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I am just adding my car (Dacia Sandero 1.2, 18 months old) to the list with this fault. It is intermittent and tends to occur when changing down to first at junction during journey of any length. Can sometimes get into 3rd. Switch off and works again.

Has anyone found a proven cure?
 

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In your case, do you wait like 5-10 minutes before restarting the engine and engaging into 1st gear? The previous discussion was focused on this break allowing parts of the clutch to cool down. If you say you do not wait but immediately turn off and then on the engine and switch to 1st gear, this moves the root cause.
 

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I only found this posting today and the symptoms seem identical.

It tends to happen when stopping at busy junctions after the car has been driven (not a good place to experiment) and not at startup. My wife normally drives it but I have now witnessed it as a passenger multiple times. It is a case of turning on the hazards and waiting until it work again. The idea of cooling being required sounds reasonable. The clutch itself was declared in good shape at recent service.
 

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You carn't tell if the clutch is good with out taken the gearbox off. The one thing we done at the garage where i worked. That was with the engine running put in in gear. Have the hand brake on at the same time push the foot brake down .Now let the clutch up slow if the engine cuts out then the clutch is ok if not then the clutch is U/S
 

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Oct 2013 Sandero Ambiance 1.2
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Another clutch test is on the level to put the car in 4th gear and try to set of normally, if the car does not stall immediately the clutch is slipping.

Not wishing to appear pedantic but you posted you have a 1.2, This thread was referring to a Stepway which does not have the 1.2 engine option. The clutches are different and the gearboxes are different variants. You have a mechanical cable clutch so the cable may have stretched. There are also two cable operated selectors for the the gear box can you select other gears e.g 2 or 4?
 

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You are not being pedantic, your information in very pertinent to the issue. Thanks. This car is not a Stepway. Gasman32 also reports this problem in his Sandero (without suggesting a Stepway).

When it happens the car is stuck in neutral. None (including 2 and 4) of the gears are available, could it still be the cable? The last time the only gear that could engaged after restart (requiring some force) was third, and the car could be then be driven in that for a short distance.

I appreciate the comments on how to test the clutch. The car goes back to the main dealer tomorrow - I am aware that it is extremely difficult for a mechanic to address an intermittent problem. Just trying to find a solution.
 

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Oct 2013 Sandero Ambiance 1.2
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Can you select gears with the engine off. If you can it would point to the clutch not disengaging properly. Hopefully it may just need the clutch cable adjusting. Does anyone know if it is self adjusting or not.
 

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I've had my Sandero 1.5 dCi just over 2 weeks and this problem had manifested itself 3 times since last Friday, to the point where it left me stranded on a motorway slip road during rush hour this evening. I managed to get some forward momentum and into a service area and called my breakdown service out, when the guy arrived he checked it out and it was going straight into all 5 gears.

However he did tell me that it's a not uncommon problem and is also shared by Renault Megane's. Apparently it stems from the brake and clutch using a common fluid reservoir. There's a diaphragm valve that diverts the fluid to either the brake or the clutch as needed. If your using the brake and clutch simultaneously as you do in heavy stop start traffic the diaphragm can stick open on the brake side preventing the fluid reaching the clutch. He even pointed out the offending part to me.

Essentially he told me if it happens again come off the brake and dip the clutch a couple of times, and there's a good chance it will free itself, this seems to make sense as in the first 2 instances it happened I found that if I double dipped the clutch it usually restored pressure and I was able to continue. Unfortunately it didn't work this evening but during the 30 minute wait it restored itself.

As it happens I was already in discussion with Renault Swansea over it, but they told me there's s 10 week wait for a courtesy car, armed with this information I'll be heading over there tomorrow asking for some fingers to be pulled out.

Hope this helps.
 

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Oct 2013 Sandero Ambiance 1.2
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A very interesting post! Presumably LHD cars will have the reservoir mounted on the other side so could be a different part. I have looked at my 1.2 and the clutch cable runs along the rear of the engine compartment then down the near side to the clutch, a cable for a LHD would be about 40% of this length.
 

