2nd gear engagement problem

Faults and Technical chat for the Vauxhall Astra K
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Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:03 pm
Astra Model: 1.6 CDTi 16V ecoFLEX SRi Nav
Astra Colour: Flip Chip Silver

2nd gear engagement problem

Post by nlittley » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:24 pm

Hi all,

I'm having a problem with 2nd gear on my 6 speed ecoFLEX diesel. It's 3yrs old, done 35k. I've had a look and see plenty of others with M32 gearbox problems but nobody seems to describe this issue.

Essentially when I move off from standstill, about 50% of the time 2nd gear won't engage properly. At worst, it just won't go, won't "find the hole" (although I never try to force it) and I have to almost double clutch to get it to go in. Sometimes it goes but then pops out as the power comes on. Sometimes it goes but with a 2-stage feeling. The other 50% it goes in smooth as anything, as do all the other gears. 1st can be a little stiff but never from standstill, only if I unexpectely re-engage gear thinking I was coming to a full stop. I've not noticed on coming down gears, I tend to be in neutral as I approach lights to encourage the stop start to work.

I've noticed the issue for the last year or so, done maybe 12k in that time. I have raised it a total of 4 times with my dealership in that time. They've always failed to find a fault but today I took it to an independent gearbox specialist who agreed there is one, so took it back to vauxhall and lo and behold they now agree. It's got 1 day left on warranty, they say they will honour this but have said if it turns out to be wear, I may still have to pay. I'm awaiting a gearbox strip down, they should have a diagnosis mid next week.

Anyone have any thoughts, am I likely to get stung here? Also, do I have any legs to stand on if I reported it more than a year ago and any damage is worse because it wasn't sorted at the time?

Greatly appreciate any advice.

Posts: 871
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:54 am
Astra Model: 2016 Astra K 1.6 110HP
Astra Options: Lane assist, dual zone Climate Control.
Astra Colour: Asteroid Grey

Re: 2nd gear engagement problem

Post by astraowner » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:05 am

This is certainly not the normal way the M32 has problems.

Usual problems with M32's are related to gearstick moving when accelerating and bearing noise that gets progressively worse and if you dont get it fixed the gearbox could disintegrate entirely.

This happens most frequently on gen.1 gearboxes and happens faster if you do a lot of driving in 5'th and 6'th gear as it is usually the bearings on that shaft that is worn down. The gen.2 gearbox on the Astra has had remediations done to try to improve on the durability, which include a larger (but not much) bearing and a redesigned endcap for the gearbox, that should provide better lubrication for said bearing.

Sound more like something is lightly bent inside the gearbox or maybe the gearlever assembly just needs adjusting.

In any case i hope they find your problem and fixes it, free of charge, I would not accept "wear" on a 35.000 miles gearbox, as any wear on a gearbox with this low mileage should be down to manufacturing error, unless you are the type that REALLY thrashes it and changes gear like a pig. :D

Min you though, my gen.1 M32 on my old Zafira only had about 60.000 miles on it between rebuilds and i did NOT drive it like a pig, but i DID do a lot of motorway miles in it though.
2016 Astra K 110HP, Opel Eye camera, front and rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control and heated front seats, sight and light pack.

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