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Hi everyone! im so desperate for some help! im at my wits end with my car, its a vauxhall Tigra 1997 Automatic, on the dash panel there is a "s", when this is flashing it wont allow the car to pull away normally, it goes real slow, some times i can turn the car off and it will be fine and off i go, but sometimes i can turn it on and off for a number of times before it will clear, when i start the car its fine then as soon as i move the gear lever from park to any gear is when it will start to flash, there is an ice button on the car which when pressed will only let you pull off slowly, well this is exactly what the car feels like its doin when the "s" light is flashing, but the ice button isnt on when this does it, also on the gear lever there is a "S" button on there which you can press to make it stay in gear longer or something like that, this isnt pressed in when the car is being naughty either, but was wondering if this could be linked in some way to the problem, phewwwww, hope i havent confused you all too much,lol, im really at my wits end with this, but thought id try you guys before going to vauxhalls and getting lumbered with a huge bill, someone said i would damage the gear box if i carried on using it, oh well thanks for any help i really do appreciate it, thanks michelle.
 

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the s button is 4 the sports mode on the gearbox when it flashes its 2 indicate a fault with the gearbox

soz i cant help more but thats all i know not had an automatic long myself :shame:
 

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When the light is flashing, the gearbox has gone into limp home mode. As blippi says, it's to indicate a fault with the gearbox.

When in limp home mode, the gearbox goes straight into 3rd gear upon selecting D. That's why it's so sluggish. When this happens, you'll have to use the gearbox manually by selecting 1 to pull away, and moving the stick yourself up the gears, into 2, 3, and then D. This however, should be only used as a temp measure and you should really get it fixed before any long term damage is caused.

Not sure if the paperclip trick will read out the fault codes on your Tigra - you may need to find someone with a Tech2 diagnostic reader.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks dave for your reply, you know you say the gearbox goes straight into 3rd gear upon selecting D, it does it in reverse too, infact as soon as the gear lever leaves Park it can start too flash, would i be better off going straight to vauxhalls, or just a garage, im worried that if i went to a gargage and they diagnosed the fault but couldnt fix it i would then have to go to vauxhalls and they would insist on diagnosing it forst before doing anything, so i would be paying twice, or do you think any garage will be able to fix it, thanks for your help! michelle
 

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Vaux' can often charge a small fortune over what a decent independent would charge.... am not sure if the paperclip fault code 'self-diagnose' thing would work... but search the How2's for info.

Failing that a garage/independant mech' with the diagnostic kit can tell you what it is - shouldnt need to be just a Vaux' dealer I dont think..... just make sure the place is 'happy'/capable of doing work on AutoBoxes - may sound silly but my local mechanic would work on my car except for the automatic gearbox, which he wont touch.

It may turn out to just be a sensor somewhere, or it may be a fault with the 'selector', rather than the actual gearing mechanisms...... either way, continuing to drive with the ongoing problem runs the risk of making a little problem into a bigger problem (I found that out to my cost before I found these Forums).
 

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does the box do it when its cold and damp only ?? whens the last time the auto fluid was changed ? two most common faults on the tigra/corsa AF13 gearboxs are the selector cable (has a built in self adjuster) around £44 plus vat and the selector switch on to of the gearbox whats over £200 its also worth getting the selector switch/inhibitor alined as well

btw the tigra shares most of its parts with corsa B
 

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Discussion Starter #8
hi there! thankyou for your help! i feel there may be some hope for my little car after all, yes the car does it in the mornings when it is cold and damp! though it may (im not sure) have done it when it was summer, though thats not saying it was warm weather,lol, but this is always first thing when i go to use it, do you think i should go to any garage and not vauxhalls? i really dont know what to do for the best, you know the cable and switch you mention, are these things we could replace our selves? thanks again for your help!! michelle
 

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Or just an auto box specialist.

If the car has done more than around 70000 or 5 years, the gearbox oil and filter will need changing.
I cured the same problem with mine recently by changing the above.

VX dealer wanted £250 for 'detailed diagnosis'. I declined.
They suggested problem was ECU and EGR valve. A cost of around £1000. I ignored their suggestion.

Changed the oil and filter for £50. Problem solved.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
hi there thanks for your help! i will try changing the transmission oil, what filter is that? just an oil filter? hopefully i will lucky, thanks michelle
 

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Tigra said:
hi there thanks for your help! i will try changing the transmission oil, what filter is that? just an oil filter? hopefully i will lucky, thanks michelle
if it doesnt sort it - dont just keep driving it and switching manually through 1,2,3 - that defeats the purpose of the 'limp mode' and may end up making what is currently a relatively small fix, into something bigger (such as a gearbox replacement).

I found out the hard way - before I found these forums I had the Dip go into limp mode and ignored it and kept driving...... ended up ruining the whole gearbox and having to replace it.
 

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You can change the fluid but not the filter as the filter is an built into the AF13 autobox and the only way to get to is to take the box out and strip it down as i said in my previous post(s) it more than likly to be the selector cable or the selctor switch.

i had a simular fault on mine replacing the fluid helped a bit bit i had the cable changed and selector switch re-alined by a mate who work for vauxhall think i have had the fault come back once in 6 months when it was around -2ºc outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hi there, any ideas what it would cost me to have this done at vauxhalls? thanks for your help!,
 

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Hi flash!! thankyou sooooooo much, this looks like you hit the nail on the head, seems im not alone with this problem too, now to check out how much this will cost! thanks for all your help, and to everyonethat has replied to my problem, Take care Michelle
 

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my old senator did this but it refused to start i found it was just loose plug and crap in the wireing loom to the gear box got to the point i used to just grab the wires shake them about abit and job done the sporty light no longer glowed or flashed it's dirty face at me until i hit the button and raced away, bit of advice tho..... manual is always better cheaper to run if you drive legally (slowly and not thrashing it) and is normally got less probs
 

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OH! Haha! GREAT link. The MILs corsa has this fault..I might try and buy it off her on the cheap..;) Or get myself a spare scrappy switch unit and keep it as a hot spare..:)
 

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just a quick update for those who are intrested

after doing what i said above i was still having some issues with that dreaded flashing light, slack shift in N and R and flickering reverse lights. I striped down the selector switch as per the link what i posted an indeed the grease in the selector switch had turned to toffee cleaned it out put some fresh grease in it and put it back together it seem to cure all the problems took it out for a quick spin around the block and the car seem more responsive now its been done aswell

The hardest part of the job is striping everything out and putting all back in. There are a few diffrences in the link like the battery tray as of 5/96 the battery tray is removable (4 bolts) so the plugs are easy to get to if you have a 16v with the erg system you have to unbolt that aswell. In all it took me 2 hours to do it
 
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