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Old 28th January 2016, 00:23   #1
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Default Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

I'd like to share my experience with the AMT unit that's misbehaving on my new Alto K10 AMT. Sort of a long post as I have tried to give as much detail as possible while trying to reproduce the issue. Let me present the facts first:

The car was bought in October 2015 and has completed its first free service. No major issues reported, except for a wildly vibrating engine (or an engine mount) and a judder-like feeling on hard acceleration on 2nd gear - to which the SA's reply was "Saar these are common in AMT"!

The ODO stands at 2353 today and the car is being driven by my wife mainly during her commute to office, which is a 30km trip up & down. It travels through possibly the worst traffic conditions in Bangalore, having to cross either Dairy Circle/Adugodi or on the Inner Ring Road via Forum/St Johns Hospital/Sony World junctions. It takes my wife roughly 75min to commute 15km one way and around 90min on her way back in the evening, covering the same 15km distance. We bought the K10 AMT mainly for this purpose as the constant use of the clutch pedal in stop-and-go traffic was taking its toll on her left foot/ankle. We had a 1st gen Alto K10 (2011) which had clocked 30000km before we bought this AMT. Despite the heavy traffic conditions, the clutch of the old K10 still had a lot of life left in it - proves that my wife doesn't "ride the clutch", and that shes not new to driving.

Now, to the actual point. Couple of days ago, my wife said that the car suddenly came to N gear (as per the display) while she was driving. She was not sure what had happened and probably thought it was just an involuntary shift to N without realizing it (believe me, the habit/feeling of changing gears is tough to get over and as we have a manual Honda City, the involuntary action takes over sometimes). We didn't do much about it and left it there.

Now, today, while driving back in the evening, my wife said that the AMT did it again and shifted into N. This time, she was very sure it was not anything she did and it just happened. Also, the yellow AMT indicator (aka Automated Trans-axle Warning Light - lets just call it the AMT Warning LED) on the dashboard lit up, according to her. She called me and I just instructed her to switch off the engine, wait for a couple of minutes and see if she could drive it back (the Ctrl+Alt+Del method as I call it). Somehow she managed to come back home and she told me that the same thing happened quite a few times and she did the same stop-turnoff-wait-start method and it made the Warning LED disappear. As she was < half km from home, she managed to do this and reach home without issues.

Now, seeing this odd behavior, I took the car out for a spin - half an hour after my wife had come home. I took it for a decently long drive (6-8km) and drove on free roads as well as busy ones. Initially, nothing happened - an event-less drive, a-l-m-o-s-t. During the last couple of km of the drive, the AMT Warning LED came up again on the dashboard. No beeps yet. The AMT was in 2Gear and I was able to drive on for a few feet in 2nd Gear. Now, as I had to slow down due to vehicles ahead of me, I pressed the brake pedal and the issue reported by my wife recurred - the AMT went into Neutral (as per the Gear Indicator) while the gear lever was in "D" mode. The Warning LED was a steady yellow. The Gear Indicator on the dash was flashing "N", followed by beeps. Am trying to come out of traffic and pressing the accelerator pedal did nothing but rev the engine up madly till 4K RPM. Obviously, the car was in Neutral. Now, I slotted the Gear Lever into N and nothing happened. I slotted it back to "D" again and the "N" on the gear indicator started flashing and beeping again. All this while, I'm trying to get the car to the left lane and come to a stop while its free-wheeling in "N". This could have been a tricky situation in heavy traffic and specially when the vehicle would not have had enough forward momentum to free-roll. Thankfully, it happened to me when I had enough rolling momentum to just glide it to the leftmost lane and park it safely on the side of the road without any gnarly traffic issues.

Knowing that this can be temporarily handled by switching off the engine for a while and turning it back on, I waited for some time and started the car again. Now, one more thing to observe here is that when I got the car to a safe place and turned it off, irrespective of how many gear changes I made using the Gear Lever, the gear indicator showed only a flashing "N" (the engine was off but the key was in II postion - just before the crank). It did not show a "1" or a "R". All this time, the Warning LED was still on. So, I remove the key, turn the hazard lights on and wait!

