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Old 11-09-2010   #1
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Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Hi all,

I have been occasionally getting the gear unavailable problem a couple of months back during cold starts only. The selespeed oil was changed out and the problem was kinda reduced and i lived with it by warming up my engine everytime after i stop my car for a long time.

Last week, the issue escalated to something more serious after a torrential rain (not too sure if it has anything to do with it but i believe lots of splashes entering the engine bay), the gear unavailable issue occured while i was driving!

the error message would happen at any gear at any speed and you would not be able to down/up shift the gears but you will still be able to drive at that gear provided the speed permits. if you were to come to a complete stop, you will not be able to engage first gear and you would be stuck in middle of road until multiple attempts to turn on and off engine as well as toggle the gear between N and 1. when it does work, you can feel a sudden jerk and the gear would be placed back into N - you will then be able to engage and move off. This issue will then happen over and over again.

My dealer used the Fiat examiner and he advised that changing the selespeed pump will resolve the issue. I'm no expert but what i read is that the dualogic is made up of 3 main components, the selespeed pump, accumulator and actuator itself. the reason why i have my doubts is because i can still hear my selespeed pump priming, in other words, i can hear the "yeeeeeeeeeee" sound every time i open my drive door. any thoughts on this??

suppose its indeed a selespeed issue, are there any means to repair the component? i understand that the carbon components within selespeed itself can be replaced without changing the whole unit, is this carbon component easily available? i'm hesitant to change out the pump for 2 main reasons: 1)my mileage is extremely low for the pump to fail, only 45,000KM, 2)as i reside in s'pore, the selespeed pump here are very expensive and i will only change it if i'm 100% certain that its the root of the problem.

can any experts here give me some advice and what are my other avenues of recourse? many thanks.
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Old 18-09-2010   #2
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Unfortunately I cant give any advice on this.

However I can tell you that I've experienced exactly the same problem on my 07 plate Punto. Of course the dealer couldnt find any problems. I'm out of warranty now (have only done 63,000Km)

Are you still under warranty? It sounds to me like its another "know fault" that FIAT knows about but denies exists. My dealer probably thinks that if the gearbox blows shortly that they can get out of it. They have another thing coming.

Just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one to have this happen to you. Although it hasnt happend to me for a few months now.
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Old 18-09-2010   #3
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Quote Originally Posted by Punto-Aust View Post
sounds to me like its another "know fault" that FIAT knows about but denies exists.
2 people have a similar issue......and Fiat are supposed to know about it, how? Quite sure they dont have time to read through internet forums.
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Old 28-11-2011   #4
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Quote Originally Posted by zhihao View Post
Hi all,

I have been occasionally getting the gear unavailable problem a couple of months back during cold starts only. The selespeed oil was changed out and the problem was kinda reduced and i lived with it by warming up my engine everytime after i stop my car for a long time.

Last week, the issue escalated to something more serious after a torrential rain (not too sure if it has anything to do with it but i believe lots of splashes entering the engine bay), the gear unavailable issue occured while i was driving!

the error message would happen at any gear at any speed and you would not be able to down/up shift the gears but you will still be able to drive at that gear provided the speed permits. if you were to come to a complete stop, you will not be able to engage first gear and you would be stuck in middle of road until multiple attempts to turn on and off engine as well as toggle the gear between N and 1. when it does work, you can feel a sudden jerk and the gear would be placed back into N - you will then be able to engage and move off. This issue will then happen over and over again.

My dealer used the Fiat examiner and he advised that changing the selespeed pump will resolve the issue. I'm no expert but what i read is that the dualogic is made up of 3 main components, the selespeed pump, accumulator and actuator itself. the reason why i have my doubts is because i can still hear my selespeed pump priming, in other words, i can hear the "yeeeeeeeeeee" sound every time i open my drive door. any thoughts on this??

suppose its indeed a selespeed issue, are there any means to repair the component? i understand that the carbon components within selespeed itself can be replaced without changing the whole unit, is this carbon component easily available? i'm hesitant to change out the pump for 2 main reasons: 1)my mileage is extremely low for the pump to fail, only 45,000KM, 2)as i reside in s'pore, the selespeed pump here are very expensive and i will only change it if i'm 100% certain that its the root of the problem.

can any experts here give me some advice and what are my other avenues of recourse? many thanks.
You describe my own experiences pretty accurately! My car was out of warranty (tho the fault had occurred from the start - I ought to have taken it in earlier, but it didn't manifest its worst aspect until the car was over 2 years old. I thought I could live with what seemed a minor irritation) and Fiat offered to pay half the cost of replacing the Actuator on the Auto gear box (I should have insisted they pay it all). Total cost, 1100+. Five months later and the fault has reappeared! I am fed up to the back teeth with this car.
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Old 28-02-2012   #5
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Thread revival.

Well now I have exactly the same problem as the original poster did.

In the middle of the road last week the car decided that it didnt want to go into gear anymore. I too had the problem from the start, and the dealer could never reproduce the problem in testing.

