Chevy Cruze Problems Consumers Should be Aware of

The Chevy Cruze, first launched in 2008, is no stranger to mechanical issues. The sporty compact car designed to compete with the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Civic has been subjected to numerous recalls and a host of Chevy Cruze problems that leave consumers in a tough spot.

In fact, the 2011-2015 models were rated as worse than average for reliability by Consumer Reports.

GM no longer produces the Chevy Cruze in the United States or Mexico as of 2019. However, in the state of California, you can still seek benefits under lemon law if you purchased a used model or one that is still under the original warranty.

In this post, we want to discuss some of the major issues this vehicle is known to exhibit, what you can do about recurring problems, and what the next steps are in filing a Chevy Cruze lemon law case.

Let’s get to business.

The Top 6 Chevy Cruze Problems


The transmission has given the Chevy Cruze a host of issues – both in the manual six-speed and automatic models. We’ve seen issues related to leaks in the axle seals, colling trans-lines, case bolts, torque converter, and more.

Leaks are unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg with Chevy Cruze transmission problems. There have also been problems with poor transmission control on the nine-speed shiftable automatic diesel models, which can happen to the gas-fueled six-speed transmission models as well.

Additionally, jerky gears and high revving RPMs with no acceleration have been common complaints. If you get lucky, this could be a solenoid problem. But in many cases, these Chevy Cruze problems call for a full rebuild or replacement.

Keep in mind, ANY issues with the transmission can be a “substantial defect” in the eyes of the law. If your vehicle is under warranty and experiencing recurring problems with the transmission, you may have a valid Chevy Cruze lemon law claim.


Chevy Cruze engine problems make up more than half the customer complaints against this vehicle. Issues like rough idling, stalling and backfiring are just a few of the common threads we’ve seen.

To make matters worse, many of these engine codes may not show up at the dealership or trigger the check engine light. Chevy Cruze problems related to the engine tend to be recurring for many consumers. If it’s still covered under the warranty, you may have a lemon on your hands.

Just like the transmission, Chevy Cruze engines are known for leaking problems – ranging from oil to coolant. Common complaints discuss leaks coming from the oil pan, timing chain cover, camshaft cover, crank seal, and so on.

In what is extremely important to the engine, the PCV valves and systems have been shown to give owners a bunch of problems. This system works to get rid of crankcase emissions and combust them in different engine cycles, making the emissions cleaner and more effective. If this system goes out, you may have a serious problem.


The turbo is a very common issue for everyday drivers, more specifically, the bypass valve. This piece allows all the extra air to exit the system, eliminating the need for pressurized air when slowing down.

Over time, this valve can stop closing all the way. When this happens, air can seep out and cause you to lose power. Additionally, the open valve will let in dirt and other contaminants.

Issues with the turbo are especially problematic for Chevy Cruze models. The valve is built into the turbo housing so changing the valve can be difficult.


Electrical issues make up a sizable portion of the Chevy Cruze problems and complaints. We’ve seen problems ranging from faulty gauges and HVAC displays to headlights and blinkers.

One of the more peculiar problems we’ve heard about is the dashboard going out when the brakes are depressed – and back to normal when accelerating.

Perhaps the most alarming of the Chevy Cruze problems is the electrical system shutting down when the vehicle is stopped. In some cases, it can take up to five minutes for the system to start working again. Under any circumstance, this is completely unacceptable.

Now, like transmission and engine problems, any issues with the electrical system may be a substantial defect. If you’ve been experiencing repeated problems after getting warranty-covered repairs, it’s time to look into a lemon law attorney.


Steering problems in the Chevy Cruze once led to GM recalling more than 154K sedans. The issue surfaced when a customer lost control of the steering shaft in a parking lot. 

Issues with the steering have been one of the major 2014 Chevy Cruze problems – but it has affected other years as well. The steering wheel mechanism in the 2014 model has been known to lock up while driving and leave customers unable to steer.

Obviously, the steering is extremely crucial to the safety and functionality of a vehicle. Any issues need to be reported to the manufacturer immediately for repairs. If they are not able to adequately fix it, you may have grounds for a Chevy Cruze lemon law claim.

Cooling System

Problems with the cooling system have been reported as a common issue for 2011-2019 Chevy Cruze models. This issue mainly deals with the water pump and cooling fan. As a result, the entire water pump on many models needs to be changed very frequently.

Reports are that the cooling fan turns on when it shouldn’t, and struggles to stay on when it should. While this may be tied to a faulty electric system, the cooling system is very important to a vehicle’s integrity. Recurring issues can result in a lemon.

Common Chevy Cruze problems with the cooling system also involve leaks. These leaks often stem from the hoses, hose connections, radiator, gaskets, and thermostat housing.

What to Do About Recurring Chevy Cruze Issues?

Recurring Chevy Cruze problems should not be taken lightly – this model sufferers from defects in manufacturing. Even if a problem seems small, you need to get it figured out ASAP. Assuming the vehicle is still under the original manufacturer or dealer warranty, any issues need to be reported immediately.

Get in touch with the dealer or manufacturer, explain the issue, and have them direct you to an authorized repair facility.

Most importantly, DO NOT take the vehicle to your personal mechanic if it is still under warranty. Any work they do on the vehicle may void the manufacturer’s warranty. If this happens and you have recurring issues, seeking benefits under California lemon law will be extremely difficult – maybe impossible.

Is it Time to Look into a Lemon Law Attorney?

Knowing when to seek out a lemon law lawyer can be tough. Most consumers have never had recurring issues with a vehicle before and the process is brand new to them.

Generally speaking, it’s time to look into lemon law attorneys if the manufacturer is not able to repair your vehicle’s defect within a reasonable number of repair attempts. Keep in mind, the elements of lemon law vary from state-to-state.

In the state of California, your vehicle may be deemed a lemon if:

  • The manufacturer has made two or more unsuccessful attempts to repair a warranty-covered defect, and the defect(s) impairs the vehicle’s use, value or safety.
  • The vehicle has been out of service for warranty-covered repairs for more than 30 total days.
  • The defect was not caused by driver abuse or neglect.

Now, you may see other sources online saying the defect must occur within the first 18 months after the purchase date or before 18K miles accrue on the odometer. This is not true. As long as the warranty is still in effect when the defect is reported, your claim is valid.

That being said, if the above-referenced elements are met within the 18 month – 18K limit, your claim will likely be much stronger.

The Next Step

 Are you experiencing ongoing Chevy Cruze problems?

Did the defect first occur when your vehicle was still covered under the warranty? If so, it may be time to seek a lemon law lawyer.

As California lemon law lawyers, we’ve seen our fair share of Chevy Cruze issues. We’re happy to guide consumers in the right direction to receive a refund, aka a lemon law buy-back.Get in touch with our team at Cline APC today by calling 888-982-6915. You can also send an email to, or fill out a free case evaluation.

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