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Gen2 Cruse (2018 Redline 1.4 Automatic) Black AT Fluid After Exchange at 45K

1417 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Johnny B
I did a bit of searching, but couldn't find much related to the exact issue I'm having. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am at about 45K miles on the car (including the transmission, which is the original), and decided to have my AT fluid changed on my 2018 Cruze LT Redline with the 6 spd Auto (1.4 gas). My understanidng is AT fluid a a dark-red color when new, and once the mechanic had swapped the fluid, they pulled me aside to tell me that the old fluid was "black" and that I should bring it back in 6-12 months for another exchange to see if it's black again.

Some background on a few issues I've noticed with my Cruze:
  • Very occasional flare when shifting between 2-3 or 3-4 (I'm not positive which yet) when accelerating hard.
  • Some slight hiccups or stutter during normal acceleration (hard to tell if engine or trans) in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, both when cold and hot outside and cold and hot powertrain. This is especailly bad when accelerating after getting off a highway if I've been on that highway for 1+ hours.
  • When on the highway, both with all traction/stability controls off or all of them on, on a rare occassion I'll go from crusing at 70 mph to full throttle, and the car basically doesn't do anything. No acceleration, no traction control light, no increase in RPM, no decrease in RPM, it just doesn't really go or slow down.

It should be noted that the above issues do not happen every single time I drive the car. I'm not sure if I just drive it different each time, but I'd say they happen 10-20% of the time.

My mechanic recommended I get on a forum to ask if any other Gen2 Cruze owners have seen black AT fluid after an exchange, I was wondering if anyone else has noticed similar issues to what I mentioned I'm experincing, and lastly I was wondering if those issues and the black AT fluid could be related/correlated?

Thanks!
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· Administrator
2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
Joined
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14,165 Posts
I did a bit of searching, but couldn't find much related to the exact issue I'm having. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am at about 45K miles on the car (including the transmission, which is the original), and decided to have my AT fluid changed on my 2018 Cruze LT Redline with the 6 spd Auto (1.4 gas). My understanidng is AT fluid a a dark-red color when new, and once the mechanic had swapped the fluid, they pulled me aside to tell me that the old fluid was "black" and that I should bring it back in 6-12 months for another exchange to see if it's black again.

Some background on a few issues I've noticed with my Cruze:
  • Very occasional flare when shifting between 2-3 or 3-4 (I'm not positive which yet) when accelerating hard.
  • Some slight hiccups or stutter during normal acceleration (hard to tell if engine or trans) in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, both when cold and hot outside and cold and hot powertrain. This is especailly bad when accelerating after getting off a highway if I've been on that highway for 1+ hours.
  • When on the highway, both with all traction/stability controls off or all of them on, on a rare occassion I'll go from crusing at 70 mph to full throttle, and the car basically doesn't do anything. No acceleration, no traction control light, no increase in RPM, no decrease in RPM, it just doesn't really go or slow down.

It should be noted that the above issues do not happen every single time I drive the car. I'm not sure if I just drive it different each time, but I'd say they happen 10-20% of the time.

My mechanic recommended I get on a forum to ask if any other Gen2 Cruze owners have seen black AT fluid after an exchange, I was wondering if anyone else has noticed similar issues to what I mentioned I'm experincing, and lastly I was wondering if those issues and the black AT fluid could be related/correlated?

Thanks!
Welcome Aboard!(y)

This is the place to find answers, hopefully someone can help.

Transmission Fluid Capacity/Level Check Procedure
How-To: Cruze Gen 2 Transmission Fluid Change
AMSOIL Products for the 2016+ Gen2 Cruze

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· Registered
2015 Cruze 1.4L engine 6 speed AT
Joined
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1,246 Posts
they pulled me aside to tell me that the old fluid was "black"
I think you have mixed you words. Because this statement doesn't match the title.

Anyway, when I recently had my fluid changed it was also very black. And I have tried to put the word out for everyone to change the ATF at 45K miles because IMO the factory fill is pretty much used up at this point. I also believe the factory fill isn't as good as most Dexron 6 fluids available in the market, Valvoline Maxlife worked well for me.

I believe most of the issues you have noticed are pretty common, and mainly caused by two things.
1) Factory fill in the transmission ( I can't recommend enough for anyone reading this to change their fluid)
2) Adaptive shift time

It would seem our transmissions are hard on fluid, and come with fluid that is barely adequate to start with. Also the transmission adapts to your "normal" shifts, then you put the hammer down and it slips badly because it is trying to use the normal shift pressure.

If they only did a drain and fill service, that only gets about half the fluid out. So ya, it probably will be black afterward also. IMO if it is just black it is used up, if its burned you probably have issues.

A better drain and fill is by draining it once. Add fluid, run the car and go through all the gears twice. Drain again, and refill. Do this about every 45k and you should be golden.
 
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