Fast forward 20mins after turning off everything - and I put the key back in and turn it to the II position - the warning LED is now off. Phew! I do some quick gear lever changes and the gear indicator shows the changes correctly as "1" or "N" or "R" respectively. Double Phew!! All fine!!! I start the car and start moving - everything seems OK. A couple of minutes pass and the dreaded 'Toothed Wheel Exclamation Mark' comes up again. I noticed that the Warning LED flashed a couple of times randomly (no periodic flashing interval to it) and then started glowing steadily. Now I am in 3rd gear, but safely on the leftmost lane. I now put the Gear into "M" mode and try to upshift and downshift to see if the manual gear changes work - nothing! The car is in 3rd Gear and responding well to the A pedal, but wont change gears! Knowing that pressing the Brake pedal would put the car into Neutral, I got myself into a safe position and then pressed the brake - and not surprisingly - the gear indicator flashed "N" and started beeping. All this time, the Gear lever is in the D mode (switched back to D from M) but the display shows N.

Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly-img_20160127_205928005.jpg

Again, I do the same thing - turn off the engine, slot the key into II position and try to fiddle with the gear lever - nothing but a flashing "N" and beeping sounds. Again, I wait for 10 minutes this time (I was just a few feet away from home). After 10 minutes, turn it back on to II position - fiddle with the gear lever and see that its showing everything correctly - R, N, 1 and M too. The Warning LED is gone too. So, I start the car and drive it home and park it.

On coming home, I consulted the manual and the note in the manual says that a flashing AMT icon means that the AMT unit is overheated and the solution to this is to turn off the vehicle and drive again after things have cooled down. Quite a coincidence to what I did and I felt happy that knowingly or unknowingly, I did the right thing.

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Also, I had the chance to take pics of the Warning LED coming up on the dash. Being a TBHP-ian, I had my OBD Adapter connected as well and I did a quick fault scan while I had parked to the left on the road. Surprise Surprise - 2 fault codes came up! A Screenshot of the Torque App is also attached below - may be someone can enlighten me on what these mean!

Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly-screenshot_20160127210514.png

Pleasantly surprised that the el-cheapo OBD adapter DID find something fishy! Wonder what other error codes the ACTUAL OBD Scanners at Maruti A*S*S have to say!

I'm taking the car to the service station tomorrow to see what the problem is. Anyone who has faced a similar issue, please let me know.
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Old 28th January 2016, 01:28   #2
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Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
A Screenshot of the Torque App is also attached below - may be someone can enlighten me on what these mean!
Of the two codes you got, P1888 & P1983

P1888 - Honda Type Powertrain - CVT - poor acceleration

Cause - Wiring, secondary gear shaft speed sensor, TCM

Not able to get data P1983.

Since I too have the same car, it is behaving normally. Can you once try on Manual mode?

And are you using the brake pedal to change between modes like 'D' to 'N'? I can fully understand the problem of keeping a control on one's left hand to not change gears that we do normally in a MT car.

This is one reason, I hardly drive my AMT.

Last edited by a4anurag : 28th January 2016 at 01:36.
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Old 28th January 2016, 12:29   #3
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

P1983 is a generic fault code for TCM (transmission control module) wiring fault. Don't know what it defines specifically in the AMT system.

Judder / vibration in any gear on hard acceleration is certainly not a characteristic of any AMT. I'd suspect there is transmission overheating caused by a clutch that refuses to engage fully.

Is the FE acceptable?
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Old 28th January 2016, 12:38   #4
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

So did you take it to the dealer? Seems like a AMT failure when hot and malfunctioning, most probably Neutral is the safe mode where it allows the vehicle to be pushed / towed.
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Old 28th January 2016, 13:40   #5
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
I'm taking the car to the service station tomorrow to see what the problem is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
So did you take it to the dealer? Seems like a AMT failure when hot and malfunctioning, most probably Neutral is the safe mode where it allows the vehicle to be pushed / towed.
Update 1: So yes, I took it to the M*A*S*S today and as expected, they brought out the Scan tool. It is a big blue unit (from Bosch) that connects to their laptop. The SA seemed quite knowledgeable and he explained to me what he is going to do, like I was a 5y/o child

Once he fired up the scanning software, 4 error codes popped up immediately. He looked at them and one of them had the "History" flag set to true and the count was 4. He explained to me that it means that the event occurred some time in the past and the ECU has recorded the event in its "history".

