Chevrolet Cruze Forums banner

1 - 20 of 153 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,615 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wanted to create a thread that described the known issues with this transmission and their resolution. This contains the collective knowledge and experience of the CruzeTalk forum for the past couple of years, knowledge acquired from our brothers and sisters over on the Sonic Owners' Forum, and knowledge taken from overseas where the M32 is used in many Vauxhall and Holden vehicles.

Notchy Shifting
This will develop as early as 5k miles and will worsen as it goes by. If you are reading this thinking to yourself "but my transmission is fine," then you don't know what this transmission should feel like. I thought mine was fine until the problem was explained to me. If you have to force your shifter into gear as you accelerate with even a moderate amount of power, you have a problem. I'm talking up-shifting, not down-shifting. I can shift my Cruze up with a pinky. The cause of this is degraded transmission fluid.

1-2 Shift Grind
This is the result of the design of the synchros, a high 1-2 gear ratio change, and the stupid thin OE fluid shearing down too easily. The gear is fine, and the issue is mostly harmless, but it is rather annoying. Since it is synchro related, you will notice it more on the Cruze Eco than on other models, as the Eco has a higher 1-2 shift ratio change. There is no known mechanical fix. However, keep reading.

Heat
We have learned from our cousins with Holdens and Vauxhalls overseas that this transmission reaches dangerous operating temperatures with only 20 minutes of in-town driving. It is a very compact transmission and the heat has nowhere to go. A high engine operating temperature contributes to this problem.

5-6 Shaft Lubrication
Filled to the GM recommended level, the transmission starves the 5-6 gear shaft of proper lubrication. This was discovered on the Vauxhall forums when they were losing shaft bearings left and right. The solution was to overfill the transmission by half a quart, for a total of 2.5 quarts.

Fluid, the solution...sort of.

From the factory, the transmission uses a rather thin fluid, chosen for fuel economy purposes. However, it does not lubricate well (see 1-2 shift grind & notchy shifting), and it does not hold well up to heat. The solution to the notchy shifting is new fluid. Our members have used Royal Purple and Redline's offerings, and none of them perform as well as Amsoil Synchromesh. In fact, Royal Purple was the worst fluid we have tried, and the fluid ended up coming out dark and burnt.

This will sound like a sales pitch, but know that this has been tried, tested, and verified by the Gearheads on CruzeTalk. Amsoil Synchromesh completely eliminates the notchy shifting. It has a very high quality formulation of fully synthetic base stocks, and a very good friction modified package that greatly improves the function of our synchros. While it may not completely eliminate the 1-2 shift grind, it does help, A LOT. The 75W-90 GL-4 fluid has been reported to completely cure the 1-2 shift grind for many people. On my Cruze ECO, I have not yet been able to make it grind. Those who can note that even under hard driving, it happens rather rarely, in the range of 2 times a month as opposed to several times a week. Filling to 2.5 quarts total also helps with the heat issue, and provides better lubrication of the 5-6 gear shaft. EDIT: GM has officially updated the transmission fill specification to 2.32 quarts as of at least 05/2016!

Here is the fluid recommended as an OE replacement: AMSOIL Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid 5W-30

For tuned vehicles and vehicles driven more spiritedly, I recommend the 75W-90 transmission fluid and transaxle gear lube: AMSOIL Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube 75W-90



Disclaimer: These products aren't officially recommended by AMSOIL's technical team due to variations in specification (and the constantly changing OE specification). Use at your own discretion, as I cannot be held liable for any side effects or problems. This product is offered as an option based on the success others have had with it.

More information on Gen1 Cruze Clutch and Shifting upgrades: https://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/10-gen1-powertrain/236181-gen1-cruze-clutch-shifting-upgrades.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Order placed.
Going with 3 quarts for a 2 1/2 qt fill. I only have 2500 miles on it. And want the good stuff in it to help prevent issues down the road. Did an oil change today to get the break in oil and shavings out. Went with Pennzoil Platinum (on sale at local Advanced auto for 24 bucks with filter). I plan on changing it out in another 2500 miles to ensure all the break in oil and shavings are out. From there I will either go with Pennzoil Ultra or Amsoil.
Do i need to change this oil out in ONLY 2500 miles? Who cares.... its my money and my engine. Going on a road trip to VA soon, with 9 hours each way, all highway miles with light city driving while Im there. Shoild be good enough to flush out the engine before I drop money on a more expensive oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
After that first change, you should be good. 7500 miles or 10% on the DIC

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Yeah I know I could go more, but I want Pennzoil Ultra or Amsoil in there. The only Penn Ultra they had at3the time was euro 10w 40. "Back in the day" I was a diehard Mobile 1 fan...... times change, as well as the formula. When I had my 99 Trans AM I would change the synthetic oil no less than every 3000 to 3500k miles. She was ran a little hard. But fun to drive.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
25,100 Posts
How does the current Mobile 1 do? My dealership also has Mobile 1 oil they will use instead of the AC Delco oil.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,615 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
How does the current Mobile 1 do? My dealership also has Mobile 1 oil they will use instead of the AC Delco oil.
Not very good. It's not a true synthetic anymore. Just a group 3 hydrocracked oil. Amsoil and Pennzoil are one of the only ones left that make a true PAO/Ester synthetic oil. I have a thread in the 1.4T section on it.

