Comfortmatic gearbox

Jul 28, 2018
353
12,137
Monmouthshire
Funster No
55,198
MH
Roadscout R
Exp
Was a campervanner, now a motohomer
We love ours and call it Colin, as in "Colin’s changing gear again". It’s such a ponderous gear change that it’s a bit like having an elderly gentleman in the cab pressing the clutch pedal for you.
Called our van Brian after the speedy snail in Magic Roundabout - great minds, eh!
 

Silver-Fox

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 5, 2014
7,083
15,494
Cheltenham Spa
Funster No
33,201
MH
Rapido
Exp
im a not so newbie
In my case P but manual or auto it's a hard habit to break 😁. I believe driving schools no longer teach "into neutral, handbrake on" at the lights. Mind you I still double-declutch 😏.

Yes you can sit at lights in gear with modern driving standards.

They don’t even go down the box now on approach to light 🤷‍♂️

Won’t do for me though 😉😂

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Aug 18, 2014
18,159
78,463
Lorca,Murcia,Spain
Funster No
32,898
MH
Transit PVC
Exp
6 years since restarting
We got the Gears not available message a few weeks ago and got stuck in the Outer Hebrides as no local mechanic would look at it and AA had to recover back to the dealer which arrived back yesterday so hopefully will understand soon what the problem is/was.
Good to hear it has actually returned. Let us know what the final outcome is please?
 
Aug 26, 2008
2,951
12,057
B&NES
Funster No
3,823
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
since 2007
Do you have to depress the brake when selecting gears.

I do on the Sprintshift and if I forget it won’t select gears 🙄
But that’s operator error 😂
Yes, your foot needs to be on the brake pedal before commanding the Comfortmatic to select a gear.

I suppose it's possible that I lifted off the brake too soon before the ECU sent the signal to the activators to engage 1st. I blame the heat and wanting to get home quickly. Comfortmatic doesn't like to be rushed.

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Hammie

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 21, 2014
549
343
Funster No
32,975
MH
Neismann & Bischoff Arto
Exp
newbie/2015
i’d change your mechanic , yours & most cars/van don’t have one , they have fill plug you remove & fill to that level
That’s why he can’t find it then 🤣. I know the plug may have reversing camera and lights connected to it. The mechanic says the gearbox oil should be good for thousands of miles. Do you find the plug under the air filter or am I getting it wrong
 
Jul 6, 2009
539
740
Funster No
7,383
With the conformatic when first starting turn the ign key on but wait for the check lights to complete their cycle. Press the brake pedal to before starting or selecting any gear, move the lever gently dont rush it.
 
Jul 29, 2013
6,865
9,064
Salisbury
Funster No
27,215
MH
Hymer B678DL A class
Exp
since 2011
I read somewhere that the 180hp version of the 2.3 has better grunt that the 3.0 had when it was new. Bigger wheels and triathlete hamsters or something. I have the 150hp on a Comfortmatic and it pulls a 3500kg moho and a 1600kg trailer, up big hills, no probs.

I only get the gear changing thing described above, at 50mph on an incline. Other than that, very happy with it.
we have the 180 in our 4500 kg van and tow a car trailer we are close to 6000 kg GTW and comformatic works really well on our trips down through France and Spain👍
Would not want to go back to manual😊

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Hammie

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 21, 2014
549
343
Funster No
32,975
MH
Neismann & Bischoff Arto
Exp
newbie/2015
With the conformatic when first starting turn the ign key on but wait for the check lights to complete their cycle. Press the brake pedal to before starting or selecting any gear, move the lever gently dont rush it.
That fits also with what my cousin said (former truck driver). He said with diesel give it at least 30 seconds tick over before driving.
 

Steve-N

Free Member
Sep 14, 2021
3
0
Funster No
84,181
MH
Fiat Ducato Camper
I have a 2019 Fiat Ducato whuch I've had from new, it is fitted with the 6 speed Comfort-Matic gearbox, It has been superb having covered over 10k miles (Spain and Scotland being longer trips) without any issues (after getting used to the Comfort-Matic quirks)
Last weekend we had only driven about 4 miles, stopping at a petrol station for some bits and bobs, on re-starting no differently than I have always done, I get a "no gears available" message and and stuck in 1st gear only inc no reverse !!!
After finding somewhere safe to stop (and let the frustrated que go past) I called my local Fiat main dealer to be told they 'think' the gearbox 'control module' has failed !!! (With the ooo ahhh chin scratching warning that they are at least £3k + vat + 9hrs labour to do the job)
As you'd expect its just out of the stingy 2 year warranty that Fiat give on new Ducatos (aimed at the high mileage parcel vans used by DPD etc)
So we sat for approx an hour making phones calls trying to arrange rescue, when we basically gave up and I decided to crawl back home (in 1st gear)
On restarting the engine I was relieved to find everything was 'back to normal' !!

