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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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You have probably worked this out by now, but you need a new accumulator. Un-plug the hydraulic station electrically and with a 24mm spanner, unscrew the accumulator 1/2 a turn. Check the fluid level in the reservoir, the level should be inside the rectangle. Top up with VW steering hydraulic oil. Then change the accumulator. Re-connect the hydraulic station and that's it.

RAB

 

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guess more than the thread was resurrected 

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RAB is right. It was the accumulator. Changed it and all problems were gone. Too late however since I sold it. Not the for better however. Got a Fiat Punto Selespeed gearbox which proves to be even shittier than the Lupo. Similarly, it`s also a normal manual gearboxl but with electronic switching. Guess what I am doing next? Changing the pressure accu. Jeez. Before these two cars (both pretty expensive - the Lupo around 1900 gbp and the punto almost 4000) my wife had a Mitsubishi Colt 1.6 auto, from 1999. Man that car was a jewel. It ran incredibly smoothly with not a single problem. Only sold it because it had rather high tax (In Denmark this is an issue). I guess they can all be decent cars but if they start playing on you then they'll make a hole through your wallet. 

Thanks for all your help and if anyone come to similar issues, for me it was the pressure accumulator. Once changed car drove fine. 

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Not a clue on the Selespeed, but I think the 3L gearboxes are usually pretty solid aren't they? Accumulators wear out. Wear and tear mate. Traditional autos cost more in fuel.... I'd still take a 3L, if the right one came up.

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The gearboxes themselves may be, they are normal manual gearboxes. However I have read quite a few nasty stories of people having to take them apart. If you ask me, I would stay away from the Lupo. They are quite exclusive cars, not many on the streets, meaning expensive and scarce second hand parts. Maybe though I`m not the best example - I got my lupo at 380k km which is alot for such a small engine. Have to say tho, I am very impressed with what such a small engine can pull off. I drove 180 km (on the clock) on the highway. I could not believe it. So engine I believe it's one of the best from VW. If you get one not very used with less than 200k km it might be a good investment. Maybe because mine was so worn, it also took 5.6 km / 100 km (42 MPG) which is what my 10 plate focus 1.6 takes. So there's no economy in it (fair enough, I drive a manual). Last point is that - as I see it, this was meant as a city car, small, convenient. However because of the "ECO" mode they could not fit servo on it. I don`t have a problem, but my wife hated the car from 1st day she drove it. Cheers to everyone.

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On 20/02/2018 at 8:16 PM, townbiscuit said:

 However because of the "ECO" mode they could not fit servo on it. I don`t have a problem, but my wife hated the car from 1st day she drove it. Cheers to everyone.

By Servo, do you mean power steering or brake servo? There certainly is a brake servo and also an electric power steering option on later models. With P/S there was no stop/start. Nothing to do with ECO.

RAB

 

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the mk3 ecomatic had power steering and stop start.

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servo steering of course. and I meant start/stop system not eco. I read that because of the start/stop system they could not fit hydraulic steering. the start stop system has no value to me, rather the hydraulic steering. not to say what value it has to a woman. by mk3 you mean the '03 model or the third lupo model? mine was from 2004 don't know why I thought this was the last generation. 

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by mk3 I refer to the golf where in 95 they released an ecomatic model using digiswing and a manual automatic box.

some who know would say that it is an earlier version of the 3L ideas.

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1 hour ago, RAB said:

By Servo, do you mean power steering or brake servo? There certainly is a brake servo and also an electric power steering option on later models. With P/S there was no stop/start. Nothing to do with ECO.

RAB

 

I heard some scary horror stories about various electric power steering systems completely locking up while in motion (mostly french and italian cars). Nightmare scenario where you simply cannot turn the steering AT ALL while trying to stop the car before crashing... cannot believe there haven't been big news stories on this....

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On 21/02/2018 at 8:43 PM, townbiscuit said:

servo steering of course. and I meant start/stop system not eco. I read that because of the start/stop system they could not fit hydraulic steering. the start stop system has no value to me, rather the hydraulic steering. not to say what value it has to a woman. by mk3 you mean the '03 model or the third lupo model? mine was from 2004 don't know why I thought this was the last generation. 

That the umvelt?

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On 21/02/2018 at 8:43 PM, townbiscuit said:

servo steering of course. and I meant start/stop system not eco. I read that because of the start/stop system they could not fit hydraulic steering. the start stop system has no value to me, rather the hydraulic steering. not to say what value it has to a woman. by mk3 you mean the '03 model or the third lupo model? mine was from 2004 don't know why I thought this was the last generation. 

But the 3L had an electric steering option (without Stop/Start). If you didn't want Stop/start, wasn't that an option? Or the A2 1.2Tdi, which did have hydraulic steering and Stop/start?

RAB

 

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