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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, as the title suggests i've recently bought a 2004 156 (first time Alfa) Selespeed with 40,000kms. I need some help from 156 owners. Just a bit curious about couple of things, and want to know if they are normal. Today while driving, came to a stop at lights on a hill, i put the park brake on and waited till the light turned green, put the park brake down, and hit the accelerator rolled a bit and than as i moved off, it was kinda rough/jerking? until shifted into 2nd is that normal? I've just switched from a Honda Accord automatic transmission, which is so smooth in shifting, and this Alfa makes me a bit uneasy, wandering if there is any fault with the selespeed..even when moving from gear 1, its a bit un easy but when going on 70 km/h no problems upshifts are smooth.. just when i drive a bit slow its not that smooth..:confused: i hope its normal, is this the characteristics of selespeed transmission?,.also the temperature gauge is shifting constantly, when in stop and go goes around 90> and then as driving around the 60 km/h comes down to the 70 degrees mark? I've checked the coolant level, its at minimum but the coolant holder is on a tilt, how can we judge if it's at a safe level? I have checked some threads to the heating problem, but there all European temperature related, anyone familar with Australian climate? Anyother things i should watch out for?
Thanks in Advance.
 

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Selespeed is not an automatic gearbox - there is no torque converter. It is a traditional 5sp manual gearbox with a hydraulic system that operates the clutch and swaps cogs for you. At slow speeds the clutch engages/disengages as the computer sees fit - and because it can't anticipate 100% what you're going to do it will be jerky. It's a characteristic of the car that you will come to learn your way around in time, but do not ever expect a Sele to be as smooth as an auto because it isn't one. I'm not 100% clear on what you mean by jerky, though, so the other option is the clutch (or at least the clutch pushrod) could need replacing/adjusting.

The fluctuating temp guage could indicate a shot thermostat. Get it checked out.

Lastly, head over to ausalfa.com • Index page
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey thanks for that, well can some one advise, of what to do if your stuck up on an incline hill at lights, is it best to hit the park brake on? i did not want to press on the brake, as i've heard the car goes into neutral if its on brake for a couple of mins, but as i letthe park brake down and hit the accelerator, the rolling bit is fine, but it just jolted off so hard, and i though the transmission was gona go, it felt rough not a smooth take off... my biggest fear is selespeed and faults, so i hope there is nothing with the transmission...
cheers
Selespeed is not an automatic gearbox - there is no torque converter. It is a traditional 5sp manual gearbox with a hydraulic system that operates the clutch and swaps cogs for you. At slow speeds the clutch engages/disengages as the computer sees fit - and because it can't anticipate 100% what you're going to do it will be jerky. It's a characteristic of the car that you will come to learn your way around in time, but do not ever expect a Sele to be as smooth as an auto because it isn't one. I'm not 100% clear on what you mean by jerky, though, so the other option is the clutch (or at least the clutch pushrod) could need replacing/adjusting.

The fluctuating temp guage could indicate a shot thermostat. Get it checked out.

Lastly, head over to ausalfa.com • Index page
 

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Congrats on the new ride, Australia has some nice roads for Alfas :)

I've also got a Selespeed and I usually use my left foot for holding the brakes on inclines. When you release the parking brake, the car rolls back, so keep your left foot on the brake. Then gently ease on the power and off the brakes to move off.

The Selespeed gearbox on City mode is a bit quirky, especially at low speeds. I find that if I brake hard and it drops into first gear, sometimes it takes a long time for the clutch to re-engage when I hit the throttle again. The car sits there doing nothing, revs climbing, then suddenly the clutch bites and it shoots off like a scalded cat :)

Better to start shifting manually as it's easier to get smooth shifts that way.
 

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I've also got a Selespeed and I usually use my left foot for holding the brakes on inclines. When you release the parking brake, the car rolls back, so keep your left foot on the brake. Then gently ease on the power and off the brakes to move off.
It is better to use the handbrake for several reasons:
you won't buildup hot spots on the front discs
you won't p155 off everyone behind you with your brake lights

You can still progressively release the handbrake to move off, it isn't just on or off...!
 

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these characteristics are completely normal for a sellespeed. when im on an incline i just gently depress the accelerator its just the same as clutch control just minus a clutch. full auto is always erratic at low speeds its just the nature of the beast. remember it is not a true automatic. hardly ever use full auto, i tend to use the gear stick to change and lift off a bit when changing up for a smooth gear change.
its a bit trial and error but you will get the hang of it eventually and it will become a rewarding drive.
 

