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RDSTROwner

Another 3 Bars Issue

4 posts in this topic

Hi Everyone

 

Sorry to drop what I'm sure is probably the hundredth 3 bars thread on here but my car has some specific symptoms I'm hoping someone will recognise.

 

So my car is an 04 roadster pretty basic standard spec, only has about 45k miles on the clock and seems like it was fairly well looked after by its previous owner.

 

The 3 bars & bleeping appear as soon as the ignition is live and continue after the engine starts which it does with no issues.

Manual mode is unusable however sliding into Automatic or Reverse clears the 3 bars and the A or R appears.

 

Unfortunately on 2 occasions over four weeks the car has gone to 3 bars when in Auto mode, fixed this once by cutting the ignition and restarting after 40 mins, the second time it appeared to work however went back to 3 bars after a couple of mins and had to call recovery to get it home.

 

Two things I've noticed are that when the bars appear in A the car continues to drive and shift gears normally until the car comes to a stop despite the bars however when the box returns to neutral it won't shift into first and take off, the engine just revs.

Secondly the rear reverse light sticks on and glows more intensely when the car is put in reverse - Previously just removed the bulb to continue using the car.

Thirdly this might be just be, but I swear the problem always manifests when driving uphill....

 

Have previously attempted to alleviate the problem by applying white lithium grease to the actuator however as an amateur I cant 100% assure it was performed correctly.

 

I'd be deeply grateful for any insight you can offer, I really love my Roadster but I've had a back issue so I'm not earning enough to fund extensive garage repairs. The real irony is the legs outstretched driving position of the Roadster suits my back problem perfectly.

Also if this is likely to require a professional repair and anyone knows a ballpark figure then let me know - on the verge of scrapping the car here.

 

Regards 

RDSTROwner

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am by no means an expert in these older smarts, however I am learning a lot about them through experience.

 

How's the battery in your roadster? A flat battery will cause all sorts of fun in the electrics (my cabrio's roof likes to open by itself if I let the battery get too dead), including the 3 bars of death.

 

Secondly, when was the last time you had the clutch actuator serviced? Taking it out, making sure nothing's broken, lubing it up, then putting it back in can apparently solve a lot of issues. My 450 cab had to get towed home last Friday because my clutch actuator didn't want to play nice. In fact, what you described here happened to me to the letter:

 

Quote

...the car has gone to 3 bars when in Auto mode, fixed this once by cutting the ignition and restarting after 40 mins, the second time it appeared to work however went back to 3 bars after a couple of mins and had to call recovery to get it home.

 

I'd follow the suggestions the wonderful guys gave me in my thread.

 

 

Edited by MissMercedes

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Posted (edited) · Report post


SitRep:


Disconnected the notorious rear cable set and inspected for frays - no obvious damage. Cleaned all contacts with Elec-solve and replaced.

Removed gear actuator and performed basic maintenance clearing out gunk and adding white lithium spray grease.

No 3 Bars! No stuck-on reverse light!! .... for Three days. 

Car then back how it was before it failed fully where 3 Bars show in Neutral or when trying to manually shift gears however functions normally in A & R with Reverse light stuck on.

 

Began eliminating options - first by wiggling each cable-connection serviced while looking at reverse light for any changes in brightness/twinkles etc - Nothing.
Then disconnecting each of the five connections one at a time to attempt to isolate where power to the reverse light was originating - Reverse lamp stayed lit continuously.

Took the actuator off for a second round of greasing, reconnected it last night and currently no 3 bars showing however reverse light still lit in Neutral.
Next plan is to perform partial disassembly of actuator, clean out with de-greaser and replace with fresh white lithium spray.

Does anyone know where the signal to light the reverse lamp comes from? Is it a micro switch in the gear knob assembly?

Wondering if this particular bugbear might be due to the cars systems receiving conflicting signals of being in both forward or Neutral and reverse gear simultaneously.

Oh and thanks @MissMercedes ! First solid progress had with this since 2017 =) 

Edited by RDSTROwner

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On 6/8/2018 at 4:52 PM, RDSTROwner said:


SitRep:




Oh and thanks @MissMercedes ! First solid progress had with this since 2017 =) 

 

You're welcome! Admittedly, I haven't even gotten to my 3 bars issue, either. I just need to get the car ten miles by next Monday, though I would like to fully fix the issue.

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