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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,OK, I know the topic of the ECG Box has been beaten to death on here and there have been all sorts of conspiracy theories about all sorts of issues drivability etc etc.

And I've read the majority of the comments that forum members have written, and it appears that no two gearboxes are the same, or are they. And are they a disaster waiting to happen?

As some of you are aware, we collected said vehicle on Friday, at present I'm running it for a month to give it a shake down and hopefully if anything is going to fall off it will do at the end of 4-5 weeks when it will have done approx 3-4k miles.
As we have only had it a few days, I thought its time to strike whilst the iron is hot and visit my dealer for the low down on this EGC Box. I rang the service desk explained who I was and they took some details and said that the technical dept!! would get back to me. Sure enough they rang back within 30 mins. Browny Point No1. for a prompt reply. They knew who I was and that we had only had the car a few days. Browny Point No2 for doing their homework.

I explained the issues I was having sluggish gear change bags of hesitation when it comes to changing gear. They asked would I be willing to bring it in and the workshop supervisor would go out with me on a test drive, and could I be there this evening. It was now 3.00pm, could I ever. Browny Point No3 for prompt action, at no cost.

On arrival I was met promptly by a friendly face who as it turned out had been working on Peugeot's for the last 28 yrs. I explained the issues I had and he asked me to drive and show me what was happening. I won't bore you with the details but suffice to say when I dropped him off after an hour and a half, I was pleased with the outcome. Not with the box but pleased I now have an understanding of how the things works.

So these are the questions I had written down and as I asked him the question, I wrote some notes alongside them as he answered. Browny Point No4 for patience.

  1. why did Peugeot build it
    basically the market requested an automatic version to compliment the manuals and also they needed to meet the
    emissionlevels
  2. why call it an Automatic when it clearly isn't they didn't, marketing did, it was never actually listed as an automatic it was an EGC 6 Speed
  3. why do I nut the steering wheel every time it changes gear
    basically when you are driving along, shall we say rather briskly, not hammering it, just briskly, when the gear box decides its time to change gear it monitors throttle position speed etc. The ECU then cuts the engine speed, similar to lifting off the throttle. This prevents the engine revs suddenly hitting the red line because you have your foot down when the clutch disengages. The gear change is made and the ECU returns the fuel ignition back to where it was. With the VAG DSG / S Tronic Box this happens in a blink of an eye. With the
    PeugeotBox it happens in a fortnight, or so it seems. obviously the lighter the throttle the less severity the change, and if you lift your foot off the pedal just as it changes you hardly notice the gear change at all as you would with a proper automatic.

