Dead gearbox? 2nd opinions welcomed!
Hi everyone, posted this over in alfadriver, but figure the more that see it, the better! Hope that's OK...
So having a bad run with my temperamental lovely bella, getting frustrating, but the thought of driving something boring is also depressing, not sure what's worse!
History and possible clues.....
Alfa 147 2002 Selespeed with 130000kms on the clock. Actuator replaced 2007, Clutch in 2009, Battery in 2010.
Regular servicing since then with all the usuals, plus got a crank sensor replaced a few months ago, and has been driving near perfectly for past month after crank sensor fix.
Occasional but very minor judder/jerking when pulling away in 1st when cold.
I've had my Alfadiag (and their examiner) on there, no fault codes anywhere.
The EOL calibration (alfadiag) seems to complete without any errors, all clicks and clunks you'd expect. But doesn't fix the issue.
Battery is 12.1V when key is on MAR (bit low? I have an ipod which I think stays on/charges all the time, so could be draining the battery (should get a charger) .
Pressure is 45-55, pump is working normally and the mechanic says the actuator seems to be doing it's job normally, i.e trying to change the gears. SS fluid normal.
Issue started a week or two ago, I lost 1st and 3rd. Seemed to sort itself out while driving/restarting.
Couple of days later, wouldn't start, N was flashing. No gears selectable. Unplugged battery, did misc Alfadiag stuff, EOL, checked sensor readings, etc, suddenly it would start and everything normal.
Yesterday while driving on motorway, suddenly lost 3rd, followed by 1st and 5th. Stopped for an hour to do some work, started OK, but only 2nd or 4th were selectable, got to my next job 30km's later, after restarting, all gears back again.
This morning, N flashing, car won't start, still no error codes anywhere. Unplugged -ve battery terminals (and even +ve this time too), jiggled all main loom wiring and actuator connectors, did Alfadiag stuff. Somehow, random or not, it started and reluctantly went into 1st and stayed there for the drive to the mechanics!
(Starts in N flashing, change to 1st might work, might not, if it does work, it won't go back to N, If I try to go to R from 1st, it may go back to N, maybe not, but not into R, and 2,3,4,5 not happening. It is clunking and clicking and trying to change, but not succeeding.
OK sorry for the essay, but figure the history may help a bit..... Or it may be simple, and the mechanic is right.......
He says he's fixed it for now (didn't say how - will ask tmrw), but it's almost certainly temporary, and he ideally needs to take out the gearbox and examine it for problems and possibly replace some parts inside. He says I can't really get a new gearbox, as not the done thing, and even if I did, horribly expensive (4K+ AU). He's quoting me $1600+AU (20 hours - 1000 pounds) for labour to do this kind of job, but doesn't know any more until he sees inside the gearbox. I think he's a very decent mechanic when it comes to alfa nuts and bolts, but I have some doubts on handling of the electronics and touchy sensor/wiring niggles that are so often discussed around here. May find a second opinion, but no other Alfa mechanics within 50kms!
What does everyone think please??