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Old 19th August 2010, 22:22   #1
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Default Need Help for Santro Automatic

I have tis 2005 Santro Automatic, done about 40,000 KM.

A number of problems have surfaced in the recent past -

1. The fuel efficiency is about 6.5 km/ liter (Runs between Mulund and Powai, heavy traffic, not so good roads).

2. The pick up is almost gone. One has to rev the engine for about 45 seconds to feel the pull, which again is nothing much.

3. The Gear position marked "2", used to give a solid instant pull. Now it's efect is almost not noticeable.

4. The most weired problem - If the car is not taken out for two days or more, then on the next morning it refuses to move for about a minute in either "D" or "R". It feels that something is jamming inside the gearbox. After a minute of holding the accelerator at about 30%, one can hear a vague "click" noise. After this the car moves freely. This problem is even more if I had kept the parking brake engaged the previous night. So, these days I don't engage the parking brake at all. However, problem is still there.


I have made about 6 visits to Modi Hyundai in Thane Pokhran Road with these issues. Nothing has been worked out. It almost feels that they have just washed the car, billed me for oil change and returned it.

If anyone has any idea on this, please advise.
And, also -

If you know a Hyundai service centre in Mumbai which is good with automatics, especially if you can recommend me a particular service advisor - please help!
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Old 19th August 2010, 22:56   #2
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when is the last time you changed the automatic gear oil? If it was long ago, drain and flush the oil completely and change.
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Old 19th August 2010, 23:27   #3
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All the symptoms in one way or the other point to ineffective torque conversion.
Drain and replace the AT fluid (No top ups). If that doesn't solve the problem I guess a gearbox overhaul is in order.
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Old 19th August 2010, 23:44   #4
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Default 2 Qs

1) is the ATF red or black in colour
2) Does the car jerk when you move from standstill?
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Old 19th August 2010, 23:51   #5
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Pull diminishing to zero is something that was happening to me a couple of decades ago with a Honda auto. Turned out to be a very slow leak from the gearbox, and the simple and cheap thing to do was keep a bottle of transmission fluid in the car, check the level regularly (there was a dipstick for it) and top up as necessary.

Sound like your problem is more complex, though.
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Old 19th August 2010, 23:53   #6
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My Santro Xing AT is 7 years old at 32000kms. I can't recall any AT fluid replacements, isn't it a sealed unit in Santro?
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Old 20th August 2010, 01:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
My Santro Xing AT is 7 years old at 32000kms. I can't recall any AT fluid replacements, isn't it a sealed unit in Santro?
Don't know about santro, but the requirements for i10 are as follows: (AFAIK santro and i10 uses the same AT gearbox)

For i10 the AT fluid should be replaced every 40000 kms (as per user manual) for 'severe usage conditions'. Other wise its just inspect after every 10000 kms and replace if necessary.

Severe usage for AT equipped car amounts to:

repeated short distance driving
driving in dusty/rough road
driving in sandy area
more than 50% driving in hot city traffic above 32 degrees C
driving in mountain
towing a trailer
driving as patrol car/taxi/CV
driving in very cold weather

as sen2009 mentions that his car runs between mulund and powai amidst heavy traffic and not so good roads, I guess it can safely be termed as 'severe usage' and the AT fluid be replaced immediately.

PS: For me points 2 & 4 holds true and I shall make sure to change AT fluid at 40K kms.

Last edited by blackasta : 20th August 2010 at 01:06.
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Old 20th August 2010, 09:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
when is the last time you changed the automatic gear oil? If it was long ago, drain and flush the oil completely and change.
I do not remember any replacement or top up of transmission fluid. This may be the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
All the symptoms in one way or the other point to ineffective torque conversion.
Drain and replace the AT fluid (No top ups). If that doesn't solve the problem I guess a gearbox overhaul is in order.
I guess this might be a potential solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
1) is the ATF red or black in colour
2) Does the car jerk when you move from standstill?
I have never checked the ATF. Can you pl guide me in how to check it - I have seen the engine oil dipstick, but no idea where the ATF checker is located.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Pull diminishing to zero is something that was happening to me a couple of decades ago with a Honda auto. Turned out to be a very slow leak from the gearbox, and the simple and cheap thing to do was keep a bottle of transmission fluid in the car, check the level regularly (there was a dipstick for it) and top up as necessary.

