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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning all.
This is my first post, but have been trawling across the site for a few days. It looks superb with plenty of great advice.

My wife and I are about to acquire a 2001 T4 2.5 TDI Auto Caravelle. Only snag is it has a duff auto gearbox. It supposedly gets stuck in 2nd gear and won't change out of it, and also is very snappy in reverse. Obviously I'm not expecting anyone on here to be able to carry out a fault diagnosis, as that may be asking quite a lot from even you experts!

I have read on here though, that the wrong fluid put in could cause issues. And reading through receipts it's had the torque converter replaced (at great expense by the current owner) and also had the 'box reconditioned twice (at the same place), only for it to then fail after 500 miles. Once purchasing the van I think the first thing I'll do is limp it over to the place where it was reconditioned and suggest (politely) that they take a look at it under good will. But I'm thinking that at some point the wrong fluid may have been used, hence the short life after the refurb?

Anyway, I can't wait for the van to be ours and start a camper project. It's white, it's rust free, has FSH with only 120k on the clock, and is cheap, due to the guy emigrating to Australia! So a perfect blank canvas.

Any advice on anything I should be looking out for,or tips on this gearbox would be great, but I look forward to being part of this community.
 

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Plenty of Threads on the Auto box...I suggest you trawl through them to get more of an idea of it's issues and suggest to the Garage that there may be an issue with the ATF.

...welcome to the Forum by the way :)
 

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Hi macmillions

This sounds like a common story with Autoboxes, looking at the history of my van its also had 2 box rebuilds (at GREAT cost)......I can only image there are numerous autobox cowboys out there. Such a shame. Looks like the cowboys are giving autoboxes a bad name.

If the garage where your van has been are anything like the garage where my van has been, STA automatic gearboxes in Aylesbury (www.staautogearbox.co.uk), then they will make it difficult to take it back. The latest excuse they gave me was that it'll be hard to get the van off of the beavertail as its locking up in reverse. WTF? they cant even be bothered to get the van off to do a diagnostic?? COWBOYS.

Anyway....its worth limping it over and asking them, nothing to loose. BUT decide for yourself whether they are competent.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks BrightonRoss.
Yes, this is something of a concern of mine. The fact it's been to the same place twice for the same job, for it to be broken again so soon does not inspire me with confidence. This is the exact reason the guy is selling it. As he didn't want to go back to them, but I feel it's almost their obligation to at least take a look. I won't hold out much hope though.

I've been looking around and a cost for a refurb on the box is upward of £1500, but hey, at least know what I'm getting into before I buy it! Let's hope it is something as simple as the wrong fluid used!
 

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£2000 ish at Mackies in Glasgow.

I'm driving from Norway to them with mine (well, a spare 'velle one I have).

They have the best reputation around, and also strip and rebuild the torque converter (which most places don't touch, other than to flush it out!)

I'm into well over £6500 so far using "cowboys" to sort mine, but it's a wonderful drive when working.
MY problems started when I had a fault with the "multi-function" switch...showing all gears selected on the dash.(so wouldn't turn over/start).
New switch fitted, and it was fine....BUT, I thought whilst it was in a certain VW independent garage in Holmfirth, I'd get the filter and fluid changed.
They didn't know what fluid, so they contacted their "experts" who said DEX111 (std fluid) was fine.

Actually, I'll "name and shame" if that's OK with the mods (if not, delete this line) as they cost me a fortune....Brickwerks.
(I've caused so much trouble they banned me from their forum!)

1000 miles into my trip home, it dropped out of lockup at 160kph.....redlined the engine :eek:
Further on in the trip, lost reverse until I revved to 3500....BONK, and I had backwards motion:(

£4500 later on, reconnned box fitted.
Less than a month later, I recognised the clunking into gears, and reverse taking a lot of revs to engage.
Took it back, played hell, and they changed the fluid to VW spec....and "tried" to charge me another £650 for doing it!!!! (as IF!)

It's now "almost" right, but after having DEX111 in it for a few hundred miles, I don't trust it.
Hence the spare one from a Caravelle (that I bought as scrap for 500 quid).

90% of problems seem to be the wrong fluid....RED is RONG!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is fantastic information there. Thanks very much.
My worry is the torque converter has been reconditioned/replaced (not sure which) a couple of years ago. And if the fluid has been changed to the incorrect stuff, I'm thinking that's where the troubles began. And then this garage has attempted to recondition the box twice since, and has either replaced the fluid with the wrong stuff twice again, or the box has been left damaged beyond repair.
I'm not paying a lot for the van at all, so know what I'm getting into with the gearbox issues, and my theory is, if I get it right with the refurbing first time around, then I'll have paid all in all the equivalent of a decent working van.
If I can't find anywhere trustworthy local in the south of England to carry out the reconditioning of the box then I really may head ton Glasgow to the place you've recommended!
 

