SensoDrive Gearbox Troubleshooting Information

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CitroJim
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SensoDrive Gearbox Troubleshooting Information

Post by CitroJim » 14 Dec 2014, 17:35

We're deeply indebted to charentejohn for gathering and collating the following information:

Over to John:

Sensodrive boxes in general.


The following is a summary of the links below but worth reading them anyway in order to understand the box I general.

Normal driving in Auto mode should give a slight hesitation between changes but be hardly noticeable, it is doing clutch down, into gear, clutch up, and should feel like that being briskly and smoothly done.
Problems which are just part of the box’s normal programming are that it can try to remain in second when slowing down and then accelerating at such as roundabouts and tight turns. Solution is to put it into first using the paddles, then accelerate gently until it changes back to second. Just a matter of practice.

When cold it can hesitate, actually feels more like the engine, then suddenly take off. Doesn’t always happen but if it does then just ease off the accelerator and press gently again. Once more just technique and practice when you feel it happening.

Hill starts need a little practice too to avoid wearing the clutch. It will hold on the clutch like an auto but it is just like riding the clutch in a manual car. So handbrake on, foot hovering over the accelerator then accelerator down brake off and away.
If you are going to be holding on the clutch on a hill for some time use the handbrake, I this respect is is not like a standard auto box.

Otherwise it should seem like any other automatic. You should be able to slowly creep forward like an auto but it will be riding the clutch, but no more so than a manual car.

Fault fixing.

Seems once there is a problem garages can struggle, having seen the posts on the net about this, reprogramming, expensive parts, reprogramming again, more parts etc etc. the following was of interest.
Based on comments from various semi-auto repairers the gear selector servo is rarely the problem. Most likely it is the clutch and actuator.

Seems it is best to replace both together with new parts (currently about £300 the lot + labour) as just doing one without the other will just fail again shortly after. Seems to be related to the clutch actuator adjusting to wear as the clutch wears. Fitting a new clutch with old actuator means the actuator self adjuster has to be reset and it doesn’t always work second time around. Fitting a new actuator will just adjust for wear in the old clutch and again not work correctly, so all or nothing is best.
Other problems can be fixed with software upgrades but if the persist try the above ?

When you do get stuck miles from home you can reset the gearbox as follows but it is really only a temporary fix. This will just let everything reset, like clutch position etc. which may well mess up again later. Best to have it checked out as it seems this is not a permanent solution but should get you home.

Summarised from the forums and repair advice sites below.

1 Switch off ignition.
2. Open bonnet and close all doors and windows.
3. Remove the plastic battery cover on the right hand side of the engine bay.
4. Unclip the battery +positive terminal (usually at the front), keep a spanner handy for this.
5. Wait at least 5 minutes and don’t open doors etc, go for a short walk maybe.
6. Reconnect the battery, you should see a - instead of a gear number on the dashboard.
7. Switch ignition to position 2, battery and oil light only showing on dashboard.
8. Press and hold the brake pedal down, you will hear the box clicking and moving about as it resets itself. Wait until all such noises stop.
9. Remove your foot from the brake, turn ignition off and on again, and all should be back to normal.

Information links.

How the box works (know your enemy :)

http://www.citroenet.org.uk/passenger-c ... ive-2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.c2club.co.uk/showthread.php? ... ners-Guide" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Repair advice.

http://www.ultracars.co.uk/citroen-c3-p ... procedure/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.sinspeed.co.uk/citroen-peuge ... r-repairs/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://jimbutterworth.co.uk/5autobox.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.ecutesting.com/citroen/c2-c3 ... fault.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.eurocarcare.net/faults.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It would be nice to know of any other driving tips to get around some of the quirks the box has, like staying in 2nd too long, as well as good or bad experiences and their solutions. Apparently boxes prior to 2005 were programmed to drop out of auto of you used the paddles, this is normal but if yours still does this you could use new software as upgrades after that time stopped this.
Such information will help if people are being caught out by certain things. When working correctly the box is fine, but sometimes getting it to work correctly is the trick.

Any problems that were not resolved would be of interest, who did what and then what happened, especially if they tried the clutch / actuator fix above and it didn’t work. Good to know what to ask a garage to do when you go in. You can then ask for a price for the full fix, if it worked, and ask for any additional bits people may recommend are done, reprogramming etc ?

davedougan
Posts: 25
Joined: 20 Dec 2015, 10:13

Re: SensoDrive Gearbox Troubleshooting Information

Post by davedougan » 21 Dec 2015, 14:33

thnx