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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my 2013 Cruze ECO with a manual transmission for several weeks and I love it generally. There is one issue that is bugging the heck out of me.

At low speed, sometimes there is a very strong vibration that resonates through the whole car. The vibration seems like something I would expect from the engine vibration being transmitted to the body by something that defeats the built in isolation. The problem is much worse in reverse than in first gear.

The issue is bad enough to become a concern while backing up a hill. In my case this is every time I leave my house since my driveway has about a 10 degree incline. Generally it's felt while letting out the clutch but even with the clutch fully engaged it still vibrates strongly. I can try to keep the RPMs up to reduce it but I hate to slip the clutch that much or back up that fast!

Another point is that the problem is much less noticeable at colder temperatures. Today it was below 50 and it barely does it at all.

This issue does not seem to be unique to my car. I originally test drove a 2013 Cruze ECO and commented about the same issue. At the time the Sales Manager joked that maybe I had bent up something by taking it off road.

Well, I take delivery of my own a few days later and it does the same thing.

So, I finally took it in to have the service department take a look. We duplicated the problem but 4 different techs had no idea what to do. I could not convince anyone to try to figure out what was going on. The main response was that it was normal for a manual transmission. To me it made sense to do a little troubleshooting to try and figure out if something was touching or resonating but no luck. Obviously an issue like this is a question of degree since the car does seem to have some low speed vibrations that I would consider normal. However there is a line when normal crosses over to sounding like it's falling apart. It's also more difficult to trouble shoot with an MT than an automatic.

I was wondering if anyone else had experienced the same issue and if they discovered a cure. It seems like service is more into replacing a part rather than diagnosing a problem. Their claim that since another vehicle does the same thing means that it's not a problem is rather ignorant. Obviously it could be true but I would think that GM might be interested in hearing about it. Yeah well.......

I have been driving cars with manual transmissions for quite a few years and I don't think I'm all that critical of things in general. This one is far worse that anything else I have encountered. I could easily see that any number of things might be causing a problem.

I have not seen this exact thing reported in the forums so it made me think my situation was somewhat unique. I would have thought someone would have complained about it even if it was normal.

At any rate, more ammunition would be good to have when I try to take this to whatever the next level may be. I'm really impressed with this car and it would really be great to figure out how to improve this.


 

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What RPMs and speeds are involved?
 

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It's normal for the Cruze to shudder in reverse, especially up an incline. You just about stall it trying to back up an incline because reverse is such a different ratio from first gear. That's just the small engine fighting a stall. It's balanced pretty well above 1150 RPM, but below that, with any power being demanded of it, it is rough when lugged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
From idle to about 1200RPM. That's not to say it goes away at 1200 just that I have not had occasion to back up a hill faster than that.

Generally I have the clutch fully engaged at pretty low RPM. This car is generally so easy to drive it really does not complain about leaving the clutch out with no gas at all at idle on level ground.

On my drive way, I would normally add just enough gas to climb the grade. I have tried backing up faster and it still does it up to around 1200rpm. This is about all the faster I can get going in reverse in about 25 feet. Even at this it represents pretty agressive clutch slipping.

The car goes from silky smooth during normal forward operation to sounding like it's about to throw a rod backing up the drive.

As well as I can tell, I can do about the same exact thing going forward but I can't get it to vibrate nearly as bad. Yes a similar vibration is present but not nearly as strong. Starting up a steep grade in first is no problem at all. I can even drag engine down to stall with the brakes without the strong vibration.

The first service tech did claim that he visually checked clearances and that things were tight. What was not done was to try to induce the problem with someone outside the car to listen and watch. I plan to do some of this myself when the rain stops and I have some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's normal for the Cruze to shudder in reverse, especially up an incline. You just about stall it trying to back up an incline because reverse is such a different ratio from first gear. That's just the small engine fighting a stall. It's balanced pretty well above 1150 RPM, but below that, with any power being demanded of it, it is rough when lugged.
That sounds like the issue. I think the main problem is that the car goes from normally being silky smooth to sounding like it's about to throw a rod with little apparent provocation!

The problem does seem to be something resonating more than just the typical low speed vibration. Then again the engine vibration may be just enough worse to really get something resonating. At times it sounds like every trim panel in the car is vibrating. I'll have to take a video and upload it someplace. That would give a better idea of the magnitude of the issue.
 

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Ltron - anything below 1200 RPMs with a load is lugging this engine and it will vibrate. You may just have a car that vibrates more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I should add that this is mainly a problem when I need to back up from a stand still on an incline. If I get a little bit of a run at it, just a few mph is fast enough that there is no issue.

In first however I can pull the RPM way below idle without the same sort of noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ltron - anything below 1200 RPMs with a load is lugging this engine and it will vibrate. You may just have a car that vibrates more.
Yeah It's too bad it's an MT. Makes it hard to hunt around for some specific vibrating thing under load. I keep thinking it's some piece of plumbing or something that is hitting the body and transfering normal engine vibration.

Thanks for the thoughts
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like a loose engine rubber mounting arm. Also may be time to look for another dealer who can better help your problem seems the one you have now does not really care. :)

Yeah or maybe figure out how to encourage them to care more.

On the other hand, the issue may be more than the typical part replacement.

I also don't like the idea of someone intentially slipping the clutch trying to make it vibrate. One of the service guys succeeded in making it vibrate continuously by slipping the clutch in just the right way. I had to ask him to stop! Heaven only knows how many miles he took off the life!