Sound like your problem is more complex, though.
Let me check this - the ATF replacement. If that does not work, we'll have to look for a capable service advisor trained in AT systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
My Santro Xing AT is 7 years old at 32000kms. I can't recall any AT fluid replacements, isn't it a sealed unit in Santro?
Same is my case - no service advisor ever told me anything about checking/ replacing/ topping up of transmission fluid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Don't know about santro, but the requirements for i10 are as follows: (AFAIK santro and i10 uses the same AT gearbox)

For i10 the AT fluid should be replaced every 40000 kms (as per user manual) for 'severe usage conditions'. Other wise its just inspect after every 10000 kms and replace if necessary.

Severe usage for AT equipped car amounts to:

repeated short distance driving
driving in dusty/rough road
driving in sandy area
more than 50% driving in hot city traffic above 32 degrees C
driving in mountain
towing a trailer
driving as patrol car/taxi/CV
driving in very cold weather

as sen2009 mentions that his car runs between mulund and powai amidst heavy traffic and not so good roads, I guess it can safely be termed as 'severe usage' and the AT fluid be replaced immediately.

PS: For me points 2 & 4 holds true and I shall make sure to change AT fluid at 40K kms.
Given the conditions, my santro is definitely in severe usage category. The road is very bad and traffic is bumper to bumper for the whole 9 Kilometers.



Thank you all for the help. So far my action points are as following -

1. Find the dipstick and check level/ color/ condition of the transmission fluid.
2. If inadequate (even if it seems ok) - change the tranny oil.
3. If this does not solve the issue, look for an experience AT mechanic in Mumbai.

I shall try this in the following week and report back. Meanwhile, please help me with any other advice you may think of.


PS:- In case of manual transmission cars, one would normally check the clutch plates for such a problem (engine revving and a delay in pull). Is there any similar clutch like mechanism in AT gearbox which I should check?

Last edited by sen2009 : 20th August 2010 at 09:10. Reason: Added a query
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Old 20th August 2010, 09:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
I do not remember any replacement or top up of transmission fluid. This may be the problem.

I have never checked the ATF. Can you pl guide me in how to check it - I have seen the engine oil dipstick, but no idea where the ATF checker is located.

Thank you all for the help. So far my action points are as following -

1. Find the dipstick and check level/ color/ condition of the transmission fluid.
2. If inadequate (even if it seems ok) - change the tranny oil.
3. If this does not solve the issue, look for an experience AT mechanic in Mumbai.

I shall try this in the following week and report back. Meanwhile, please help me with any other advice you may think of.


PS:- In case of manual transmission cars, one would normally check the clutch plates for such a problem (engine revving and a delay in pull). Is there any similar clutch like mechanism in AT gearbox which I should check?


There is a similiar dipstick (like the one for engine oil) to the front-right of the engine. It should be very easy to locate this one. It is mentioned in the owners manual. The top portion is a little angular.

For checking, similiar technique - pull it out, clean it, dip it in again and then observe the level. There are max min markers on the stick. On a cold engine the level should not be below the min and on a hot engine it should not be way over the max level.

Also, check for color & viscosity of the ATF. It should not be very err 'thick'.

Nevertheless, do change the ATF pronto at a good place. For replacing the ATF fluid, they eventually will have to take out the torque convertor also I suppose. Get that piece also checked. I am having a hunch that there might be some servicing required in torque convertor also since you are facing issue in getting the vehicle to move itself and not necessarily in the way it changes gears (smoothly).

ATF replacement is not as simple a task as replacing engine oil or manual gear box oil. I'd assume it would cost also higher - expect around 2k for ATF + labour.

I had gone to Modi Hyundai at Goregaon to have them check my ATF quality / level (2005 model Santro AT, 30k done), and for me they concluded the ATF was fine, no need to replace for atleast 20k kms more.
It seems they knew what they were talking about and were not out to fleece me unnecessarily.