Sent from mobile.
 

·
Lyrical Wordsmith
Joined
·
6,781 Posts
Too bad I no longer own a Cruze. I would be buying this even though I did not have the MT.

Andrei... How effective is it for the automatic ? Maybe it's a stupid question...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,615 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Too bad I no longer own a Cruze. I would be buying this even though I did not have the MT.

Andrei... How effective is it for the automatic ? Maybe it's a stupid question...
This fluid isn't effective in an automatic, but Amsoil's auto transmission fluid is GREAT.

Sent from mobile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I'm glad I came across this post. My manual 6 speed in my ECO started grinding 3rd gear at about 60k miles. It usually only did it under acceleration. I now have 84K miles on it and have finally taken it in. The next day the dealer called me and told me that they were ordering a new transmission for it. Thankfully its covered under their 100k mile drive-train warranty. I'm thinking of putting 5k miles on the new tranny to work out all the break in trash then switch over to Amsoil. Has anyone had to get a new transmission because of grinding gear issues?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,615 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm glad I came across this post. My manual 6 speed in my ECO started grinding 3rd gear at about 60k miles. It usually only did it under acceleration. I now have 84K miles on it and have finally taken it in. The next day the dealer called me and told me that they were ordering a new transmission for it. Thankfully its covered under their 100k mile drive-train warranty. I'm thinking of putting 5k miles on the new tranny to work out all the break in trash then switch over to Amsoil. Has anyone had to get a new transmission because of grinding gear issues?
Service interval for that transmission was update for the 2014 owner's manual to 45k miles per fluid change. You exceeded that by almost double. The notchy shifting should have given it away. Now you know just how poorly GM chose their fluids for this transmission.

500 miles tops before you get a better fluid in there.

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
25,100 Posts
We have a few reports of manual transmissions being replaced due to gear issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
OK then. Thanks for the input. I'll be sure to change it out at 500 miles then. That comes out to only a week of driving to work :(
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,615 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
OK then. Thanks for the input. I'll be sure to change it out at 500 miles then. That comes out to only a week of driving to work :(
Better order it soon then. Shoot me a PM and I'll get you a quote.

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
OK, an update on my tranny issue. The dealership just installed a new transmission in my Cruze and the reason for the replacement was......

removed trans open side cover and found third gear syncro and blocker ring coming apart found parts are not available not service ordered new trans installed.

This is how my paperwork read. Cars runs great now. Next step is to get my AMSOIL in.
 

·
Chevrolet Customer Assistance Representative
Joined
·
5,722 Posts
OK, an update on my tranny issue. The dealership just installed a new transmission in my Cruze and the reason for the replacement was......

removed trans open side cover and found third gear syncro and blocker ring coming apart found parts are not available not service ordered new trans installed.

This is how my paperwork read. Cars runs great now. Next step is to get my AMSOIL in.
Hello Gunrunr,

Thank you for the update! I'm happy to hear that the car is running well for you, and you are back to enjoying your Cruze. If there is anymore assistance needed or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Patsy G
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Service interval for that transmission was update for the 2014 owner's manual to 45k miles per fluid change. You exceeded that by almost double. The notchy shifting should have given it away. Now you know just how poorly GM chose their fluids for this transmission.

500 miles tops before you get a better fluid in there.

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
I've just purchased a used 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco and have noticed the notchy shifting only after I've done my research on these boards. The mileage is at 45000km (roughly 28k miles.) It's definitely rather annoying.

Will using the AMSOIL Transmission Fluid get rid of this notchy shifting or only prevent it from getting any worse than it is now? I'm going to do it either way - but I'm really hoping I can get the gearbox to be smooth again. This has really spoiled my used purchase over anything else (I love the car otherwise.)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,615 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I've just purchased a used 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco and have noticed the notchy shifting only after I've done my research on these boards. The mileage is at 45000km (roughly 28k miles.) It's definitely rather annoying.

Will using the AMSOIL Transmission Fluid get rid of this notchy shifting or only prevent it from getting any worse than it is now? I'm going to do it either way - but I'm really hoping I can get the gearbox to be smooth again. This has really spoiled my used purchase over anything else (I love the car otherwise.)
It will get rid of the notchy shifting. It is a function of the fluid you're using degrading over time.

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 
1 - 20 of 153 Posts
Top