Join Date: Feb 2009
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Automatic gearbox and no-current
I'm new to this forum so 'big wave hello' from me.
I have a delightfully rickety 1997 Renault Megane Scenic RXE Automatic (2L). I've pretty much had it since new. It has been regularly service by renault garages, since 2000 it has been in france. I've done about 120k miles.
Recently I had to have the fan belt and water pump replaced. The moment it came out of the garage (no gap at all) the following symptoms appeared:
1. at moderate speed the gearbox would shift in and out of 4th gear and then give up, flash the trouble light and slip into limp-home mode. Sometimes it would also race in first gear. i.e. no smooth gear changes and no fourth gear. This is a replacement gearbox dating from 2003.
2. the car would often fail to start. By this I mean that there would be no current whatsoever to the instruments. The plip would not work, no lights no nothing. sometimes rocking the car would re-engage, sometimes playing with the cables under the bonnet, sometimes just waiting would do the trick. This is getting worse. It now happens every time the engine is stopped.
Renault looked at it and said that it's a sensor problem. They would not repair but instead recommended a new gearbox. 3keuro + labour.... I went back saying surely i can just buy the sensor? they say no, it's part of a wiring loom that by itself costs 970euros + labour (btw, all figures excl VAT).
Needless to say, I'm not up for that kind of expense.
And it does not feel right either. The gearbox feels ok and my sixth sense tells me that this is an electrical problem.
Anyway, in trying to fix problem two i decided to undo the fixings to the battery wait a while and do them back up. Sort of like turning a windows computer on and off. This has had a miraculous effect. The gearbox now shifts perfectly. silky smooth in fact. Validating to my mind the suspicion that this was all electric, maybe static buildup or something.
But ... as said above, the lack of current is getting worse. And my family don't appreciate the looks I get outside school when I pop the bonnet ... every day.
Other problems reported in this forum that have some cross-over suggest earthing problems. The car has been on the renault test bed a couple of times and no earth faults are reported. But would they be?
I would like to go back to first principles and examine what could have been done whilst changing the fan belt and water pump (they also changed an engine mounting at this time) that could have caused the intermittent electrical fault.
if anyone has any suggestions along this or any other line, i would be heartily grateful.