They use some sort of privacy screen on that laptop and I could barely look at the screen from an angle. I strained my neck to catch a glimpse of the errors/codes and I could note down the following error codes from the screen:

P1888 (this came up on my el-cheapo OBD Adapter/Torque app too)
P1983 (ditto)
P1984 (this was new!)
P1905 (ditto)

Then he said that my description of the problem matches the error codes he's seeing and he then opened some PDF file which probably had the diagnosis/resolution to these codes. He was kind-of secretive about all this and probably didn't want me to peek into his laptop..hehe.

He also said something about a wrong gear selector being the probable cause and explained why the Heating issue could happen. According to him, if the AMT is not "programmed" correctly, then it picks up a wrong gear for that speed/RPM. This causes unnecessary clutch (ab)use and ends up heating the unit. The safety feature in the AMT box prevents the unit from heating further and it immediately engages into N - and that's what is happening in my car's case. From how he said it (the confidence with which he said it/his body language), it appeared that this seems to be quite a frequent issue - this is from what I could make out and I don't have any hard facts backing this claim.

He then said that he will clear the codes and take the car for a spin. He asked me what driving conditions I usually drive in, so that he can try and replicate the issue and see if the scan tool picks it up in real-time. I've left the car now for what they call as 'running repairs'. I'm waiting for the call from the SA - will keep the thread posted with the results.
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Old 28th January 2016, 22:40   #6
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Looks like clutch overheating is the error state that was detected and the TCM responds by popping trans into neutral to cool it off and throwing a code for you act on it

Root cause for overheat could be several and gear hunting could be one. Make sure you have the latest reflash that will hopefully address it


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Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
He also said something about a wrong gear selector being the probable cause and explained why the Heating issue could happen. According to him, if the AMT is not "programmed" correctly, then it picks up a wrong gear for that speed/RPM. This causes unnecessary clutch (ab)use and ends up heating the unit. The safety feature in the AMT box prevents the unit from heating further and it immediately engages into N - and that's what is happening in my car's case. From how he said it (the confidence with which he said it/his body language), it appeared that this seems to be quite a frequent issue - this is from what I could make out and I don't have any hard facts backing this claim.

Last edited by Mpower : 30th January 2016 at 22:41.
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Old 28th January 2016, 23:16   #7
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
my wife said that the car suddenly came to N gear (as per the display) while she was driving
If memory serves me right, something identical has been reported even on the TATA Nano GenX XTA thread. One of the fellow bhpian also had his AMT unit replaced under warranty from TATA. Not sure if he was having identical symptoms such as yours. I am pointing this to you in case your AMT unit is headed in that direction.

Please do keep us posted. I am curious to know what root-cause does Maruti comes up with.
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Old 29th January 2016, 15:38   #8
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Update 2:

I got a call from the SA and here's what he had to say. They took the car for a spin and they hit the same issue several times (Phew! Thank God I don't have to explain this to them again after 3-4 days, if at all they had said "saar, no issues found - take it and go )

So here's the deal - they still need to verify the root cause of the issue and he said it could be possible due to some electrical issues too. So they need one more day to identify if its an electrical issue and if yes, what is causing it. I told them to keep the car for another day by all means if it can help identify and solve the issue. the important thing here is to have the problem fixed.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the involvement by the SAs here. Generally, I've noticed a tendency from SAs to wash their hands off some issue that cant be solved quickly, or for those which do not have a well defined root cause and fix.

Fingers crossed, lets hope they identify the root cause and fix it.

P.S. (and probably off topic): Someone asked about the FE delivered by the car. From the time I bought it, its been giving me an avg of 10.5-11 kmpl. (I don't consider this low or abnormal as my previous K10 which was being driven on the same roads and in the same traffic also delivered a similar mileage. I mean, what can you expect when you need 75 min to cover 15km =~ avg speed of 12kmph). I have this tracked on a wonderful app called 'Fuelio'. I can share screenshots if someone is interested!?

Last edited by vsathyap : 29th January 2016 at 15:40. Reason: Added more info.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 16:38   #9
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Update 3:

5 Days and 5+ Phone discussions later, the problem apparently seems to be resolved. I got my vehicle back from the service center yesterday and so far, all seems fine, except for a very small goof-up by the servicing folks.

