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Troubleshooting the 3 bars of death

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So 3 bars, the mysterious nasty little entity that pops up, throws you into limp mode and makes you mutter "Magic incantations"


My Blue passion seems to do it randomly.   The Clutch Actuator was pretty sticky (Oh heck, I could HEAR it) so I flooded the inside with some good silicone lubricant.   Went about and changed all the bulbs to the correct and NON led versions.


What seems consistent is when it does it on mine, nothing is actually stuck.  It's just in Limp mode so I do the following

pull to the side while other drivers give me funny looks

Make sure I go to Neutral with the Brake pedal down

Turn off the ignition

Cross my fingers

Sacrifice a Jelly Baby to the Seagull gods

Cross my fingers again

Turn on the ignition and start the car


That seems to consistently work.   

In that "3 bar scenario" any thoughts on the culprit?   It does on wet or dry roads as far as I can tell.

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Mine was doing the same thing.....The only real thing I did was lubricate and work the waste gate back and forth for it's entire travel and also mess with my emulator connection. I do not think it was the emulator, but could be wrong?  What made me go after the waste gate was an over boost reading on my scanguageII  20 lbs when it should be 16 or so. It is now back to what it was originally 16.4 lbs. when I use the go  I could suggest a million other things but I expect you have checked most of them already. Simply checking wiring, leaks, shorts, gas peddle wire condition? ETC ETC....SAM, ECU and silver box plugs for corrosion...?  The list is

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Three bars of death has many possible causes.  Mine was cured by lowering the boost just a bit.


According to Evilution :

The smart gearbox relies on a lot of electronics to keep it working properly, it only takes one part to misbehave to call up an error code. Causes can be one or more of the following:

Fuse Blown
Secondary Fuse/Relay Box Corrosion (600cc)
Faulty SE Drive
Stuck Gears
Weak Battery
Poor Earth Lead
Faulty Brake Lights
Incorrect Brake Light Bulb
LED Brake Light Bulbs
Faulty Gearbox RPM Sensor
Faulty Rear Light Loom (Roadster)
Faulty Gear Motor
Faulty Gear Position Sensor
Faulty Clutch Actuator
Chaffed Wires
Damage Wires
Stuck Clutch
Seized Gearbox
Faulty Relay
Split Reluctor Rings
Worn Clutch Fork
Solder Joint Failure
Faulty gearbox RPM sensor 
Gearbox Reteach
Canadian E-Box Failure
ECU Component Failure

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ive always cured it by manually adjusting the actuator...except for once i had to weld a larger end because the hole had punched thru the fork


it always happened on a shift or a bad bump in the road 



never ran into any of the other causes yet

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it just happened to me yesterday,  tried to down shift 2 gears at once when i was slowing down for a turn.  was able to coast to the shoulder of the road.   as soon as the car stopped the 3 bars showed up on the display.   shut the ignition off,  waited for the SAM to shut down   (about 4 seconds).   turned the ignition back on,  foot on the brake,  car went back into neutral, started right up and i drove off.   

no codes,  can't explain it,   except that the car just got confused trying to skip from 5th to 3rd.


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