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Old 31-05-2016   #166
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The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Hi all, It had to happen and I was just gritting my teeth waiting for it. The 1.2 Sport which my wife adores threw itself into "N" today as she came to a stop at a junction. She turned the car off and on and it worked fine.


I believe this is the start of issues and I would like to keep on top of them and so with this in mind what are the steps to take. The car is a 2008 and so I am on my own. Are there any prelim checks I should do or should I just get it into a garage right now.


From what I have read, garages are a bit "hit or miss" with dealing with this issue and some start re resetting software and this ends up in a big bill later when this doesn't fix it. Should I just get the whole thing replaced now? and if so is it the whole gearbox or just the actuator (please be gentle I am an engine novice)


If I need to use a garage any suggestions for someone who knows what they are doing? I live in South Lincs 20 mile above Peterborough.


Thanks in advance (I await the posts about sell it/should have bought a manual but the wife loves it and I will not sell it with a fault)
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Old 31-05-2016   #167
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Re: Dualogic Issues

Welcome to the club! I wouldn't say I was an expert on the Dreaded Dualogic, but I've had 10 years + using them.
In order for the box to change into Neutral I would say that the actuator would have to have been commanded by the ECU to do so, as I don't think it can just slip out of gear.
If the command wasn't caused by a manual operation from the driver I would think it should be held in the Dualogic ECU memory. This can be checked by using the 'Examiner' or , perhaps someone can do it with a Multiscan.
I think your wife did the right thing by switching it off and on, just hope that it was just a hiccup.
If you look at fcconnect.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Fiat-Dualogic-M20-Training-Manual.pdf There is an extremely useful manual on how it works and how to work it .
I've had some useful tips from NZ how to work on it without any technical wizardry too.Things that Fiat agents didn't know.
Best of luck, When they work correctly they are great BUT they can be rubbish
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Old 31-05-2016   #168
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Re: Dualogic Issues

Quote Originally Posted by Broker1 View Post
Hi all, It had to happen and I was just gritting my teeth waiting for it. The 1.2 Sport which my wife adores threw itself into "N" today as she came to a stop at a junction. She turned the car off and on and it worked fine.


I believe this is the start of issues and I would like to keep on top of them and so with this in mind what are the steps to take. The car is a 2008 and so I am on my own. Are there any prelim checks I should do or should I just get it into a garage right now.


From what I have read, garages are a bit "hit or miss" with dealing with this issue and some start re resetting software and this ends up in a big bill later when this doesn't fix it. Should I just get the whole thing replaced now? and if so is it the whole gearbox or just the actuator (please be gentle I am an engine novice)


If I need to use a garage any suggestions for someone who knows what they are doing? I live in South Lincs 20 mile above Peterborough.


Thanks in advance (I await the posts about sell it/should have bought a manual but the wife loves it and I will not sell it with a fault)
if it starts to fail the only way it will properly be fixed is to replace the whole hydraulic actuator unit, the part costing about 1000 + GBP.

Oh and read this! - > This is the forum's dualogic failure thread for the Fiat 500. So add any questions here.
https://www.fiatforum.com/500/425006...thread-11.html
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Old 31-05-2016   #169
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Re: Dualogic Issues

Quote Originally Posted by Broker1 View Post
Hi all, It had to happen and I was just gritting my teeth waiting for it. The 1.2 Sport which my wife adores threw itself into "N" today as she came to a stop at a junction. She turned the car off and on and it worked fine.


I believe this is the start of issues and I would like to keep on top of them and so with this in mind what are the steps to take. The car is a 2008 and so I am on my own. Are there any prelim checks I should do or should I just get it into a garage right now.


From what I have read, garages are a bit "hit or miss" with dealing with this issue and some start re resetting software and this ends up in a big bill later when this doesn't fix it. Should I just get the whole thing replaced now? and if so is it the whole gearbox or just the actuator (please be gentle I am an engine novice)


If I need to use a garage any suggestions for someone who knows what they are doing? I live in South Lincs 20 mile above Peterborough.


Thanks in advance (I await the posts about sell it/should have bought a manual but the wife loves it and I will not sell it with a fault)
regarding prelim checks, check the oil level of the Dualogic system, and check for any leaks. If you see a leak and the oil level is low, you are in trouble, get the system changed as it will fail eventually.

if it only went into netural once without any flashing gearbox warning light may not be the end of the world if oil levels are ok, meaning you still can drive it for now. If it starts happening often, then you can be more concerned.
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Old 01-06-2016   #170
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Broker1 View Post
Hi all, It had to happen and I was just gritting my teeth waiting for it. The 1.2 Sport which my wife adores threw itself into "N" today as she came to a stop at a junction. She turned the car off and on and it worked fine.
Sorry to hear this - condolences.

If I were faced with this situation and wanted to keep the car, I'd give serious thought to changing (not just checking) the hydraulic fluid at this point. It might just prolong the life of the actuator unit.