    <i style="color: rgb204, 0, 0; line-height: 16.7999992370605px;">Also it has the ability to learn your driving style, to a degree and after 500 miles he said I should notice an improvement.[/i]
  4. is there a software updateyes there is, although anything from March 2014 will possibly already have it in place. By the way the hardware has virtually never changed since the launch in the 3008.
  5. is it meant to creep when you put it in
    drive(F or R)
    Early models no, later models yes. The software was changed to bring this in, to make it feel like an automatic. I asked if it was now putting undue wear on the clutch. He said if I was to stop at traffic lights or I was in slow moving traffic for a few minutes, the advice is to put it in
    neutral. Just the same as if you had a manual car with a clutch pedal. The clutch is a heavy duty type, and is built to take abuse. He id say that when it came out Peugeot were showing Technicians how the thing could be abused, he said he even winced at what they were doing, but it stayed together. He also stated that the software can detect if you are abusing it and will shut down with no drive. (Guys could this be you with a box of neutrals possibly. I'm not saying you abused it, but was the software being a little too enthusiastic when it came to shuffling whilst around parking. I don't know, just a thought)If you were going to move off again within a few seconds then its fine to leave it in gear with your foot on the brake.
  6. how reliable is it, will it self implode in terms of numbers built and faults reported, the percentage is small and the box is a good strong box. My dealer has not had to replace any bearings on input shafts. they have had an actuator go though.
  7. what about the issue of ending up with a box full of neutralsagain its not too common but the latest software should eradicate this. See above.
  8. what do the technicians think about it in everyday use and servicing.
    as a whole the box is crap!! his words not mine.
    Apparentlywhen it was first released in the 3008 it was an absolute dog. He said if you think my gear change is bad you should have driven a 3008. Over the years they modified the software etc to overcome this, and as a whole it is a lot better now than it used to be. The gearbox mechanically is fine the electronics, (my pet hate) are well tried and tested. That doesn't say they won't let you down, but as a rule they are very
    reliable. Its easy to service, he said they would recommend changing the gearbox oil around the 50k mark. It takes 1.9lts approx of 75w -80 Semi Synthetic Gear oil. The H
    ydraulicGear Change and
    Actuator, is a different story. It needs changing at 150k miles and costs £60 for a litre. Out of 10 forreliability9, out of 10 for execution and drivabilty minus 8. And its still crap, his words not mine. He said they've spoke to Peugeot about this and they say the French Market thinks its great and are happy to drive it as it is. They don't understand what the "roast beouffs" are complaining about. Mind you anybody who will drive a 2CV can't have muchtaste.
  9. how do
    Peugeotmonitor the performance of the box etc in relation to the previous question then?.
    everytime they get a vehicle into the workshop
    theyplug it onto the diagnostics, it then connects directly to Peugeot. The ECU has stored all the details of the car and how its been driven. In my case they can read how the
    gearboxhas been used, whether in auto or manual mode, which gear its been driven in the most at what revs its been driven to etc etc. From this information over a number of vehicles they can determine a pattern and this gives them an opportunity to
    tweak/ update the software.
  10. I understand they've dropped this now why? Euro 6 emissions, this gearbox can't make the the levels required, hence why they've been developing a fully automatic for the last 2 years. Browny Point No4 for taking the time and not fobbing me off.
So there you are, all valid points, and no doubt you guys will have a few more to add to the list. But theses are things that concerned me, so apologies if your issue is not listed. I still don't like the thing, I think it spoils the driving experience but now I feel happier, actually knowing it's crap and it has a chance of not exploding into a thousand bits.


Guys make up your own minds about it. For me I will stick into Manual and drive it on the paddles as I cannot cope with it in the morning trying to make its mind up which gear it wants to be in.



Edited by: uncletone
 

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Good report there, Tone.
I felt it was not so much that the car learnt my style, more like I adapted to suit the car.

Ifeel my decision to change sooner ratherthan lateris justified.

Al.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Totally agree with you Al, if you need an automatic, get a proper one or wait until September when the new models come across.

Apart from the issue with the box and the stop start the car is beginning to grow on me. It has impressed a lot so we are going to live with it for 18 months I think.

At this present time I'm determined to try and not let the box get the better of me and totally ruin my enjoyment of the car.
 

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To give the EGC a bit of a break there are some important points to consider.

Firstly, it is designed specifically for relatively small output engines so that the transmission losses suffered by traditional torque converters are negated - a decent comparison is that my wife used to drive a 44bhp smart pure with the much maligned semi-auto gearbox (like EGC it was a manual with an automated clutch although for compactness it was actually a 3-speed unit with two final drives) - it wasn't a ball of fire but it got all 44bhp onto the road. We looked at replacing this with a Mitaubishi I which had 64bhp but a 4-speed torque converter auto; I can tell you that at least 20bhp was lost in transmission losses and being a 4-speed unit (in order to fit) top gear was at 4500rpm at 70mph - the moment I hit an incline it dropped to 3rd and I wasn't sure if I was going to go deaf or have my head go through the windscreen first. The changes were smoother but it was clear to me that given the element of compromise required, the smart gearbox was best.

It doesn't have a torque converter or pre-selected next gear (a-la DSG) so any slightly untimely gearchange will be magnified in its annoyance - like the smart, which had an auto mode, it's best to be kept in manual and treated as a clutch less manual rather than an auto - our smart we would only use in auto mode when in heavy traffic at low speeds.