See what they have to say about the issue. I also know a good independant mechanic in Andheri West area who is quite knowledgable. Can PM you his contact number if you need it.

Good luck. Keep us posted.
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Old 20th August 2010, 10:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
The most weired problem - If the car is not taken out for two days or more, then on the next morning it refuses to move for about a minute in either "D" or "R". It feels that something is jamming inside the gearbox. After a minute of holding the accelerator at about 30%, one can hear a vague "click" noise. After this the car moves freely. This problem is even more if I had kept the parking brake engaged the previous night. So, these days I don't engage the parking brake at all. However, problem is still there.
This might not be related to the main problem.

Must be some rust in the brake disc or some metal part related to the brakes. This is common for old cars in places where humidity is more and hence prone to rusting.
It should go away automatically once your usage becomes more regular.
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Old 20th August 2010, 10:57   #11
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Maybe this would help you.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

One has to change the ATF filter and gasket alongwith ATF.
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Old 20th August 2010, 12:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigbarai View Post
There is a similiar dipstick (like the one for engine oil) to the front-right of the engine. It should be very easy to locate this one. It is mentioned in the owners manual. The top portion is a little angular.

For checking, similiar technique - pull it out, clean it, dip it in again and then observe the level. There are max min markers on the stick. On a cold engine the level should not be below the min and on a hot engine it should not be way over the max level.

Also, check for color & viscosity of the ATF. It should not be very err 'thick'.

Nevertheless, do change the ATF pronto at a good place. For replacing the ATF fluid, they eventually will have to take out the torque convertor also I suppose. Get that piece also checked. I am having a hunch that there might be some servicing required in torque convertor also since you are facing issue in getting the vehicle to move itself and not necessarily in the way it changes gears (smoothly).

ATF replacement is not as simple a task as replacing engine oil or manual gear box oil. I'd assume it would cost also higher - expect around 2k for ATF + labour.

I had gone to Modi Hyundai at Goregaon to have them check my ATF quality / level (2005 model Santro AT, 30k done), and for me they concluded the ATF was fine, no need to replace for atleast 20k kms more.
It seems they knew what they were talking about and were not out to fleece me unnecessarily.

See what they have to say about the issue. I also know a good independant mechanic in Andheri West area who is quite knowledgable. Can PM you his contact number if you need it.

Good luck. Keep us posted.
That's a great tip. I will check the ATF fluid level right away and also see its condition.
And, thanks a lot for offering help with mechanics. I will take my car to Modi hyundai thane tomorrow. Let me see how it goes and based on that I shall contact you for the info on the mechanic you have mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daewood View Post
This might not be related to the main problem.

Must be some rust in the brake disc or some metal part related to the brakes. This is common for old cars in places where humidity is more and hence prone to rusting.
It should go away automatically once your usage becomes more regular.
As such the car is driven on all weekdays. But still the rusting issue cannot be completely ruled out. Will get this checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Maybe this would help you.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

One has to change the ATF filter and gasket alongwith ATF.
Hey that's a great link. I have made some notes which I shall carry with me to the Service Centre tomorrow.

Thanks a lot guys. I am really a novice with regards to automatic tranny maintenance. I really appreciate it.
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Old 20th August 2010, 15:56   #13
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Hi Sen. I have a Santro A/T which has dome 77K+ kms. The only work ive got done onit besides a regular service and oil change and once suspension bushes etc, is the replacement of front brake rotors and the brake booster which due to some leak had got spoilt. The car is as peppy as ever and still is as smooth as it was when i got it from the showroom, maybe smoother

Yes the fuel efficiency is a problem but 6>5 is ridiculous. Maybe its your driving style. I drive the car with a/c in full traffic all the time and it has always given me around 7.5-8 kmpl. never less even with spirited driving.

Coming to your loss of pick up and erratic gear shift patterns, im most certain the transmission fluid has not been changed or due to a leak, its really low. Change the fluid and the filter and your car will run like new. This may also be the reason the car takes a few seconds to move, i.e. sludgy or low tranny oil or even engine oil.

