Chevy Cruze Transmission

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The Chevrolet Cruze is a sporty compact car sold around the world by General Motors. With its stylish appearance and plenty of room inside, it initially seemed like an improvement over previous Chevy compact cars like the Cavalier and Cobalt. Unlike many compact cars, the Cruze has more weight and feels like a safe, solid vehicle.

But were the first generation of Chevy Cruze reliable cars? Or were there problems?

The first generation of the Chevy Cruze

Buy used Chevrolet Cruze transmission from our network that offers up to a two-year warranty on qualified units! We carry a wide-ranging catalog of used Chevrolet transmissions for all applications including gas and diesel engines. Buy your used Chevrolet Cruze. Check if this fits your 2014 Chevrolet Cruze. Application: Transmission model 6T30. Notes: Tag ID: 4BKS.For Hard to Find Engines and Transmissions call Grade A at 1-877-281-3777 for Remanufactured and Salvage Options with extended warranties available. General Motors (GM) is recalling certain model year 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles equipped with manual transmissions (MF3/MR5) and manufactured January. Description: Used 2018 Chevrolet Cruze LS Sedan FWD for sale - $9,999 - 48,604 miles with Navigation System, Alloy Wheels, Steel Wheels, Bluetooth, Backup Camera Certified Pre-Owned: No Transmission: 6-Speed Manual Color: Slv. This is a complete used OEM Manual Transmission that's guaranteed to fit the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze manufacturer's specifications. This transmission unit includes a transmission case, valve body, tail shaft and housing, torque converter (automatic only), and all internal lubricated parts.

The first generation of Chevy Cruze was produced from 2011 to 2015. The base model was the LS, which featured a 1.8-liter engine that put out 138 hp. Other trim levels like the LT, 2LT, ECO, and LTZ offered a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.

In 2014 and 2015, they added a turbodiesel engine with an output of 151 hp to the 2.0TD and DIESEL trim levels. The Chevy Cruze’s first-generation offered a six-speed manual transmission for the LS, LT, and ECO trim levels.

It had decent features like the USB which became standard in 2013. You couldn’t get cruise control in the LS base models, but it was standard for the other trims moving up the trim ladder. The one caveat is that you could have added a connectivity package to the 2011 model’s base configuration. Bluetooth connectivity was standard on all trim levels beginning with 2013.

There were 18-inch alloy wheels on the LTZ trim only. A spare tire and jack were options in the 2011 models but not available on all ECO versions. The cars offered a quiet ride and mostly responsive handling.

The reliability of the Chevy Cruze

According to a ranking of 85 Chevrolet generations by their reliability ratings, the first generation Chevy Cruze models from 2011 to 2015 ranked the lowest at 85. What problems made this the worst Chevy to buy?

For starters, there were instances of leaking water pumps in the 1.4-liter engine models. The leaks caused the air conditioning to stop working and caused the car to overheat. It was enough of a problem for there to be an announcement in the GM service bulletin in January 2015 for 2011 to 2014 models with that engine. The warranty coverage for the issue got extended by GM to 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever came first. The repair involved replacing the water pump.

There were reports of defective PCV diaphragms in the valve cover. There were also instances of missing air check valves in the intake manifold that cause numerous problems with the 1.4-liter turbo engine. The problems resulted in blue smoke from the exhaust, excessive oil use, and a rough idle – all of which triggered the check engine light. There were cases of the PCV pipe being faulty too.

The repairs involved replacing the intake manifold in some cases. In other cases, the valve cover needed replacing. Either way, the repair could cost several hundred dollars.

The Chevy Cruze also reportedly had oil leaks from the engine, cooler lines, and transmission seals. Coolant leaks caused problems requiring that the thermostat housing be replaced. There were trunk release switch issues, which, while not expensive to fix, could cause quite a few headaches.

Chevy Cruze Transmission 2013

There were ignition coils that were faulty and caused misfires. The earlier models in this generation of Chevy Cruze even experienced complete transmission failures.

Another GM service bulletin reported electrical problems caused by loose negative battery cables. The result could be the display randomly turning on and off. It also caused problems with the anti-lock brake system, service traction system, and more.