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A quick update, my car went in to Renault service last Wednesday, I actually drove it over there but was asked to take it away and get it recovered by Dacia Assist to enable me to get a courtesy car ????

I've had it back today (8 days later) with a new clutch and splitter valve.

Other than the length of time taken I thought a great result, then as I'm driving home an orange warning light came on. I phoned the service dept and they told me it was probably a tyre pressure sensor and I could reset using the menu. However when I press the menu button there is no tyre pressure reset option. I checked the tyre pressures anyway and all are ok.

Then it occurred to me that the gear change up/down indicators don't seem to be working since I picked up today so I presume that's actually the cause of the mysterious light, and not tyre pressure sensors. Probably got disconnected during the clutch change.

Typically this all occured 17:50 and the service dept close at 18:00, guess who I'll be phoning first thing in the morning ????
 

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I'd forgotten all about this but just logged in to check another matter and thought I'd add a postscript to my tale, the warning light was indeed because the gear change up/down indicators had been disconnected. To be fair to Dacia Swansea it was fixed within 15 minutes, just a bit disconcerting at the time.
 

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My car also fails to go into gear some times. It happens once every two weeks or so. Usually after reversing. I switch to the 1-st, upon attempt to release the clutch there is a grinding sound. Then I switch back to neutral, and to the 1-st again. It works as normally afterwards.
 

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Oct 2013 Sandero Ambiance 1.2
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This happens occasionally with all manual gearboxes. You only change from reverse to 1st when stationary so the synchromesh can not work and occasionally the dog gears are totally misaligned and do not engage. When you release the clutch the shafts are spun so it is highly unlikely they would stop in the same position so the second time the gears engage correctly.

If you feel reluctance to go into first just return to neutral lift the clutch briefly and the gear should engage correctly and avoid the grinding.

Of course changing down from 2nd to 1st is a different matter as the synchromesh should operate.
 

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Hi ,just like you guys i am having the same problem . i bought a DACIA SANDERO STEPWAY LAUREATE born Novenber 2015 on the 17 March 2018 so last week .On driving home at one point i couldnt get into gear so stopped the car and after a while it went back into gear ,put this down to just having the car and not used to driving it .......Wednesday rush hour i was on the A500 the busiest and fastest road in my area i had my 2yr old Granddaughter in the back five times this car stopped and would not go into gear just like you other people have said it happens when driving a distance in heavy traffic stopping and starting the gears start to stiffen up and then lock , In the afternoon 2 days after purchase i went back to the garage they went for a little test run and said nothing was wrong they did not want to know they just said that they would not do anything and phone the breakdown people if it happened again

Thursday pm again on this road in rush hour when the same thing happened i was in the middle of the traffic and could not go anywhere i just get turning it off then on going a few feet before stopping again after a while i managed to get onto the slip rd and phoned the RAC ,nearly two hours later i was still there the RAC phoned me back to see how i was and i said it will now go into gear so we agreed that i tried to get home and the engineer would come out to my home he came the next morning and took the vehicle away to the garage ,the garage has been back in touch with but just keep saying they cannot find anything wrong they are happy the same as before for me to take this car away knowing which road i travel on with a child .just know know where to go from here because as far as i am concerned it is a death trap ,how can we prove what is happening when it starts again after 10 mins so calling the breakdown people is useless because they wont find anything by the time that they get here ,It i have to take it back i will take my phone and video it cannot think of anything else to do
 

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Hi jennywhitby,

If it happens often it should be relatively easy to record it using inexpensive dashcam (pointing to the inside of the car), so that they can see that you cannot switch gears.

I noticed that if I try to switch to too low gear than car "thinks" I should be using then it is impossible to do that. Like I go into 2-nd from 3-rd, but the car does not pull well, however to switch to 1-st I would need to nearly stop completely.

Regards,

E.
 
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