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My Cruze is not cruising!

I bought my base model Cruze in 2010 miles. It has 94K miles. I’ve had normal wear and tear issues like any long term car owner, but nothing electrical or powertrain related, mostly suspension.
I Reverse out of the driveway yesterday, no problem. Put the car into drive, step on the gas and the transmission hesitated to change to 2nd gear until 5000 RPMs. From 2nd to 3rd was a sluggish, but not like from 1st to 2nd. Beyond third gear no issues. It also jolted when coming to a complete stop, so down shifting from 2nd to 1st. These are all new developments as of yesterday. I continue driving and it happened again, before and after a stop sign. At this point I knew I definitely had a problem. I then changed the way I accelerated. Upon accelerating, I very gently pressed the gas pedal until the car changed gears (which pissed off people behind me). Doing this definitely helped, but still, every other red light or so the problem happened again. I had someone else drive it and they told me that the manual transmission mode doesn’t work.
I used an OBD scanner and I got a P0700 code, no other code. Also today, I reversed out of the driveway, attempted to put it into drive, but nothing happened, only a revving engine! And while revving the engine, if you listen closely you can hear liquid moving around, don’t know if that’s normal but I have no idea what that is. So now it doesn’t shift at all except in reverse. I’ll be getting the car up on a jack to check the transmission fluid level in a few hours… Something tells me that’s not the issue. But I’m hoping based on the solo P0700 code and these symptoms, you guys might be able to shed some light.

That code indicates a malfunction in the Transmission Control Module (TCM).
However, I have to wonder if you have had the trans fluid and filter changed every 30k miles.
If not, then I strongly suggest that you have that long-overdue service done when you take the car to the trans shop to have the TCM checked.

Just be sure to look for a well-reputed independent trans shop that has been in business for at least 3 years. Ask friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers for a recommended indy trans shop.
Just be sure to avoid going to Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr, Transmission, or–God forbid–AAMCO. Those joints charge more–for substandard workmanship–and frequently tell customers that they need a new/overhauled transmission, when a simple repair is all that is needed.


Embarrassing but no I have not had the transmission fluid serviced. I suppose that I just assumed my oil change tech would tell me that it’s needed… Probably because they tell me when I need new brakes or tires, ect… I really hope I didn’t destroy the transmission.

No, I don’t think that you destroyed the transmission.
However, you have to bear in mind that vehicle manufacturers want to make their products appear to be as maintenance-free as possible, and as a result, most of them have deleted the vital 30k trans fluid change from their maintenance schedules.

They are gambling that most of their customers’ transmissions won’t self-destruct during the period of the Powertrain Warranty, and–more often than not–the mfrs win that gamble. However, when an un-maintained transmission fails at 100k or 120k–long after the warranty expired–it is the vehicle owner who will have to pay the full freight for that failure.

Have that long-delayed trans service performed, and hopefully nothing more than the reprogramming or replacement of the TCM will be necessary. Just be sure to AVOID all of the chain-run trans shops!

Please log back in to let us know the actual diagnosis from a reputable indy trans shop!

Will do and thanks.

Pull the transmission dip stick, check the level, and look at the fluid, then smell it. If it has a burnt odor, it is spent and needs to be changed. New transmission fluid has a reddish color, but yours should be black by now. I’d say that even if the fluid smells OK, get the fluid changed. BTW, if the fluid level is low, just change it. Putting new fluid in now will just go to waste if you replace it soon. Just don’t drive much until you get the fluid replaced.

Your symptoms are consistent with low transmission fluid. It doesn’t have to be that much low for this to happen. Suggest to not drive the vehicle or to only drive it a slow speed until the fill state of the transmission is known. Driving w/low transmission fluid can damage the transmission.

The delayed up-shift can be caused by a failed input or output speed sensor. The P0700 PCM fault indicates that there is a fault present in the transmission control module, you need a scan tool that is capable of communicating with the TCM to view the fault.

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To a trans shop or dealer pronto. The thing is that even a little slipping of the clutches can burn them out requiring an overhaul.

Hey there. Update! So we drained the transmission fluid. The level wasn’t low but the color was pretty dark. In an attempt to avoid the dealership, we replaced the solenoids and added new transmission fluid. Also replaced the transmission cooler hose since we had it off and it looked beat up. Before doing this, if you remember, I could go in reverse but nothing would happen in drive. I can now get in first gear but shifting is erratic and instead of not up shifting like before, it’s now not down shifting. Thoughts?

Thanks, didn’t see your reply until today. Wouldnt a bad sensor return an OBD code?

Yes, P0700 and also illuminate the check engine light. For the specific fault you will need to access the transmission control module.