The final verdict

Because of the many issues with the Chevy Cruze from 2011 to 2015, it’s rated by Consumer Reports as worse than average for predicted reliability. Many of the problems were addressed with increased warranties or recalls. Those in the market for a used sporty compact car may want to take a look at something else. The Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, or the Mazda3 might be better choices.

If your heart is set on a first-generation Cruze anyway, consider a model with the 1.8-liter engine as it had far fewer troubles than the 1.4-liter turbo.

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chevrolet dealer. Notes: What’s that smell – it’s a tad sweet with a tinge of chemical toxicity? If you own a 2011 Cruze it’s probably a coolant leak. It’s a widespread and notorious problem for the car and is the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed in the state of New York. And that’s not the only problem 2011 owners face…

Many say the 2011 model year suffers from a throttle lag that is probably due to a fauly electronic throttle control. The problem is signifigant enough that some owners say they are too scared to drive their cars. Those that do get behind the wheel often say their transmission isn’t shifting properly and problems start occuring as early as 15,000 miles.

All of this leads us to say you’re probably better off without this car’s headaches (they’re probably chemically-induced anyway).

Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
64,050 miles
Total Complaints:
32 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (19 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. compressor replaced (2 reports)
  4. had to trade in car (1 reports)
  5. replace transmission module (1 reports)
  6. the transmission has been replaced twice now (1 reports)

transmission problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem Transmission#32

Cruze LX 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I think this Chevy Cruze is just about the worst car put on the road by Chevrolet. At 120,000 miles should not have a transmission failure costing $2,600 or the defroster failure that cost $700.00 for a 59 cent plastic part. I will be looking at some other brand and will not go for another major repair. I bought this car new and I am the only one that drove it. This car was well taken care of and at 75 years old I am out of the hot rod stage.

- salyerr43rs, Ida, US

problem #31


  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,277 miles

Babied the sh*t out of this car and the transmission stopped working, and the turbo charger also broke. I have had the window stop working, car handle break, thermostat head broken and numerous other problems since getting this car. Lemon car. DO NOT BUY! Do not waste your time or money, this is the worst car I have ever owned.

- sl.san95ss, Carrollton, US

problem #30

Cruze ECO 1.4L Litre

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Occurred in a manual transmission. No dipstick meant that it was difficult to detect a slow leak in the transmission fluid (no spots on the driveway from transmission fluid). Bearings were discovered shot after major transmission noises coming from the car. This occurred around the 75000 mile mark.

Chevy Cruze Transmission

- Nicholas R., Neenah, WI, US

problem #29


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,800 miles


Between 90-91k miles, I went to back out of a driveway, heard a rattling noise, and the car hardly went in reverse. I pulled back up the driveway and put it in park, the noise stopped. Went to back out of the driveway again and completely lose reverse. Immediately drove the car about 2 miles to my mechanic and it didn't seem to want to stay in any gear - shifting up and down for no reason.

Long story short, I contacted Chevy twice and they took four days to get back to me. By the time they finally got in touch with me, I had already taken my car to a transmission shop and had the tranny pulled and a new one ordered. Chevy informed me that I needed to take the car to a Chevy dealership for diagnosis but that all the charges would be on me since I was outside of the 5-year warranty. I went back and forth with Chevrolet multiple times with no resolution, only them refusing to work with me at all on the situation.

The transmission shop was amazing - friendly, diligent, sympathetic to the problem and everything else that Chevrolet unfortunately wasn't. The new transmission has a 3-year 500,000 mile warranty, but after the way this was handled (or rather, NOT handled) by Chevy, I'm thinking I'll be getting rid of this car before the 3-year mark. No more Chevrolets for me.

- Angela D., Massillon, US

problem #Chevy28


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I went to drive my car and there was no reverse or 4th gear after only 64,000 miles. GM has a Powertrain Warranty for 100,000 miles or 5 years whichever comes first. When I tried to put it in reverse and put on the gas it kept going forward like it was stuck in drive. I called the GM Service Center where I purchased my car and they told me they did not have any recalls with the make and model and there was nothing they could do because it was past the 5 year warranty period even though it was under on the miles.

I had to have it towed to a transmission place and pay for a new transmission myself. When I called the Executive Office at GM they said they started a case and gave me a file number but nobody ever called me back and I had to call them 3 times before talking to a supervisor who basically told me there was nothing they could do and was extremely rude and unsympathetic.

