Alfa 159 goes reverse in 1st gear ! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Alfa 159 goes reverse in 1st gear !

Hi. Its 2011 159 - selespeed
Just like that!
I was driving and suddenly the car switched to moving backwards rather than forwared although the gear (on screen) stayed at 1D. Luckily no cars were behind me.
That instance , after some trying it was fixed on its own, i managed to drive home.
Next day it happened again, this time, nothing resolved the problem and now i am towing it to the garage.
So: in 1 the car goes reverse.
I cant engage Reverse, neither on the screen nor in reality (just stays on N) althougb you can hear the sound of gear change (clanking) when i engage reverse.
Resetting the battery didn't help.
I took it to Alfa's workshop and their diagnosis showed a number of errors, none of which was "engagement sensor".
Rather, there was "brake unit" and other things which the technician said are generic and do not necessarily indicate problems.
He said it's not 100% certain the brake unit, but it needed changing anyway, and I agreed.
4-5 days, and everything went fine.
Then yesterday, again, I was travelling on third and there was suddenly a low noise. I stopped (didn't turn off engine), the gear shifted to 1st, then when I pressed the gas, again, while still in the 1st, the car started moving backwards. I switched the engine on and off several times, until the car eventually did travel forward, I drove home and here I am .

I am noting that 4 months ago I had a new clutch system installed (primary and secondary parts). Last month new timing set and new engine seat (or whatever it is called).
Now another major issue and i am terrified it could be the gearbox gone broken beyond repair !

What could it be? Is this problem commonly known with Selespeed? Is it the gear box or the sensors inside the gear? What is the cheapest way to fix it (I've already invested too much on it in one year!).

Thank you
 
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im not deeply familiar with selespeed, but last year i read a lot about it, as i considered 159 like this before i bought my tbi. selespeed is not typical automatic box, is rather manual with robotized gear change.
first question is what mileage it is? i read that after 100kmiles problems with things like pump may happen, and may be costly. not sure though if that could create the issue you have.
second thing I read is that it is very tricky to calibrate (not sure about details of procedure) the gearbox, that most of mechanics have no clue how to do it right or at all. not sure if you had any maintanance around selespeed done which could spoiled its correct operation, or just the box due to age got out of correct calibration(if that is possible) or it is some mechanical or sensor issue.

i know i didnt help too much, but just wanted to highlight that it may be rather work for higly experienced with selespeed mechanic.
maybe somebody else on the forum could recommend good mechanic in your area.
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Originally Posted by epsonix View Post
im not deeply familiar with selespeed, but last year i read a lot about it, as i considered 159 like this before i bought my tbi. selespeed is not typical automatic box, is rather manual with robotized gear change.
first question is what mileage it is? i read that after 100kmiles problems with things like pump may happen, and may be costly. not sure though if that could create the issue you have.
second thing I read is that it is very tricky to calibrate (not sure about details of procedure) the gearbox, that most of mechanics have no clue how to do it right or at all. not sure if you had any maintanance around selespeed done which could spoiled its correct operation, or just the box due to age got out of correct calibration(if that is possible) or it is some mechanical or sensor issue.

i know i didnt help too much, but just wanted to highlight that it may be rather work for higly experienced with selespeed mechanic.
maybe somebody else on the forum could recommend good mechanic in your area.

Thank you epsonix.
The car is with 96,000 KM
Not sure about the pump. Is there a pump that is part of the gear system?
As for calibration, when I was at the workshop the people there actually told me beside having changed the brak unit, they also calibrated the gear.

I too hope some one may have a clue or experienced what I am experiencing.
 
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Guys, I am desperate for any help.. the car is sitting in the garage and I am waiting for someone to at least give me a hope, that it's not a problem that will require a new gear box and I want to go to the mechanic with at least some idea of what is the issue here.
Thanks
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkh View Post
I was driving and suddenly the car switched to moving backwards rather than forwared although the gear (on screen) stayed at 1D. Luckily no cars were behind me.
Whatever the mechanics of the Selespeed box (and, sorry, I have no idea), it's scarcely believable that that could happen. You say you were in 1st, so presumably doing no more than, what, 15-20kph? But even at that speed, the sudden shift into reverse must have imposed enormous stress on the gearbox, quite apart from other moving parts. I venture to think you have a major problem on your hands and also that - whether or not the car is still in warranty (presumably not if 2011?) - it's a problem that AR or their official distributors in your country should take ownership of. As you say, you were lucky. What if it had happened at normal town or highway speeds, in heavy traffic? It's potentially lethal and needs to be sorted at the manufacturer level.

Past Alfas - '87 Alfetta GTV6, '79 Alfetta GTV 2.0 (race car), '83 Giulietta 2.0, '94 164 Q4, '94 164 Super 3.0 V6 24V
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkh View Post
Thank you epsonix.
The car is with 96,000 KM
Not sure about the pump. Is there a pump that is part of the gear system?
As for calibration, when I was at the workshop the people there actually told me beside having changed the brak unit, they also calibrated the gear.

I too hope some one may have a clue or experienced what I am experiencing.
As far as I read, there is a dedicated/separate pump for selespeed gearbox, and it could start to loose efficiency and become noisy somewhere around 100kmiles up.
But to me (do not take me as an expert), it rather woudl not cause putting into reverse. You mentioned the guys did some tweaking on gearbox. I woudl rather put a bet that they didn't have clue how to do it right, and spoiled someting.
You need to find mechanic who is experienced with Selespeed - some Fiat and older Alfas had that type of gearbox (though 159 has some newer version, not sure how different it is), and I heard that some Opel/Vauxhalls also had such (not sure if it was the same manufacturer of gearbox, or just similar concept of robotized gearbox).

