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Old 12-07-2009   #1
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Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

I new this was coming but can't seem to locate specific information in the Croma forum, other than it is possibly a known problem and Fiat do/can/have replaced some, possibly all driveshaft parts with new upgraded version and/or Multipla versions.

At the moment the info is a little vague so I'm asking for specifics here.

Before that feedback I'll say I'm at 31K miles and tow a caravan. At my 1st (12K) service I mention to the dealer that when really warm a slightly out of sync gear change (clutch to engine revs) would result in a mild clunk/click and asked for them to check the drive chain.

Come 2nd service (24K) the 'clunk' was to me more pronounced and again I asked for this to be checked.

Come 26K miles I was now hearing the wrrrr wrrrr sound at walking pace plus a drumming and groan at speed. I checked all four wheels for bearing noise/play with no noticeable problem. I checked for play in the outer CV joints and they seemed fine, however the inner ones had distinct play and free rotation of (I'm guessing here) about 2.5+ degrees.

I asked my dealer to check for known issues with Fiat, and was later advised that when they looked a eLearn all they could find was the usual dignostics info. about noise, play, etc. I could have done that myself.....

Since enquiring I've dragged the caravan to Italy and back (2K miles) plus an extra 1K miles of mountain driving and the whole journey has been worrying, noisy and led to us abandonning trips to some of our favourite climbs/passes (e.g. Tre Cime & Stelvio Pass). Not really pleased but at least we got to Italy and back ok.

Anyway, if anybody (T14086 ?) can provide more specific info. e.g.:

1) is there an official acknowledgement/campaign or other accepted issue here?
2) is it the inner CV joints / drive shafts that are replaced or upgraded?
3) is it the whole n/s/ & o/s inner and out shafts/all joints that are replaced?

any info would be appreciated. Before my 3 year warranty expires this December I want this problem sorted for the LONG TERM and not a quick fix to get beyond the 3 year dealer warranty liability.

I'm about to do a detailed ePer parts analysis, checking supercede numbers based on ePER Edition 42a (09/2008), verses Edition 29 (10/2006) but this may not be the whole story as many part numbers change as a matter of course and ePER does not alsways give specific change information.
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Last edited by s130; 12-07-2009 at 21:10.
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Old 13-07-2009   #2
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Nick

When this Croma forum started, I posted with another member this issue, but as others had no interest, it was never developed enough. You have the same symptons as I had, but mine were more terrifying at 47k. When I was getting the Croma serviced at Evans Halshaw they could not find anything at the 3 services.

As mine came out of warranty in June 2008, had done 60k by then, I swapped my servicing to Mango's in Cheshire, and they found the fault, the spidex coupling metal one for the inner and outer driveshafts was totally shot. Their is a race bearing within that had nearly gone. Fiat UK had no refurbed ones in stock, so I bought new, but the new ones did not fit the spidex, I had to use a lathe at work to skim 5 thou off, which Mango's paid for. After which I had no more noises.

Driveshafts I was told where made by GM, but boxed as Fiat, hence some Croma Gearboxes are a GM unit. Esp the 6 Speeders.

I appreciate that you have monitored this, like I did, but even though I have been in an Alfa 156 since March after selling my Croma, and still pop in to this forum, the issues currently posted I had a few years ago and posted these in the early days. Like the Alternator issues!! The rear wheel tracking issues!! The Rear Crap Suspension issues that arrive just after the warranty expires.

Yes I miss the Croma, but it cost too much in repairs after the warranty expired, hence my Alfa has not cost a penny and is 3.5 years old.
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Old 13-07-2009   #3
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Nick

Alan C posted this issue as " Shaking Croma " You commented on my woes in August 2008, but as you read it again, you will notice that it was an issue for some then, and is an issue for you now. So As yours is far lower miles than mine was it is worth you banging Fiat to get it sorted. If you want a point of reference, even though I do not own a Croma now. Ask Fiat UK on the reg and model of my car then MK55 OSD Croma 1.9Mjet 16v Eleganza, should bring this issue to their attention.
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Old 13-07-2009   #4
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Thanks for the info FiatFleetFamily.