If GM is not going to stand behind their products I will make sure I never purchase another piece of junk from them. I want everyone to know this car has been nothing but trouble since the day I purchased it, runs hot and has a funny odor, has difficulty shifting into gears and transmission problems.

- Mary M., Omaha, US

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problem #27


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

I'm having loss of wages from this gm defect of a recall issue that gm is not responding to in the professional manner they claim to be. and I'm out of a car that's transmission failed before the 50,000 service miles. i have had this piece of sh*t for six months now this. what can i do?

- Mary N., Brentwood, US

problem #26

Cruze LT 1.4L

Chevy Cruze Transmission

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,750 miles

Bought used from Northwest Hills (Sullivan) GM dealership. Transmission fluid changed by dealership as required by warranty about 2 years ago. Recently, the gear shifting became ragged, until the transmission failed completely 2 days ago (transmission remained in neutral regardless of shift selector). It was towed to dealership. First quote for repair was $6300 (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT ???) to replace the transmission on a car with less than 100,000 miles. Unbelievable. I'm waiting for the GM rep to guarantee some compensation before letting the dealership do the repair. If GM won't help, then I have a local garage that will swap in a rebuilt tranny with a 5 year AND 100,000 mile warranty for under $3000. Incidentally, CarMonkeys advertise the same warranty on a tranny that ships free, 30 day no hassle return, arrives within 2-3 days and costs $1289.89.

- robebcan, Torrington, US

problem #25

Cruze LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,400 miles

I purchased a certified pre-owned car on Jan. 2015. Since mid-2016 (one and a half year since I owned the car) I've been noticing that my check engine light turned on every now and then, and gear shifting became significantly lagging around 30mph. EVERY SINGLE TIME in a service appointment (which I took strictly on schedule for every 3 months), I would point that out to the service department, and EVERY SINGLE TIME they would claim that they tested everything and there was no problem they detected.

Here comes the highlight: while last week (late June 2017, 2 and a half years since I owned the car, and interestingly 5 months after all my warranty expired), I was trying to drive back home from office via the highway. While entering the highway and speedup, I noticed that my engine speed went ups and downs in an serious, uncommon, rapid manner. There was also an unpleasant noise coming out of the transmission system. My car seriously shaked, and all gear shifting became useless. The car went out of control and went to neutral gear on the highway--which pushed me to a very dangerous emergency situation. Fortunately I made it stopped by the side of the highway and managed to call the roadside assistance.

My car was finally towed to the closest chevy dealership, and upon diagnostics they replied that to replace the transmission part, it would cost me $4100. It was the same amount for selling the same model with good condition !!!!

I read every complaints for 2011 chevy cruze regarding the transmission problem, and found very similar experiences for all the cases. It all happened on the 2011 module, transmission system got failed around 50k~60k mileage, and the only solution is to replace the whole part.

I therefore assume that there must be some design glitches on the transmission system of this module, and I'd like to seek for help and provide any useful info to any party or agency who would raise a lawsuit against it.


Chevy Cruze Transmission Fluid

- Yijian C., Watertown, MA, US

problem #24Chevy cruze transmission type


  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

When taking off the car would hesitate then jump. Took it in nothing wrong and we change the transmission fluid. Now back out of drive go down the street and the transmission is slipping not changing gears. Get it home and there is leakage of something under the motor of the car. Took wheel off to get transmission level and it is black not red. Call a transmission mechanic to have it towed to the shop and he tells me he has 3 Cruzes with the exact same problem. That I should look to see if it has been recalled and to call the dealership. The fix will be $3,400.

- vernpratt, Titusville, US

problem #23

Cruze LT 1.4L V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My Cruze is a very nice car as far as looks but this has literally been THE MOST unreliable vehicle I have ever had the displeasure of owning. This car has problem after problem after problem. Been having a issues since purchasing it. Took it to the Chevy dealership multiple times for burning smell coming from vent and Chevy insists there was no issues.

After repeated attempts to the dealership and calling Chevy and after the car reached 100k Chevy finally says there is a bad oil return pipe that dried up my turbo causing it to fail and cause the burning smell. Had it been found when I originally brought it to the dealership it would have been covered under warranty but since they couldn't do their job correctly I was forced to pay for all of that work. Had every seal pipe and part replaced from the oil return pipe to the turbo.

