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ameya_m

Wagon R difficulty in changing gear

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Hi,

I know this is highly subjective but I need to atleast understand what is wrong. I have a 2008 Vxi Wagon R that I bought 2nd hand back in November. I am a new driver, and the car has a rubbery gear box and clutch pedal, so I couldnt initially diagnose this. There are two issues

1) The car doesnt go into 2nd gear easily. You can describe it as the 2nd gear is very hard in coloquial terms. In most new cars that I have driven, there is a slight notch feel in the gear stick- when you push the handle to the left and then back, before it reaches its final position there is a perceptible notch. The stick doesnt stop there, you can just feel the notch. In my car the gear stick gets stuch there and has to be yanked back quite hard. Very often, when you need to change gear quickly in traffic, the stick gets stuck inbetween as it hasnt gone all the way back and when I release the clutch, the gear teeth make the grinding sound. Once it goes into gear though there is no issue. It goes into other gears quite ok. There is a similar issue in 5th but thats more likely because it doesnt get used very much

2) I have had this stick getting stuck inbetween problem in other gears as well but not as often. Some times in other gears as well, the gear stick just doesnt want to go into gear- it gets stuck in between, just like described above except it just feels blocked. I figured out that when it does that, you move into any other gear and then back into the gear you want without declutching and then it goes through fine.

Note, I am pressing the clutch all the way down, thats not the issue.

Now, since it happens mostly in 2nd and the sometimes in the other gears, and based on my discussions with a number of cabbies (whom I figured have a lot more experience than most of us), I thought it was a bush issue. Someone on this form also told me that the rubbery gear stick feel I have is because the pre 2010 Wagon Rs have cable operated boxes and they asked me to change over to pushrod setups. I showed it to a couple of mechanics and the 2nd time I specifically asked him to check the bush. These guys are reluctant to check out the issue, may be its something they dont know or whatever but I need to get it mended. I dont know whether the box is suitable to be changed over to pushrod setup. I didnt want to take it to the MASS because of they are most likely to bring out a lot more problems and will charge quite a bit. I havent found a crack mechanic who can tell me the problem exactly. I am concerned that it shouldnt be something internal to the gear box like a syncroniser ring or something that will destroy the box if it fails. What should I do?

Ameyam

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If you are from mumbai/thane, maharashtra contact Mr.Afzalbhai cell no.: 00919320893648. He will be able to solve your problem. He is a fine mechanic and would charge you minimum.

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Hi,

took the car to MASS at the Phoenix Mall, on the way back from somewhere and requested then to have a look. They tightened the clutch cable and that resolved the soft clutch problem but not the gear shift issue. The technicial there agreed there was some issue with the gear, either in the lever or in the box. I figured I have small niggling problems in any case (vibrating power window panel, central lock not working, foam poking out of the door trim panel, frequent jumping track of cd player etc) and I also need to see this car from underneath to check out the rust state. MASS may be a bit expensive but atleast they will fix the main problem for sure and can advice on the other issues. So I am arranging for them to pick up my car tomorrow. I am going to ask them to fix the gear issue and the central locking and if possible, allow me to have a look underneath while they are at it. Since they will disconnect my transmission anyway for checking, it makes sense for them to replace the clutch as well.

What do you think?

Ameyam

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IMO you cannot change the cable to rod system easily. Most probably the cable and the bush kit might need replacing and it cost under 3.5k . Also beware of Sai Service they are known for messing up the car and give inflated bills ; when I had my Zen earlier they charges 14k for change of 1 wheel bearing along with normal service (in 2007).

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Dear rssh,

The cost of the original bearing would cost not more than 700 Rs. Problem does not end here, 2 years back front tyre of my wagon R was making noise so I inquired about the procedure the MASS would adopt, they said hydraulic press. I told them this procedure would put pressure on the bearing races, I suggested, why not use induction heater for the bearing and cool the shaft. As per them as they have to service a lot of cars they don't have time for above lengthy process. I was left with no choice but to change the bearing on my own. At least I have satisfaction that my car would not give me surprise. The lesson to be learned is do not trust the MASS or any other car service centre blindly.

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All that sticky gear shift problem solved ? Check for clutch cylinders also (both master and slave) and change the fluid. If there is too much rust below the body, it is advisable to replace the gearbox mountings also.

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I have been asking Spectra to let mee see the underside of the car. They were not too responsive- guess they will put the car up on the lift only when the spares arrive. Since its second-hand, I am not sure how bad it is but there is definately rust underneath. They have promised to send snaps when they do so.

I am not too sure regarding the clutch master and slave. The technician will likely check that. The car was bought and serviced at Spectra by the original owner. This technician has worked on this car before, so he knows the history other than the things I did to the car after I got it. During the test drive he noted a sound from the front side- suspension or something that I couldnt discern. Since my front brakes had beed overhauled, he said the sound was most likely a caliper pin or something. I told him to inspect but to keep the costs down. He assured that if it not critical he will not do it.

I wont replace my box- its just too expensive to do that. From discussions with him, it didnt look like he felt that was necessary- I mentioned that this gear box overhaul may be the reason the car was sold and he replied thats not likely the case, so he seems to be confident with the chassis condition and even my regular mechanic didnt say anything of that sort.

I have a minor service due- basically I just need to top off the engine oil. If they overhaul the gear box, they will likely refill the transmission oil also. So I have a couple of questions-

1) The car is approaching 40k km and I have no idea whether injector / throttle body cleaning was ever done. Is it a good idea to ask them to do it now? I read from somewhere in the forum that decarbonizing is not required, so I am thinking that additionally I will just replace the existing oil with semisynthetic

2) My clutch was out of adjustment when I took the car there. They tightened the nut from under the front bumper and it was much better. But the amount they tightened- almost all the way- has me wondering whether the clutch plate is on its way. Regardless, they will disconnect the transmission, so is it a good idea to have the clutch plate replaced now? Or should I ask the technician to check and then advice?

Ameyam

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Haven't received the car yet. The told me yesterday it was ready after throttle body & injector cleaning. Didn't replace clutch. He also started telling me that the steering systems needed changing but I told him I had no intention of replacing the whole car. Will take a test drive today & see

Ameyam

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Hi,

got the car back from MASS. Following parts are changes / serviced from the bill- differential and gear box side oil seals, LH transmission mount, gear shifter, rubber boots, front brake caliper pin. They told me they replaced the shifter, bush and linkages and overhauled the gear box. On the way back I did feel the gear box was shifting better. Feeling the engine vibes through the gear stick now which implies that the mated positions of some of the gears has changed. The vibes will clear with some running though just like in a new box. I did miss a gear but that was because my head was not working right and I didnt put the stick in the right place

I asked for a throttle body and injector cleaning as it is nearing 40k km. My buddy said there is a better throttle response now. I had a viral all week and my head isint too clear as yet, so had him do the test drive and drop it. The little I drove was at the edge of my capacities just then, so there was little scope for me to percieve anything different in the way the car drove other than the gear movement

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