I've not started any additional research yet but will do shortly. I'm a member of the Vectra C site as well so will get stuck in there as well.

After bad dealer experiences I'm also up for "bite the bullet and do-it yourself at your own cost".

The Croma 2005 is beginning to be a worlds best matress on a rickety old metal GM bedframe. Yes I'm exagerating, but this hypbrid is well out of line with our reliability and satisfaction we have had with all out 'true' Fiats we have had over the last 30+ years.
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Old 19-07-2009   #5
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Now in the hands of my dealer. Will see what happens now. Ever hopeful.
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Old 29-09-2009   #6
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Quote Originally Posted by ///// View Post
Now in the hands of my dealer. Will see what happens now. Ever hopeful.
Well we now have a partial success.

I worked/showed the senior technician the play in the inner CV joints with the car lifted in the workshops.

He agreed that the inner joints we loose/sloppy but also said that with so few Cromas in circulation through their workshops it was very difficult to judge normal, from excessive. Totally failed/shot joints would be easier.

We then went for a drive and I had difficulty in "pointing" his ear/feel to what I was sensing compared to when the car was newer.

Anyway..... having seen and actually felt the inner CV joint play the dealer put in a warranty claim (3rd year) for new driveshafts. This being the whole stub axle, outer CV, shaft, spider and boot assembly.

On fitting I asked for the inner receiving CV stubs/scolops for the spider to be checked for wear.

No obvious inner wear was found and the new spiders were tight to fit. I checked the joints when getting the car home and found them the be tight and play free.

After some 350 miles, (180 towing caravan) the inner CV joint now have a little play. Much of the humming/drumming appears to have gone but I'm still left with a "clacking" sound, all be it reduced.

So, progress in the right direction.

I've now done more tests as detailed.

1) General gearbox / driveshaft / wheel bearing noise. a) jack one front wheel clear of ground b) TURN ASR OFF (safety warning) 3) start engine and gently run each wheel N/S & O/S up to 2K rpm in 1st and second gear. All clean, noise, rumble etc. free.

2) Diff / Drive Chain noise. a) jack each wheel up in turn b) select 1st gear c) manually rotate free wheel from "stop - to - stop".

This is where I now find the following

a1) very gentle rotation you can just feel the wheel/drive shaft take up the slack to the diff. engage

a2) gently continued rotation stop to top (fwd / bkwd) does not have excessive wheel rotation compared to our Barchetta & Strada 130TC - guess not more than 5 degrees

a3) more vigourously rate wheel fwd/bkwd from stop to stop and there is a definate much louder "clack" as the gear chain is wound up.

This 'clacking' sound can be heared inside the car.

I'm booked back in at the dealer in two weeks time to demo this "clack" to get their opinion as to normal, abnormal, undecided?

I'm beginning to think that the play on inner CV joints is normal as is possibly levels of "clacking" from the gearbox. Just wish I could line 6+ manual box Cromas up to test as it takes literally one minute to insert a jack, lift a wheel and rotate a wheel stop-to-stop whilst in 1st gear.

As I'm rapidly running out of warranty I need to get whatever "outcome & concern" remains logged with Fiat.

Sadly you can't check the gearbox oil level, and paritally drain it to check for excessive metal contanimination, as there is no level check plug or dip stick.
Total drain and refill are the only options.

Whilst still under warranty I can't really do this sort of stuff and have to rely on the dealer to take whatever initiative they feel is appropriate.

I'm just hoping that

1) my gearbox clacking is noisier than most but not terminal
2) Fiat filled the gearbox correctly (no external signs of oil loss)

I HATE "open" issues/questions on new cars under warranty. Quite naturally they make you hyper critical etc. etc. Out of warranty you take things as they come.

Paranoia ..... most probably but I've also been there, detected that only to find it eventually fails.....out of warranty.

Such is life

Nick
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Last edited by s130; 29-09-2009 at 20:27.
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Old 13-10-2009   #7
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Inner CV joints have loosened up a bit now. The gearbox 'clacking' perstis and I'm back at the dealer on Thursday.

