Over the weekend my Fiat Seicento (W reg, 22,000 miles) developed a problem
with the 5th gear. It was stiff when putting it into 5th and also popped
out twice when I was driving. Gears 1-4 seem to be fine. I was told by the
1st garage I took it to it was the Inner CV Boot (some kind of rubber seal)
and that there was no gear oil in it.
I have since taken my car to another garage for a 2nd opinion and they have
told me it’s not the Inner CV Boot (I didn’t tell them I had already taken
the car to another garage but mentioned a colleague had the same problem
with their Fiat, to see if this garage had checked it). Apparently he has
already checked this. They are now taking the whole gearbox out to see
what’s wrong with it. This sounds like it could be more expensive than what
the 1st garage said – now I don’t know who to trust! Any ideas? Amelia
Sounds like it might only be a problem with the gear selector linkages.
I hate to say this, but try a Fiat Garage, as they 'might' not try to rip
you off, or get a semi knowledgeable (male) friend to come along too.
Hopefully only needs adjusting
Unlikely to be the CV boot as this keeps dirt out of the driveshaft
Constant Velocity joints which link the gearbox to the drive wheels.
The inner CV boot is te one next to the gearbox the outer the one next
to the wheel, and there are two driveshafts. They are packed with
grease to lubricate the joint and if they leak excessive wear can occur
on the joint and ultimately the joint could fail. If the joint was so
badly damaged as to affect gear selection I would expect the joint to
req replacement and all the gears to be problematic.
They can simply go due to wear and tear but your car is prob too low
mileage for that, I've had to replace three on three of my cars (2 fiats
one citroen). All the cars had done 60,000+ and were over 6 yrs old.
It is poss that you've driven over something or that an unscrupulous
mechanic has stuck a screw diver in it! Any hole or leak is normally
easy to spot as it would be surrounded by grease with dirt stuck to it,
so a simple inspection should suffice. The boot may also seem a little
flatter than the others.
Problems selecting 5th and popping out sound more like an internal fault
with the gearbox, I had a similar problem with my Tipo many years ago
and it turned out to be the gear selection forks. The gearbox
deteriorated rapidly and I only had 1st and third after a few hundred
miles. This is a lot more expensive than a CV boot and more time consuming.
Have a similar problem with a Cinquecento, sometimes difficult to
select 5th because it jumps out. It selects ok most times and
once selected stays in. Engine mounts, and adjustment of the
gearstick to gearbox linkage have been suggested. The problem
is commonly that a spring loaded hardened steel ball should go into
a recess, when a gear is selected, if the linkage doesn't push it
far enough, or the spring weakens, then it jumps out of gear.
Fixing a gearbox is expensive.
Inner and outer driveshaft boots are not a major job, I do my own, I'd
recommend replacing both at the same time, they are only around
3 pounds each to buy and the labour charge is mainly getting
the driveshaft off the car and back again. Then refilling the
gearbox. The inner one seems to fail more often than the
outer CV joint one, I suspect because it gets hotter from engine
and gearbox heat. Symptom of inner one failing is drops of oil
on the floor, until most of the gearbox oil has gone.
The boot going won't totally empty the gearbox, but it's not good.
I'd advise a second opinion and quote, franchised dealers labour
costs are high, the job should be within the capability of a
local self employed, well recommended mechanic, whose
labour charges will be lower.
Thanks for the info. Well it's all done now and I'll be picking up car in
the evening - i got £50 off the bill in the end too, because the garage
weren't open Sat morning for me to collect it like they should have been
(due to a death within the business apparently! I do believe them actually)
. I was without a car all Bank Holiday weekend but just be glad to get it
back. And in the end the 2nd garage told me it was the same thing as the
first garage, the inner CV boot. Cheers. Emily
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