagnosis from the dealer, and while they've been helpful since then, the TSB only specifies elbow and hydraulic line for the diesels which aren't covered under warranty. I submitted a case with GM customer assurance to argue that it should be covered under powertrain warranty and that went absolutely nowhere, surprise surprise... "The clutch is a wear and tear part" they kept saying over and over. Just got the final word today that they aren't going to do a cent of cost assistance and that I'm on the hook for the whole repair (Dealer estimated ~$1200 after adding up part and labor codes on TSB PIP5558C).

I bled the clutch today and there was noticeable debris in the first bit of fluid purged. Worth sending off for analysis? I'm not sure.

Anyways, I have a new master cylinder, slave cylinder, hydraulic line, and actuator elbow on order, and I'm hoping to do this repair myself next Monday.

And it's worth mentioning that I was planning to replacing the slave cylinder on my '91 Miata this weekend (coincidentally), which accounts for all of $13 in parts and about 15 minutes of easy labor. A world of difference in repairability over the years, and the arguably "better feeling" clutch goes to the Miata, IMO
 
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