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oh one more thing. full auto which is badged city mode is anything but. i only ever use it on the motorway.
its far 2 eratic for use in a city and can make you look like you have no idea how to drive. i suspect this is what you mean by jerky.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks everyone for your feedback.. yes i am using the car in city mode, as i haven't quite got a hang of manual mode, as i am too scared of doing some harm to the transmission by shifting wrong gears at differnt speeds, so i am letting the system do its work.. Also i noticed is inside when i turn the ignition on, i can hear these electric noise buzzing noise, its annoying it sounds like if your standing underneath powerlines, that kinda noise, i though it was the cd player but i turned it off, it still evident, appears to be coming from the control panel/ or lcd display which shows date. time? is this normal? :confused:
oh one more thing. full auto which is badged city mode is anything but. i only ever use it on the motorway.
its far 2 eratic for use in a city and can make you look like you have no idea how to drive. i suspect this is what you mean by jerky.
 

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thanks everyone for your feedback.. yes i am using the car in city mode, as i haven't quite got a hang of manual mode, as i am too scared of doing some harm to the transmission by shifting wrong gears at differnt speeds, so i am letting the system do its work.. Also i noticed is inside when i turn the ignition on, i can hear these electric noise buzzing noise, its annoying it sounds like if your standing underneath powerlines, that kinda noise, i though it was the cd player but i turned it off, it still evident, appears to be coming from the control panel/ or lcd display which shows date. time? is this normal? :confused:
Get it out of "City" mode.

It will never let you shift down if that would overrev the engine, so don't worry.

Use it in manual mode.

The noise you are hearing will be the Selespeed pump getting up to pressure.
You will also hear the fuel pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks, but the selespeed pump noise starts when i open the doors, and the fuel pump these are two different noises, however my concern is when i've got the key in the ignition, there is this zzz looks to be coming from the centre control panel... :S mite get it checked later...
Get it out of "City" mode.

It will never let you shift down if that would overrev the engine, so don't worry.

Use it in manual mode.

The noise you are hearing will be the Selespeed pump getting up to pressure.
You will also hear the fuel pump.
 

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You will also hear the ventilation system flaps moving from their parked positions.
 

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I've experienced everything you have and although it sounds totally different to any other car I love it ! I also do not like the city mode, it is jerky and the one moment it will shift at 2000 rpm and then at 5000 rpm (this with moderate throttle application)! Manual mode is much smoother and I reckon you can get better fuel consumption as well. It's one of the few cars that you really enjoy driving even with all the quirks, oh yeah and the downshift blip is a nice touch as well !
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
okay guys, i switched over to manual mode went for a drive yesterday and today, went around town was in manual mode and was driving on an incline slope(hill) the car started jerking in gear 1(was cold)??? and than smoothed out on highway... stopped for a while, after i re-started, the car jumped out of manual and into city mode with the selespeed warning light flashing(no beep)......... i decided to stop and check it out, as i turned the car off, it got stuck in gear one and would not let me shift to neutral and would not re start. f*k man, than i left it off and put the park brake down it rolled a bit and the gear came back into neutral and re-started drove home in city mode but this time no warning light and it was shifting into all 5 gears, but i think i heard a cranking sound?? any ideas why it did that??
i am very concerned as i've just had the car for under a month...
hope theres nothing major......
thanks
 

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When you turn the car off you should always leave the car in first gear. When you go to start the car, your foot must be on the brake, as you turn the key the car will select neutral before it will start the engine - this is the method described in the owners handbook

Many people turn the key, select neutral themselves and then start the car.

It sounds to me like your Selespeed needs new Selespeed fluid and then recalibration - this cures the majority of gear selection problems
 

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Discussion Starter #17
that could be the problem, as the last time this car was serviced was 1 year ago in August 2007, on the 29000 kms service, so i think i should take it in and get all the fluids (selespeed, engine oil, engine coolant changed), hopefully nothing is major...
 

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Also are you aware of the change in the timing belt change - it is 3 years or 36,000 miles ?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
yes i am aware of that, thanks for pointing it out.. i will be getting all this major service done in the next couple of weeks... i wander what was the cranking sound??
 

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Hope you find the problem......I loved my Selespeed but they can be hugely expensive to repair.
 
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