3 months later now my transmission is dead. Costing me $3800 in repairs. This car is the worst I've ever owed. 110k and the turbo has gone out transmission serpentine belt and tensioner heated seats sunroof you name it nothing on this car works or holds up. I have a 2004 c240 with 244k miles original motor transmission everything still works sunroof heated seats everything. I've had plenty of cars and this by far has been the absolute worst experience I've ever had owning a car. Since I've had this car I've exceeded 7k in repairs.

This car is not worth the money. It would be very hard for me to ever own another chevy or gm vehicle at this point

- Deron C., Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #22

Cruze 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


Getting off work about 9 at night Friday night started up the car let it warm up a little bit, put the car in reverse backed out and then put it in drive to take off. it would not move into drive. had to have the car towed to a car dealership. came back all my God $4,000 I need a new transmission and my car is only 6 years old. that's money I don't have.

I just got a transmission leak fixed about a couple months ago, now the transmission is going out. what is up with chevrolet cruze?

- Latrecia K., Midland, US

problem #21

Cruze LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

Paid $22,000 for this Cruze brand new in the summer of 2011. I babied this car. Always had oil changes on time & mechanics always indicated the car was aging the way it should. I moved from MA to AL & noticed it had problems getting up hills/ transmission didn't sound great. Took it to a local Chevy dealer in Birmingham, had it serviced. They cleaned out some carbon backup, replaced hoses, the battery & coolant reservoir. The car never had a problem until November 2016. It only had 66,000 miles on it. I'm told a wave plate broke in the transmission and sent metal thru the housing & damaging the gears. I have had cars for 200K miles before but the Chevy Cruze didn't make it even a third of the way thru what I expected it to last. Will never buy a Chevy again.

- Brittany S., Birmingham, US

problem #20


  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

My stepdaughter is a college student, bought this car for the gas mileage. No hard mileage or use. Transmission began slipping gears; jumping from first gear to neutral and then just stalling. Brought it to a GM dealership for diagnostics. I was told the vehicle needed a brand new transmission, nothing to fix or rebuild, 'A WHOLE NEW TRANSMISSION.' IT ONLY COSTS $2,500. The car itself isn't even worth that!!! What a rip off from GM!!! Financially strapped and no help from GM for building such a vehicle with such a crappy transmission, and they 'GM' want us to buy American!!! What a rip off, another fleecing of the hard working American middle class who we are trying to put a child through college. Thanks GM; Oh, and you're welcome for the billion dollar bailout. GM, Chevy never again for me.

- Keith D., Deville, LA, US

problem #19

Cruze ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Bought this car brand new from the dealer. The transmission leaked once before and it was fixed under warranty by the dealer. No check engine light no warning and the car will not drive. Towed it to the dealership and they said best thing to do was replace it. Had it replaced for the warranty. I hope there is a lawsuit this is insane. Problems from the beginning on this transmission.

- Meagan L., Grayslake, IL, US

problem #18


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

2011 Cruze bought second hand with 73000 km with expired warranty (bought in late 2016) and the transmission failed. GMC recommended replacing the transmission and pay 4000+ or have it rebuilt, I chose to rebuild with 'Mister Transmission' and paid 2100+tax. I've never heard of a transmission failing with only 7300 km, this should be recalled and fixed by GM as this is the second biggest complaint on this car. I will never buy a Chevy again.

- thibanpn, Brampton, ON, Canada

problem #17

Cruze LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

car will not go into gear when the engine gets warm. cost 300 dollars just to get it towed of the highway. engine shows code p0700. brought an extended warranty for the vehicle. just waiting to see if they'll fix it

- Ray S., Erial, NJ, US

problem #Chevy Cruze Transmission16


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I purchased a pre-owned 2011 chevy cruze in August of 2016. In December, I was driving on the highway and my car started to jerk as I pushed on the gas and it wouldn't accelerate. I pull over and parked the car to see what was wrong. I restarted the car and put it in drive, but it wouldn't go forward; however, when I put the car in reverse, it moved. My mom called the dealership we bought it from to claim The Lemon Law, but their response was that they couldn't do anything about it because the car was older than 30 days. She was also told that The Lemon Law does not apply to used vehicles, so my dad had the car towed to Chevrolet. They said that the transmission was the issue.