So, the SA calls me up on Day 3 and says that they are still getting the error despite doing some initial checks and that they think its some AMT module that needs to be replaced. Here's how the conversation went:

SA: Sir, regarding the AMT problem in your car
Me: Yes... tell me
SA: We think that there is a problem in AMT module and we may need to replace it
Me: Are you saying entire AMT unit needs to be replaced?
SA: No no sir, not the full unit - just a minor module that we think is causing the error
Me: OK do it then - its a new car, barely completing 2.5K km on the ODO and not even gone through the second service, so it should be covered under warranty right?
SA: Yes sir all that is fine - problem is we don't have that module with us
Me: Oh! What's the module called? It has a name to it right?
SA: Yes Sir, its AMT Module
Me: Yes, but what's its name?
SA: Sir, we call it AMT module
Me: [Puzzled!] Oh Okay, fine now what do we do?
SA: Sir, there is one more AMT vehicle here; we are thinking we will swap the modules from that into your vehicle and take it for test drive and see if it fixes the problem
Me: I hope that does not cause any trouble?!
SA: No sir, don't worry and Yes sir, we will do it and update you.
Me: Okay - I just want to get the car with the issue fixed.
SA: Sure sir we are working on it
Me: OK thanks.

A whole day passes without any updates and I call the SA to enquire about the status.

Me: So what happened? Did you fit the AMT module and see if it worked?
SA: Sir we have identified the problem - its mostly electrical issue (refers to wiring)
Me: Ohhh so what happened to that AMT module you were talking about?
SA: No sir, we found that its an electrical problem - we are looking into it now and will give you an update tomorrow.
Me: OK - as long as you fix the problem!
SA: Yes sir I'll only call you tomorrow 100%
Me: Ok I'll wait for your call.

So, finally as promised I get a call from the SA on Day 5 and he says that the problem has been fixed. As they had thought, it was indeed an "electrical" problem and they have removed and refitted everything "electrical" related to the AMT/Engine. He also said that they took the vehicle for a long TD and they didn't see the warning lamp glow. He tells me to collect the car in the evening.

So, I go and collect the car in the evening. Upon speaking to the SA and trying to extract as much info as possible, he just told me that they had refitted some loose "coupler" and had done the same to all other connections under the hood. He seemed confident that the issue wont recur and I had no other option but to take his word on it. He also said that if the issue were to happen again in future, he will take personal interest and get it sorted out.

One thing I found strange was that I did not get a proper job-card-issue-fixed kind of receipt/bill that we usually get from Maruti. They issue such receipts even for the tiniest of things like cleaning the air blower's fan. This time, I just got a hand-written gate-pass. On asking the SA, he said that there are no charges for this and hence the simple gate-pass. I hope this repair is noted in the vehicle's service records/history!

On the goof up issue, I came home and lifted the hood, just to take a peek, to see if anything appeared "new" or different than before. The AMT unit looked shiny (I guess they cleaned it nicely) and an old "OK" mark from a quality check marker was gone. Anyways, I look up a bit and see something hanging just by the hoses connecting it. I don't know what this unit is, but it was definitely not "hanging" earlier. A quick scan revealed that the unit was actually supposed to to be mounted into a groove just beside the battery, but looks like someone forgot to put it back.

I placed it back into its position and then took a pic of the same. Attaching it below so that someone can actually tell me what this thing really is. It has rubber hoses coming into and out of it and looks like some sort of a motor or a filter.

Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly-img_20160201_220155163.jpg


Anyways, back to topic, I didn't see the AMT warning lamp come up during my drive back home (although it was a short 4km/20min drive). I plan to take the car out for a longer drive today - will post my observations then. So, until then, there are some questions that are bothering me a bit:
  • Should I check whether this "repair" gets tracked in the vehicle history? If its missing, should I insist on getting it added?
  • Did they by any chance replace the AMT unit and try to pull a fast one on me by telling me "all is well" ? the AMT unit looks shiny, and I dont see any of the old markings on it like QC OK, the green/blue paint dots, etc.
  • If in future, the unit acts up again, should I go for a replacement under warranty, or leave it to the SAs and A*S*S* to decide?
  • The people who worked on my vehicle simply forgot to mount that black (filter-like?) unit under the hood - how can I ascertain nothing else more important was "forgotten"?
  • The car still judders on hard acceleration in 2nd gear from speeds of 17-21kmph. This used to happen earlier also and I had reported the same during the 1st free service, to which the SA said "Saar, this is a feature of AMT". Should I get this also fixed right away or wait for the 2nd free service which is due in a month and a half?
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Old 2nd February 2016, 20:35   #10
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Post Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
Anyways, I look up a bit and see something hanging just by the hoses connecting it.
I don't know what this unit is, but it was definitely not "hanging" earlier.
...
It has rubber hoses coming into and out of it and looks like some sort of a motor or a filter.
...
Looks suspiciously like an EVAP Canister.

