Car Mechanics (UK) - - Your Letters -

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!

Ran­jit Dosanjh

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