Fiat Panda gearbox problems

Fiat Panda problems

Introduced to the press in December 1979, the Fiat Panda has lived up to its hype of an affordable, versatile, easily maintained, and durable city car. But like all cars, it also comes with several problems, including gearbox issues. So, what are the Fiat Panda gearbox problems?

Some of the common problems with the Fiat Panda gearbox are grinding noise when turning left, rough gear shifting, automatic gearbox going into neutral while driving, and gear failure. Additionally, some users have also reported experiencing the engine running in a vacuum after engaging gear, the transmission light comes on, the gearbox cracking when changing gears, and the speed jumping and does not engage on the car.

–> Check this out, if you want to know about other Fiat Panda problems.

What are the common problems with the Fiat Panda gearbox?

Grinding noise when turning left

This is one of the main gearbox issues that Fiat Panda owners have registered. Most of the complainers say that a grinding noise is heard when turning left. This usually occurs when the car clocks more than 80k miles.

There are several things that can cause the engine to grind when turning. Some of them include low transmission levels, worn-out transmission leakages, and a dragging clutch. So, have a professional mechanic diagnose the car and fix the problem.  

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Automatic gearbox going into neutral while driving

This problem only applies to Fiat Panda models with automatic transmissions. Even though there are several things that can cause the gearbox to go into neutral, such as damaged gears, overused transmission fluid, and worn-out transmission bands, low transmission causes this problem in the Fiat Panda.

That’s why it is crucial to check and ensure you’ve got the right transmission fluids and other types of fluids in your car.

Gearbox cracks when changing gear

A gearbox can crack because of a design problem, high loading, manufacturing defects, or even excessive time at standstill. But in this case, the gearbox cracks because of deficiencies in the lubricant or lubrication system.

If you want to avoid the gearbox on your Fiat Panda from cracking, you should ensure that it is properly lubricated. Make sure there’s enough oil and transmission fluid.

The engine runs in a vacuum after engaging the gear

This problem is not very common but several Fiat Panda users have reported it. Since the clutch disc comes into contact with the flywheel, the abrasive material that makes this possible can wear out and cause the problem to occur. For this reason, it is crucial to change the clutch every 93,000 to 120,000 miles.

The speed jumps and doesn’t engage the car

If your Fiat Panda gearbox makes the speed jump but it does not engage the gears, this is a sign that you’ve got a linkage problem. The linkage may be damaged, faulty, or failing. So, if the gear linkage is faulty, you may hear a clanging or banging noise. Besides, this issue is also common in automatic transmissions.

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To fix this problem, you may have to replace the gear linkage, which is not only costly but cumbersome to replace. 

Rough gear shifting

Another problem with the Fiat Panda gearbox problem that users have complained about is rough gear shifting. This issue is usually caused by dirt, low, or lack of transmission fluid. In some cases, it can be due to a vacuum problem or a faulty sensor.

So, before you fix this issue, you should have your car diagnosed and the real culprit determined.  

The transmission light comes on

When the transmission light comes on, this is a sign that your Fiat Panda has a bad transmission fluid, an overheating transmission, or there are difficulty changing gears. Nonetheless, changing the transmission fluid and doing regular transmission can prevent such problems.

Gear failure

Most gear failures are caused by pitting or contact fatigue. And like most cars, the Fiat Panda gear failure is not different. This happens because of high compressive contact stresses in the gear surface to compressive fatigue on the gear tooth surface.

Have a mechanic inspect and repair or replace the affected parts. Replacing the whole gear is not only costly but as well as time-consuming.


Is the Fiat Panda worth buying?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re in the market for a compact, reliable, dependable, efficient, and easy-to-maintain city car, then you will love the Fiat Panda. But if you’re searching for a high-end, high-performance, luxurious, and comfortable city car, you should look away.

How long does the Fiat Panda gearbox last?

This will depend on the driving conditions and how much you tow. But with normal driving and towing, the gearbox on your Fiat Panda should last for at least 5 years. And with proper care and maintenance, it should clock between 5 and 7 years. What’s more, it is worth noting that a manual gearbox will last longer than an automatic gearbox.

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What are the common problems with the Fiat Panda?

Apart from having gearbox problems, the Fiat panda also registers different issues. Some of the problems that users have complained about are poor engine running, rough driving, power steering loss, problem changing gears, steam from the engine, and much more.

Does Fiat Panda have an automatic gearbox?

Yes, it has an automatic gearbox. Unlike the older Fiat Panda models, the latest generations are fitted with both the manual and automatic gearbox. Users have the option of selecting a 5-speed manual, a 6-speed manual, or a 5-speed automated manual gearbox. Note that automatic gearboxes help drivers to focus more on the road, unlike their manual counterparts.

What are the common problems with Fiat transmissions?

Fiat produces sleek and reliable cars. However, its cars are coupled with multiple problems that users have reported over the years. One of the common issues that Fiat faces is transmission problems. Common Fiat transmission issues are faulty transmission software, shifting problems, gear failure, slow respond to gear changes, and much more.

Final thoughts

The Fiat Panda is one of the finest city cars on the market. This is because it is compact, reliable, fuel-efficient, and easy to maintain. But if it’s not properly maintained, this car can provide lots of problems as discussed above. Nonetheless, most of its issues can be avoided by following the manufacturer’s recommended scheduled maintenance service. What’s more, proper driving habits should be practiced for longevity.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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