My issue is that I had this car 4 months. Replacing or getting the transmission fixed costs more than the car is worth. I do not have the funds for this being that I am a college student, and I need this transportation. I can't trade this car in since it's in this condition.

My other issue is that there is no recall for this malfunction in this particular vehicle. After doing some research on this issue, I realized that there a lot of people dealing with this same problem and others regarding the transmission. I believe there should be a recall on the transmission because this issue is extremely dangerous.

- Chelsea H., Houston, TX, US

problem #15

Cruze 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My 1st year of college and new to the area on the way to school car slowed down and stopped put car into park to go back into drive the automatic stick was LOCKED IT WOULDNT GO INTO DRIVE BUT IT WOULD GO INTO REVERSE. Only had the car 1 1/2 year. Warranty had just ran out. So here im out of a car that Supposed to be Dependable. Car still in shop for repair and costing alot of money i don't have. This is a RECALL its NO way on my behalf. smhhhhhh


- Susan H., Aiken, SC, US

problem #14

Cruze LS 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,900 miles

I bought this car on October 2014 from UMI Certified program in Tel-Aviv (GM official representative in Israel). The car had 35,600 miles on it.As part of the Certified program, the car had 1 year warranty. In general i was pleased with the car altough the gear shifting wasn't smooth which is a known issue in this model and manufacturing years of 2009-2011.

Two days ago, the transmission broke in the middle of my way home from work having the ability to drive in reverse only....I towed the car to an official UMI dealer for inspection. At the dealer office we saw that this car has an extended warranty alert on the transmission. After few hours the dealer contacted me and told me that the warranty is based on 5 years or 93,750 miles. The car went on road on Feb 27 2011.Meaning, it passed the warranty period by less than 5 months. The car has only 50,900 miles on it....

After talking with the customer service in Israel, they filed a request to GM to try to use the warranty. The reply that I got today that I will get 30% discount on a refurbished transmission price excluding work and oil price. The total cost came to $2,600! The official price was $3,360.

The model's reputation in Israel & around the world is not that good due to the known transmission issues which caused GM to extend it's warranty. Sorry, but cars of the 21st century are not supposed to lose their transmission on such low mileage. I have to say that I'm very disappointed from GM on this not taking responsibility on a faulty transmission that brakes a lot on 2009-2011 models.

From the beginning i preferred to pay extra and therefore bought the used car from the Certified program which was supposed to be more reliable deal and that the car is in a better shape compared to the open market or private dealers. Please note that i payed less than 2 years ago ~12,000$ on this car. Couple of months ago, the same certified dealer, offered me ~$6,00$ in a trade-in deal which I decided not to take it. Today, if i will be lucky to get $5,000 on it after having to repair it with $2,700. Sorry, losing so much money because of a known fault in your product simply make me so upset and sorry that I chose a car from GM brand. Sorry, after getting GM's reply for discount of 30% only on the transmission price make me feel that GM doesn't stand behind her product's quality. Personally, I think this car should have been re-called on this.

Every person who bought it in Israel lost so much money even without having the transmission failure. I expected from GM to be more realistic and understand that it's not logic that a transmission of a car to brake after 50,000 miles on a daily house wife drive.

Hope other customers of GM will not lose so much money from cars of this brand.

- landauo, Kochav Yair, Israel

problem #13

Cruze 1.6L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I bought a new Chevrolet Cruz on January 2011.

Yesterday (March 3, 2016) the transmission had a complete failure.

The car has only 25,000 miles, and never had any problems before.

The car is in Israel. The GM garage (in Acre) said that almost 1/3 of the 2011 Cruz cars have a transmission failure.

They found chips in the gear oil. They changed oil and it did not help. They said that they have to change both the gear and the gear microprocessor (called here 'gear computer'). They have to import the parts from Europe, and they are very expensive. They gave us an estimate of $4,500 to fix the problem (car prices in Israel are double than in the US because of taxes.) The estimate repair time is two weeks.

I am still not sure what to do.

- Yoram K., Haifa, Israel

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