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Car problems

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Neil Wyatt20/06/2017 09:07:54
18133 forum posts
713 photos
77 articles

Yesterday I accelerated hard up to 60-70 to overtake a lorry after leaving a roundabout, the car pulled well, but when I changed up, there was no 'drive'.

Basically the clutch feels normal, and I could select any gear but the engine just raced as if in neutral. There were no nasty bangs, no strange noises afterwards.

I managed to coast to a slip road and the AA got me the 42 miles home (only taking 10 hours and a change of pickup) from 4pm to 2 am.

It all seems to sudden to be clutch wear, the web is full of 'it could bes' but I need some advice of deciding what problem it really is, I can see three possibilities;

  • Gearbox has stripped splines or teeth on final drive.
  • Drive shaft snapped
  • Diff has popped its clogs.
  • Clutch has stripped its drive splines or the pad material has had a catastrophic failur

Anyt advice on deciding which it might be? I need to figure out if its a write off, expensive job or a DIY (probably only the drive shaft)


Jonathan Garside20/06/2017 09:16:36
46 forum posts
3 photos


What make and model is the car and current mileage would be helpful.

Not saying I can help but others with similar cars may be able to


Hacksaw20/06/2017 09:18:28
428 forum posts
173 photos

Get over to Autoshite forum , ask them . They'll have it sussed and fixed within the hour !

DMB20/06/2017 09:19:36
1012 forum posts

1 Dump AA

2 Find new, much cheaper breakdown outfit - some do home start and roadside for £40+

3 Hope jamjar goes better now


RRMBK20/06/2017 09:27:00
135 forum posts
18 photos

Not up to speed on modern cars but had a not dissimilar problem on a tractor where the central splined section of the clutch plate broke away from the friction disc. No obvious nasty noises but the friction disc was spinning with the flywheel but had no connection to the gearbox input shaft which remained static. One test might be to see if the car can be rolled back or forward whilst engaged in gear. good luck.

David Jupp20/06/2017 09:27:57
738 forum posts
17 photos

Had something similar on a front wheel drive Vauxhall - it was just a circlip dislodged that allowed the first motion shaft to retract from the clutch (as per design when changing clutch without removing gearbox).

Really need to know make/model, or at least FWD / RWD...

ChrisB20/06/2017 09:28:18
532 forum posts
192 photos

Check the gear linkage or cable, could have disconnected in neutral and give you the symptoms you mentioned

not done it yet20/06/2017 09:34:49
4876 forum posts
18 photos

What does the gear stick do? If it is a PSA gearbox, it could be the selector mechanism. Had two that failed in the same mode. Cheaper to change the box than repair, in my case (high mileage and box needed to come apart for new expensive bits in an older vehicle), as a second hand box was easily sourced. Unfortunately the replacemment went the same way.

David Standing 120/06/2017 09:53:35
1289 forum posts
48 photos

Ten hours to get home? Super Adept Man could have flown that in a nanosecond!

But seriously, per post #2, more details of the car required smiley.

Hacksaw20/06/2017 10:01:15
428 forum posts
173 photos

Does Neil drive a Mitsubishi Space wagon?

John Stevenson20/06/2017 10:03:28
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Pretty sure he has a Mondayo
Speedy Builder520/06/2017 10:22:36
2079 forum posts
145 photos

Oh you can't go to heaven in an old Ford car,
Cos an old Ford car won't get that far......
BobH (Austin 7)

peak420/06/2017 10:32:39
1153 forum posts
135 photos

I don't know much about modern cars, but I'll have a guess at a blown CV or a circlip popped off a driveshaft allowing it to disengage.

Any pools of oil underneath?

Hacksaw20/06/2017 10:32:52
428 forum posts
173 photos

You can in a Ford Orion..

Gordon W20/06/2017 10:51:43
2011 forum posts

Well I'll have a guess at broken prop-shaft , no noises etc.

David Standing 120/06/2017 10:59:13
1289 forum posts
48 photos
Posted by Gordon W on 20/06/2017 10:51:43:

Well I'll have a guess at broken prop-shaft , no noises etc.

That'd be interesting, it's FWD if it's a Mondeo wink 2.

Cornish Jack20/06/2017 11:06:18
1160 forum posts
163 photos

It's obviously caught the 'gearbox disease'!!sad I speak with authority since my Berlingo auto, having operated faultlessly and parked at home, won't engage ANY gear in auto or manual although engine starts perfectlysurprise. A bit premature with only 8k on the clock! Called local main dealer where car was bought - £300.00 to recover to them, THEN the bills start!! Now searching locally for a cheaper recovery deal.

I hope your problems will be simpler (and cheaper ) to fix, Neil.



ega20/06/2017 11:11:15
1786 forum posts
152 photos

Neil's AA experience contrasts strongly with their current advertising but worse things happen: yesterday I was told about an acquaintance who set off to drive the seven miles from north London to a central location for dental treatment allowing two hours for the journey; arriving ten mnutes late, they were told they could not be seen that day!

Good luck with the car - a broken halfshaft on an Austin Seven could have been fixed at the roadside.

Gordon W20/06/2017 11:18:33
2011 forum posts

Well, live and learn. How do FWD get the power to the wheels ? Now I see-- prop shaft / half shaft.

David Standing 120/06/2017 11:25:27
1289 forum posts
48 photos
Posted by Gordon W on 20/06/2017 11:18:33:

Well, live and learn. How do FWD get the power to the wheels ? Now I see-- prop shaft / half shaft.


The generally accepted terminology is with RWD - prop shaft and half shafts; with FWD - drive shafts.

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