2013 Chevrolet Spark

Fig 1


The 2013 Chevrolet Spark is the first GM entry in the growing mini-car market. Three models are available for the U.S. and Canadian markets — LS, 1LT, and 2LT.


The 2013 Spark utilizes GM’s Global A electrical architecture, which requires the use of the Global Diagnostic System 2 (GDS 2) software and the Multi Diagnostic Interface (MDI) module. When using TIS2Web, the Spark is listed under Chevrolet-GM Korea.




The Spark is powered by a 1.2L 4-cylinder engine (RPO LLO). The dual-overhead cam engine is installed transversely, and is available with either a 5-speed manual or  4-speed automatic transmission.


This compact inline 4-cylinder engine features Dual Continuous Variable Cam Phasing (DCVCP), electronically-controlled thermostat and low-friction engine oil, with low maintenance, low emissions and outstanding fuel economy.


The Spark has a manual drive belt tensioner as opposed to a self-adjusting one. The maintenance schedule calls for the drive belt tension to be inspected every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) and adjusted if tension is out of specification. This is a new procedure and a special tool is needed to complete the inspection and adjustment. Refer to Water Pump and Generator Belt Tension Inspection in the Service Information.




Two transmissions are offered: a 5-speed manual transmission (RPO MX2) and a 4-speed automatic transmission (RPO MNG).


The 5-speed transmission assembly uses synchromesh on the five forward speeds. The reverse speed gear is driven by sliding the idler gear without synchronizer.


TIP: The transmission features a reverse gear mis-shift mechanism that prevents the lever from being shifted directly from 5th to reverse. When shifting to reverse, be sure to shift from the neutral position.


The optional new four-speed automatic transmission is the Aisin AW 80-40LE Gen2, a compact, lightweight, electronically-controlled FF 4-speed automatic transaxle that employs a Ravigneaux-type planetary gear. The transmission has a lightweight aluminum case.


When stopped on a hill, the Hill Start Assist feature prevents the vehicle from rolling before driving off. During the transition between when the driver releases the brake pedal and starts to accelerate, HSA holds the brake pressure for two seconds to ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll.


TIP: Hill Start Assist will not operate if StabiliTrak is disabled.


Unique Vehicle Characteristics


Transmission Shifts — The automatic transmission on the 2013 Spark has an adapt mode to optimize shift quality. Transmission shifts may improve over time for the first few hundred miles. This is normal, as the transmission computer adjusts shift timing to optimize shift quality.


Steering Wheel Controls — The Spark does not have backlit steering wheel controls. Do not replace any components.


Folding Rear Seats — When raising the seatback, insert the safety belt latch plate into the hole on the side trim (Fig. 2) to ensure that the safety belt does not cross the seatback locking mechanism.


Fig 2


Code Set Indicator — The Code Set indicator displays a number when the status of the vehicle has changed and action may be needed to correct the condition. Following are the vehicle messages indicated by each number:


Code Set

Vehicle Message


Brakes Overheated


Check High Mounted Brake Lamp


Check Brake Lamps


Headlamp Levering Malfunction


Left Low Beam Failure


Right Low Beam Failure


Check Left Position Lamp


Check Right Position Lamp


Reversing Lamp Failure


License Plate Lamp Failure


Left Front Turn Indicator Failure


Left Rear Turn Indicator Failure


Right Front Turn Indicator Failure


Right Rear Turn Indicator Failure


Pressure Imbalance — Front


Pressure Imbalance — Rear


Winter Tire Recognition


Theft Attempted


Service A/C System


Service Transmission


Change Engine Oil Soon


Service Vehicle Soon


Service Airbag


Engine Oil Life System — The Engine Oil Life System should be reset to 100% only following an oil change.


To reset the system:

1. Press the MENU button to view remaining oil life.
2. Press the SET/CLR button until 100% is displayed.


License Plate Installation — Be sure to attach the license plate with all 4 screws to prevent a rattle noise concern.




Two infotainment systems — a base radio without a touch screen and an uplevel radio with a touch screen and Chevrolet MyLink — are offered on the 2013 Spark.


The uplevel radio with a touch screen (Fig. 3) features a home page that features access to audio sources, pictures and video, phone features, a smart phone link to Pandora (not available in Canada) and Stitcher, and vehicle settings.


Fig 3


Special Tools


The following new tools have been released for the 2013 Chevrolet Spark:


Tool #



Fuel Pump Lock Ring Remover/Installer


Cylinder Pressure Adapter


Crankshaft Locking Device


Wheel Hub Replacer Adapter


Wheel Bearing Remover Adapter


Wheel Bearing Installer Adapter


Wheel Bearing Installer Adapter


Hex Nut (long)


Engine Oil Pressure Gauge Adapter


Installer-Crankshaft Rear Seal


Installer – Crankshaft Front Seal


Installer – Bushing, Seal


Oil Pump Seal Installer


Fuel Pressure Gauge Adapter


Hub Puller


Acoustic Belt Tester


Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI)


Please be sure to review the PDI and CSDS (U.S. only) forms published for this vehicle. There are several special inspection items highlighted for this vehicle. Additionally, the CSDS form has important customer education pieces that have been learned during the Captured Test Fleet process. Report any product issues via a Field Product Report.


The Spark is shipped with Transport Mode enabled. This reduces the electrical load on the battery when the vehicle is parked to help prolong battery stand time. When the Transport Mode is enabled, the red battery indicator on the instrument cluster flashes.


To enable/disable the Transport Mode, start the engine, activate the hazard flashers, press the brake pedal, then turn the ignition key to the crank position for 15 seconds.


For additional information about the 2013 Spark, refer to #PI0760.


– Thanks to Ashmi Haria

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