I hope your gearbox is still fine (nonetheless reverse was engaged at some speed forward), just that you need proper calibration, otherwise it may be more expensive to repair than your car is worth. You need good specialist, and I would demand the mechanic who touched selespeed last time to pay bills - talk to them now.
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Originally Posted by frankxq View Post
Whatever the mechanics of the Selespeed box (and, sorry, I have no idea), it's scarcely believable that that could happen. You say you were in 1st, so presumably doing no more than, what, 15-20kph? But even at that speed, the sudden shift into reverse must have imposed enormous stress on the gearbox, quite apart from other moving parts. I venture to think you have a major problem on your hands and also that - whether or not the car is still in warranty (presumably not if 2011?) - it's a problem that AR or their official distributors in your country should take ownership of. As you say, you were lucky. What if it had happened at normal town or highway speeds, in heavy traffic? It's potentially lethal and needs to be sorted at the manufacturer level.
Thank you Frankxq. The car is most probably out of warranty. It is indeed 2011. What do you suggest that I do?
 
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Originally Posted by epsonix View Post
As far as I read, there is a dedicated/separate pump for selespeed gearbox, and it could start to loose efficiency and become noisy somewhere around 100kmiles up.
But to me (do not take me as an expert), it rather woudl not cause putting into reverse. You mentioned the guys did some tweaking on gearbox. I woudl rather put a bet that they didn't have clue how to do it right, and spoiled someting.
You need to find mechanic who is experienced with Selespeed - some Fiat and older Alfas had that type of gearbox (though 159 has some newer version, not sure how different it is), and I heard that some Opel/Vauxhalls also had such (not sure if it was the same manufacturer of gearbox, or just similar concept of robotized gearbox).

I hope your gearbox is still fine (nonetheless reverse was engaged at some speed forward), just that you need proper calibration, otherwise it may be more expensive to repair than your car is worth. You need good specialist, and I would demand the mechanic who touched selespeed last time to pay bills - talk to them now.
Thanks again.
The "gearbox calibration" at the workshop was actually done in my last visit (which was because of this issue). That means they presumably did the calibration after the problem started to occur, not before.

Anyway, looks like I will have no other choice but to take it again.

Appreciate your assistance
 
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Could be a flat battery. Disconnect the battery and clean all connectors (on the gearbox and selespeed unit on top) with contact spray-there are sprays for conservation (like Servisol IPA 170) and sprays for corroded connections (there are 4 pressure sensor connectors and 1-2 main connectors I think). Also there is the break switch on the break pedal (turn and pull system). Check the DOT4 fluid level-probably will be black that is from the rubber seals so no worry just change with new (big black cap) and hydraulic fluid Tutela something (I use Total LDS hydraulic fluid) small cap. Hydraulic fluid level will vary when drivers door is opened and the pump is activated (there is a min mark-if added too much will run over thru the cap there is a opening). Mine did stay in N when standing on a crossroad and had to push the car to a parking lot. Good voltage but still a flat battery. New battery and cleaned connectors (changed the break switch for 17€ at home just to be sure) and voila! No problems since. There should be some pictorial of this on this site. Search for it.

Last edited by Markus SVK; 17-10-16 at 08:23.
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Anyway Selesped is hydro- dynamic unit where friction disks inside floating in oil.
I have faced one than car moves forward on neutral because friction disk gone.
I am sure it is different case and I also feel failure comes from electrics.
Should be some relay or something to switch direction via polarity.
Just a guess.
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David C may be along shortly with luck and expert information? :

As BG says sele' s electro hydraulic system to synchro box ?

HP pump for clutch actuation and much more besides? Look for the tank that supplies the fluid to the actuator to see if the fluid level is ok?

I'm rusty on Sele knowledge now so please allow for any inaccuracies in my info, hopefully David C will correct this?

We loved our Sele.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonGiorno View Post
Anyway Selesped is hydro- dynamic unit where friction disks inside floating in oil.
I have faced one than car moves forward on neutral because friction disk gone.
I am sure it is different case and I also feel failure comes from electrics.
Should be some relay or something to switch direction via polarity.
Just a guess.
There are no friction disks floating in oil. It is a normal manual M32 gearbox with a robot on top. Same as for the 1.9JTDm, 1.9 JTS and 1.75TBi.
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Didn't wish to offend BG:D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus SVK View Post
There are no friction disks floating in oil. It is a normal manual M32 gearbox with a robot on top. Same as for the 1.9JTDm, 1.9 JTS and 1.75TBi.
Potentiometers in selector lever housing, signal to selector lever mechanism.

Electronic control unit.


Hydraulic pump.


Press. accumulator.


Clutch slave cylinder.


Manual gearbox.

May have missed something out, or been mistaken in order,or otherways, so please correct at your leisure?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus SVK View Post
There are no friction disks floating in oil. It is a normal manual M32 gearbox with a robot on top. Same as for the 1.9JTDm, 1.9 JTS and 1.75TBi.
Let say automatic one is definitely equipped with.
Selesped is something in the middle between M32 and Automatic.
The case I mean comes from Hyster reachstacker equipped with Dana Spicer fully automatic gearbox.
Sorry for confuse if any.
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I have just asked my mechanic about the reason could be.
He never faced with similar problem before.
He told it could be because of wrong selesped valve engaged.
Valves are engaged electrically and he suspect any shortage inside because of moisture or something.
First is to be done is to clean and dry main ( big one ) electrical socket.
If it does not help you should go further control unit inside.
Hope this will do.
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Hope that anything written here helps.
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All is noted.
Thank you guys for your contributions !
 
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