Today I took it to a local gearbox specialist and his opinion is that the diff. planet gears are worn/wearing. Apparently GM boxes are pretty renown for this type of issue often due to poor case hardening. Planet gears, being straight cut as opposed to helical, suffer wear far more quickly. This wear shows up most when it occurs in a differential planet gear as opposed to a straight cut normal gear (as in a Hewland racing box gear).

As to extent or likelyhood to fail their was no comment/prognosis. I most likelyhood you will only know when drive to the wheels actually ceases.

So I've got just about 3 months for the box to break or live with whatever follows after that.

Will keep you all posted.
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Old 22-10-2009   #8
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Well, I've been busy on this little saga and this is now where we are.

Visited dealer today (as original appoinment was cancelled) and the clacking noise was deemed to be absolutely normal for this GM six speed gearbox. They all vary, but this box has 3 gear shafts and they are inherantly noisier than the traditional Fiat 2 shaft box. This is what I'm told.

Prior to this I asked an old contact/friend who is a Vauxhall service manager and he was ever so kind to contact Vauxhall technical. Apparrently the previous "case hardening" issues were on the older GM boxes. Only issues they have seen with the later 6 speed boxes (as in Croma) are that some suffered some diff/output bearing breakup. Supposed to be easily detected by driveshafts stubs being very loose and wobbly into gearbox/diff. I still have an invite to get an opinion form this Vauxhall dealer. This I may still do.

So. Not a lot more I can do. If things go down hill before Dec 2009 then I will pursue once again. Meanwhile I'll try to calm down, accept what is supposedly normal and try to tune out that clack.

The Croma is a great car, really. Depending on tyres it handles very well, pulls like a train (Diesel 16V 150HP model) and has bags of space and resonable creature comforts. Internal trim is better than average and pretty well noise free from the inevitable creaks and groans that many cars suffer when they get older.

I guess what I hate, and am most uncomfortable about, is the GM parts. Nothing against GM but it is certainly alien to old school Fiat guys like me where 'step' changes introduce massive knowledge and experience voids that have to be rapidly filled. Dealers pick this new knowledge base and experience up fairly quickly, but only where there see and experience them/cars successively and over a period of time. In the Croma's case successive or frequent experience is NOT something that the dealers and technicians get.
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Old 22-01-2010   #9
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Quote Originally Posted by s130 View Post
I new this was coming but can't seem to locate specific information in the Croma forum, other than it is possibly a known problem and Fiat do/can/have replaced some, possibly all driveshaft parts with new upgraded version and/or Multipla versions.

At the moment the info is a little vague so I'm asking for specifics here.

Before that feedback I'll say I'm at 31K miles and tow a caravan. At my 1st (12K) service I mention to the dealer that when really warm a slightly out of sync gear change (clutch to engine revs) would result in a mild clunk/click and asked for them to check the drive chain.

Come 2nd service (24K) the 'clunk' was to me more pronounced and again I asked for this to be checked.

Come 26K miles I was now hearing the wrrrr wrrrr sound at walking pace plus a drumming and groan at speed. I checked all four wheels for bearing noise/play with no noticeable problem. I checked for play in the outer CV joints and they seemed fine, however the inner ones had distinct play and free rotation of (I'm guessing here) about 2.5+ degrees.

I asked my dealer to check for known issues with Fiat, and was later advised that when they looked a eLearn all they could find was the usual dignostics info. about noise, play, etc. I could have done that myself.....

Since enquiring I've dragged the caravan to Italy and back (2K miles) plus an extra 1K miles of mountain driving and the whole journey has been worrying, noisy and led to us abandonning trips to some of our favourite climbs/passes (e.g. Tre Cime & Stelvio Pass). Not really pleased but at least we got to Italy and back ok.

Anyway, if anybody (T14086 ?) can provide more specific info. e.g.:

1) is there an official acknowledgement/campaign or other accepted issue here?
2) is it the inner CV joints / drive shafts that are replaced or upgraded?
3) is it the whole n/s/ & o/s inner and out shafts/all joints that are replaced?

any info would be appreciated. Before my 3 year warranty expires this December I want this problem sorted for the LONG TERM and not a quick fix to get beyond the 3 year dealer warranty liability.

