Holden Cruze Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Holden Cruze reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Why is my 2013 Holden Cruze revving and losing power?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Jul 2022

If the engine is revving but the car is not moving, you probably have a transmission or gearbox fault. If the problem was a broken driveshaft or CV joint, the car would just roll to a stop and not move again. But since it gradually lost drive before finally refusing to move, it’s more likely to be the gearbox that is the cause of this.

Sometimes, this sort of problem can be as simple as a leak from the transmission which has led to a low fluid level. And since it’s the fluid in an automatic transmission that actually provides the drive (by transferring the torque) this can bring on the symptoms you’re seeing.

At the other end of the catastrophe scale, you could be looking at a gearbox that has failed internally and comprehensively. And I’m afraid to say that this model Cruze did have a reputation for just that occurring. Sometimes the problem could be traced back to a torque-converter, valve body or sensor error, but other times complete transmission failure was the diagnosis.

Holden actually acknowledged this problem by extending the transmission warranty to 150,000km or five years after the date the car first went into service. Unfortunately, that ended in 2018 for your car. It would still be worth contacting Holden’s customer service department, however, but don’t be surprised if financial help is not forthcoming.

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I own a 2010 Holden Cruze. I have an issue with the transmission. The gear is not shifting properly causing high rpm...

Answered by CarsGuide 30 Jun 2022

This model Holden Cruze is well known for transmission failures. Symptoms include the inability to select gears, a complete loss of drive or, as you have noticed, flaring in the gears. Unfortunately, this often mean the entire transmission is unserviceable.

Holden did extend the transmission warranty on these cars to five years or 150,000km, but even at that rate, your car would still be well and truly out of warranty. The first step, however, is to have the car scanned to see if the computer throws up any transmission-fault codes which could tell more of the story.

In some cases, these cars also experienced failed transmission coolers which allowed the transmission fluid and engine coolant to mix. If that’s the case, you might be able to get away with replacing the radiator, but historically, many of these cases also caused the transmission to fail.

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Can I fit a 17 x 7-inch CDX 2010 Holden Cruze rim to a 2010 Holden Cruze CD with 16 x 6.5-inch rims?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Mar 2022

The 17 X 7-inch rim was one of the upgrades Holden gave the Cruze in CDX trim to distinguish it from cheaper models. But since no changes were made to the suspension or bodywork as part of that upgrade, the CDX rim and tyre should fit on the CD model with no problems.

The only catch might be that you’re then slightly limited in what tyres you can use. Because the 17-inch rim has a one-inch (and wheel and tyre measurements are still universally in inches, rather than metric) larger diameter, you can’t always fit that rim with a high-profile tyre as that might cause clearance problems.

The best advice would be to stick with the standard tyre specification for the 17-inch wheels. You may find, though, that the lower-profile tyre on the 17-inch Cruze rim might cost you a little in ride comfort terms as the low-profile tyre won’t have the same, softer sidewall and may transmit more movement into the cabin.

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My 2013 Holden Cruze transmission has failed completely. Is it worth fixing the transmission or would there be other issues?

Answered by CarsGuide 26 Feb 2022

Although it was a reasonably popular car when it was brand-new, it’s fair to say Holden’s Cruze hasn’t aged terribly gracefully. In fact, there has been an ever-growing list of potential problems including (but not limited to) cracked cylinder heads, broken driveshafts, various oil and coolant leaks, not to mention the Takata air-bag recall fiasco. And, as you have discovered, the automatic transmission was a problem-child, too.

Holden actually extended the warranty of the six-speed automatic to five years or 150,000km, but your vehicle is well outside those parameters. Which means, as you’ve pointed out, you decision now comes down to repair or replace the car.

This model Cruze varies enormously in price, and your car could be worth anything from $5000 (at which point you’d be over-capitalising with a new gearbox) to $15,000 which would mean it’s worth fixing. Based purely on the kilometres your car has travelled, I’d say its second-hand value is somewhere right about the middle of those two numbers, which muddies the waters ever further.

Perhaps you should have the rest of the car checked out by a specialist who might be able to give you a more concrete idea of where you stand. Obviously, throwing several thousand dollars at a car that’s about to break somewhere else makes no sense. Remember, too, that selling the car with a broken gearbox means it’ll be worth almost nothing.

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Does my 2013 Holden Cruze have a transmission control unit issue?

Answered by CarsGuide 13 Jan 2022

Yes, it could be something to do with the way the transmission is behaving. But it could also very easily be any one of a hundred other things. A faulty transmission can cause a car to surge while stopped, but so can a fault with the fuel, ignition and any number other systems found on a modern car.

