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townbiscuit

Lupo 3L Gearbox stuck in upper gears

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hey guys,

I need some help regarding my VW Lupo 3L from 2004. Car's got around 380k km, 1 owner before but didn't care of it properly. Since I have it it drove nice but lately it started messing up on me really bad. I've done some extensive reading
on this forum regarding some of the problems and fixes common to the 3L. Briefly, my problem is - if I drive for more than 10-15 minutes in the upper gears (normal drive on highway, 5th gear) when I stop the car fails to change
to lower gears. Sometime it gets stuck in 5th or 4th. I stop the car everything goes back to normal. But it does this almost every time. Tried driving on automatic but does the same.

To note - hydraulic pump runs almost all the time. Ordered an accumulator will change this Thursday. Under the pump there is some sludge, but quite old looking. So I'm assuming that once either overvflowed or leaked. I wanted to
check the oil level but the green cap from the accumulator has written on it 'do not open'. so.. ok how do I check it then? But could my problem be because of the pressure accumulator or more than that? Since pump is running all the time I assume that
at some point it can't keep up with the pressure loss from the accumulator so it just can't change gears anymore? Could there be a pump problem, or leak somewhere?

No lights showing up in the dashboard. Previous problems fixed - hose from intercool to turbocharger changed (common Lupo problem), alternator with pulley and belt.

My other question is - the MPG is quite poor, I get 6.4 l/100 in the dash, which is approx 45 mpg. That is quite poor I would assume from such a car. It drives well really, I can go 170 km/h no problem (although I normally don't).
Any ideas to this poor fuel economy?

My last question to Lupo owners - is it normal for a Lupo to not have assisted steering and central locking? mine does not have neither.. and it's a 2004 lupo what?! I had older Puntos which had both :D

thanks for the help guys.
Cheers
Andrei

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I'd be draining the gearbox oil and looking at it for metal flakes, smell of burnt oil etc and then changing it asap unless you know it has been done recently.

Your low mpg and gearbox issues could well be linked (increased drag in gearbox).

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Thanks for the reply. I doubt this is the problem since I would expect to see the gearbox act similar in all gears. But I will take your advice and do it nonetheless since I got no clue when or if it was changed at all. Can you visually check the gearbox oil leve with a dipstick or something? I think the mpg issue is also related (but not limited to) the intercooler -turbo hose, which had one of the metal ears broken, causing the hose to stick partly out so loose pressure. Thanks for the advice, looking forward for other tips too.

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it probably is just the actuators etc as they do get problematic on the 3l, but as the gearbox is basically an 085 box and your mileage is high it is well overdue for failure or a rebuild. The state of the oil might tell you something. 

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