Do the pipes on the canister's top lead up to the throttle body or intake manifold & gated by a solenoid ( will have a connector ) ?
.

Last edited by im_srini : 2nd February 2016 at 20:37.
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Old 3rd February 2016, 08:54   #11
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

I took TD of the Alto K10 a few months back when I thought of buying one just for my office commute. A senior person in the dealership is known to us since we have brought six cars from there and he accompanied me during the test drive since he knows that I wouldnt like an annoying sales exec to sit and blabber things next to me.

Coming to the actual issue, I directly confronted him asking what are the kind of issues reported with the car. His immediate answer was that if I used too much of accelerator-brake cycles then the transmission would go to neutral and stop. He hence told me to drive sedately in bumper to bumper traffic and not repeatedly accelerate and brake.

When I drove the car, I realised that it would disengage the clutch everytime the brake is pressed, irrespective of whether it is needed or not. For example, I dont use the clutch until I realise that the engine speed is less and the vehicle will stall, or when I am going to come to a standstill. And in crawling traffic if one has the habit of closing on gaps aggressively, this will cause an issue. Especially in my commute I have to face bumper to bumper crawling traffic for a stretch of 20mins. This involves severe usage of the clutch. Hence I was apprehensive of going for the AMT.

Applying brakes without pulsating the pedal should maybe avoid chances of transmission overheating.
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Old 4th February 2016, 12:18   #12
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Originally Posted by vsathyap
"The car still judders on hard acceleration in 2nd gear from speeds of 17-21kmph. This used to happen earlier also and I had reported the same during the 1st free service, to which the SA said "Saar, this is a feature of AMT".

I own an alto AMT from Nov 2014 and i would like to share a similar experience as vsathyap. My car has now run 8500 KMs and has completed all the 3 free services - post the third free service the juddering on hard acceleration in 2nd gear got very annoying and more frequent. I took the car to Bimal Kanakpura branch.

The Service adviser brought his diagnostic kit and looked for errors and found none. However during the test drive he experienced the issue. After the test drive came back to the showroom and he says we have been having these complains on few Celerio's but
mine was the first Alto K10 AMT to report this problem at this center and advised that it is a known issue but agreed to order for replacement parts under warranty. He asked for 10 days to get the parts from Maruti.

I had stopped using the car hoping to not ruin any more mechanical's after the test drive. Day 15, I get the call from the adviser saying the parts have arrived and I need to drop my car for repairs.

Reached the showroom - SA started filling up the job sheet and gave me a quote for 500 INR for lathe charges and said it will take 2 days to return the car.

Anyway, they replaced clutch, clutch assembly and another part (i forgot the name). I have driven around 100 KMs after the replacement and it looks good.

I would recommend you get the same done for your car as well.
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Old 4th February 2016, 15:08   #13
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Reached the showroom - SA started filling up the job sheet and gave me a quote for 500 INR for lathe charges and said it will take 2 days to return the car.

Anyway, they replaced clutch, clutch assembly and another part (i forgot the name).
Do please post the bill for that job done so that all BHPians know what is to be done and replaced.
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Old 4th February 2016, 15:12   #14
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Do please post the bill for that job done so that all BHPians know what is to be done and replaced.
Yes please - do post the copy of the bill so that I can raise the issue with them during my next service. Coming to the topic, my Alto K10 AMT has completed approx 50+km after the "fix" and it hasn't given me the AMT warning lamp yet. I will continue to post my observations over the next 100, 200, 500 km, etc (as and when possible) so that we have some record on how the fix is holding up. Meanwhile, I'll get that juddering checked out during my 2nd free service coming up soon.
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Old 4th February 2016, 21:33   #15
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Default Re: Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Do please post the bill for that job done so that all BHPians know what is to be done and replaced.

I have attached the photo of the job card. Parts replaced are
1. Cover Assembly, Clutch
2. Disc Clutch
3. Shaft, Transmission input
Attached Thumbnails
Alto K10 AMT problem: Gearbox moving to 'N' unexpectedly-img_2168.jpg  


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