Sensodrive Gearbox issues

If you have Automatic gearbox problems or issues that would only affect an Auto, please ask here.

Please provide as much information as possible including photos you have taken and uploaded directly to the topic.
Forum rules
One question per topic about an Auto or semi-auto gearbox can be posted in this section
No engine questions
Think: Auto not changing up or down, snowflake/sport flashing, flappy paddles, actuator fault and sensodrive not changing gear.
My Name: Alal

Contributor
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:07 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2005 (05)
Engine Size: 1.6
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 87000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

So I purchased my C3 last year from a dealer and then managed to find the phone number of the previous owner. I called him and asked why he sold the car. He explained that the car was his wife's and that the gearbox had switched itself off twice in the last 9 years. He explained that all she had to do was stop the engine and start it again and the gearbox would work again. However, she wasn't too confident about that so he part exchanged it for a new one.

I've had the car for 10 months and never experienced any issues with the gearbox until a few weeks ago. Normally the car is only used locally for school runs, etc. so never really gets hot or anything like that. A few weeks ago I decided to take it for a longer drive. That day I managed to run the car for around 60 miles in total. I had to make a few stops and most of the driving was inner city. Anyhow on the way home I was just about to get on the A13 and the gearbox seemed to have switched off. there was a '--' sign on the display. As the car was rolling I managed to get it to a safe spot and then switched the engine off. After a few minutes I switched it back on again and the gearbox had re-appeared. I drove on the A13 at around 50mph for around 10 miles and just as I got of it the gearbox went again. Again restarted and drove another few miles and the gearbox went. So it was pretty much stop start until I got home.

I have been driving the car around locally since that night and have had no issues with the gearbox since.

Can anyone shed any light into what the issue might be? My thought is that something around the gearbox is over heating and switching off the gearbox (a bit like what was happening to my boiler last year).
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My Name: C3CAR

Guru
Posts: 2621
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 148 times
Been thanked: 88 times

Post

Alal wrote:So I purchased my C3 last year from a dealer and then managed to find the phone number of the previous owner. I called him and asked why he sold the car. He explained that the car was his wife's and that the gearbox had switched itself off twice in the last 9 years. He explained that all she had to do was stop the engine and start it again and the gearbox would work again. However, she wasn't too confident about that so he part exchanged it for a new one.

I've had the car for 10 months and never experienced any issues with the gearbox until a few weeks ago. Normally the car is only used locally for school runs, etc. so never really gets hot or anything like that. A few weeks ago I decided to take it for a longer drive. That day I managed to run the car for around 60 miles in total. I had to make a few stops and most of the driving was inner city. Anyhow on the way home I was just about to get on the A13 and the gearbox seemed to have switched off. there was a '--' sign on the display. As the car was rolling I managed to get it to a safe spot and then switched the engine off. After a few minutes I switched it back on again and the gearbox had re-appeared. I drove on the A13 at around 50mph for around 10 miles and just as I got of it the gearbox went again. Again restarted and drove another few miles and the gearbox went. So it was pretty much stop start until I got home.

I have been driving the car around locally since that night and have had no issues with the gearbox since.

Can anyone shed any light into what the issue might be? My thought is that something around the gearbox is over heating and switching off the gearbox (a bit like what was happening to my boiler last year).
If the gear box ECU resets itself it should store error codes, you need to use lexia to read them (only lexia). If the ECU shuts down due to a power fault (12v) you probably won't get a code stored. So you need to read for codes in the sensodrive box ECU to see if they are there and then work from there.

The sensodrive clutch actuator can give problems, but it's never worth spending money without doing the diagnosis with Lexia tool first :)
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