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Mackies quoted me £65 (+vat) to courier it from them to Leeds on a next day service.

I did consider just using the courier to get it up to them (I'm staying in Leeds in my mum's house) but from what others have said, the guy that owns it (Mackie I guess) has a strange attitude, and wants to SHOW people around his workshop if you turn up in person T:
Apparently, he also has a VERY dry sense of humour!

I'll have driven 2000+ miles to get to Leeds, so a 400 mile extra is not much for piece of mind.

I'm also hoping Pendle can fit me in for a remap on the 16th, day after I get to UK, (just fitted PP0.5 injectors, and it smokes a little when I "welly" it) so it will be a good test for it on the 17th A:

They say 2-3 weeks, depending upon what parts they need, but they also say "NEVER" have they not been able to recon one. T:
Some other companies take it in, shake their heads, and take a big breath in before saying "Don't think so matey!"

I'll post back with my comments when I return (around 12th June), but won't be able to make any comments about how the 'box works, as it'll be in the BACK of my van as (hopefully) a good spare.

Expensive route, but when they work, they make long trips sooooo much easier, especially with cruise control, as it changes up and down when needed A:


http://www.mackie-transmission.com/contact
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's the sort of place I'd love to take a tour around, but with the van being based on the south coast, I don't think a 600 mile trip up to Glasgow is necessary, so I'd put my faith in them to do a good job without me seeing the place first. I'm also thinking, if I can get the box off then postage will be pretty much the same nationwide, so may as well go somewhere trusted.
As I said, I'll have to see what the company who carried out the previous repairs says, and whether they'll honour any warranty it may have. Buying all else fails then I may well be giving Mackies a shout!
 

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You've only got a month or so to wait until I can give a 1st hand experience of them....but they do come highly recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's true. Also I'll be going away for a couple of weeks at the end of this month, so that will bring the month wait down. Where will you post the review? On this thread, or start a new one?
 

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I've used Mackies for years had a few freebies off them too whilst repairs..

But a small story once I started using them:

I had an errm 735 (nuff said) and a common fault was the shifter heating up, a sign that the box was on the way out.. so I took it into them for repair, a tad on the expensive side but worth it.. so they finished what they had to do, gave me a tour of the shop (well worth taking) and I got the call to pick it up. Apparently my fluids were pure filth and I'd caught this one on time but the difference ..Ohhhhh the difference... never had a car like this.. couldn't feel the shift up/down... so much so I'd to run my then BOSS to the train station. We were late and had to get on the motorway to the next stop for him.. so I gunned it up the slip road and I remember him say "Are we out of first gear?" to which I replied "Sure hope so as we're doing 90 as it is!!" He hadn't felt the change in gear... I knew because of the needle flicker on the dash and the speed but boy was it smooth...

I have a Jeep 2.7 and it apparently has a "Sealed for life " box.. well, being an engineer , oil degrades over time and use so I took it to Mackies and its been serviced there ever since, smooth as silk, bands adjusted "Oh and the speed sensor was erratic so we replaced it" "How much?" I replied "Ach we just threw it in with the service..." now that's my kind of company...T:
 

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That's true. Also I'll be going away for a couple of weeks at the end of this month, so that will bring the month wait down. Where will you post the review? On this thread, or start a new one?
I'll keep this thread going....the more threads there are, the harder it is to search.
 

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Just putting this here so I can find this thread again. Our T5 auto box is fine at the moment but I do have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind occasionally!

And I'm close to Glasgow :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Never than Max, that's another thing swinging any decision towards Mackies. By the sounds of things they sound like a genuine company with the customers best interests at heart. And what they're doing is working, as there are now two of us, previously unaware of them, who are willing to send our transmissions to them, just by good word!
I'll keep an eye out on this thread to see the feedback on their service. Oh, and when I pick the van up I'll also come back with exactly what appears to be wrong with it, and whether this original repair company honour any warranty.
 

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Just putting this here so I can find this thread again. Our T5 auto box is fine at the moment but I do have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind occasionally!

And I'm close to Glasgow :)
Will be very handy providing you never leave Glasgow of course ;)
 

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Contacted E J Rose with some questions about if they used DEX111 at any time during the rebuild, and if they rebuilt the torque convertor....never got a reply!
I also thought it was a lot closer....but when they don't even reply??!!?!!?
 

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I popped to ej rose after recommendation as had a judder in low revs. His diagnosis without scanning or doing anything was overheating. I told him it did it when cold and he quoted me £350 for new cooler and temp sensor. Didn't bother in the end as how can it overheat when it's stone cold.
 
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