Diagnosing Symptoms of a Bad Manual Transmission
Manual transmission problems can develop due to high mileage, abuse, or lack of proper maintenance. But they are rather rare. Most manual transmission issues originate not with the transmission itself, but from related components like the clutch assembly, linkage, or driveline: the components that transmit turning power from the transmission to the wheels. Also, as we discuss below, symptoms that seem to be coming from the transmission can come from unrelated parts of the car.
The key to diagnosing your manual transmission problem is to gather detailed information about the particular problem. For example, does the problem appear in only one of the gears, only at a certain speed, only when turning, only when downshifting, or after having serviced the clutch or another transmission component? Can you feel a vibration? Can you hear a clunking or grinding noise?
Symptoms of a Bad Transmission
Here are some symptoms that can indicate a worn-out transmission, each one of which we discuss below.
- Odd sounds (whirring, squealing, bumping, or thumping)
- Grinding noise
- Transmission jumps out of gear (into neutral)
- Difficulty shifting gears
- Car stuck in one gear
- Car that can't get into gear
- Leaking transmission oil
This guide will get you started on identifying the source of these problems. You'll need to investigate further and remember that manual transmission configurations can change from one model to the next.
Remember that this guide only deals with symptoms coming from the manual transmission (or transaxle) itself. Some symptoms that may appear to originate in the transmission actually come from the clutch (or another system), and vice versa. To get a more accurate diagnosis, take a look at the Bad Clutch Symptoms guide as well.
1. Odd Noises That May Come From the Transmission
The most common cause of a noisy transmission is insufficient oil, causing the gears or internal assembly to hum or whir. If a noisy transmission does have enough oil, the lubricant may be contaminated with metal shavings or particles.
Insufficient or contaminated oil may cause the transmission to become noisy in some or all of the gears. But if you hear noises in a specific gear, that gear's teeth or synchronizer may be worn or damaged.
Sources inside the transmission that can cause noise:
- A worn-out synchronizer
- The gears on the speedometer drive
- Misaligned transmission
- A worn or damaged input shaft bearing, if your transmission makes noises only in neutral (sometimes a bumping sound)
- Worn-out gears
- Output shaft pilot bearing problems
- Metal shavings in the oil
Sources outside the transmission that can cause noise:
Some noises that seem to come from the transmission are actually coming from an outside though possibly related source. For example, if you hear a thumping noise when you accelerate or decelerate, check first for these problems before you blame the transmission:
- A loose or damaged engine or transmission mount
- A worn or damaged drive axle inner CV joint
- Problems with the differential case
Noises that manifest when turning could point to a problem with the CV joint. Knocking noises when driving at low speeds could come from the differential case or the CV joint.
A Three-Step Test for Transmission Bearing Noises
That noise you keep hearing may come from a bearing. This three-step test is simple and can reveal problems with one or more transmission bearings.
- Fire up the engine and set the transmission to neutral. If you can hear a noise in neutral, suspect a worn-out input shaft bearing. Watch the video at the bottom of this article to see how internal problems can affect input shaft operation.
- Now, with the engine running, depress the clutch pedal just enough to remove the free play, to the point where you feel you need to apply force to the pedal to push it down further. You may need to push the pedal a little more. If you hear a squealing noise, you may have a worn out release bearing.
- Fully depress the clutch pedal to release the clutch. If you hear a whirring sound then, you probably are dealing with a bad pilot bearing.
2. The Transmission Makes a Grinding Noise
Problems with the transmission can also be revealed through a grinding noise.
A grinding noise may come from clashing gears. The clashing may happen because of linkage problems like wear or need of adjustment.
Other potential sources could be a worn or damaged synchronizer, shift fork, or rail and bearing shafts.
If you can hear the gears clashing only when downshifting, the problem may come from the synchronizer (too much play at the output shaft end).
However, a grinding noise may also come from a dragging clutch.
3. The Transmission Jumps Into Neutral
This seems to be a common problem on worn-out transmissions. You shift into gear, and the transmission jumps out of gear.
Once again, there could be other several causes for this problem, besides a worn-out transmission:
- A common problem is a worn out, stretched, or maladjusted shift linkage. A stretched linkage can be caused by a damaged engine or transmission mount. An external linkage can wear out or become loose and maladjusted, causing the transmission to jump out of gear. Look for rust and binding. You can try to adjust the linkage. But in most cases, you'll have to rebuild or replace that part of the assembly.
- You may be dealing with a weak or broken spring in the shift rail. In an internal shift linkage, the spring is part of the spring-loaded ball that locks the transmission into gear. If the ball slips out of the notch, the transmission will jump out of gear.
- Also, you may be dealing with a worn-out pilot bearing (the gap causes the input shaft to vibrate, which causes the shift forks or synchronizers to move).
- You may have problems with a worn synchronizer or shift fork assembly or other internal components.
Other potential causes to keep in mind:
- Loose or misaligned transmission (possibly after service)
- Misaligned clutch housing
- Loose shifter cover
- Worn-out gear teeth
Note: When the transmission only jumps out of a high gear, check the clutch housing bolts for tightness, or the transmission for misalignment.
4. It's Hard to Shift Gears
This problem happens when you find it hard to move the shift lever from one gear to another. Usually, this points to a problem with a loose linkage, worn shift cables or worn bearings.
Check the linkage. You may need to raise the vehicle and safely support it on jack stands or remove a component in order to make the inspection, depending on your vehicle model. You may need to remove a shift lever boot.
Get the help of an assistant to operate the linkage while you inspect the linkage, if necessary. Look for problems like binding, poor lubrication, misaligned components.
To remove components for inspection, consult your vehicle repair manual. Haynes is a good aftermarket manual: get the manual for your exact model.
