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Mike, Other
Category: Vauxhall
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Tech Expert
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A fault warning comes on around the D for drive indicator (or

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A fault warning comes on around the D for drive indicator on my Signum automatic every few hunded miles and puts the drive into emergecy drive. After being switched off for a period the warning disapears and the car can be driven normally. This has happened 3 times in the last 6 weeks, all seperated by about 2 weeks and several hundred miles of driving but never when driving normally. The local Vauxhall garage has done a full diagnosis but no record of the faults has been recorded on the car's electronics. . We travel to France next week and I am obviously apprehensive of the fault re-occuring then and perhaps not clearing itself after being switched off as it has always done to date. Pages 144 and 154 of the car's owners handbook says the fault is on the automatic transmission, or engine or transmission electronics and that sometimes it can be cleared by switching the engine off and back on again. This is what has happened in my case although the engine off periods have varied so I do not know the minimum time the engine needs to be off to reset the system.

Hello and Welcome..

My name is ***** ***** Im happy to help / advise..

Firstly - the "period" of time for switch off / on again to reset is momentary... switching the key off kills the fault memory in the ecu - so thats why it resets.. If the fault was no longer there - it would stay off...but because its got some actual issue / fault somewhere, the TCM "sees" it - ans puts the light on - and switches into Limp mode..

So you have a definate fault for sure - the problems is , at the moment its almost too intermittent to catch on test...

You need to take the car in for fault code reading when the light is on... If you have taken it when the light is not on, there wont be any fault codes... Its a pain to do that I know - but thats the idea with this. As the issue gets worse, it will as you allude to, get worse - staying on for longer / not resetting with the switch off / on... that at least does make it easier to get the system checked and fond the fault !

For now though - I doubt it will happen pretty fast - they dont usually.. If you cannot get it in for test while the light is on - before you go away, I do believe you will very probably be ok with it..

Reasons for that light coming on / limp mode are many Im afraid... it can be as simple as a bad connection on the electronics on the range sensor - It can even be low fluid level in the transmission -- one would hope they have checked these basics though - but if not, they should be checked... in case thats all it is.

Other than that - sensor faults/ internal faults in the transmission itself - or Tcm ( control module ) faults.... but again , truly, you will have to find such faults with the diagnostics as I have outlined above..

Im really sorry there is no quick fix to this one - it is going to be as above on this one..

Im very pleased to have helped you - Do let me know if you need anything more --

*** Meanwhile - - >>>> Please do click on the "OK/ Excellent ratings" for me - Thank you in advance for that...

You can and are most welcome to get back to me anytime you might need - clicking the OK ratings does not close you out at all..

Kind Rgds, MIKE.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Mike, you have told me to do what the 3 garages that carried out fault diagnosis told me- take it in when the fault light is on.

They though said that a fault that had occurred and then reset itself should still show as a fault code. You say this is incorrect and will only show when the fault light is on.Is this correct?

As you suggest I will have the transmission fluid level checked before we go to France just incase, otherwise I will just have to wait until the fault becomes frequent enough to get the car to a local garage.

To date the 3 faults have occurred when we have not been local.

Thank you,

Jim Andrews

Hello again James -

Thank you for your reply.

Generally speaking , an Ecu / computer will store fault codes but its not an exact science - and especially not with the Vauxhalls... many people have the same trouble - the ecu not storing the fault code... that is evidently what you have happening as its not there when thats why I ( and others then ) have said it has to be checked when the light is on... as I said , it loses the memory / code when the key is switched off. Some marques do that every so many ign off / on turns - some keep them a long time... some for 40 starts etc... but again, Vauxhalls...seem to be on their own planet a lot of the time Im afraid - its just how they are - it makes life hard when you have that - even as you know!

But yes - its not going to correct itself - it will get that I mean, it will get so the light stays on - and hence the code/s will be there.. Unless you can find as I mentioned above, then you will have to wait for it to manifest itself more so... you cant be changing parts etc until you know for sure - its too expensive a routine that...

I hope that helps / explains further Jim...

..... Please do click on the "OK ratings" for me at this point Jim - Thank you... and you are welcome to get back to me any time you might need / wish thereafter -

Kind Rgds, MIKE.
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