PF6 Gearbox | A Guide To The Renault Trafic/Master, Vauxhall Vivaro/Movano & Nissan Primastar
Updated: Apr 28
If you or your company own the Vauxhall Vivaro/Movano, Renault Trafic/Master or Nissan Primstar and are experiencing transmission issues then this guide should help you.
The gearbox found in these vans are the second most common transmission we deal with and we currently repair these for 3 different Vauxhall main dealerships.
PF6 Gearbox Common Issues
The most common issue we see with this transmission is bearing wear or complete failure. This can start with a slight humming sound above 40 mph or a distinctive whine when 6th is selected. If the issue is not dealt with early enough, the damage from the bearing failure results in costly bills and often complete replacement of the vehicle.
As this design has been around since the early 2000's, most cases result in the vehicle being scrapped due to the value of the repairs compared to the vans retail value.
As you can see in the image above, the bearing rollers have worn down to a degree that their retainer cage can no longer support them and drop out of position. This gearbox would have had a constant whining whilst the vehicle was moving.
If bearing issues are caught early enough, they can be resolved at a low cost. The image above is at the very last stages of this wear and would have, in a short time destroyed the output shafts and differential gear. As you can also see from the images, the gearbox oil is always very dirty and contaminated in these units. We always recommend having the gearbox oil changed at major service intervals. This relatively low cost service can drastically increase the lifespan of your transmission.
This images shows the resulting damage when the bearings completely fail. The shaft loses it's support from the bearing and allows it to move around the gearbox. This means the gears collide together and completely strip the teeth.
Once the damage has reached this stage the unit would need to be replaced with a full recon gearbox. This increases the cost and downtime of the vehicle.
Other common issues include, struggling to select 2nd gear, 3rd gear and 4th gear. Some drivers may also have a complete loss of those gears entirely. This requires a complete gear change due to the damage to the gear. 3rd and 4th gear must be replaced at the same time as they are only sold as a kit from the manufacturers.
Although the design has changed slightly the new Vauxhall Vivaro B's/Movano, Renault Trafic Mk2/ Master and Nissan models have the same gearbox. However we are seeing these on very low mileage compared to the previous models. Vauxhall's with as little as 22k miles are needing full bearing replacements as well as replacement gears. The previous models would have issues between 60k and 120k miles however as always there are instances where vans come in on low mileage.
So if you own one of these models or maybe a fleet of these vehicles, keep an eye out for the early warning signs:
- Whining Sound
- Constant Humming When Vehicle Is Moving
- Difficulty Selecting Gear
- Crunching Into Gear
As always if you are unsure if you have any of these symptoms or need advice, call or email us and we can help.
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