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2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue


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matt38
Novice

Mar 7, 2017, 8:30 PM

Post #1 of 10 (212 views)
2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

2011 Cruze LS auto
80,XXX KM

In summer 2016 GM noticed dampness under the car. told me to keep an eye on it. Last January I had my oil changed and they reiterated the dampness so I made an appointment last Wednesday to get it looked at. They washed it and 45 minutes later determined it was a leaking torque converter and the seal and gaskets needed to be replaced. Billed at 9.5 hours + parts came to around just under $1200 Cnd funds with tax. Wasn't too happy with that so I shopped around. Found a great independent shop who took it in today to do the supposed seal/gasket replacement. After a few hours I got a call saying it wasn't the torque converter it was that part under the hood that coolant was leaking from and trickling down under the engine. After 10 minutes lifted up they found no sign of transmission leak. The oring replace, sensor reset and coolant flush came to $170 ish. I was quite happy to pay that instead of $1200. I just want peace of mind not to know it really was the coolant issue causing the leaking and there still isn't a torque converter issue. The dex cool is orange-ish and ATF fluid from a tranmission is more red, right? Did GM get the two fluids confused, or was going to be the victim of a fast one? Let me know.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 7, 2017, 11:40 PM

Post #2 of 10 (197 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

Seems like your question is identifying which fluid it which? ATF is generally a RED oil and DexCool "antifreeze/coolant" is more of an orange like color.


Easy - an oil wouldn't wash off with plain water and a "coolant" as you put it would.
GM didn't mess up or confuse that has been like that for quite some time. If this is solved now it's all over. IDK why the misdiagnosis the first time? It would be a way to find the source to clean or wipe areas and items off to find a leak so the confusion was probably what was used to "wash" the area.


This went on a long time so it couldn't have been terribly fast to leak but can still make quite a mess.


Do keep an eye out for leaks especially if you park in the same spot, better if a garage use cardboard under car even better if white for color identification or put a drip on white paper to help know. For those that always randomly park you could miss a slow leak till a real problem came of it!


Diagnosis seems to be flawed from the first check perhaps an honest mistake?


T



matt38
Novice

Mar 7, 2017, 11:57 PM

Post #3 of 10 (189 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

Yes. I have no idea what went on at GM during their leak test. I'm also curious if my 3rd party shop had it running while lifted? Isn't this how you diagnose leaks while the car is lifted? The mech was quite annoyed with GM's diagnosis, mad even, for good reason. When I picked my car up today the mechanic popped the hood and showed me the piece where the o-ring was replaced, and sure enough there was some residual left over orange coolant. Really appreciate a mechanic taking the time to show stuff like that. So many shops couldn't have cared less.


Using some 'deductive reasoning': Lets say GM really did detect the leaking converter seal, but they surely would have detected the leaking coolant as well? Doesn't logic dictate that they would have been more than happy to replace to the torque converter seal -and- fix the coolant leak? This would have meant more money to the shop. This leads me to believe it really was a coolant leak misdiagnosed as a leaking transmission converter seal.


matt38
Novice

Mar 8, 2017, 12:24 AM

Post #4 of 10 (183 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

PS. The "wash" GM talks about I think is to wash the bottom before testing to see the area the leak is from, i.e get it clean to get a good inspection on the test. How the test is conducted I'm not aware of , you know though I bet :-)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 8, 2017, 12:26 AM

Post #5 of 10 (181 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

GM made and sold the car. The rest of all people are techs that may or may not work at a GM dealer and I don't know where you went.


If this brought up to me that you noticed a leak unknown I would dry wipe areas as best as possible so cleaners were not confusing it or have you come back in a hour if water based wash/cleaner was needed.


Same game if anything leaks - vehicle or other. Wipe it and watch it come back in this case would do so with engine running.


What's a little odd is just 80KM the seal for torque converters are not common at all to me anyway. It's not usually the fault of a converter either if it was. I would think more about the front pump of transmission and might do both and be wildly embarrassed if that didn't solve the leak to find some coolant something later.


More: Just in getting an oil change for example or you perhaps checking your own fluids if you spill some that isn't all that uncommon and get fooled there is a problem or knew you spilled some and chill out. If excessive clean it up with disposable towels.


You seem to wonder if the diagnosis was on purpose to make more money and I can't say that. It would be personal to me NOT to be wrong about a fairly expensive repair and check very carefully.


OK - you said there some "residual" wetness where it was fixed. Could be normal right now if just done. I would just wipe that dry yet again and see if it came back since you know what and where it was fixed now. If that didn't work then why is the question.


So also know that "antifreeze/coolant" doesn't just dry out like plain water rather takes some time, heat etc. I wouldn't be fast to hose and solvent wash off much of anything on or around an engine as electrical anything really doesn't like that.


For now it sounds like it's fixed and you are just seeing some "residual" of the mess of working on it and flushing out cooling system. Any active leak should cease in a day or maybe less.


Good of you to pay attention and if worried more take it back for inspection of the work that was done by the person/tech who did it is the best I can say,


T



matt38
Novice

Mar 8, 2017, 1:08 AM

Post #6 of 10 (177 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

The residual coolant on the piece didn't bother me, it sort-of confirmed that it had indeed been leaking before it was repaired by the 3rd party shop. I'm not super car savvy, so I suppose some leaking in that area is normal whether it is in good shape or not. Yep. Quite happy I saved $1000 canadian. I was asking the 3rd party mechanic, out of curiosity if GM would have ceased the repair once they found out , it wasnt the torque converter seal/gaskets that were the problem. Interesting to think about. Now my tax refund can go to a DSRL for scenery/nature pics in the spring/summer instead of a big fat repair bill (that sounds like it wasn't needed).


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 8, 2017, 2:34 AM

Post #7 of 10 (173 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

Let's give this up. There's no way for me to know what a tech would do when or if found the problem wasn't what they thought? This is barely about auto repair only but finding what's leaking - common sense. C'mon - something is leaking in your refrigerator you find which item and take care of it.


Already said to keep an eye on it and know fluid are properly filled. If no more problems this issue is over,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 8, 2017, 6:24 AM

Post #8 of 10 (164 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In


Quote
The residual coolant on the piece didn't bother me, it sort-of confirmed that it had indeed been leaking before it was repaired by the 3rd party shop.


Not really............ If they made a repair there, that alone would have spilled coolant in the area, regardless of whether it was leaking in that spot prior to the repair or not.
It's also possible it was leaking in both places. Time will tell.



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matt38
Novice

Mar 8, 2017, 11:21 AM

Post #9 of 10 (140 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

Yeah. That's what I'm wondering, if the torque converter seal is still an issue.


matt38
Novice

Mar 8, 2017, 12:10 PM

Post #10 of 10 (133 views)
Re: 2011 Cruze LS diagnosed as torque converter but repaired as coolant o-ring issue Sign In

Just got off the phone with the shop that fixed the coolant leak. He confirmed "There was no transmission leak on that car." I'll put it to rest for now . I asked if it possible the converter leak wasnt showing a week after GM had washed/inspected , he said "No, a damaged converter seal would show hemorrhaging within 30 seconds." I'm convinced now. I'll lay it to rest.






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