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Old 21st September 2014, 18:52   #1
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Default Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

My 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ MT (v2 I think, with the jet black interiors) has been awesome so far, and I've taken care of her very well. Love driving her on the highways and the engine and performance always puts a smile on my face. I've done 33,000 kms in the 3 years so far, and has been serviced on time regularly.

This morning (Sunday), I faced a problem. I start her up, let her idle for the 2-3 minutes and take her out of the garage and stop the engine. I get back after 10 minutes, start her up again and now I can hear a weird, albeit loud clattering noise when the engine is idle and the clutch is released in neutral. Mind you, this is not the regular diesel clatter. I can feel some vibration in the clutch when the clutch is released fully and the clatter is on: It feels like something on the inside is hitting the clutch pedal, coinciding with the noise. When the pedal is depressed fully, the clatter stops and the engine sounds smooth. Gears cannot be slotted; the gear shifter does not want to slot in to any gear. Gears 1,2,3 can can be slotted by applying considerable force. Car is not driveable at the moment. Starts and stops without any problem. No leaks whatsoever.

I had just completed the 30,000 kms service exactly 2 weeks back (replaced fuel, air, oil filters, engine oil-synthetic, etc. and general service according to scheduled maintenance). I'm attaching the link to the video I made of the problem:

I've scheduled a service appointment tomorrow and I've got my fingers crossed. I've no idea what's happened to the car. I'm guessing its a clutch issue. You guys have any advice for me before I take her to the service center? Should I be asking them any specific questions?
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Old 21st September 2014, 21:45   #2
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by charlesdaniel7 View Post
My 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ MT (v2 I think, with the jet black interiors) has been awesome so far, and I've taken care of her very well. Love driving her on the highways and the engine and performance always puts a smile on my face. I've done 33,000 kms in the 3 years so far, and has been serviced on time regularly.
Buddy most likely its seems to the bearing issue. In case its the bearing, it would advisable to change the clutch and pressure plate too.

Is the car in Warranty?
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Old 21st September 2014, 21:58   #3
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by amitpunjani View Post
Buddy most likely its seems to the bearing issue. In case its the bearing, it would advisable to change the clutch and pressure plate too.

Is the car in Warranty?
Thanks for the inputs! And that was my first post to Team-BHP so high5!

Sadly, the 3 warranty expired in April. What do you think might have caused this? Perhaps something that was done wrong/bad in the last service?
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Old 21st September 2014, 23:26   #4
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

Are the gears slotting easily when the engine is not running?
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Old 21st September 2014, 23:39   #5
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

This is 99% a gearshift linkage problem and not actually the clutch or pressure plate or anything of that sort. Linkages have a lot of plastic parts and clips, if one of them breaks, this is what you face. The kat kat kat sound you are hearing is the linkage hitting somewhere. The symptoms are exactly what you are facing right now. Its an easy fix, don't work yourself up.

If it were the releasing bearing, the sound will come when you depress the clutch pedal, not when you release it.

Last edited by humyum : 21st September 2014 at 23:40.
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Old 21st September 2014, 23:39   #6
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Are the gears slotting easily when the engine is not running?
The gears slot in perfectly when the engine is not running. Completely normal. I just went and checked.
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Old 22nd September 2014, 11:48   #7
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

Given the mileage/age of your car, my guess is that your clutch release bearing is probably kaput and needs immediate replacement. You will also need to get your clutch pressure plate plus flywheel checked too. I changed my pressure plate and bearing at around 40k km and cost around 24k. Time taken was around 1.5 days as it is a medium difficulty job but should be done well without time pressure on the technicians.

There is also a small chance that it could be something as simple as your clutch fluid having leaked out. That will also have the same effect. But chances are high for the former.

Last but not the least, do not drive the car in this condition because you will not be able to disengage your gear at random times.
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Old 22nd September 2014, 18:39   #8
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Given the mileage/age of your car, my guess is that your clutch release bearing is probably kaput and needs immediate replacement. You will also need to get your clutch pressure plate plus flywheel checked too. I changed my pressure plate and bearing at around 40k km and cost around 24k. Time taken was around 1.5 days as it is a medium difficulty job but should be done well without time pressure on the technicians.