Shifting to the 2L does not give any more pickup to the car. What you are doing is that you are restricting the gearbox to shift up further, that is to 3rd and so on. You are getting a wrong sense of pick up because the car is running only on 1st and 2nd and that to a great extent explains your high fuel consumption. This should be used when on a steep decline (for preventing the transmission to shift up and increase speed) or on such other occasions when you need to control the car. If you shift from D to 2 when driving say at 50kmph, you will notice the shift to lower gears i.e. 2nd. So also there is an overdrive button on the gear lever which when not pressed/selected, the warning light goes on in the dashboard. Keep the button pressed always, i.e. the light should be off. if you are cruising at 60kmph+ try releasing the o/d button. the gearbox immediately shifts down and you can feel it. This may be used when overtaking, though i have never found the Santro lacking pick up. In fact its the zippiest small car i have driven in India.

Remember the key to many years of great usage is that you get the car serviced at the right intervals.

If an authorized service station will not rectify your problem, go to a reputed garage and get the car rectified. Hope ive been helpful.
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Old 20th August 2010, 19:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
Hi Sen. I have a Santro A/T which has dome 77K+ kms. The only work ive got done onit besides a regular service and oil change and once suspension bushes etc, is the replacement of front brake rotors and the brake booster which due to some leak had got spoilt. The car is as peppy as ever and still is as smooth as it was when i got it from the showroom, maybe smoother

Yes the fuel efficiency is a problem but 6>5 is ridiculous. Maybe its your driving style. I drive the car with a/c in full traffic all the time and it has always given me around 7.5-8 kmpl. never less even with spirited driving.

Coming to your loss of pick up and erratic gear shift patterns, im most certain the transmission fluid has not been changed or due to a leak, its really low. Change the fluid and the filter and your car will run like new. This may also be the reason the car takes a few seconds to move, i.e. sludgy or low tranny oil or even engine oil.

Shifting to the 2L does not give any more pickup to the car. What you are doing is that you are restricting the gearbox to shift up further, that is to 3rd and so on. You are getting a wrong sense of pick up because the car is running only on 1st and 2nd and that to a great extent explains your high fuel consumption. This should be used when on a steep decline (for preventing the transmission to shift up and increase speed) or on such other occasions when you need to control the car. If you shift from D to 2 when driving say at 50kmph, you will notice the shift to lower gears i.e. 2nd. So also there is an overdrive button on the gear lever which when not pressed/selected, the warning light goes on in the dashboard. Keep the button pressed always, i.e. the light should be off. if you are cruising at 60kmph+ try releasing the o/d button. the gearbox immediately shifts down and you can feel it. This may be used when overtaking, though i have never found the Santro lacking pick up. In fact its the zippiest small car i have driven in India.

Remember the key to many years of great usage is that you get the car serviced at the right intervals.

If an authorized service station will not rectify your problem, go to a reputed garage and get the car rectified. Hope ive been helpful.

Hi V-16, thanks a lot for the inputs.
As such I drive the car quite timidly. In fact its a daily drive for my wife who is very afraid of everything around her.
I have used the "2" gear for overtaking on the highways - which used to give me some extra pick up. Switching the "OD" off is something I have never tried.

I will get my tranny fluid and filter checked/ replaced and then use the driving tips you have shared. 77K done and still smooth is really commendable, I was almost on the brink of writing this car off!
Service is always done at authorized Service Centers at a greater than recommended frequency. So I guess that should not be the problem.
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Old 21st August 2010, 18:50   #15
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@samurai:

I recently had my santro AT oil changed at 50K kilometers. When I asked them about the change intervals, they said it is 100k kilometers, but I don't feel comfortable waiting that long. I use the Hyundai Company owned service center called Hyundai Motor Plaza in Chennai. They are the best in the business.


@sen: I feel you need to replace your AT oil immideately. The not shifting first thing in the morning is typically due to bad fluid.
BTW you need to do a complete change, not just a drain and refill. They need to run fluid through the transmission while running the transmission to change all the oils, otherwise there will be some remaining in the Torque converter.

I also want to add that many people on this forum who are not used to automatics have been advising using the 2 and L buttons for over taking, more power etc. This is not the intended usage and it will damage your transmission of not used judiciously.
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