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Old 07-19-2017, 12:56 PM   #1
mtbrdad
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Default Manual transmission failures?

So we have a 3 door sport model with the manual transmission and it just hit 100k miles. Since it got warmer out there is a terrible amount of what appears to be gear whine and I've done some research on changing the transmission fluid. My son took it to what I consider a reputable transmission shop who has done good honest work on some auto trans' for me and they said all the bearings in the transmission are bad and need to be replaced. I've never heard of a manual transmission failure before, has anyone heard anything concerning these 5 speed transmissions being bad? I'm thinking of just filling it up with some Amsoil Manual Synchromesh fluid and see what happens.

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Old 07-19-2017, 01:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

Haven't seen many manual transmission issues on these.

The automatic transmission is an excellent Japanese Asin unit but GM engineers found a way to really screw up the installation. Simple warning to potential buyers of auto transmission Astras...

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Old 07-19-2017, 03:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

While doing some research I found out the manual transmission is an F17 trans. It appears to be the same one currently used on the 1.8L Chevy Sonics where it's referred to as a cheap basic manual that doesn't like abuse. If we need to go down the rebuild road there are quite a few kits available on ebay. I'm guessing the track and autocross days we just put the car through didn't help.

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Old 07-19-2017, 08:11 PM   #4
nicolas_p
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2009 Astra XR
2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

I'm on my 3rd transmission so there may be some truth to it being a weak trans. Both times when they died I was in 3rd gear coming to a stop and the trans would stay stuck in 3rd. I've had it replaced by GM warranty both times, the last one they put in seems to be a lot better than the first two I had. Maybe newer ones are a little stronger or they ordered a better one by mistake.

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Old 07-19-2017, 09:57 PM   #5
FreedomSoftware
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolas_p View Post
I'm on my 3rd transmission so there may be some truth to it being a weak trans. Both times when they died I was in 3rd gear coming to a stop and the trans would stay stuck in 3rd. I've had it replaced by GM warranty both times, the last one they put in seems to be a lot better than the first two I had. Maybe newer ones are a little stronger or they ordered a better one by mistake.
According to the previous owner of my Astra the tranny was never replaced on mine and it just rolled 100k. So this worries me a bit

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Old 07-20-2017, 10:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreedomSoftware View Post
According to the previous owner of my Astra the tranny was never replaced on mine and it just rolled 100k. So this worries me a bit
I wouldn't worry about it if you're just commuting with it. I would suggest just having the gear oil checked and changed. The only reason ours failed was because we took the car to a track day and then after that we auto-crossed it. And we did beat the living heck out of it, my son is 16 and in the first timers group he beat quite a few guys in Porsche's and BMW's. The gear oil failed from the heat and then the bearings went.

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Old 07-21-2017, 10:38 AM   #7
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

I'm at 120,000 miles. No issues, original transmission fluid, original clutch. It's a 1 owner car and I drive about 50% city, 50% highway, and it's mostly 20 minute commute drives. I drive it pretty hard (slow car fast).

I've seen very few posts about issues with the manual transmission on these cars. There have been far more posts about automatic transmission issues.

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Old 07-22-2017, 08:23 PM   #8
Astra08
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

139K, no issues with the manual.

I don't know if this car will go as long as my '97 SL2 with 280K miles, but I'm certainly willing to give it shot...

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Old 07-24-2017, 12:14 PM   #9
hoodlum
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

Well, I just had my 5MT replaced last month. It was the bearings in my case and in the end my shop ended up finding a rebuilt tranny to replace it. Apparently finding parts was very difficult which seems to be a reoccurring issue with Astras. I have been driving manual cars for over 25 years and this is the first time I've had an issue, although to be fair I have 290K km (180k miles) on my Astra.

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Old 07-25-2017, 07:54 PM   #10
FreedomSoftware
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

This is my first manual car (I work at a dealership and kinda taught myself on brand new corvettes) BUT I feel like i baby my car as much as possible, I dont ever launch or do anything crazy but my clutch from the previous owner is super worn.

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Old 07-31-2017, 08:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

A good transmission will take you in 1st gear above 60mph; it can move the car in 2nd gear this is very important because we can gain the stop and go momentum, bla bla bla …


With over 105K miles on it my Astra still shifting strong kind like when it was new. No need to change oil or service nothing. Nada!

I recognize it is a very weak transmission that will not withstand abuses. Also, it is a very cheap made that you cannot downshift quickly from 5th to 3rd, or 4th to 2nd, so forth.

The way I preserved that far:

I never abused my car! Probably it went to the red line 15 minutes all together in all its entire holly life

In a wild rush traffic situation, I will accelerate shifting gears at around 2500 rpm. Turtle? Nobody cares!

I will shift down gears at around 40 mph 4th gear, 30 mph 3rd gear, 20 mph 2nd gear …

In most situations, I will use my brakes when I am in neutral. By the way I did replace all discs and pads after 100k miles. They last very long time!

I avoid slipping my clutch as much as possible….

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Old 08-01-2017, 12:04 PM   #12
Red5
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

I found a post on draining and replacing the manual transmission/differential fluid as a guest and it was very helpful (many thanks). I used Redline MT-85 and am happy with it. I would encourage all of you to at least take out the "level adjust" plug and clean it off. My fluid had been humming along since 2008, amassing 149,000 miles and the magnet on the end of the level-adjust plug was mountain of metallic dust. I wiped everything I could reach clean, replaced the gasket, used new lock-tight and replaced the plate but even if you only clean the magnet off it's sure to extend the life of your transmission. I apologize for not taking a picture of the plug covered in shavings but it occurred to me only after I finished the project.
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:06 PM   #13
Red5
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Dazed Re: Manual transmission failures?

Forgot to attach the pic of the cover off (post-cleaning)
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Last edited by Red5; 08-01-2017 at 12:12 PM.. Reason: couldn't seem to attach additional picture...trying smaller file

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Old 08-02-2017, 11:35 PM   #14
RobD1517
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2008 Astra XR
1999 SL2
Default Re: Manual transmission failures?

This is what I dealt with last year. Started as a whine and got louder and louder. Thought it might be the throw out bearing on the slave cylinder. One night on my way home it finally made a big popping and metal on metal sound and was pouring out fluid. Funny thing is I started losing pressure on my clutch for some reason (which made me think it was the slave.)

Moral of the story: some of the nastiest fluid came out of this thing after only 132,000. I plan on changing my fluid well before the next 50,000 on the one I have now (which has 119,000 now itself but fresh fluid 20,000 ago)


Edit: I did want to note the clutch on this thing was immaculate when i pulled it off. I stressed for weeks trying to decide whether to order a new one before I buttoned it all back up just for the sake of new. Finally pulled the pressure plate loose and it still had the factory cross hatches and grooves from machining, and im not perfect with my clutch. lol
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'92 SL2 - 108,000 miles (traded)
'96 SL2 - 312,000 miles (blew up)
'98 SL2 - ??????? miles (parts car)
'99 SL2 - 168,000 miles (Sold 11/08)
'08 Astra - 131,000 miles and counting!

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