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Chevy Cruze Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Chevy Cruze Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

In 2008, General Motors introduced the Chevy Cruze into global production as the replacement of the Cobalt. It was available in Japan from 2001 to 2008 before its emergence as an international nameplate in 2008. Canadians and US versions of the Cruze arrived in 2011. Nevertheless, it was a combination of modern technology at an affordable price. It had sophisticated exterior styling, while the core interior was a contemporary expression of a conventional Chevy styling cue. In its engine compartment, General Motors installed a range of gasoline and diesel units. Today, however, we will discuss the transmissions installed inside the Cruze throughout its evolution.

The Chevy Cruze has used several transmissions throughout its two generations: 2008–2016 and 2016–Present. It includes 5- and 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions, along with 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

We begin by bringing your attention to the point that the above description is insufficient to understand transmissions installed inside the Chevy Cruze. It is vital to know that the Chevy Cruze has evolved throughout its two generations. It has embraced a variety of different models of automatic and manual transmissions. Hence, we will see the transmissions with different dimensions. We will first look at the reliability and cost of several transmissions. Later on, we will find problems that may emerge during the lifetime of those transmissions. In addition, we will go through the differences between them and give you the source to help you find the fluid for your transmission.

What Transmissions Has The Chevy Cruze Used?

Here we see what kind of transmission the Chevy Cruze has used in its two generations.

First Generation (2008–2016)

  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed M32 manual
  • 6-speed F40 manual
  • 6-speed GM 6T30 automatic
  • 6-speed GM 6T40 automatic
  • 6-speed Aisin-Warner AF40-6 automatic

Second Generation (2016–Present)

  • 6-speed M32 manual
  • 6-speed GM 6T35 automatic
  • 7-speed DCG DCT

How Long Does A Chevy Cruze Transmission Last?

You can expect the transmission to last up to 150,000 miles on average, although it does not happen in every case. Essentially, the lifetime of the transmission depends on the kind of it. Regular maintenance and sensible driving can also play a vital role in amplifying the lifespan. That said, it is good to replace the transmission as soon as possible once you hit 150,000 miles.

This is typical transmission lifespan for vehicles of this and you can expect transmissions in larger trucks, like the Silverado 2500 to last for a whole lot longer with the right care.

How Much Does A Chevy Cruze Transmission Cost?

Do you wish to replace the transmission of your Chevy Cruze? In that case, it is crucial to learn about transmission costs to make up your mind. For the sake of your information, we have highlighted the prices for a few transmissions going inside the Chevy Cruze.

  • 6-speed F40 manual: $1945.66 (PacePerformance)
  • 6-speed GM 6T30 automatic: $2,495.00 (eBay)
  • 6-speed GM 6T40 automatic: $2,999.95 (eBay)
  • 6-speed Aisin-Warner AF40-6 automatic: $1,560.00 (Maktrans)

Common Chevy Cruze Transmission Problems

Here we see a few problems that the transmissions mentioned above of the Chevy Cruze pop up.


  • The F40 transmission may cause trouble for a driver to shift gear into reverse and first. It might become so hard as hitting a brick wall when it comes to shifting these gears. 
  • The trouble leads a driver to get into second gear initially and return the stick to first gear. Unfortunately, it may even cause problems shifting into second gear as well.
  • It requires a great deal of struggle for a driver to achieve it, and many times, even putting in great effort does not produce the desired result.
  • In some cases, downshifting the gear into second also does not work.
  • Occasionally, the third gear can lock the driver out as well.


  • In most cases, the bushings of the 6T30 may reach a messy situation. At the same time, the transmission itself is in decent condition.
  • There is a possibility of a problem in the 2-6 gear piston when a driver senses a noticeable kick at first-to-second gear shift. Sometimes, the wear products and dust particles clog the piston drain port, and other times, the rubber strips off.
  • The clutch drum can also wear out over time.


  • The problems that often emerge among the 6T40 transmissions are slipping between the gears, erratic shifting behavior, and loss of reverse or forward gears. Furthermore, it may cause a delayed shift and harsh shift.
  • Besides, overheating is another problem. It occurs as a consequence of increasing friction heat caused by the moving parts inside the transmission. The issue emerges because of driving in traffic oscillation or mountain roads. It can also happen due to towing heavy loads.


  • Shift flare is one of the common issues with the AF40-6 transmission. It indicates that transmission fails to engage correctly into the next gear when upshifting. Essentially, it increases the running speed of an engine before the next gear engagement. Although the problem is prolific with lower gears, it can occur with any of the shifts.
  • Another problem with the transmission is hard downshifting. A driver is susceptible to harsh gear engagement when pressing the throttle while a vehicle almost comes to a halt.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Chevy Cruze Uses (All Generations)

Differences Between Transmissions

The F40 is a 6-speed manual transmission. It has a three-axis design, with third and fourth gears on an output shaft, before and above the input shaft. In contrast, the first, second, fifth, and sixth lay on an output shaft at the back and below the input shaft. It weighs 56.2 kg.

The 6T30 is a six-speed automatic transmission that is a compact and lightweight variant. General Motors has produced it to use it with North American Chevrolet Sonic & Chevrolet Cruze equipped with 1.8 L engine variants. It weighs 71.5 kg. 

The 6T40 is a 6-speed automatic transmission. General Motors has developed it to use in front-wheel-drive cars with a transverse powertrain orientation. It does not need changing of transmission fluid as it gets filled for life with DEXRON-VI premium fluid. Moreover, it has consistent shift performance in extreme conditions. For the record, it is more robust than the 6T30 gearbox, and it weighs between 82 kg and 90 kg.

The AF40-6 is a 6-speed automatic transmission. Aisin Seiki has produced it for use in transverse engine applications. Interestingly, it fits in the same space as a manual transmission. It weighs 90 kg.

Transmission Fluids And The Chevy Cruze

When it comes to transmission fluid, several experts recommend replacing it every 45,000 miles. That said, it is essential to note that each transmission may need unique transmission fluid. All transmissions do not run well on the same fluid. For your guidance, we provide you with the source of transmission fluids that work well with various transmissions of the Chevy Cruze.

Also read: 6 Common Problems Of A Chevy Cruze Diesel (2014 – 2019)


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