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2013 Aygo recurring gearbox problems


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Hello everyone,

i'm the owner of a really nice, dealer maintained and low mileage Aygo. I bought the car about a year ago and for the first six months everything was great. Unfortunately, I can't seem to stop breaking gearboxes..
I've been driving for almost 20 years without accident or serious damage or wear to any car I owned. Although I'm not a mechanic, I am an engineer so I have some intuition when It comes to operating machines or mechanical devices, such as a gearbox.

Less then 2 weeks ago, the gearbox was replaced for the third time (used, but supposedly low mileage). I asked the mechanic if something else could be causing the problems, because it seems unlikely that they keep installing broken gearboxes. Possibly something to do with the clutch or gear shift mechanism / cable. The mechanic, who claims to have worked at a Toyota dealership for 10 years (I have no reason to doubt this, they have been very fair), says 'no' . Not possible. During the last replacement he also observed "excessive wear" to the clutch. This is also strange to me, I would expect it to wear slower than average, not (much) faster.

At this point i'm afraid to shift gear. I actually removed the driver side mat, to make sure that I doesn't impede the clutch pedal. Every gear shift I make, I'm now completely focused on doing everything correctly. At first, everything seemed fine, but now the same (intermittent) problem is back: the gearbox seems to get stuck in between gears. Yesterday I was driving in fifth gear and I want to shift down to fourth. I disengage the clutch, shift to neutral and there the lever gets stuck. Cannot get it in any gear. I stop at the side of the road, turn the engine off and eventually get it unstuck by gently wiggling it.

Today, different situation but the same problem (different gear transition). Again, I have to stop at the side of the road. The gearbox appears to be stuck in neutral. I have the clutch pedal all the way down, try to find any gear and eventually try reverse. I'm being really gentle, not forcing anything and as soon as I try to select reverse I hear the grinding of gears. The clutch is still all the way down. 

I've had this same problem from the first replacement gearbox on. It regularly seized up and eventually started making a whining noise and was replaced. The second replacement gearbox also got stuck, but before I could get it replaced or looked at, it broke in a more spectacular way. It seems that I somehow engaged both first and reverse at the same time, according to the mechanic at least. One of the gear shafts actually broke through the aluminium casing. The mechanic said he had only seen this once, but on a rally car. I almost wish I could say that I was driving like a rally-driver, because then at least I would have a story. 

I've decided to take my Aygo to a Toyota dealer on Monday and get a second opinion, but i'm hoping to get some information or idea of what keeps going wrong. I suspect something is wrong with the clutch, maybe the pressure plate. Maybe i'm just a terrible driver that was lucky for the first 17,5 years of his driving career. 




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Hi Gideon,while it's difficult to pinpoint the exact cause, based on the information you provided, the most likely cause could be a combination of a faulty clutch, the excessive clutch wear and the gearbox getting stuck in gear strongly suggest clutch issues. A worn pressure plate or malfunctioning clutch hydraulics could be causing the problem. A faulty clutch wouldn't allow the gears to disengage fully, leading to grinding and the stuck feeling you described. The mechanic mentioning excessive clutch wear during the last replacement and this strengthens this theory.

However, there could be more to this.Underlying gearbox issue, It's possible a pre existing problem with the Aygo itself is putting extra stress on the gearboxes, causing them to fail even with a good clutch. This is less likely considering the used replacements also failed, but can't be entirely ruled out.

You are absolutely right to take it to a Toyota dealership as they should be able to clarify the situation, A thorough inspection will hopefully identify the root cause. They can examine the clutch system and also consider the possibility of any underlying gearbox defect. Let us know the outcome as it will be very interesting to learn the actual reason for this problem.:smile:

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A clutch problem is usually slipping or dragging. Dragging might make gear selection difficult but I doubt it would allow you to select 1st and reverse at the same time.

My guess its either the gear linkage or the selector mechanism. 

I will have £5 on gear linkage as most likely problem as it would be common to the 3 gear boxes.



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improper setup of the clutch cable (free play) may be an issue as are stretched cables

I take it you have been getting used gearboxes

another factor is incorrect gearbox oil it should be GL4, if you use GL4.5 or GL5 it will wipe out bearings

drop the oil and inspect then refill

1.7L, API GL-4 or SAE 75w

The recommended oil is. Toyota manual transmission gear oil LV 75W


The clutch may need adjusting now its bedded in




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Thanks so much for the replies.

The mechanic is certain that the gear linkage is fine, why he is so sure, I don't know.

Today I found out that the car is now undrivable. The clutch doesn't disengage. I can't select any gear with the motor running, but can with the motor turned off. When I tried to start it with first gear selected, I can hear the engine straining and feel the car start to move.

The gearboxes were used, perhaps one of them was just faulty by itself. 


Edit: the clutch was replaced in januari. I've driven (maybe) 5000km since. 

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Its possible the wrong clutch kit was fitted, IIRC the release bearing (someone confirm please) is different between certain ages

Or the clutch cable needs tightening a turn or two

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