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Old 11-03-2014   #1
Join Date: May 2013
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Exclamation "gear unavailable"

hi guys, im back again :-(
basically this happened a few weeks ago

https://www.fiatforum.com/grande-pun...into-auto.html

now im having another problem.
i start the car (punto grande 1.4 sporting 8v 2007 duelogic)
i put it in gear and pull off fine but to get off my drive i have to pop it in reverse when i do it says gear unavailable.
sometime it happens when i put it in drive, sometimes it fine.
i have to turn engine off few times or rev the **** out of it to get it to work.

today it went in first and went to go in second it poped into neutral and said gear unavailable.

engine is always cold when it happens.
any ideas people.

Ive tried shouting at it and kicking it but that didn't work.
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Old 11-03-2014   #2
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Re: "gear unavailable"

Hi Jonezy,
We bought a 2008 Sporting 1.4 8v Dualogic with 24,000 miles on last June. It has been fine all summer until we went away for a weekend in October where it sat on the drive in frosts for 3 days. When we came back we noticed that it started playing up when it had been sitting for several hours. After starting in the morning, it would go into reverse fine and it'd reverse onto the road fine, but then when we tried to go into drive we'd get the 'gear unavailable' message. It would error for about 30 seconds and it didnt matter whether you tried R, D or N it would error. After 30 seconds it would clear and behave faultlessly for the rest of the journey.

We started experimenting with it, thinking there was a problem with going from reverse to drive. So one morning before xmas I tried going into reverse, which went in fine, then back to Neutral which was ok, but when I went to Reverse again it came up with the unavailable message. I knew it couldnt be a problem as it had already gone into reverse once and the car hadnt moved, so it could have easily slipped into reverse again.

So we then tried reversing the car onto the drive the night before, so that in the mornings it would be a matter of putting it into D and off we went. We found that on several occasions it wouldnt change from 1st, and you could be driving up the road in 1st at 4000rpm but it wouldnt change up. There wasnt any error messages coming up though and the display just said it was in 1st. But then if you took your foot off the accelerator and let the revs drop to 1-2000rpm, and then put your foot down it would change up and behave normally.

We had a couple of occasions where it has tried to change from 1st to second, but it has just revved instead just as if the clutch had been depressed on a manual car, but the display still said it was in first and hadnt jumped into Neutral.

A couple of times I have finished work in an evening and put it onto reverse to reverse from the parking space, and it has gone into reverse and then started to reverse about 2 metres, when it will stop and come up gear unavailable, and you have to go back to neutral and into reverse again and it will carry on.

The really strange thing is that after these initial glitches for the first 30 seconds or so after starting it behaves faultlessly - It has been on 400 mile round trips to Blackpool a couple of times as well as a 1000 mile round trip to cornwall and it hasnt missed a beat (and it had its work cut out around the cornish lanes!). It also does 200 miles each week to work and back, so although it concerned me a bit (I think it was more paranoia whether it was going to behave or not in a morning) I was sure it wasnt that big an issue else it would be doing it all the while.

It went for a service a couple of weeks ago at Fiat. I explained to the lady on reception about the gearbox and she asked if I got 'Gear Unavailable' and she said that if you get the message then there will be a fault code recorded. I went and collected it later on and they said they had hooked it up to the computer but there was no errors recorded and everything was reporting properly and the parameters were all correct, and the gearbox software was all upto date. I spoke to the mechanic and he said he has seen a few do it when he has been shuffling cars around the forecourt. He said the gearboxes need time between changes - basically try treating it like an old lady! So after starting in the morning, put your foot on the brake, wait a few seconds (4-5 seconds), into reverse, wait a few seconds, reverse onto the road - Once you're on the road, foot on brake, wait a few seconds, into drive, wait a few seconds and pull off. I wasnt convinced that would make any difference as it is driven now as it has been all year and it was never a problem until the winter (I was convinced it was an electrical/battery issue as it only happens in winter but apparently the battery and alternator is fine)

The strange thing is that after doing the above process it has not played up once and we have had a few frosty mornings. He asked me to go back to him in a couple of weeks to let him know how its going. The only other thing he said it could be a faulty switch on the brake pedal, as if the box doesnt know if the brake is on or not it can get confused when you try to change gear.

So it might be worth trying the above and see if it makes any difference in a morning. Let us know how you get on anyway, Its interesting to hear from someone with a similar issue as i've spent hours trawling the internet and not really found much.

Cheers,
James.
Likes Humour, jonezy8873 liked this post
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Last edited by Woodroff; 11-03-2014 at 20:55.
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Old 12-03-2014   #3
Join Date: May 2013
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Thumbs up Re: "gear unavailable"

Quote Originally Posted by Woodroff View Post
Hi Jonezy,
We bought a 2008 Sporting 1.4 8v Dualogic with 24,000 miles on last June. It has been fine all summer until we went away for a weekend in October where it sat on the drive in frosts for 3 days. When we came back we noticed that it started playing up when it had been sitting for several hours. After starting in the morning, it would go into reverse fine and it'd reverse onto the road fine, but then when we tried to go into drive we'd get the 'gear unavailable' message. It would error for about 30 seconds and it didnt matter whether you tried R, D or N it would error. After 30 seconds it would clear and behave faultlessly for the rest of the journey.

