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Vauxhall Corsa Transmission Problems

Vauxhall Corsa Automatic Transmission Problems

Nothing has caused more frustration than the Vauxhall Corsa automatic transmission problems dating back to as early as 2008. With the widespread nature of the automatic transmission, are we wrong to think that car manufacturers have finally mastered the transmission?

So what Vauxhall automatic transmission problems have been causing this heightened anxiety? According to a reliability test, the Vauxhall Corsa transmission is above average in reliability. However, we have noticed that as you get closer to 10,000 miles in some of the older models, the transmission slips, which is most common between the 4th and 5th gear.

A gentle slip in the transmission of most Vauxhall models should not be any direct cause for concern, but the problem often gets worse. After spending time at our local dealership and asking some of the experts about these problems, the answers were vague and apathetic, which would make sense. However, some Vauxhall transmission problems need to be addressed.

4 Common Vauxhall Corsa Automatic Transmission Problems

Primarily, you would want a vehicle that has a solid transmission and does not cause you significant problems. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible and your driving style significantly impacts the problems. To help you understand some of these Vauxhall Corsa Automatic Transmission Problems, we have asked a few owners to understand which issues cause them the greatest fears and anxiety.

1. Broken Solenoid

transmission in car
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Problem: Unfortunately, dealing with a broken solenoid is almost impossible to avoid. Even with regular maintenance, you could have a flimsy component, or your driving could shake the solenoid into a precarious position. Ultimately, this would lead to the most common problem reported, which is often the slipping of the gears.

Solution: There could be a few reasons for the slipping of the gears and the main problem is often the solenoid. However, speed and engine sensors could also be defective. One way to fix the issue would be to replace each component and test to see which is at fault. Your mechanic would do the same, but they have the specialized tools to speed up the process. Bear in mind that it would be more expensive.

2. Transmission Lubrication

checking oil levels
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Problem: The lack of transmission lubrication does not directly pertain to the Vauxhall Corsa. It is a common problem in automatic transmission and does not even originate through the transmission. Broken spy seals or leaks in the transmission fluid pipeline could reduce the level of lubricant reaching the transmission. It is often felt by a clutch feeling when speeding up or slowing down.

Solution: Obviously, you will need to deal with the lack of transmission fluid, which means topping up the tank. Unfortunately, this does not solve the problem. You will need to use either water or constantly check to see where the leak originates. Sealing up the transportation system and spy seals could be a cheap way to solve the problem.

3. Failure Of The Selector Switch

failed switch
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Problem: As you can probably guess, the selector switch works with the engine to help the vehicle AUTOMATICALLY shift into a different gear. If you visit your mechanic, you might be told that the gearbox is spoilt, which might be the case. However, a stuck or broken selector switch is a far cheaper and easier fix.

Solution: Since the selector switch does not make constant with the transmission effectively, it could be due to a build-up of grease. By stripping down to the selector switch in older models (Unfortunately not possible in new electronic models), you can remove the switch and clean it with a degreaser. Once you refit the component, turn on the ignition to find everything working.

4. Rattling Timing Chain

faulty timing chain
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Problem: One frustrating issue reported numerous times online is that the Corsa does not go into first and second gear. It might even have a delay or clicking sound, which could last up to 12 seconds. This is also due to the selector switch, but due to the timing chain constantly rattling it takes longer for the gears to shift and damages the switch.

Solution: Even by replacing the selector switch, you will eventually run into the same problem. Your best bet would be to find out why the timing chains are constantly rattling as the main cause of this problem. You can replace these chains or often find a bolt loose which might impact the rattling sensation. I did notice that replacement in the timing chain seems to alleviate the problem.

Vauxhall Corsa Reliability In General

an old vauxhall car
Photo by Pixabay

The Vauxhall Corsa has been around since many people of the modern era are born, which means it has some longevity. Most young people have owned one at some point due to the affordability of the earlier models.

In terms of longevity, it scores well and Vauxhall/ Opel continues to push them out. However, they haven’t scored as well on reliability comparison scores. According to the Telegraph’s top 20 brands for reliability, Vauxhall made it to number 10 on the list in the UK.  However, the Astra is often referred to as the most reliable model in the range. The Zafira is often on the other side of the reliability scale.

The Vauxhall Corsa did not do badly when considering the reliability index and the average price for repairing the vehicle is around $400. However, many of the parts do not need to be replaced before the car reaches 95,000 miles. The average cost of repairing a car can be staggering according to ScienceDirect.


Why Are There Only Complaints About The Vauxhall Corsa Gearbox And No Other Components?

Our first thought when reaching out to Vauxhall reps was why the transmission seems to be the only complaint. However, we found after driving one of these Corsas that the gearbox feels rather jerky in the automatic and manual models. Yes, it could be due to bad driving, but when comparing it to some other models like the Astra, it is noticeable!

What Type Of Automatic Transmission Does The Vauxhall Corsa Use?

Opel/ Vauxhall is known for the Easytronic transmission designed by ZG Friedrichshafen AG. It is the official tradename for the transaxle-based transmission found in many Opel vehicles. However, it operates in a similar way to most automatic transmissions. The main operating component is the ECU, indicating when the vehicles should switch gears.


An avid car enthusiast, I love spending time researching new cars and seeing how technology improves each year. With a passion for cars, I often find problems with certain vehicles and believe these should be addressed to ensure everyone can have a happy driving experience. I spend hours on the road each year and having driven numerous cars, I have encountered some basic and unique problems. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with you to help you prevent and even deal with some of these issues before they become fatal!!!

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