Snowflake; Auto Gearbox Reset

Problem is often that when you change gear, three heavy duty motors operate for a fraction of a second. This drops the battery voltage momentarily and upsets the engine ECU - and maybe then the gear change misses the very small time window. So everything has to be perfect.

If the problem continues then you may need to disconnect every plug and socket in the clutch and gear actuator circuits as the contacts can corrode inside.

Auto gearbox: In hot weather, occasionally something can overheat. Several have found that it helps to select N (neutral) if kept at a standstill in heavy traffic.

"Automatic Gearbox Fault" indication - "auto" and "snowflake" flashing.

This can happen as a protective precaution if something overheats, eg in hot countries or in heavy traffic.

Before panicking, try to reset the 2-tronic gearbox electronics:

BEFORE you disconnect the battery you must let the systems go into stand-by or you will create more 'errors'. And after you reconnect the battery you need to allow the systems to initialize before opening the doors or doing anything further.

  1. Ensure the windows are up ensure everything is off (e.g. radio) make sure the key is out of the ignition and close all the doors and boot (do not lock the car). However for peace of mind, I always leave the windows open so I can get to the ignition switch and bonnet release as the deadlocking is very effective!
  2. Prop the bonnet up and remove the front battery cover.
  3. WAIT A MINIMUM OF 60 SECONDS and then remove the + battery terminal. Leave it off for at least 30 seconds (or have a drink to settle the nerves). Then reconnect it.
  4. WAIT A MINIMUM OF 5 MINUTES after reconnecting the +ve terminal to allow the electronics to settle before opening the doors.
  5. Now check the gear selector readout on the instrument display. It should have a "-" sign as the gear selected. If it doesn't, disconnect the battery for a longer time.
  6. If you do have a "-" sign, put your foot on the brake and turn the ignition to "on" (NOT start). The gearbox should hum and click and clack for a short while, keep your foot on the brake during this time. At the end of this cycle the gear selector on the dash should show "N" or a number. If the gearbox doesn't make any noise and a "N" or a number appears straight away, remove the battery terminal as above and try again.
  7. If not faulty, the gearbox should now be OK - remember to reset the time clock on the multi-function display.

However - for me after three attempts: I still had the snowflake and auto symbols flashing, although I could now engage 1st and reverse.  These indications cleared after driving the car a very short distance (25 yards).  Dunno why, but this worked for me; possibly because the alternator cut in and raised the battery volts to 14.3!

Neil Gibson reminds us that: what you might think as a transmission problem could be a symptom and not the cause.

Each electronic control unit feeds data via the BSI unit or body control module to the gearbox. A momentary glitch can have interesting results.

A recent problem with an ABS pump resulted in the sliding doors failing to open. Why should the ABS impact on the doors? The door control module won't allow operation above 3 mph. No speed reading. No door opening. The doors get blamed again!

The gearbox is the same. Virtually every power train sensor from throttle position to wheel speed can affect gear selection