We started experimenting with it, thinking there was a problem with going from reverse to drive. So one morning before xmas I tried going into reverse, which went in fine, then back to Neutral which was ok, but when I went to Reverse again it came up with the unavailable message. I knew it couldnt be a problem as it had already gone into reverse once and the car hadnt moved, so it could have easily slipped into reverse again.

So we then tried reversing the car onto the drive the night before, so that in the mornings it would be a matter of putting it into D and off we went. We found that on several occasions it wouldnt change from 1st, and you could be driving up the road in 1st at 4000rpm but it wouldnt change up. There wasnt any error messages coming up though and the display just said it was in 1st. But then if you took your foot off the accelerator and let the revs drop to 1-2000rpm, and then put your foot down it would change up and behave normally.

We had a couple of occasions where it has tried to change from 1st to second, but it has just revved instead just as if the clutch had been depressed on a manual car, but the display still said it was in first and hadnt jumped into Neutral.

A couple of times I have finished work in an evening and put it onto reverse to reverse from the parking space, and it has gone into reverse and then started to reverse about 2 metres, when it will stop and come up gear unavailable, and you have to go back to neutral and into reverse again and it will carry on.

The really strange thing is that after these initial glitches for the first 30 seconds or so after starting it behaves faultlessly - It has been on 400 mile round trips to Blackpool a couple of times as well as a 1000 mile round trip to cornwall and it hasnt missed a beat (and it had its work cut out around the cornish lanes!). It also does 200 miles each week to work and back, so although it concerned me a bit (I think it was more paranoia whether it was going to behave or not in a morning) I was sure it wasnt that big an issue else it would be doing it all the while.

It went for a service a couple of weeks ago at Fiat. I explained to the lady on reception about the gearbox and she asked if I got 'Gear Unavailable' and she said that if you get the message then there will be a fault code recorded. I went and collected it later on and they said they had hooked it up to the computer but there was no errors recorded and everything was reporting properly and the parameters were all correct, and the gearbox software was all upto date. I spoke to the mechanic and he said he has seen a few do it when he has been shuffling cars around the forecourt. He said the gearboxes need time between changes - basically try treating it like an old lady! So after starting in the morning, put your foot on the brake, wait a few seconds (4-5 seconds), into reverse, wait a few seconds, reverse onto the road - Once you're on the road, foot on brake, wait a few seconds, into drive, wait a few seconds and pull off. I wasnt convinced that would make any difference as it is driven now as it has been all year and it was never a problem until the winter (I was convinced it was an electrical/battery issue as it only happens in winter but apparently the battery and alternator is fine)

The strange thing is that after doing the above process it has not played up once and we have had a few frosty mornings. He asked me to go back to him in a couple of weeks to let him know how its going. The only other thing he said it could be a faulty switch on the brake pedal, as if the box doesnt know if the brake is on or not it can get confused when you try to change gear.

So it might be worth trying the above and see if it makes any difference in a morning. Let us know how you get on anyway, Its interesting to hear from someone with a similar issue as i've spent hours trawling the internet and not really found much.

Cheers,
James.
that is the exact thing that happens to me.

thanks james i will try that.
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Old 13-03-2014   #4
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Re: "gear unavailable"

i get the same prob with our car ..used to happen a lot until we noticed gearbox oil was very very low ..rarely happens now! ..maybe get oil level checked ??
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Last edited by ame; 13-03-2014 at 14:46.
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Old 14-03-2014   #5
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Re: "gear unavailable"

do i have to take it to a garage to do that or is it something i can do (im tighter than a ducks are you see)
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Old 14-03-2014   #6
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Re: "gear unavailable"

my local garage checked for free & topped up for free to!! guess i was lucky ..i'm not that good with cars ..so i don't really have a clue if you can maybe do a DIY ???
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Old 14-03-2014   #7
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Re: "gear unavailable"

Just another thought we had a issue with a Ducato auto ,different box as it was bus ,but check your earth straps...And it won't cost you to look
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Old 15-03-2014   #8
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Re: "gear unavailable"

Quote Originally Posted by jonezy8873 View Post
do i have to take it to a garage to do that or is it something i can do (im tighter than a ducks are you see)
I've read that there is a metal cover on the gearbox that you have to remove to get access to the reservoir, not sure if you can get the hydraulic fluid for it anywhere apart from Fiat though?
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Old 05-01-2015   #9
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Re: "gear unavailable"

Quote Originally Posted by jonezy8873 View Post
do i have to take it to a garage to do that or is it something i can do (im tighter than a ducks are you see)
Did you work out in the end what was wrong with it????
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Old 21-01-2015   #10
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Re: "gear unavailable"

yeah I found out that the biggest problem was that it was a fiat. I sold the piece of **** and got a vw.
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