It's inexpensive to make - traditional slushers are £1k typically and more complex ones like DSG are £1-1.5k - PSA charge £5-600 for the EGC/ EGS box which makes a huge difference on a small car with a £10-15k price tag. The gearbox is actually a Fiat unit and can be selected on the Panda and 500 at relative little additional cost, ideal at their price point.

The transmission losses (or lack of them) allow economy to be maintained comparable to manual models) - C4 Picasso 2.0HDi EGS cars can be compared directly to the same engine (with a little more power) fitted to a 6-speed traditional auto; owners report a 20% general reduction in economy on the traditional unit but it's smoother (and more robust); you pays your money...

Technology has moved on, but owners looking forward to EAT6 2008's will need to expect a price rise over outgoing EGS cars too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree in principle the idea is excellent, but in execution it's not up there with the best.

I quite like the idea of the box, but in a vehicle such as this, you would expect something better and I think PSA have learnt their lesson.
The smarty box was designed and built on the cheap and enabled the car to meet the packaging requirements hence why no manual. This type of box is expected in a cheap car, although not that cheap to buy.

The ECG Box being made entirely in house and sold to other manufacturers, meant they could keep the cost down, but it was always only built for emissions and to provide an automatic box to the range.In actual fact Frank, I think you'll find that the EGC box is cheap, its the electronics that go with it, that makes it as expensive as a
conventionalslush box. PSA lost on everyone they made to make the car meet the emissions levels and be
successfulin the market using other methods to meet costs.







Insert taken from PSA Marketing Blurb.

Designed in their entirety by PSA Peugeot Citroën teams, transmissions, designated as ""MCM""� (in-house code name standing for ""Mechanical Compact Manual""� gearbox) and ""MCP""� (""Mechanical Compact Piloted""� gearbox) are built on the same assembly line in a new plant at theValenciennessite, where they share a number of common components (gearbox casing, shafts, gears, etc). Keeps cost of box cheapThe all new 6 speed manual gearbox: smoothness and precision.The ""MCM""� is built to an ambitious specification in terms of usability, robustness and compactness.Indeed the most efficient technical solutions were employed to offer the driver maximum smoothness and precision when changing gear.

The new 6 speed electronically controlled gearbox (BMP6): technology that ensures simplicity, driving pleasure and respect for the environment.The ""MCP""� electronically controlled gearbox, which takes away the need for a clutch pedal, is a genuine alternative to traditional gearboxes due to its limited additional cost with respect to a manual gearbox. This highly responsive gearbox will appeal to gear change enthusiasts who will be able to use the gear lever or paddles situated behind the steering wheel. Its intelligent design provides the perfect recipe for stress free driving by allowing independent gear changes, though the driver can take control again at any time.
The electronically controlled gear changes of the BMP6 the1.6 litre HDi 66kW (‰ˆ90 bhp), to generate CO2 emissions of only 120 g/km, together with reduced fuel consumption of 4.5 litres/100 km in the combined cycle.This economy, rare in the segment, results from the search for optimum environmental efficiency during the car's development. Particularly streamlined aerodynamics, engines incorporating the most recent new technologies (thediesel particle filter systemcan be equipped on the entire HDi range) and the world premiere of newMichelin Energy Savertyres""¦ everything in this car is focused on optimising fuel consumption and thereby reducing CO2 emissions.


At the end of the day you soon learn to adapt and drive around it's foibles andidiosyncrasies and whilst it will never offer the driving experience of a manual car for those who want a "automatic" of sorts this is a robust economical gearbox and because its emissions are low there is no RFL (Road Tax).
Now I understand it and it's inner workings and the feelings of the guys who maintain them, I feel a lot happier about it. But I still think PSA could have done better. The problem is, it's a like a wart on the end of your nose when you come to sell it...unwanted. Which is a shame, because taken in thecontextof what it was intended to do, it succeeds, but its just not what we English expect from a automatic box.