So much for the gearbox control.module being u/s . . so fingers x'd so far no further issues !!

To me it looks more likely to be electric/electronic or a loose connection somewhere, definitely not mechanical ?
Or possible the gear change ecu/system getting its knickers in a twist, and after sitting with everything off for a while it sorted itself out when I re-started ?

Any thoughts (as I cant believe I need to cough up £3k on a 2 year old van with less than 11k miles which has never been driven anything like a builders van !!)

Steve
 
Dec 2, 2019
1,317
2,794
South Lincolnshire
Funster No
67,140
MH
Rapido 7065+
Exp
Less of a newby
You can often drive around the auto problems by using the manual mode. Sometimes you may need to try the +/- a gear a couple of times but usually it gets there in the end. OK as a safe get you home (and beyond) mode if you're feeling stuck.

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
31,833
57,378
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Just getting its knickers in a twist. I've had "automatic mode not avalible" a few times always happened when just pulled up an stopped. Turn ignition off for a few mins and it's all OK.
 

Steve-N

Free Member
Sep 14, 2021
3
0
Funster No
84,181
MH
Fiat Ducato Camper
Thanks for the prompt replies, so fingers x'd its hopefully no more than a 'blip' . .

I noticed that Fiat no longer fit the Comfort-Matic box having opted for a 'normal' 9 speed Auto . . Just typical !!!

Steve
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
4,372
3,401
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
Nothing worse than an intermittent fault.
You never know when it will strike again and you can only detect it when it's misbehaving.
 
Jul 5, 2020
217
1,038
Southampton
Funster No
72,663
MH
Rapido 696F
Exp
Newbie
Despite my last post (5th Aug) getting ready to go last week and errored again, but, wouldn't clear..... AA tried but no, so, taken to local garage ( Fiat Dealer) had it since last Monday, will look on Thursday just hope it isn't predicted at the same massive cost as yours Steve-N
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
15,107
29,838
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
I have known of several vans with the comfortmatic where the gearbox ecu has had to be adjusted and reset. It has got to be an electrical issue, and my money is on a dodgy earth/ground connection near the ecu

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Last edited:
May 31, 2015
7,357
18,819
Cornwall
Funster No
36,638
MH
In between...
Exp
Getting there..
I have a 2019 Fiat Ducato whuch I've had from new, it is fitted with the 6 speed Comfort-Matic gearbox, It has been superb having covered over 10k miles (Spain and Scotland being longer trips) without any issues (after getting used to the Comfort-Matic quirks)
Last weekend we had only driven about 4 miles, stopping at a petrol station for some bits and bobs, on re-starting no differently than I have always done, I get a "no gears available" message and and stuck in 1st gear only inc no reverse !!!
After finding somewhere safe to stop (and let the frustrated que go past) I called my local Fiat main dealer to be told they 'think' the gearbox 'control module' has failed !!! (With the ooo ahhh chin scratching warning that they are at least £3k + vat + 9hrs labour to do the job)
As you'd expect its just out of the stingy 2 year warranty that Fiat give on new Ducatos (aimed at the high mileage parcel vans used by DPD etc)
So we sat for approx an hour making phones calls trying to arrange rescue, when we basically gave up and I decided to crawl back home (in 1st gear)
On restarting the engine I was relieved to find everything was 'back to normal' !!

So much for the gearbox control.module being u/s . . so fingers x'd so far no further issues !!

To me it looks more likely to be electric/electronic or a loose connection somewhere, definitely not mechanical ?
Or possible the gear change ecu/system getting its knickers in a twist, and after sitting with everything off for a while it sorted itself out when I re-started ?

Any thoughts (as I cant believe I need to cough up £3k on a 2 year old van with less than 11k miles which has never been driven anything like a builders van !!)

Steve
I had a few niggles with mine, after extensive research I fitted a large earth cable from the engine to the chassis… no problem for the next 30k miles to when it was sold…👍🏼
It’s only a £10 max fix, nothing to lose..
 
