Doctor Diesel, Features

Shuddering Update

Hello Doctor,
I thought I would send you an update on my shuddering Insignia (Issue 330). I went to the garage that you recommended (Scotts of Dundonald) and they did a thorough check on the car. No fault codes appeared on the diagnostic test, but out on the test run the fault happened. There is this stutter/shudder for all of 10 to 15 seconds when in fifth or sixth gear, travelling at about 60mph, and with the engine revving at about 1,800rpm, when going up a hill or slight incline. When I spoke to the garage, they think it may be a dual mass flywheel problem, but they cannot be 100 per cent sure as it is intermittent, and on the return drive back to the garage, no fault happened when the same speed was replicated as earlier during the test drive. They have asked me to monitor it to see if it gets any worse, as this will worsen progressively they say, if it is the dual mass flywheel. It seems there would be a noise that you could hear if the DMF was failing. I can now feel a bit of vibration in the clutch pedal and also I have noticed first thing in the mornings that the clutch pedal travel is shorter, and then it becomes normal. When I mentioned this, they said that this was further evidence pointing towards the DMF. So I am going to wait to see how this progresses and see if this starts to happen in lower gears, and then take it back to the garage. Regards,
Hugh Scott

Very good of you to come back to me Hugh. I hope that you found Scotts Garage helpful and worth the trip. I have to confess that my knowledge of Dual Mass Flywheel problems is very much second-hand, rather than hands-on, although I have researched the subject fairly well. I’m not in disagreement with what has been suggested by any means, but I’m surprised that you haven’t detected any rough tickover, or shuddering and possibly nasty rattling noises on engine shutdown. Here below is a written extract from the web that sounds very much like your problem. This was diagnosed as being early signs of DMF problems… so maybe these symptoms will appear in time?

For example, another Insignia owner writes: “Looks like another problem has reared its head with my Insignia 160 CDTi. Joining the motorway and slowly accelerating to 60mph, I changed into fifth gear at about 2,000rpm and the car began to shudder, as if the revs were too low for the gear. I released the accelerator and I could still feel the shudder, and the engine revs were bouncing. I accelerated and it stopped at about 2,500rpm, but then came back as I tried changing up. I had to drop into fourth at 60mph to stop it, it went on for a minute or so, then stopped, and I managed to get back up to sixth with no trouble. This is the third time it’s happened whilst cruising in a month.”

Sounds more than a bit similar, doesn’t it? I don’t know how long you’ve had your car Hugh, but I think you said it had 98,000 miles on the clock, which is no mean mileage, and I’m wondering whether you have had any thoughts of changing it… and you could perhaps get a fairly good deal trading it in now, while the problem is only very occasional. It is unlikely to appear on a short test run, and I would think about getting out of the car, and letting some dealer pick up the bill, and pass the cost on as part of his margins. Not the sort of advice that I usually like to give, but you could be looking at near to a four figure bill on you car, at a Vauxhall dealer, for DMF replacement. Think on it. Best regards,
Doc Diesel

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