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Thread: Black thick ATF and Jolt when engaging drive on Auto Box

  1. #1
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    Default Black thick ATF and Jolt when engaging drive on Auto Box

    Dear All,

    Our 6-speed auto box in a 2006 Signum 1.9 CDTi has developed a delay, followed by a thunk when we first engage drive. This only happens in the morning (or at the start of a journey), but after that it changes gear fine. No spanner light on the dash and no problem when stopping at lights (where it shifts into neutral) and setting off again (when it re-engages 1st).

    Local garage checked the ATF and said is was brown/black. Glycol test for checking contamination with coolant proved negative.

    Rather hard sell to change a piston and housing, torque convertor and fit a new cooling unit / coil - all for the princely sum of around 2.5-3k (in VAT).

    I suggested trying a ATF flush and see if that cured the problem, which went down like a lead ballon. Stating with 100% confidence that it would be waste of money (£100 ish).

    What I still do not know is what caused my ATF to be become black - although they did not mention a burnt smell. If the cooling coil has gone, does any know how long the ATF would be expected to last before it went bad again. Are talking weeks, months etc?

    If anyone has gone through a similar situation I would be keen to hear what happened. After my ATF flush the problem may come back and I may have to return to garage with my tail between my legs, but for the sake of 2.5K......

    Thanks in advance for your time and effort,

    Cheers,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Full Member chrisvectra's Avatar
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    mark
    the garage may or may not be right but a fluid change wont cost you 2.5k and as u said may make the problem go away, which it might so try the fluid change and get back to us
    VXR IS FOR LIFE NOT JUST FOR THRILLS !



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    Regular Member Derek Mc's Avatar
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    I think the garage are well out on this one. Seek a decent trans specialist and get them to do a power flush with the correct fluid which will be a friction modified fully synthetic Dexron derivative (whose actual name escapes me) the power flush ensures that all the current burnt fluid is transferred out quickly and with the minimum of settlement of debris.

    it is very common in the BMW "sealed for life" trans to do this and makes an unbelievable improvement.

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    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    Change the fluid and find another garage.

    It could be a one off event that caused the fluid deterioration, or it could have taken place over some time. You won't know unless you replace it and check it every few days to see if that's deteriorating too.

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    VIP-Member sulten's Avatar
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    Used ATF oil will be black but should not smell burned.
    I changed my ATF oil on at 80000 km and it was black, had no problems with box before or after the flush.

    Pics of my atf oil:http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showpo...&postcount=104
    Kristian
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    Regular Member Jezzy's Avatar
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    Don't try and persuade the existing garage to do the ATF change against their advice - they might just pretend they did it and say "see, didn't work, did it?". Find another garage.

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    Regular Member C-Owner's Avatar
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    Go to a transmission specialist.

    Ask for an ATF oil change.

    They need to clear the torque converter oil by flushing it.

    There's a certain process for doing this correctly with the engine running in drive..




    .
    Last edited by C-Owner; 20th July 2011 at 15:00.

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    Default Off to a new garage for ATF flush

    Thanks for all of your replies.

    After I said I was going to seek a 2nd opinion, it was funny how quickly they offered to do the ATF flush. Asked to see the glycol test results, which had gone missing. I sense that they have been "at it"....

    New garage with clear instructions to flush (inc Torque convertor) with a dash of Lubeguard Red for good measure.

    I'll let you know how it fares after the weekend.

    Mark

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    Default Looks like a re-condition

    Three garages have independently said the autobox is going. Unfortunately, it seems that no-one in the local area can, or is willing to, do a full ATF flush. Woods Garage in West Calder initially said they could but two hours after dropping the car off said you can't flush an autobox. So they updated the ECU and did the pan-drop ATF method and replaced the 3L rather than the 7-8L. No real change. All very frustrating.

    So it look like I will have to shell out for Gearbox, Torque Convertor, Valve body repair. Craig from Caledonian Transmission reckoned he may be able to determine whether its the Valve body or gearbox with a test drive. Just hoping its not both.....!

    Caledonian Transmission have quoted:

    £1500 + VAT for a gearbox recondition - 1yr or 12,000 mile warranty
    £1000 + VAT for a valve recondition

    and, wisely, suggested fitting a new radiator (£150) which may have (1) failed and caused the ATF to overheat and/or (2) failed and contaminated the ATF with coolant. Regardless of which fault - it's the prime suspect.

    Told I should trade in, but a £2000 repair bill is still a lot cheaper then buying a new car. GF is itching to get shot of it and treat herself to a FIAT 500 - peep peep.

    Mark

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    Regular Member Celes's Avatar
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    I had the (dis)pleasure to smell burnt and contaminated ATF that came out of my mate's 2.2DTi Auto. Disgusting............
    To check for contamination remove the coolant hoses going to the radiator at the bottom (linking gearbox and rad). If the setup is anything similar on the AF40 then it shouldn't be hard to spot.

    Good luck and I hope you won't have to shell out a grand like my mate did...

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