May 23, 2013
1,185
1,785
Not on the Coast East Sussex
Funster No
26,142
MH
Laika Kreos 4009
Exp
Since 2013
Despite my last post (5th Aug) getting ready to go last week and errored again, but, wouldn't clear..... AA tried but no, so, taken to local garage ( Fiat Dealer) had it since last Monday, will look on Thursday just hope it isn't predicted at the same massive cost as yours Steve-N
Good luck still waiting for mine to be diagnosed & fixed it has now been 7 weeks since we brokedown in Scotland and 5 weeks since back at SMC for diagnosing and fixing.

Starting to get hacked off now had the van since Mid April and it has spent more time back at the Dealers than with us.
 
May 23, 2013
1,185
1,785
Not on the Coast East Sussex
Funster No
26,142
MH
Laika Kreos 4009
Exp
Since 2013
Thanks for the prompt replies, so fingers x'd its hopefully no more than a 'blip' . .

I noticed that Fiat no longer fit the Comfort-Matic box having opted for a 'normal' 9 speed Auto . . Just typical !!!

Steve
Might be worth seeing if you can get the extended Fiat warranty.

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Jun 22, 2012
2,501
21,998
Sherborne Dorset
Funster No
21,586
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2012
We had what sounds like that problem when our van was only a few months old but fortunately we weren’t driving it and I’m afraid it did involve replacing the ECU I believe. Ours had been back to IH in Yorkshire for some warranty repairs and then had another holiday in Nottingham en route. Fortunately it arrived home just as Covid began. Ours was under warranty fortunately.

You can’t take out the extended warranty except within a couple of weeks of purchase, the window is very tight. The dealers know little about it. This last bit is in answer to orridge
 
Sep 1, 2018
1,651
5,298
Strathaven
Funster No
55,963
MH
Pilote G741
Exp
Since 2018
Good luck still waiting for mine to be diagnosed & fixed it has now been 7 weeks since we brokedown in Scotland and 5 weeks since back at SMC for diagnosing and fixing.

Starting to get hacked off now had the van since Mid April and it has spent more time back at the Dealers than with us.
That will be why I changed to the new auto box , used the (brand new) deathless twice , broke down both times in France , last time it was in France fro 8 weeks , once fixed I drove it straight to the dealer & told him to keep it , got a new pilote with the ZF9 auto box , best move I’ve made 😰
 

Hammie

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 21, 2014
549
343
Funster No
32,975
MH
Neismann & Bischoff Arto
Exp
newbie/2015
Despite my last post (5th Aug) getting ready to go last week and errored again, but, wouldn't clear..... AA tried but no, so, taken to local garage ( Fiat Dealer) had it since last Monday, will look on Thursday just hope it isn't predicted at the same massive cost as yours Steve-N
Might come to nothing but the local mechanics say Peter Kane at Heathrow Truck Centre knows all there is to know about Fiat trucks and Motorhomes?

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Steve-N

Free Member
Sep 14, 2021
3
0
Funster No
84,181
MH
Fiat Ducato Camper
Might be worth seeing if you can get the extended Fiat warranty.
Aparently you can only take out the Fiat extended warranty in the 1st two weeks from when it is 1st registered :(
Buying from a Motorhome dealer puts you at a disadvantage as they don't have any connection with Fiat, even fi di g out if the PDI had been done by the Elldis (Hymer) assembly factory was far from easy !!
 
Jul 5, 2020
217
1,038
Southampton
Funster No
72,663
MH
Rapido 696F
Exp
Newbie
Despite my last post (5th Aug) getting ready to go last week and errored again, but, wouldn't clear..... AA tried but no, so, taken to local garage ( Fiat Dealer) had it since last Monday, will look on Thursday just hope it isn't predicted at the same massive cost as yours Steve-N
Have been and collected yesterday........ seems to be fixed and a cost of £380...... after reading the horror stories on here, I was pleasantly surprised........ but, in the cold light of day its a lot of cash for minimal work !!!
 
Dec 2, 2019
1,317
2,794
South Lincolnshire
Funster No
67,140
MH
Rapido 7065+
Exp
Less of a newby
Have been and collected yesterday........ seems to be fixed and a cost of £380...... after reading the horror stories on here, I was pleasantly surprised........ but, in the cold light of day its a lot of cash for minimal work !!!
Did they say what the cause was?

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