I was surprised to read that you went to the effort of having the F40 manual gearbox in your Vauxhall Insignia project disassembled and inspected because you’d “heard stories of problems with these gearboxes”
(CM, Sept 2018). I wasn’t surprised, however, when your transmission specialist found nothing wrong with it. The F40 has an excellent reputation among those in the know and it’s probably the strongest front-wheel drive gearbox that GM Europe ever used in a production car. Early versions had too much oil put in at the factory (3.2 litres), but draining it and putting back in 2.2 litres improves the shift quality. The M32 gearbox used in everything from Corsas to Alfas and many Insignias is a different matter and has a very poor reputation – perhaps it was the M32 you’d stories about?
By the way, one lesson we can all learn from your Insignia’s woes is that if a used car comes with no evidence of oil changes, perhaps it’s because the oil has never been changed, rather than the paperwork simply having been mislaid!