I can see this going to be a long and expensive case, seriously thinking about taking it to court. A resonanable expectation would be that the pump, actuator etc should last more than 80,000Km. Many other cars have gearboxes and components that last for many hundred thousand KM's.

And yes, FIAT know about this problem, there are many many threads on different forums about this very problem. Evan Alfa's which use the same selespeed components are suffering from total failure means that its a manufacturing defect or just plain poor workmanship.

Will probably end up selling the car and write it off as a big mistake, that I will never make again. Fiat are useless and so are their cars.

Hopefully its something as simple as a relay or the like, but I doubt it.

Just a warning to others before, think twice before buying.
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Old 28-02-2012   #6
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Quote Originally Posted by Punto-Aust View Post
Thread revival.

Well now I have exactly the same problem as the original poster did.

In the middle of the road last week the car decided that it didnt want to go into gear anymore. I too had the problem from the start, and the dealer could never reproduce the problem in testing.

I can see this going to be a long and expensive case, seriously thinking about taking it to court. A resonanable expectation would be that the pump, actuator etc should last more than 80,000Km. Many other cars have gearboxes and components that last for many hundred thousand KM's.

And yes, FIAT know about this problem, there are many many threads on different forums about this very problem. Evan Alfa's which use the same selespeed components are suffering from total failure means that its a manufacturing defect or just plain poor workmanship.

Will probably end up selling the car and write it off as a big mistake, that I will never make again. Fiat are useless and so are their cars.

Hopefully its something as simple as a relay or the like, but I doubt it.

Just a warning to others before, think twice before buying.
Just because someone has similar symptoms doesn't mean it's the same fault, thus doesn't mean it's a common problem. Sure some systems go wrong, you don't however hear about the 85-90% that never have a glitch. Just because some cars have parts wear doesn't mean it's a defect that's the fault of Fiat. For example it could be your clutch. This is a wear and tear item so isn't the fault of Fiat
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Old 11-02-2013   #7
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

my wife's 07 punto grande now has a similar problem.
The car has barely done 50k, we went on holidays for 4 weeks and upon returning had to charge the battery. Upon charging the battery the car would not come out of neutral, with the same error message as the OP.

Fiat dealer here in Sydney, AU have said its going to cost around AU$3k to get the pump, actuator etc changed.

How can a gearbox **** itself so early in life with so little use? Has anyone had this problem covered under fiat "goodwill" warranty or similar?
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Old 11-02-2013   #8
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Quote Originally Posted by daft009 View Post
my wife's 07 punto grande now has a similar problem.
The car has barely done 50k, we went on holidays for 4 weeks and upon returning had to charge the battery. Upon charging the battery the car would not come out of neutral, with the same error message as the OP.

Fiat dealer here in Sydney, AU have said its going to cost around AU$3k to get the pump, actuator etc changed.

How can a gearbox **** itself so early in life with so little use? Has anyone had this problem covered under fiat "goodwill" warranty or similar?
Change dealer, you simply don't just change things for the sake of it

They need to dianose the problem.

Does the pump run as usual? Did you have the battery disconnected when you charged it?
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Old 11-02-2013   #9
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

the car isn't moving at all currently, idling is as good as it gets and had to be towed to the dealer.
it used to make a couple of high pitched noises when you opened the driver's door. no longer does that, i believe that was the pump?

yes battery was disconnected.
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Old 11-02-2013   #10
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

It does indeed sound like the pump isn't working. Have you checked all the gearbox fuses?
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Old 11-02-2013   #11
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

yes, checked most fuses.
the handbook fuse box layout doesn't really match the car but I've checked all the ones that relate to "pump" or "actuator" and they were all fine.
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Old 29-05-2013   #12
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

did you solved the problem? im also having the same thing happend to you. i did some changes to that unit. but still having the problem when i change the gear to the R.
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Last edited by eranga; 29-05-2013 at 11:43.
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Old 29-05-2013   #13
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

It turned out to be the actuator pump which we managed to get a free brand new replacement from Fiat themselves. Still had to pay the labour charges for the work though.
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Old 20-07-2014   #14
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

I have a 2008 Punto 6A and the gearbox actuator is shot - exactly same problem as listed above. Car cannot drive - only idles. Out of warranty - apparently Fiat are aware of it and it is a common problem. Allegedly technology that they got from Ferrari. Long story short I cannot get a secondhand actuator here in Australia. I want to get this car running again so I can sell it and write the entire Fiat experience off.


Does anybody know of any companies in Europe that rebuild actuators for the auto gearbox?
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Old 21-07-2014   #15
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Re: Gear unavailable - Check Transmission

Quote Originally Posted by Ozsmokey View Post
I have a 2008 Punto 6A and the gearbox actuator is shot - exactly same problem as listed above. Car cannot drive - only idles. Out of warranty - apparently Fiat are aware of it and it is a common problem. Allegedly technology that they got from Ferrari. Long story short I cannot get a secondhand actuator here in Australia. I want to get this car running again so I can sell it and write the entire Fiat experience off.
We complained to the ACCC in writing and that is how we managed to get a "free" replacement.

If you PM me your email address I can email you our letter. try it and see how you go.
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