There is also a small chance that it could be something as simple as your clutch fluid having leaked out. That will also have the same effect. But chances are high for the former.

Last but not the least, do not drive the car in this condition because you will not be able to disengage your gear at random times.
Let me hope it's just the fluid leaking out since I've driven less than 40km since the last service and maybe the didn't tighten a seal! I've read some real horror service stories on this forum and I hope that's not the case here. I've left the car for service today they informed me that they'll need a couple of days to inspect and let me know.

So I'm assuming it's a routine thing to replace the clutch plate and flywheel? If so, I'm relieved. I was thinking it was probably my fault as I've been kind of half-clutching in the city recently (lazy to change gears). I have to drive at 15-20 kmph, which in first gear the car feels like its ready to pounce in bumper to bumper traffic with pedestrians (not good) and there's absolutely no power in second gear to pull from almost standstill. Mine is the 5-speed MT. I think they've fixed the ratios to Indian city driving conditions in the 6-speed box!
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Old 23rd September 2014, 11:03   #9
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by charlesdaniel7 View Post
So I'm assuming it's a routine thing to replace the clutch plate and flywheel?
Clutch plate yes, flywheel no! I changed the former at my expense and came to around 24k inclusive of labour & taxes.

The flywheel is a Dual Mass one (DMF) and costs a hefty 35k (I think) just for the part. It SHOULD last till 60k+ but my service technician categorically said that in Bangalore's terrible traffic, the Cruze flywheel lasts around 40k only. As you've mentioned, the stupendous turbo boost coupled with the lowish first gear and the dead second gear (below 1.5k rpm) is the real reason!!!

Mine was changed under warranty by GM even though it is classified as a wear and tear part and not normally covered. IF yours has to be changed, please take it up with senior technical staffand escalate to GM that it is unacceptable for a DMF to last only 40k km.

Remember, the normal techs are very keen to change the same as the workshops earn a massive margin on the product and is a simple plug and play job - the techs are winners on both counts :-)

Let us know!
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Old 12th November 2014, 13:57   #10
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by humyum View Post
This is 99% a gearshift linkage problem and not actually the clutch or pressure plate or anything of that sort. Linkages have a lot of plastic parts and clips, if one of them breaks, this is what you face. The kat kat kat sound you are hearing is the linkage hitting somewhere. The symptoms are exactly what you are facing right now. Its an easy fix, don't work yourself up.

If it were the releasing bearing, the sound will come when you depress the clutch pedal, not when you release it.
You're right! I read up extensively online about this and checked the noise that was coming from the car, it had to be a linkage problem as once I managed to slot-in a gear, there was no power loss or anything whatsoever. The car ran just fine.

I took this up with the A.S.S. people and they said we were probably right; but since they had to take apart the gearbox (Labour cost alone ~ 20,000-25,000 INR), it would make sense to replace the clutch plate + flywheel just in case, and save myself from those labor charges again.
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Old 12th November 2014, 14:07   #11
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

Update: The car is back with me today, after spending about 10 days at the A.S.S. I was informed that the flywheel, clutch plate and a couple of other gearbox parts were replaced. I'm yet to get the final bill, so I'll post it here once I get it.

The car seems fine to drive, but feels like a truck while starting up and shutting down (the vibration - the entire car shakes during cranking) :P and it also feels noisier than usual. Feels 'different' :(

Thanks guys, for all your help! Couldn't have done it without you. I will be writing to GM India about this soon. A car of this segment feeling 'old' in just three years is unacceptable.
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Old 12th November 2014, 19:07   #12
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by charlesdaniel7 View Post
Update: The car is back with me today, after spending about 10 days at the A.S.S. I was informed that the flywheel, clutch plate and a couple of other gearbox parts were replaced. I'm yet to get the final bill, so I'll post it here once I get it.