I'm always concerned about my car surviving the service department of any dealer. LOL
 

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Give it a bit of time. The clutch is very touchy at first and very grabby and smells like it is burning if slipped a smidgen too much.

About 1500 miles in, I hot rodded with it a bit and the clutch feel drastically improved. Still a bit difficult in reverse though - my friend lives down a really steep driveway and the car feels like it's going to stall backing up it sometimes.


Sent from my iPhone using AutoGuide.com App
 

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I have had my 2013 Cruze ECO with a manual transmission for several weeks and I love it generally. There is one issue that is bugging the heck out of me.

At low speed, sometimes there is a very strong vibration that resonates through the whole car. The vibration seems like something I would expect from the engine vibration being transmitted to the body by something that defeats the built in isolation. The problem is much worse in reverse than in first gear.

The issue is bad enough to become a concern while backing up a hill. In my case this is every time I leave my house since my driveway has about a 10 degree incline. Generally it's felt while letting out the clutch but even with the clutch fully engaged it still vibrates strongly. I can try to keep the RPMs up to reduce it but I hate to slip the clutch that much or back up that fast!

Another point is that the problem is much less noticeable at colder temperatures. Today it was below 50 and it barely does it at all.

This issue does not seem to be unique to my car. I originally test drove a 2013 Cruze ECO and commented about the same issue. At the time the Sales Manager joked that maybe I had bent up something by taking it off road.

Well, I take delivery of my own a few days later and it does the same thing.

So, I finally took it in to have the service department take a look. We duplicated the problem but 4 different techs had no idea what to do. I could not convince anyone to try to figure out what was going on. The main response was that it was normal for a manual transmission. To me it made sense to do a little troubleshooting to try and figure out if something was touching or resonating but no luck. Obviously an issue like this is a question of degree since the car does seem to have some low speed vibrations that I would consider normal. However there is a line when normal crosses over to sounding like it's falling apart. It's also more difficult to trouble shoot with an MT than an automatic.

I was wondering if anyone else had experienced the same issue and if they discovered a cure. It seems like service is more into replacing a part rather than diagnosing a problem. Their claim that since another vehicle does the same thing means that it's not a problem is rather ignorant. Obviously it could be true but I would think that GM might be interested in hearing about it. Yeah well.......

I have been driving cars with manual transmissions for quite a few years and I don't think I'm all that critical of things in general. This one is far worse that anything else I have encountered. I could easily see that any number of things might be causing a problem.

I have not seen this exact thing reported in the forums so it made me think my situation was somewhat unique. I would have thought someone would have complained about it even if it was normal.

At any rate, more ammunition would be good to have when I try to take this to whatever the next level may be. I'm really impressed with this car and it would really be great to figure out how to improve this.




Ltron,
I would like to apologize for the issues that you are experiencing. I would be happy to look into this for you. If you would like me to, please send me a PM with your name, address, phone number, VIN, current mileage and the name of your dealer. Either way, please keep me posted.
Thank you,
Stacy Chevrolet Customer Service
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ltron,
I would like to apologize for the issues that you are experiencing. I would be happy to look into this for you. If you would like me to, please send me a PM with your name, address, phone number, VIN, current mileage and the name of your dealer. Either way, please keep me posted.
Thank you,
Stacy Chevrolet Customer Service
Hi Stacy,

Thanks so much.

Larry
 

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I experienced this for the first time today while backing into my driveway. The car really didn't like pushing itself uphill with the front drive wheels climbing over the curb at the same time. I'm not too concerned about it however as I know the transmission was really having to work hard to get the car moving.
 

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Little engine with no torque, you need to get more RPM before you shake your transmission or pilot bearing to pieces. Loading it up like that is VERY bad for it and can cause damage to the trans and worst case the engine too. Basically what you are feeling is the guts of the transmission flexing which is very tough on the bearings, can bend the input shaft, damage the pilot bearing and possible even the crankshaft. You may have to ride the clutch a little bit but it won't hurt it. Just don't bake it at 4000+RPM and you will be fine. I don't even try to get the car moving on a flat surface below 1500 RPM, going uphill I'd shoot for 2K
 

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This particular maneuver I was doing gives all front wheel drive cars fits. It even gave my Montana with it's Versatrak AWD problems. Normally I take the driveway in reverse at some speed to avoid just this problem. Oh yes, there was a bunch of clutch slipping to keep the tranny in the car. Needless to say I won't be doing this anymore as I agree with you that it's not good for the car.
 

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If I recall when my 2011 ECO 6M was brand new, reverse backing up my driveway, the car would shudder. I attribute that to a brand new clutch and me being used to a very torquey 2004 GTO. Give it time to fully break in. It is much better now and I pretty much always drive forward out of my driveway.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In my case, the shudder happens even with the clutch fully engaged. It's not the clutch or even the amount of vibration so much as a resonance or something actually hitting underneath.

I can make it happen if I load the drive train with the parking brake on level ground. I can get it to "resonate" in reverse but not in any forward gear.

Chevrolet recomends driving this car in the range of 1000 to 1500 RPM. The up shift light comes on at 1600. Even at 1000 RPM in 6th it does not do anything like what it does in reverse.


If I recall when my 2011 ECO 6M was brand new, reverse backing up my driveway, the car would shudder. I attribute that to a brand new clutch and me being used to a very torquey 2004 GTO. Give it time to fully break in. It is much better now and I pretty much always drive forward out of my driveway.
 
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