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Old 02-16-2020, 09:20 AM   #1
JohnSnow
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Default Manual transmission failure

I bought an '08 Saturn Astra in March 2018 for $3000 (all figures in CAD) tax in, and it has worked well enough since then. I had to put a bit of work in (unfortunately I don't have the means to do the work): About $500 to have both power steering hoses replaced since they were gushing fluid, about $800 to have front brake rotors and pads replaced as well as leaking valve cover gasket, and tragically just last week $700 because a wheel bearing broke, and the mechanic said it took an assembly with it that included a wheel speed sensor and such--the part was $200.

Well that last repair was tragic because on Friday the transmission failed. As I took it out of third gear approaching a corner to go into second, the transmission evidently remained in third gear despite the stick going into neutral. Now the stick can be moved between the 1/2 and the 3/4 area, not over to the right towards 5th. The stick cannot be forced into any of the accessible gears though. It can be put into reverse if you push the button, but letting out the clutch after engaging reverse instantly stalls the engine (obviously it locks up due to the competing directions).

Of all the gears to be stuck in, third is the best. Technically I can drive it still, if I am very careful to never get in a spot I need to reverse, and don't care about destroying the clutch, or using way more gas. Of course it's not ideal and not something I am considering long or even medium term.

I assume to fix this would require to drop the transmission, open it up, and probably repair some broken linkages and disengage the stuck third gear. So I guess that's 10+ hours of labour, probably running towards $3000. Also the steering pump has never been happy since it was running pretty low fluid before I got it and repaired those hoses, so when that goes, I will be looking at another expensive repair of the steering pump and rack.

Therefore I think this is the end for me and the Astra. Just posting my story to vent and maybe hear some commentary on the transmission problem. If I was really lucky maybe an offer to buy this piece of scrap metal for parts (It's located in Ottawa, Canada. XR 3 door trim)

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Old 02-16-2020, 12:23 PM   #2
AstraFasta
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Default Re: Manual transmission failure

My Astra with "automatic transmission" got stuck. There was a small plastic bushing between the linkage and transmission box that cracked, so the fix was $20.

If the clutch is working fine for starting, maybe you have a loose or broken linkage between the stick and the transmission box. There is a reasonable possibility this is the problem.

Do some searching here. You can also check the two UK threads (the astra H had several manual transmissions FYI).

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Old 02-17-2020, 01:54 PM   #3
tackepj
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Manual transmission failure

Even if the linkage turns out to be ok, I would be in the market for a used tranny rather than a rebuild. They are all over eBay in the $300-500 range, some with fairly low mileage. Maybe you could be back in business for $1,000 or so after installation. Still not good that you're dealing with a failed tranny but at least something to consider.

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Old 02-26-2020, 01:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Manual transmission failure

I took it to a transmission specialist who determined it was most likely inside the transmission. I have suspected broken selector fork from the beginning so it makes sense. Unfortunately, although I want to keep the car and attempt to repair it, I live in an apartment and street park so it is not really feasible for me at this point. Car will be scrapped sadly to cover 1% of my new car. It has a looming steering column issue as well, so it's time. I got 2 years out of it, it hasn't been so bad

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Old 02-27-2020, 05:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Manual transmission failure

Out of curiosity, can you tell me any details on your PS line problems? Back in June I started losing PS fluid to the point the pump was starting to make noise and steering effort was affected. Long story short, I topped it up with stop-leak and drove it (the leak stopped), and installed a switch to shut down power steering when the weather is cold to keep the molasses-fluid from making the pump whine. Fast-forward 8 months and about 17k miles, and I've barely thought about it...

Before I did that I had the leak looked at; one said it was the rack, another said the pump. Neither was very certain. Was your leak really the hose(s)? That wouldn't be nearly so bad...

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Old 03-03-2020, 10:29 PM   #6
Astra08
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Default Re: Manual transmission failure

That's too bad. I can tell you from personal experience I went through an issue with mine about a year ago and it was a PITA, primarily to having to source the parts from overseas, which took close to a month.

The total cost to repair was approx. $2,200 but that did include a new clutch. For me it was worth the investment.

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