Holden Cruze Problems: 5 Common Issues & Tips

The common Holden Cruze problems and issues to be aware of when inspecting before buying a used Holden Cruze.

5 Holden Cruze Problems to Look Out For

The Holden Cruze from the GM stable also known as the Chevrolet Cruze has attracted considerable attention throughout the years although not always for positive reasons. Behind its appearance lies a set of issues that have troubled many owners. Here are insights into these problems to make an informed buying decision if you are inspecting and considering becoming a Cruze owner.

1. Transmission Challenges

One of the known weaknesses of the Holden Cruze is its automatic transmission. Often described as a dance this transmission can be prone to missteps. Owners have reported issues, including slips and jerks during acceleration and difficulty shifting gears. The only resolution is a transmission replacement, which can overshadow an enjoyable driving experience. The pre-purchase vehicle inspection by BPC Auto Inspect on the 2015 Holden Cruze SRi Z-Series JH Series II Manual MY16 with a 4cyl 1.6L Turbo Petrol Engine shown in the images below is a manual. The buyer chose a manual to avoid the common transmission problems in a Holden Cruze.

2. Engine Mysteries

Grey Holden Cruze with the hood open, man's hand reaching into the engine bay, showing engine oil tarnish and oil leak.

Nestled within the engine bay of the Cruze is a 1.4L turbocharged powerplant; however it does have some flaws. Excessive oil consumption remains a concern that necessitates top-ups and poses potential long-term engine damage if not addressed promptly. Additionally, engine oil-tarnish build-up (as shown in the image) and carbon build-up further complicate matters, by impacting engine performance and fuel efficiency. Additionally, there is a looming concern, about the possibility of timing chain failure, which could result in engine damage if it happens.

3. Cooling Challenges

It is crucial to keep your Cruze’s cooling system in condition. It appears that the system itself can cause headaches. Issues with the water pump leaking that even the water pump stop leak won’t fix, radiator and thermostat have been reported, leading to problems. If not addressed promptly this could escalate into engine overheating, a blown head gasket and other engine damage. This can significantly impact you financially. Autoguru says the average price of a head gasket replacement starts around $1200 and can increase to $3000+ depending on any other damage and work required.

4. Electrical Quirks

The electrical system in the Holden Cruze can be quite temperamental. Many owners have experienced problems with the following:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Damaged electrical components
  • Loose or corroded connections
  • Faulty alternator or battery
  • Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
  • Ignition coils
  • Various sensors

These issues can manifest in puzzling ways including:

  • Ignition won’t turn on
  • The car won’t turn over but has power
  • Difficulty starting the car
  • Engine running unevenly
  • Flickering lights
  • Check engine light is coming on

Most problems are related to bad earth connections and is a good idea to have your it checked by a mechanic to see if there is a bad earth connection. The mechanic will use a multimeter to measure the resistance between the ground wire and the chassis to check for a bad earth connection. If the resistance is too high, it indicates a bad earth connection. The mechanic then cleans or replaces the ground wire to fix the problem. A car diagnostic scanner or code reader is required to check the engine light. See my review for the best scan tool if you want one.

5. Exhaust Challenges

Even the exhaust system of the Holden Cruze is not immune to troubles. Owners may find themselves unexpectedly dealing with exhaust leaks and rust issues that result in a symphony of noise, inside the cabin and harmful fumes entering. Not to mention the performance might be affected, which can dampen the driving experience that the Cruze promises.

6 Tips to Help You Navigate the Challenges of Owning a Cruze and Prevent These Issues

1. Maintenance

Stick to oil changes and following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is crucial for maintaining a healthy engine in your Cruze. This can help prevent many of the problems associated with this vehicle.

2. Smart Driving

If possible try to avoid heavy city traffic with start and stop situations. This will reduce strain on your transmission. Potentially extend its lifespan.

3. Check Your Coolant

Inspecting your cooling system for leaks is important since even a small leak in the coolant system can lead to major repairs if left unattended.

4. Battery Care

Keeping your battery terminals clean and corrosion-free is crucial to avoid encountering various issues in this area.

5. Assessment

If you come across any abnormalities, in the system of your car it’s important not to delay. Get it examined by a mechanic to identify and resolve the problem.

6. Exhaust System Vigilance

Regularly check the exhaust system for any indications of leaks or rust. Detecting these problems can prevent them from escalating By adhering to these recommendations you can not only prolong the lifespan of your Holden Cruze but also mitigate common issues that many Cruze owners have faced.

Considering these concerns, it is widely known that the Holden Cruze doesn’t have a reputation, for reliability. If you’re thinking about getting one for yourself it would be wise to take these words of caution. Prioritize research. Consider getting a pre-purchase inspection to identify hidden issues that could spoil your ownership experience.

First-time car buyers or parents buying for their children who have done their due diligence to avoid these common Holden Cruze problems have proceeded with buying. They feel they get a more modern car with up-to-date features like an integrated Bluetooth system and a 5-star safety rating for models 2009 – 2017. Equipped with knowledge, putting away $50 in a separate bank account to budget for emergency repairs that come with motoring and a proactive maintenance approach you can fully enjoy owning this vehicle while keeping pitfalls at bay.

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