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Why did I loose acceleration in my 2012 Holden Cruze even though I still had revs?

Asked by Brigitte

I have a 2012 model Holden Cruze Equipe automatic, which I have had since new. It has always been serviced at the same dealership, from which it was purchased. Total kilometres to date are 116,703. When driving the other day, the car suddenly lost acceleration but the engine was still revving. It slowly came to a complete stop. The engine-malfunction light was showing on the dash. All oil, petrol and water levels were okay.

So, I started the car again and it slowly crawled approximately another 100 metres before stopping. I had to call a towing service to have it towed back to dealer service division. They have had the car back for over a day to check the fault. I have called them but they don't have an answer yet. Not sure what the problem could be. Would you have any suggestions?

Answered by CarsGuide

9 Oct 2020 David Morley

If the engine is still revving up but the car isn’t moving, logic says you have a transmission (gearbox) problem. Transmission problems are very well known in the Holden Cruze, and must surely be classified as an inherent fault. Fundamentally, the automatic transmission in your car was a dud from day one, and Holden even announced an extended warranty for it as part of a special service program to replace consumer confidence in the unit. It didn’t work.

Many Cruzes exhibited the precise behaviour you experienced, and the loss of all drive as well as the check-engine light illuminating are classic indicators of a transmission that either needs new components such as sensors, a valve body or torque converter, or is totally done and needs to be completely replaced. An inspection will be able to determine this. Error code P0776 is what I’m tipping the car will offer up when it’s electronically scanned (which should be your next step).

Once Holden had fixed these transmissions, it was extending the warranty to five years from when the car first entered service or 150,000km, whichever came first. Obviously, your car is older than that, but it has covered low kilometres and since you’ve had it from new and can verify its service history with a Holden dealer, I reckon it would be worth your while to contact Holden’s customer service division and state your case. Let’s face it, less than 120,000km on a modern car before the transmission blows up is not really good enough, is it?

You may not get anywhere, but even if you can convince Holden to help with the cost of parts (labour would be nice, too) the financial picture changes dramatically. Without a bit of help from Holden, it may just be that the cost of repairs will be higher than the actual value of the car itself.

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