The car seems fine to drive, but feels like a truck while starting up and shutting down (the vibration - the entire car shakes during cranking) :P and it also feels noisier than usual. Feels 'different' :(

Thanks guys, for all your help! Couldn't have done it without you. I will be writing to GM India about this soon. A car of this segment feeling 'old' in just three years is unacceptable.
Couple of other 'Gearbox parts' ? All this was in warranty right ? Atleast the gearbox related work. Please post everything in detail when you get the bill.
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Old 19th June 2015, 13:01   #13
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by charlesdaniel7 View Post
Let me hope it's just the fluid leaking out since I've driven less than 40km since the last service and maybe the didn't tighten a seal! I've read some real horror service stories on this forum and I hope that's not the case here. I've left the car for service today they informed me that they'll need a couple of days to inspect and let me know.

So I'm assuming it's a routine thing to replace the clutch plate and flywheel? If so, I'm relieved. I was thinking it was probably my fault as I've been kind of half-clutching in the city recently (lazy to change gears). I have to drive at 15-20 kmph, which in first gear the car feels like its ready to pounce in bumper to bumper traffic with pedestrians (not good) and there's absolutely no power in second gear to pull from almost standstill. Mine is the 5-speed MT. I think they've fixed the ratios to Indian city driving conditions in the 6-speed box!

hi,

even I am facing the same problem. The car has done 48000 kms and is of 2011. I was shown by the Service guys that how the friction material of the clutch was wearing out. How is the car now after changing the clutch plate?
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Old 19th June 2015, 14:05   #14
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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hi,

even I am facing the same problem. The car has done 48000 kms and is of 2011. I was shown by the Service guys that how the friction material of the clutch was wearing out. How is the car now after changing the clutch plate?
I'm sorry to say this, but my car just doesn't feel the same anymore after that episode of replacing the clutch and flywheel. I was told that everything in the engine bay and also the dash had to be taken apart almost completely for changing those parts and then put back; hence after I got the car back it feels like it has aged an extra 3 years and feels like a 5-6ish year old car.

It drives about o-okay, gear changes are harder and don't feel like the gears slot in so nicely anymore, the clutch feels hard with stronger pushback that I get leg pain within half hour of city driving, the cabin NVH has gotten so worse I have to play music and turn up the AC blower just so that it doesn't sound like I'm driving a lorry. It just doesn't have the factory fit, finish and handling anymore. Maybe I just 'feel' this way and the bill was about 75k. I'm nearing 40,000 kms and it's gonna need new brakes and tires soon so I should expect another big bill soon LOL.

I do hope your experience is better, though. Let us know how it goes!
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Old 19th June 2015, 16:34   #15
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Default Re: Chevrolet Cruze: Clutch / Gearbox problem

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Originally Posted by charlesdaniel7 View Post
I'm sorry to say this, but my car just doesn't feel the same anymore after that episode of replacing the clutch and flywheel......after I got the car back it feels like it has aged an extra 3 years and feels like a 5-6ish year old car.

It drives about o-okay, gear changes are harder and don't feel like the gears slot in so nicely anymore, the clutch feels hard with stronger pushback that I get leg pain within half hour of city driving, the cabin NVH has gotten so worse I have to play music and turn up the AC blower just so that it doesn't sound like I'm driving a lorry. It just doesn't have the factory fit, finish and handling anymore.
Disheartened to hear this.

Even in the ASS, it is not easy to re-produce the original fit and finish. But I think ASS can solve your problem of hard gear shift and stronger clutch push back.

Harder gear shift: This may need re-alignment of supporting brackets in the linkage / cable and proper greasing. The hardness is unlikely to come from inside the gearbox. Since you have already paid for this earlier, you can request them to do this free of cost in the next routine service. They shall agree, if the next service is also likely to be billed high.

Harder clutch spring back: Unless some part in the clutch / hydraulic circuit is different, this cannot happen. Either there is a harder spring in the master cylinder or a harder finger spring inside the clutch or a little larger diameter the master cylinder or a little smaller diameter for the slave cylinder. The can happen if the changed component is almost (but not exactly) similar component from a different version of the car or it is the almost (but not exactly) similar component from some other car of the same make. Show the harder clutch to the ASS by comparing with another car and insist on replacement of the wrong component. Insist that this is related to pain and safety.

Excess NVH in the cabin: Check the damping material on the firewall, the condition of engine mounts.
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