13th Mar 2006, 18:49

That's totally incorrect. The cam belt does not need to be removed to replace the clutch actuator, which is part of the whole Selespeed actuator unit.

28th Jun 2006, 06:13

Check the selespeed fluid level in the reservoir on the right hand of the engine. If this is empty or low it is likely to be a low pressure problem caused by an oil leak. I had similar symptoms to you, but tracked it to a leak.

Luckily my problem was a damaged hose which was replaced for £156 including labour. Better than £1200 for the whole actuator unit.

10th Jul 2006, 07:37

I've got a 156 Selespeed, 5 years old and 38000 miles. Up till now it's been fault free, but suddenly the other day it keeps slipping out of 5th gear into neutral any time I apply even the slightest amount of torque. I'm going to take it to the dealer, but just wondered if anyone else knows of this problem...

Fab car, apart from that!!

11th Mar 2007, 11:34

I have a 2000 Alfa 156 2.0 Selespeed. Unfortunately have similar problems to those previously mentioned, along with the oil leak from the Sele oil reservoir. It needs constant topping up, as all gear change function is lost with low pressure. Up to now I haven't dared to check it closely due to potential high repair costs.

I drive in "city" to avoid actuator wear. It sort of defeats the object of having the Selespeed gearbox, if I'm afraid the use it too much!

Seems to me that this common problem would have been avoided with more development, and long term testing by Alfa.

Other wise a great car. I have a missing left leg, so thought this gearbox would be ideal. Maybe not!

11th Sep 2010, 04:23

I have recently bought a 2002 Alfa 156 Selespeed. The problem I have now is a sudden oil leak from underneath the transmission side of the engine bay. I've heard that it might be caused by a pressure valve on the oil tank.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has had this sort of problem, or have an idea what might be causing it, and also what sort of cost figure will I be looking at for repairs?


14th Sep 2010, 07:09

What exactly IS your "oil leak"? Is the leaked fluid gearbox oil, or engine oil, or is it the reddish ATF fluid?

If it is ATF, then all I can say is that I had a similar problem. My Alfa kept spitting up ATF fluid and then giving me the "gearbox failure" warning light. Adding more ATF to the Selespeed reservoir fixed the problem temporarily, but it would return as soon as ATF levels dropped.

It now seems to be permanently cured after (expensively) replacing various synchromesh gears etc inside the gearbox itself. I'm not sure what else was done at the same time to the gearbox, but it no longer spits up ATF and it no longer gives me the warning light. Rides very well, in fact!

Hope this helps.

1st Apr 2011, 02:05

I'm the chap who had the problems with his synchros just above. It could be that you have a similar problem. Hopefully not, since it was an expensive fix. What is weird is that the problem seems to correct itself 100%.

Here's some guesses: It could be that your pump is taking some time to build up the pressure necessary for correct gear selection. Possibly you may be in for a pump replacement. Otherwise your seals might have developed a leak, which would be a cheaper fix. There are some third party additives on the market that help soften seals (or so I'm told). You could try adding them to the AFF.

Good luck!

5th Jun 2011, 23:02


I have a 2004 156 JTS (100,000kms) which has just started displaying the gearbox dash warning with accompanying beeps. (The warning appears for approx 5 seconds then goes to normal for 10 sec approx and returns).

After checking the reservoir (right side bay). I found fluid has appeared to have been blown out the overflow pipe onto the inner guard leaving the reservoir low on fluid. Is this the same symptom you experienced?

If so what actually caused it? Also, after refilling did your 156 behave normally (warning vanish) until it needed refilling due to the same blowing out of fluid?

7th Jun 2011, 01:30

This sounds a lot like the symptoms I had. It seems that the Selespeed system does NOT like having low ATF at all. After refilling the reservoir, the car spat some of it back out, but the problems vanished instantly.

PS - apparently you're supposed to check the ATF level in the Selespeed reservoir while running the engine. Otherwise it always reads low and you will end up overfilling it, which is what I always do. Then your car will spew ATF blood for the next two days. :(

Cheers, and good luck.