I'm about to do a detailed ePer parts analysis, checking supercede numbers based on ePER Edition 42a (09/2008), verses Edition 29 (10/2006) but this may not be the whole story as many part numbers change as a matter of course and ePER does not alsways give specific change information.
In May last year bought a 2006 Croma 16v multijet with 75000 miles on the clock.
Just recently the front end of the car has started to shake between 40 and 45mph. A local garage cannot identify the problem but have ruled out warped discs, CV joints and all suspension bushes are tight.
The mechanic suggested it might be a driveshaft issue.
Anyone else had the same problem? Although mine is well out of warranty I read that Fiat MAY be aware of this.
I don't want to start paying money for unnecessary repairs so a little help would be appreciated.
Kevin
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Old 23-01-2010   #10
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Wheel balance or oval tyres??????

If the discs (relatively low mass) and the CV joints and bushes are all tight then unless you have a badly bent driveshaft then I would possible suspect engine or gearbox mountings being worn.

You could try jacking one wheel up in turn so it just clears the ground and then gently spin it up with the engine/gearbox driving the wheel. PLEASE secure handbrake and chock all other wheels so should the raised wheel touch the ground you are not launched into a person, wall, road or garage door!

Also note that the ground free spinning wheel will in effect be un-damped so even a car with normally no vibrations will now tend to vibrate/shimmy on this type of test.

If you put the grounded wheel on some cardboard or swivel plate then you can easily turn the front wheels from lock to lock thus testing the CV joints at various angles.
Thanks realtennisman thanked for this post
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Old 24-01-2010   #11
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

I would suggest that more info is needed. Is the vibration evident at a steady speed, does it increase when you accelerate / reduce when you ease off etc. If it's there all the time at a steady speed then it may be a tyre with a slight bulge in it - as unlikely as it sounds, a bulging rear tyre can cause steering vibration so it's worth checking all four off the ground as described by Nick.

HTH.
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Old 25-01-2010   #12
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Quote Originally Posted by realtennisman View Post
In May last year bought a 2006 Croma 16v multijet with 75000 miles on the clock.
Just recently the front end of the car has started to shake between 40 and 45mph. A local garage cannot identify the problem but have ruled out warped discs, CV joints and all suspension bushes are tight.
The mechanic suggested it might be a driveshaft issue.
Anyone else had the same problem? Although mine is well out of warranty I read that Fiat MAY be aware of this.
I don't want to start paying money for unnecessary repairs so a little help would be appreciated.
Kevin
We've had this problem (along with almost every other one reported on the forum) with our Croma and it was solved by fitting a new drive shaft at Christmas- taking the postings in the " Shaking Croma " thread certainly helped our dealer.

As soon as it was done the shaking vanished completely and normality was restored; although as a wheel bearing seems on its way out yet another trip to the garage looms as this is what seems to count for normality with our Croma.
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Old 25-01-2010   #13
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Thanks for this.
The vibration starts when I reach 40mph and continues until 50mph when it gradually disappears the faster I go. If I take my foot off the accelerator between 40 and 50mph the shaking stops immediately.
I have replaced all tyres recently apart from nearside rear.
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Old 25-01-2010   #14
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Quote Originally Posted by realtennisman View Post
Thanks for this.
The vibration starts when I reach 40mph and continues until 50mph when it gradually disappears the faster I go. If I take my foot off the accelerator between 40 and 50mph the shaking stops immediately.
I have replaced all tyres recently apart from nearside rear.
Sounds like inner CV joint problems to me
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Old 26-01-2010   #15
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Re: Drive Shaft - CV Joint failure details

Thanks for that. The shaking is specific to speed not RPM - it doesn't matter what gear I'm in, it only happens between 40 and 50 when accelerating.
I'm taking it into our local Fiat garage next Monday. I'm going to mention some of the things we've talked about on this forum.
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