Alfa 156 Selespeed gear selection disaster - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Alfa 156 Selespeed gear selection disaster


I've got a 1999 156 Selespeed Veloce, great car to drive, but am now having gearbox grief.

1st had a problem a couple of months back - car would miss 3rd gear on upchange and jump to 4th. Then it got stuck in reverse, but eventually freed itself. Took it into the local dealer who after two weeks told me that it was a speed selector which they replaced at a cost of about 250 including labour. This of course was not covered by my aftermarket warranty/mechanical insurance.

Car was fine for about 3 weeks, then started missing 3rd again. I pretended to ignore it as I love driving the Alfa and it usually was OK if I just accepted 4th and carried on.

Then about 2 months ago it stuck in reverse and wouldn't go. Had to be towed to to dealer, but when it was taken off the towtruck it was OK.

Yesterday/today it has been v bad, missing 2nd/3rd and coasting with a flashing N in the gear display until I stop, switch off, wait for ages then try again.

I've heard that the actuator is at fault, I need a software upgrade or alternatively a BMW.

I really don't wanto get rid of my 156, I love it when it's good, but can't stand the unreliability.. Help!!

Oh and where can I get Sport pack 2 style side skirts for less than dealer prices....?
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All is not lost! You are not the first nor the last with this sort of trouble.

I too have had the skipping 3rd sessions, flashing N in the display espically when downshifting to 2nd .

My problems are now sorted and my baby has been perfect since last Jan. Problems were traced to loose electrical connections in various connectors and a dodgy battery.

Advice would be to get the dealer mechanics to take your car for a couple of days and drive it about with the diagnostic system hooked up... they should spot the problems then.

I've looked at the Selespeed wiring schematics myself since. Italian wiring isn't always what it should be! Sometimes it a matter of persistance in getting intermittent electrical woes solved.

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Hi Withy,
there was a recall (or campaign as Alfa call them) in December 2001, "campaign 4407".
This was a software update for the Selespeed system.

Do you check the Selespeed fluid level?
It's worth checking this weekly, at the same time you check the engine oil.
Running low on Selespeed fluid will cause big problems (the is only 0.7L in the system).
It also sounds like it may need recalibrating, this requires pluging into the "Examiner" system at the dealer.
I hear that the last part of the calibration is often skipped, this last part is to save the settings back to the car!
If the settings are not saved nothing will have changed.

David C

Audi TT 3.2v6 DSG
xAlfa 156 Selespeed sp3 + Brembo conversion
Fiat Cinquecento 899cc
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Welcome to Aflaowner.

Ask you local Alfa dealer about the latest recall.

I was getting Neutral instead of 3rd. I had the new software and the system calibrated and setup. Also had the clutch fluid bled. The car is now a lot smoother and has cured the problems. The upgrade also stops the revs dropping to far when you pull up to a stop.

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Dust In My Eye

It seems like we all have problems with this laughing laughing wonderfull laughing laughing gearbox,Ive had new acctuator,pump and gearbox caseing several recalibrations and it has been ok for the last 10 months,still wouldnt give a smelly ****(sorry)for the deallers
Comeing up to service time and will go to a specialist and see how it goes
If the gearbox ever stops again its going in the river
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Not a GT

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by 8MU:
If the gearbox ever stops again its going in the river </strong><hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">So it just needs a bit of lubrication then?
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well, I am just a newby in Selespeed country, (1 month) I have no problems , contrary , I love the damn thing !! all those test, saying that it is slower than a handshift, are not true. If you really drive the SS (5000 + revs) it goes like **** from a shovel. My previous 146 TI was quick , but this thing really goes.
Some people just don't have what it takes to use electronic gizmos. laughing
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Thanks for the replies.. I'll take all this to the dealer on Tuesday next week when its booked in.
First time I've posted anything - well impressed with the replies. You all seem to know much more than the dealers....!! wink

I'll let you know the outcome (Although it seems that no-one has any faith in the dealers)
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hope these tips (mentioned already or not yet) might help:

-check the selespeed oil reservoir for quantity. lo quantity might mean leak in system and actuator is trying hard to build up pressure to change gear thus missing 3rd gear sometimes..

-go for a software upgrade and actuator recalibration(a function in the Bosch Diagnostic Computer)

-DIY: unplug the batteries connector for 10 mins, then put it back, wait 10 mins, then start engines.. (this is sortta like a 'clear cache memory' procedure)

lastly, good luck
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Sell it fast more trouble than its worth eek!
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tried disconnecting battery and topping up selespeed oil.. no joy yet.. still same error. Have contacted dealer and checked car history -it hasn't had the software upgrade done, so am getting it sorted next thursday (and a courtesy 147!)
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Got the car back from the dealer.. they've updated to software and recalibrated runs perfect now, although they have said that I have an oil leak which may be causing pressure problems.. for now.. all is OK, but I just have this feeling that it may re-occur..
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Got the car back from the dealer.. they've updated to software and recalibrated runs perfect now, although they have said that I have an oil leak which may be causing pressure problems.. for now.. all is OK, but I just have this feeling that it may re-occur..

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