Abarth Cars => Abarth 500 => Topic started by: aphex78 on February 04, 2021, 11:37:32 am

Title: gear change stiff and difficult
Post by: aphex78 on February 04, 2021, 11:37:32 am
Hi guys
my name Is Andrea, I've just bought a 500 Abarth zerocento with 14k mileage 58reg.
yesterday as I was driving away from the dealer getting off the motorway, with the car in modality normal, I couldn't shift down.. literally the stick felt stuck until I was almost stopped and then I could put it either in 1st or 2nd
the few times I managed to force a 3rd or 4th the turbo gauge was flashing to shift up immediately ...
now... was I doing something wrong myself? like do the cars have some sort of system that prevail you to shift down when you shouldn't need to shift down or that is actually an issue with the gear ? anyone else have had a similar issue?

when drove it in the evening in sports mode the car was ok...less soft than my previously owned 500 lounge but nothing major..

is the first sport car that I own so I don't know if it was me or the car has an issue.

the car has 3 month warranty however the garage I have bought it fro is couple of hours away from where I live so not really convenient to take it back yet..also I don't want to sound like an idiot myself in case its totally normal and its me that don't know how to drive the car as yet...

any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated..

also im in the west London area and if someone is local would be ice to meet/drive covid permitting

Title: Re: gear change stiff and difficult
Post by: android_808 on February 04, 2021, 01:11:41 pm
Zerocento would be a series 1 based car.  In sport mode the shift indicator will flash around the red line.  In normal mode, the gearshift indicator tends to tell you to shift to be more economical.  On later models it was relocated to the TFT dash so its less in your face the whole time.  Only the series 4 (2016>) have a down shift indicator to my knowledge.

From memory of my '59 Esseesse:
In normal, if its flashing and you lift off accelerator it will stop, sort of as to say I'm not going to tell you to shift up if your slowing down.  The moment you put your foot back on the accelerator it resets and will start to tell you to shift up again.  If you let it flash but maintain current speed or accelerate it stops flashing.

Gearbox wise I'm not sure. When you say stuck do you mean you couldn't take it out of the current gear or you couldn't get it into the new one?  Something like that I'd probably try it again a few times and if it plays up get the dealer to investigate.  I might have had an issue selecting gear a few times and put it back into the previous gear and tried again and it was ok.

Zerocento is a very rare special edition, with only 100 made from what I can tell.  The Abarth 695 Biposto Rosso Officine had 99 and the 695 Biposto Record was 133.
Title: Re: gear change stiff and difficult
Post by: aphex78 on February 04, 2021, 05:46:03 pm
hi android_808
thanks for reply, I've driven it today and it seam loads better only once with very warm engine after half hour driving I struggled to get in to 4th from the 5th
also I've found it much better in sport mode

to make it clear basically I will give you and example... driving in 5th getting towards a roundabout and wanting to get into 4th at around 1.5rpm ( or there about ) the gear stick comes out of the 5th easily and it get stuck, like the 4th or even the 3rd gear will not go inn it just won't allow in order to proceed I need to get back into 5th only once lets say I am approaching a traffic light and im almost stopped then I can get down in gears..
not sure if it was me not finding the right spot but I never had this type of issue with any other car.
Title: Re: gear change stiff and difficult
Post by: android_808 on February 05, 2021, 12:21:31 am
Although the newer cars have more refinement and a smoother power delivery, I do miss the way the you felt the turbo kick in more. Then there's the engine. Newer models have had to meet stricter emissions so have been tweaked. The earlier cars as a result pop and bang much easier on upshift when accelerating hard. It's not as predictable as with a map but it's far more rewarding. To me the maps and cars like the ST is seems artificial compared to how it was stock.

Normal mode is great for parking, makes the steering at low speed much lighter. It's also ok for areas where you've got to watch speed as it makes the pedal less responsive. Other than that, sport mode stays on.

That sounds similar to what I had happen a few times. Very rarely happened over the 6 years I owned a series 1 esseesse.

The one thing I really didn't like was the locking fuel cap. Sometimes I had a real battle getting that's to go back on.
Title: Re: gear change stiff and difficult
Post by: Borderline on February 16, 2021, 05:31:20 pm
Hi Andrea, it's worth getting the garage (or yourself, if you are confident at car diy) to check the selector shaft on the top of the gearbox. It is exposed to road dirt and salt, so it can corrode rapidly and becomes sticky, so that the gearstick won't move easily between 1/2 and 3/4 gears. Also the bush on the end of the shaft can crack and fill up with dirt, which makes it sticky too. There is a good video on YouTube which shows step by step how to find it, clean the shaft and refit everything. It's for American spec cars but the principles are the same for UK cars (and my tame mechanic reckons Ford Fiestas suffer from the same problem):
Title: Re: gear change stiff and difficult
Post by: mac1944 on February 17, 2021, 10:56:12 am
Get it sorted as soon as possible I had a similar problem on a Turbo Esprit and it ruined the synchromesh on 3rd gear, very expensive fix.