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2011 Cruze LT(1.4L, 6t40 trans)
At about 50k miles I did a transmission fluid change. That's about the same time I got the car. Upon draining the fluid I found that the fluid was black as oil with a reddish tint in the light. The fluid did not smell burnt. Smelt like regular old ATF. I ran my magnet through the drain pan in search of shavings. Nothing stuck so I didn't think too much of it and filled the car back up and went through the procedure to do so. When I pulled the check plug I noticed the fluid was still black so I knew I had better get a flush. After talking to the dealership they told me it wasn't covered under warranty and that if have to pay $200 to get it done. Naturally I did it myself and saved $100. I started by draining and refilling into an oil pan. Then I flushed the transmission through the cooler line and let it stream out until it turned into a bright red color in a separate pan. Ran my magnet through both pans and nothing stuck so I thought I was good. Let the car get up to temp and drained out any excess fluid. After buttoning her up and cleaning up my mess I drained the fluids and upon inspection of the drain pan I had used to initially drain it (not the flushing container) I saw some metal shavings. They were small and fine but there was a decent amount of shavings. It also looked like there might have been some small rocks in the pan. That's the first time I've ever seen rocks in a pan. What I'm wondering is if the metal didn't stick to the magnet what component could it be and should I be worried about a transmission rebuild in the next 15k miles? The metal was silver in color. What could appear like small rocks from inside the transmission? Thanks for your input on this topic.
 

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Rocks? can't think of a thing other than old debris in your drain pan but you make that sound unlikely.

As far as metal....other than gears themselves and clutches and plates obviously we are dealing with a lot of aluminum.
Any trans shears metal bits over mileage but to answer your question the most likely source is aluminum sheared from the front pump area...the rotor rides in a machined area of the case and likely has been there since break in.
Some debris is anticipated and the pump inlet side has a rather large, life of car, filter for this purpose......keeps debris out of the finely machined passages in the valve body.

I wonder if the debris that looks like tiny stones is debris from the soldering process used to make the trans cooler.....but again, the filter prevents it from going anywhere.

Years ago, trans fluid color as well as odor was a way to judge trans health but with the new formulations out there, ie: Dexron 111, 1V, V, V1, fluid color, generally doesn't apply.
The fluid manufacturers indicate the fluid will get rather dark over the miles and the primary indicator of a problem with late model trans condition is limited to odor alone.....you indicate there was no abnormal odor so I'm inclined to believe you are seeing the normal discoloration the producers refer to.

Based on your post, findings and results, I'm of the belief all is well.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply. The transmission seems to shift fine. It is making an abnormal noise when shifting into reverse. It is a faint squeaking sound that last for 2 seconds then goes away. Kind of sounds like the pump. Maybe it's always happened but I just haven't noticed it until now. As for the rocks, solder would make perfect sense. As for the Cruze what is the max temperature the transmission should go to before I turn off the vehicle to cool down? I haven't seen my fluid go past 195 yet.
 

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Likely someone will correct me but 250 degrees is what my memory says.

Can't imagine a thing IN a trans that could make an audible sound.....I also have a 1.4t automatic so familiar with the operation.
I wonder if when the engine torques opposite as it would in a forward gear, a shield or some other engine attached component has a momentary harmonic......good luck finding that one, aye?

Rob
 
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