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Old 24-03-2016   #1
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Gearbox problem

I'm currently having terrible problems with my panda. Making loud grinding noises when accelerating, often resulting in loss of power, especially when in 1st and 2nd. Also loud whining noise when decelerating in 2nd & 3rd. selecter cable might have gone as gear stick won't auto align back to centre. Driving is making the issue worse and worse. Worried about total drive failure. Is that likely? I HAVE to drive 600 miles tomorrow. Worried it won't make it... Any thoughts? Like "TAKE A TRAIN"...
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Old 24-03-2016   #2
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Re: Gearbox problem

Sounds like a clutch issue my friend, I would be wary of doing 600 miles in it, please tell me you have breakdown cover, if not it's only 20 with green flag...
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Old 24-03-2016   #3
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Re: Gearbox problem

Yeah. Funny you should mention that. I signed up to rac yesterday just in case. Unlimited uk pick up/tow. Fingers crossed it makes it but... It's gonna have to go some of the way... Can't afford a train for the distance I'm travelling...
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Old 24-03-2016   #4
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Re: Gearbox problem

My best guess from your description is thrust bearing, is it still under fiat warranty?
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Old 24-03-2016   #5
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Re: Gearbox problem

Quote Originally Posted by leroya500 View Post
My best guess from your description is thrust bearing, is it still under fiat warranty?
that's in the centre of the bell housing.. how is that stopping the gear-lever returning to the neutral mid-point...??
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Old 24-03-2016   #6
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Re: Gearbox problem

Quote Originally Posted by orbital33 View Post
Yeah. Funny you should mention that. I signed up to rac yesterday just in case. Unlimited uk pick up/tow. Fingers crossed it makes it but... It's gonna have to go some of the way... Can't afford a train for the distance I'm travelling...
strange..??
loss of gearbox oil , and a failed g-box component is likely..

how many miles on it, what engine ..??

Charlie - Oxford
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Old 24-03-2016   #7
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Re: Gearbox problem

it went in to the garage for "inspection" a month ago. guy said it sounded like selector cable... some times it wouldn't go in to gear... then it sort of started being ok... but now these other problems have arisen. When you go down a hill using gears to slow, especially in 3rd, it sounds horrible. Proper grinding/whining noise... Have started free wheeling down hills now...

FYI. 2012 Panda. 56000 miles on the clock... it was my mother's, so only one pretty careful driver...

Not under warranty, sadly.
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Old 24-03-2016   #8
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Re: Gearbox problem

Best of luck mate.

I was forced to do over a thousand miles with a dud clutch thrust bearing in my first MGB - not really a problem unless you're changing gears which you should be able to without using the clutch (on up shifts anyway). Always learn how to drive your car without using the clutch, one day you'll need it.

However, your problem sounds more like it's the gearbox and I wouldn't be risking it. If it's simply a selector issue, you risk blowing up the box for no reason. If the box is crook, there's a good chance it'll leave you stranded. Either is expensive. Take the train and suck up the cost, it's likely to be cheaper than blowing and replacing a gearbox away from home.

And, thanks to the tyranny of time zones, you've probably already left
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Old 25-03-2016   #9
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Re: Gearbox problem

Hi, and thanks. Not set off yet but assessing options... Nice to know if it's just the bearing that it will get my through the journey... Once I get car to the garage I'll inform all of diagnosis, just if anyone's interested...

Thanks again.
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Old 25-03-2016   #10
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Re: Gearbox problem

Okay. Assuming it's the clutch (which I don't think it is but...)

Driving without the clutch.
If you have some clutch use, you may be able to start the engine and use the clutch to get into first and move off. If you have no clutch at all, turn the engine off, put the car in first, turn the key - you should be able to start the vehicle moving and then the engine started on the starter motor.

Use any trick you can to avoid stopping - when my Fiat 128 broke her clutch cable, at one set of traffic lights, I did circuits of an adjacent petrol station

Changing up gears is easy. Simply lift off to remove the pressure on the gears, slip her into neutral, use the throttle to lift the revs to where you think they should be (or just blip the throttle) and easy the gear lever into the next gear. After a couple of tries, you'll learn to judge this so you get a quiet and smooth change.

Changing down is the same, but you need to lift the revs higher and need to be more accurate judging them. Best done when you're right at the bottom of the rev range.

Using a bit of mechanical sympathy, it's surprisingly easy to drive a car smoothly without a clutch and you'll do no damage. It's constant rough changes that do the damage.

EVERYONE should practice changing up a gear without the clutch. Just a few times to get a feel for it. You shouldn't have to do it but when you're forced to is not the time to learn. In my 40 years driving, I've been forced to do so four times. My first MGB tore the lining off her clutch (hard start at a hill climb ). A year later, the roller bearing thrust washer they fitted seized. My Fiat 128 sport broke a clutch cable. My son's Mitsubishi Cordia had the clutch pedal pull out of the pedal box when he put his foot on the clutch. It happens. Of course, other people will never have a problem.
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Last edited by aussiepanda; 25-03-2016 at 01:05.
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Old 25-03-2016   #11
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Re: Gearbox problem

That's great advice, and a great set of instructions. My old dad taught me how to do clutchless changes, and I've often had cause to be grateful (especially at the moment, as my arthritic left knee is very creaky, so I'm clutchless changing as much as possible to avoid aggravating it).
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Old 25-03-2016   #12
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Re: Gearbox problem

I'm afraid it doesn't sound like clutch to me, symptoms don't seem right. Sounds more like a bearing in the gearbox - biggest loading in lower gears and on the over-run. Have you noticed any oil leakage? The "loss of power" sounds odd, unless the 'box is partially seizing.

It can't get any better and will probably be doing damage all the time - could well be a total gearbox replacement, given that there are probably bits of bearing grinding their way into everything and the gears themselves aren't meshing properly, could even damage the casing if the worst really comes to the worst.

Hope I'm being unduly pessimistic and wish you luck.
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Old 23-05-2016   #13
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Re: Gearbox problem

Any news as to the outcome of the problem?
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