Edited by: uncletone
 

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I am a blue badge customer and this vehicle was sold to me as an automatic. I could not test drive it because at the time I was considering it there were very few 2008's in the country and no egc vehicles as demonstrators. My vehicle is adapted and frankly I cannot use it in manual mode as I do not have enough hands to steer, brake, accelerate and change gear all with two hands. Also with the plethora of controls under the steering wheel plus the adaptations( not Peugeot's fault), it looks a bit like a Christmas tree. I read with great interest uncletones visit with the mechanic and echo all of that honest chap's views. A great pity that that PSA's marketing people and many of their dealers are not so honest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alan

You have my deepest sympathy. I understand why you feel grieved at your car now. I admit that the gearbox isn't the best, but having driven 608 miles this week with it I'm getting used to it. I was beginning to think "I don't know what Pilot is going on about, it ain't that bad"

At times I switch the cruise on going for the indicators, the paddle shifts get in the way of the indicators. W
ith all those switches levers etc scattered around the steering wheel and on top of that you've adapted it.
Like a Xmas tree you said...it must be a nightmare for you.
And with it not being a conventional automatic that must make it twice as bad to drive



I'm surprised you haven't driven it to your dealers showroom parked it outside the entrance door and set fire to it after the way you've been, I was going to say conned, but we'll say misled.


All the best my friend and keep your chin up.

Edited by: uncletone
 

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No probs Tony and only 18 months to go before I can have a proper automatic. I am really not that grumpy.Of course I have been driving a long time (60 years) all types of vehicles,and I can cope with all the vagaries of this box. I just don't see why I should have to and as I have stated on other threads my wife is terrified of drivingit which seriously interferes with my drinking.Looking at the Mondeo Estate as a replacement. Nice looking proper sized car.
 

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Hi all.Some good posts by Uncletone, very well presented and useful, you may well be correct on the box of neutrals issue.

Now for the killer statement, I have just got my car back after having an issue rectified.
I had noticed some drips of oil on the drive, my dealer had a look and immediately took the car off the road, gearbox oil was the initial thought, and as there is no means of checking the gearbox oil level as it is sealed for life, (This slightly goes against uncletone's statement above re gearbox oil changes).
It was a couple of days before the car was looked at (Saturday to Tuesday, workshop fully booked for Monday), The leak was diagnosed as from the clutch slave cylinder, and parts took a while to come through. So it was the middle of the following week that I got the car back, with new clutch, slave cylinder etc.
On collection I was told the electronics would take a bit of time to re program themselves to my driving style, which explains why different cars appear to react differently to different drivers.
I didn't find any real issues though, and was soon driving as before.

I can already see everybody dashing out to check for oil drips, even Alan with his new 308 !!, despite it's lack of a slave cyl.

I was given a loan car whilst mine was off the road, (two in fact, both being EGC versions,firstly a 2008 active, then a 3008 active, when the 2008 was sold). My comparisons on these will be posted separately, many some things being different.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the heads up on the slave cylinder issue, and I've heard over the weekend that there have been a couple of issues related to your problem that has left owners with a box of neutrals.

You're right the gearbox is sealed for life but it does have a drain plug band and you can refill it, it just doesn't have an oil level plug so you need to know what the oil capacity is.
As an aside no oil last s forever. I had a BMW 728 series with an outobox, that was "filled for life", it blew up at 80k miles, and the oil was like paraffin. I was glad I had an extended warranty on that one.


Anyway, I for one will be dropping the oil in madams car at around the 54k mark, well I won't but the dealer will.

Once again many thanks for the update on your gearbox issues. And you're correct about the learning cycle of the box. I've just completed 832 miles around the sunshine state this week and this weekend we had to run up to the lakes and back meaning said vehicle has completed about 1500 miles this week since we collected it last Friday. And the gearbox is improving in its change sequence, its still a pain and I tend to drive it in manual mode but its definitely better.

The best bit is the consumption of diesel and oil, and I'll report on that later.
 
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