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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need some help in diagnosing a ride quality issue on stock my 2012 Cruze 2LT. For the first 6000 miles the ride was smooth and quiet, then like the turn of a switch, the ride got choppy and jiggly. I can feel it in the seat and the steering wheel at most speeds. It seems like some drive component has grounded out on the chassis or a heavy drive component is shaking. Tires were rotated at 4000 and 8000 miles and always at 32 psi. Underbody pan was cut out for the fire recall at 4000 miles. Dealer cannot find anything.

Does anyone have an idea of what I should look for?
 

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...sounds like bad (leaking) struts(front) / shocks(rear).
 

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The one thing that can make a car do this in your word "like the turn of a switch", is wheel weights. Have the dealer check the balance of your tires. Do you feel it more in the seat or steering wheel? How many miles do you have on the car now?
 

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My wife complained to me one day after a snowstorm that her car felt like it was going to bounce off the road. I told her it was probably snow on the rim from when it was parked in the driveway. Sure enough, cleaned the snow out of the rim and everything was fine. Water, well... ice actually at this time of year inside a tire can do the same thing.
 

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It sounds more like wheel balance than shock/strut. If it felt floatie like an old cadillac, that would be struts/shocks. This is assuming nothing is broken and the dealer didn't miss it.
 

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Like I said, probably wheel balance issue. In general, if you feel vibrations in the wheel, its your front wheels. If your vibration is in the seat, its your rear wheels.
 

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Not a great description to work with OP, but i'll throw a few things out there.

If a wheel is out of balance, it will smooth out at 80-85mph, and by 90mph or so the car should be completely smooth.
If a wheel is bent, it will get worse the faster you go.

Shocks don't last long on any car. Most OEM shocks are basically dead by 35K miles. My buddy's '12 Focus started crashing through the suspension (hitting bump stops) by 30K, and ride quality in most cars is substantially below new by 40K, including high end cars. Most people just don't notice because it happens slowly.

At 18K my Cruze isn't quite due for shocks, but they definitely aren't performing as well as new either. By 30K they'll probably be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
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Just turned 9000 miles. I feel the choppiness equally in the seat and the steering wheel. It is mild, but the car originally rode so smoothly, I would be doin 80+ without realizing it. Now, the ride is choppy from 40 mph +.

Perhaps it is a wheel weight. The change happened when riding through a heavy rain storm.

Seems to be independent of speed, and more on the road surface. Like the tires are overpressured, but as I said, they are at 32 psi
 

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In addition to thrown wheel weights and struts gone bad, another source of your described vibration might be a ply separation in a tire. Not as high a probability, but one worth checking.
 

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In addition to thrown wheel weights and struts gone bad, another source of your described vibration might be a ply separation in a tire. Not as high a probability, but one worth checking.
Low probability of this but good suggestion and I'll add another one to this.

To the OP, look for tire bulges or dents in the sidewall. This would be a good indication that the tire has gone bad (belt issue).
 

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I need some help in diagnosing a ride quality issue on stock my 2012 Cruze 2LT. For the first 6000 miles the ride was smooth and quite, then like the turn of a switch, the ride got choppy and jiggly. I can feel it in the seat and the steering wheel at most speeds. It seems like some drive component has grounded out on the chassis or a heavy drive component is shaking. Tires were rotated at 4000 and 8000 miles and always at 32 psi. Underbody pan was cut out for the fire recall at 4000 miles. Dealer cannot find anything.

Does anyone have an idea of what I should look for?


Back2Chevy,
I would like to apologize for the issues that you have been experiencing with your Cruze. I do understand your concerns with this. I would like to look into this further for you. Can you please send me a PM with your name, address, phone number, VIN, current mileage and the name of your dealer? I look forward to hearing back form you.
Thank you,
Stacy Chevrolet Customer Service
 
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