But work backwards for a moment. Did this new problem occur immediately after the plugs and coil-packs were changed? Or was there a full week of normal driving before the new problem set in? I’d be checking the connections on those new plugs and coils and making sure that nothing has been left loose. A poor earth connection can be the source of many problems that seem like something else initially. From there, I think an electronic scan is probably the best advice as this will help pin-point what’s going wrong. The car’s own computer should have a very good idea of what’s amiss and can alert you to it quickly.

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I'm looking at buying a 2014 Holden Cruze should I be worried about high kilometres on the clock?

Answered by CarsGuide 13 Dec 2021

That certainly is a lot of kilometres for a car that’s just seven years old. However, the car’s service history and how it’s been driven is far more important than the simple number showing on the odometer. If the car has a fully stamped and complete service record (with no missing services) then it’s a better buy than one with fewer kilometres but no written service history.

How and where the car has been driven is crucial, too. Country miles are generally kinder to a car’s driveline than stop-start city driving. And check for a tow-bar. Has the car towed anything heavy? These are all questions you need to ask before making a deal on any car.

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Why is my 2006 Holden Cruze is stuck in Park?

Answered by CarsGuide 26 Nov 2021

The gearshift in your Cruze is operated by a cable. When it’s working properly, one end of the cable attaches to the gear-lever in the cabin and the other end attaches to the selectors on the transmission that physically select Drive, Reverse or Park. If the gear-lever is moving but the selectors aren’t, there’s usually one of three possibilities. Either the cable has fallen off at the gear-lever, it’s fallen off at the gearbox end or, the cable has snapped or broken.

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My 2004 Holden Cruze manual is getting oil in the number two spark plug tube. Where could it be coming from?

Answered by CarsGuide 23 Nov 2021

Like a lot of relatively modern engine designs, the Cruze uses a spark plug centrally located in the cylinder head. That means that it’s between the two camshafts in the Holden’s case, and that means the spark plug lead needs to effectively pass through the rocker cover to attach to the spark plug. In turn, that means that the spark plug sits at the bottom of a tube that forms an oil-tight chamber between the inside of the tube (where the plug lives) and the inside of the rocker cover (which has oil flinging around inside of it when the engine is running).

The problems start when the seal at the bottom of that tube fails and allows oil to seep into the tube from the rocker cover. That’s when you’ll see the oil you described. The fix is to remove the rocker cover and replace either the whole gasket, or the O-ring seal (depending on the design). If it’s the latter, don’t just replace the one that’s leaking now, replace all of them as the rest won’t be far behind the one that’s already leaking. O-rings and gasket start to become hard and brittle as they age, and that’s when leaks will occur. This is not a huge job to fix, but left unchecked, it can allow the engine to begin to misfire.

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Can I do a service on my 2010 Holden Cruze myself?

Answered by CarsGuide 14 Nov 2021

The short answer is that home servicing is, indeed, possible. The expanded version of the same answer is that you need to know not only the basics of the mechanical bits and pieces you’ll be dealing with, but also have a clear idea of what’s involved in each service.

We think of servicing as changing the oil and spinning on a new oil filter. But it’s not that simple. Modern cars (and I’ll put a 2010 Cruze in that category) have a strict regime of things that need to be attended to at each service interval, and that list changes as the car covers more kilometres. Ignoring any one of the prescribed servicing tasks means you run the risk of having something fail, wear out or somehow go wrong at the least convenient time.

Depending on the distance your car has travelled, the next scheduled service could include things such as changing the air filter, pollen filter, rotating the tyres, changing the automatic transmission fluid, replacing the park plugs and leads, flushing the cooling system, replacing the timing belt, checking brake rotor and pad thickness, and checking dozens more things like the car’s bulbs, drive-belt condition and wiper-blade condition.

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How do you check transmission oil in a Holden Cruze 2009 and where is the fuel filter located?

Answered by CarsGuide 28 Oct 2021

It used to be the case that you could simply, quickly and easily check a car’s transmission fluid by looking at the transmission dipstick. In the case of the Holden Cruze, that’s not the case and clearly, the manufacturer doesn’t want anybody unauthorised attempting to check the fluid level. That and the fact that a transmission without a dipstick is cheaper to make.

Without a dipstick, the fluid level is set when the transmission fluid is changed as part of a service. The transmission when refilled is then warmed to a pre-determined temperature and a small bung removed from the side of the transmission near the driveshaft. If the level is correct, there should be a drop of two of fluid leak from this hole. Clearly, this is not a job for the home mechanic, but that’s how a workshop does it.

On the diesel-engined Cruze, the fuel filter is located in front of the driver’s side rear wheel, under the floor and next to the fuel tank. You may have to remove the plastic under-floor panels to gain access to the filter. In the petrol version of the Cruze, the filter is located in the driver’s-side rear wheel arch and, in either case, you’ll need to get under the car to change them, so make sure the car is safely supported.

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