Given the frequency at which these units seem to fail, I'm surprised noone is offering a quality reconditioning service; I'd have thought that stripping the unit down, cleaning everything thoroughly and replacing all the seals would go a long way to restoring lasting functionality.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 01-06-2016 at 10:42.
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Old 01-06-2016   #171
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Thanks everyone for the prompt reply and kind advice. I think the first thing is to check the level of the oil. I am not that great with car mechanics and so is there a guide to show me how to do this? (I have no idea where to even look on the car!)


If I do have to take this to a garage my fear is that they t have a clue what to do.....that's why I asked for any recommendations in my area.
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Old 01-06-2016   #172
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Sorry to hear this - condolences.

If I were faced with this situation and wanted to keep the car, I'd give serious thought to changing the hydraulic fluid at this point. It might just prolong the life of the actuator unit.

Given the frequency at which these units seem to fail, I'm surprised noone is offering a quality reconditioning service; I'd have thought that stripping the unit down, cleaning everything thoroughly and replacing all the seals would go a long way to restoring lasting functionality.
jrkitching i tried this and it made it last 2 years longer, but still broke in the end. i still recommend just getting a new unit, unless you 'recondition' it and plan on selling it quick smart = )
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Old 01-06-2016   #173
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Broker1 View Post
Thanks everyone for the prompt reply and kind advice. I think the first thing is to check the level of the oil. I am not that great with car mechanics and so is there a guide to show me how to do this? (I have no idea where to even look on the car!)


If I do have to take this to a garage my fear is that they t have a clue what to do.....that's why I asked for any recommendations in my area.
you can check the oil but the car has to be on a stand. just look under the bumper when it is in the air and you can see through the undertray the dualogic reservoir min/max with the red fluid in it.
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Old 01-06-2016   #174
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Thanks, that makes sense, I will check tonite and report back. In terms of replacement what should I be talking to garages about? Just changing the actuator to resolve the issue?
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Old 01-06-2016   #175
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Broker1 View Post
Thanks, that makes sense, I will check tonite and report back. In terms of replacement what should I be talking to garages about? Just changing the actuator to resolve the issue?
Checking the level is something I'd expect any half-competent garage to be able to do, but if you go beyond that, I'd want the work done by someone with specific experience of dualogics; the garage will likely need either MES or examiner to check and reprogram the system once they've changed the actuator.

A franchised dealer will be expensive but at least you'll have some sort of warranty; a Fiat-oriented indie will be cheaper and may even do a better job.

Asking what diagnostics they will use to check and reprogram the system should sort out the serious workshops from the cowboys.

If topping up or changing the fluid does provide a short term fix, I'd get some quotes for replacing the actuator, then you'll at least know what you're facing if the worst subsequently happens. Judging from recent posts, be glad you're not living in Australia.

Anyone got any recommendations for a suitable garage in S Lincolnshire?
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Last edited by jrkitching; 01-06-2016 at 11:07.
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Old 01-06-2016   #176
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Broker1 View Post
Thanks, that makes sense, I will check tonite and report back. In terms of replacement what should I be talking to garages about? Just changing the actuator to resolve the issue?
That HUGELY depends on what the actual issue is. Can be anything from a dodgy/weak battery, gearbox sensor, brake switch (this is a common one), general wiring/electric fault (earthing harnesses etc), fluid levels / leaks, clutch, actuator or the whole transmission needing replacement.
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Old 01-06-2016   #177
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Noetic Concordance View Post
That HUGELY depends on what the actual issue is. Can be anything from a dodgy/weak battery, gearbox sensor, brake switch (this is a common one), general wiring/electric fault (earthing harnesses etc), fluid levels / leaks, clutch, actuator or the whole transmission needing replacement.
Which is why the OP needs to take it to someone with the knowledge and diagnostic tools to work out what's wrong. It's not the OP's job to diagnose the problem.

At this stage, there might be a simple and relatively cheap permanent fix, or it might need complete actuator replacement. You can't work this out without having the car in front of you.

I'll keep my fingers crossed it's something simple.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 01-06-2016 at 13:10.
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Old 01-06-2016   #178
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
It's not the OP's job to diagnose the problem.
Indeed not but OP was already starting to talk about talking to garages about changing actuators and whatnot. I was merely trying to point out that he needs them to find out what's wrong first.
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Old 01-06-2016   #179
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Thanks for the discussion and the help. To be honest the reason I was asking about what to say to the garage is that from experience garages will either go "all in" and state major work is needed or go for an easy, temp fix which will see me returning time and again and shelling out


As an example, my co car (VX Insignia) had a steering vibration/wobble at exactly 75mph and it went into the main dealers several times for balancing/wheel alignment/tyre pressures/tyre rotations etc. In the end and with a bit of research on my part (and the help of t'internet) I found out a common cause was the bushes. Armed with my printout I went to the dealer for the 6th or 7th visit, showed them my findings and after a sharp intake of breath and a few "Nah, cant be that" "Never heard of that before" they agreed to do the work and Hey Presto......all fixed.


Really didn't want to have to go through that pain again.
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Old 02-06-2016   #180
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Get error codes read and see what they say first- brake switch is often a cause for this issue but look for CHECK TRANSMISSION error flagging up mid-drive, it jumping out of gear without the foot on the brake, errors / gear unavailable messages on startup etc.
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