Other causes for a hard-to-shift manual transmission include:
- Worn or loose internal components (shift fork, levers, shafts)
- Low oil level (or the wrong type of oil)
- Misaligned transmission
- Synchronizer problems
5. The Transmission Is Stuck in Gear
You may find that you can't get the transmission out of gear. This symptom may indicate:
- Low oil level or the wrong type of oil
- Problems with the linkage or shifter assembly. Look for maladjustment, or wear or damage to rods, bushings, or shifter arms.
- Internal components: shift rail, detents, forks or a stuck synchronizer sleeve
- Worn-out or broken drive gear teeth
- A stuck shift rail
- Misaligned transmission
6. The Transmission Won't Get Into Gear
When you have trouble getting the transmission into gear, inspect the shift linkage for adjustment, looseness or damage.
However, remember that failure to get into gear can also be caused by the clutch, if the clutch isn't fully releasing or has other problems. The clutch might need adjustment. Check my article on bad clutches. Also, consult your vehicle repair manual.
7. Leak From the Transmission
Manual transmission leaks can be caused by:
- bad or worn-out seals or gaskets,
- a damaged case or component,
- or even loose bolts.
To verify that a leak exists, first, check the transmission case and oil level. If it leaks after you just replaced the oil, you may have put too much. Consult your vehicle repair manual.
Locate the source of the leak. Inspect the transmission oil seal and the O-ring in the vehicle speed sensor.
Consult your vehicle repair manual for the proper procedure to replace seals, bearings, or gaskets. Some of these repairs don't require much work, and you may be able to do the job in your own garage with a few common tools.
Knowing about common manual transmission problems can help you diagnose your problems sooner, and possibly save money. This guide helps you identify and explore those common and not-so-common areas. Still, manual transmissions vary between models, so once you have an idea of the possible problem with your transmission, consult your model's vehicle repair manual to troubleshoot that particular issue. You may be able, in some cases, to do the repair yourself.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
I have a 2015 Polo Tsi, 5-speed manual. It's not shifting into first and reverse gear. It only shifts to other gears except for 1st and reverse. Even if the car is completely off, the problem is the same. What is wrong?
First and reverse are usually troublesome in many manual transmissions for some models, even if you don't notice it at first. Wear over time will make it hard to shift into first and reverse.
However, there are some problems that can lead to this. Make sure you have enough fluid (hydraulic system), in good condition. Bleed the system, if necessary, and check the master cylinder for problems.
Also, worn or damaged engine or transmission mounts can make it hard to shift into first and reverse if the transmission or engine shift position. So check the mounts as well.
If this is caused by internal components wear, try shifting into another gear and then selecting first or reverse. Hope this helps.
I have a 93 Ford Ranger and I was driving on the highway, was going from 4th to 5th, and it started shaking for a second. Then the stick wouldn't move out of 4th. The truck still starts and will move if you get the RPMs way high. Is it the synchro or something else?
There are several faults that can lock the transmission in one gear: faulty shift rail, shifter fork, detent plug worn or missing, input shaft with broken gear teeth; gearshift lever is broken or worn. Check the gearshift lever linkage for misadjustment or damage. Low fluid level can also cause gears, synchronizers and other parts to seize.
I hear a ticking noise in the front of the manual transmission. What is this?
It is possible that there's a damaged bearing, broken tooth or gear. Sometimes, if you don't hear the noise in one particular gear, that'll be the suspect gear.
99 ford ranger 3.0. Randomly started to shake going into first or reverse from a dead stop. If I’m rolling and put it in gear, it won’t do it. Also makes a hum/slight grind with the shake. What could this be?
This could be a problem with the shift rail or gear damage. Also, just as a possibility, check engine and transmission mounts for damage or loose.
When I’m shifting to second, it starts to jerk, what could be the problem?
This could be a problem with a worn synchronizer not able to properly mate its gear. But this issue has happened on transmissions or engines with a bad mount.
I have a brand new clutch, flywheel, master cylinder, and slave cylinder in my 1995 ford f150 2wd and it still won’t work right. And when the truck was pulled home, I could smell it burning what would cause this?
If the clutch is dragging, the ‘pad’ on the clutch disc is burning. This happens because the clutch is still engaged to the flywheel when you depress the clutch pedal. But usually, you can hear a grinding noise. The problem often points to a clutch pedal in need of adjustment.
If it smell burning when it was pulled home, possibly the brakes are dragging. If the caliper rails are dry or dirty or in need of work, they can cause the caliper to stick, then the brake pads will begin to burn. Check the calipers first before doing any other work to the clutch or assembly.
My 5-speed transmission lost all gears while going up a hill when downshifting. What would cause this?
This might've been caused by a faulty MAF or throttle position sensor. If the check engine light is not on, check for trouble codes anyway. There could be a pending code that can point to a sensor. Another possibility, although this is less likely if you haven't experienced this problem otherwise, is a slipping clutch:
I have a BMW with manual gearbox Getrag GS6-17BG with 102.000 Km. When I put on the 1st gear and I'm taking out the clutch, the gear jumps to neutral. I have to accelerate a little more so that the gear doesn't jump. When the car is running I have no problems. What could be the problem with my manual BMW's gearshift?
There are a number of things that can cause this problem. Usually, shift lever and internal gearshift linkage problems. But worn out bearings can also cause a jump. Other sources include internal issues with the clutch pilot bearing, shift forks, and rails.
I have a Nissan X-Trail 2015, manual 4x4. When reversing on a steep uphill road the gear pops out! What could the problem be?
There could be a problem with the synchro, but you'll need a good diagnostic from a shop.
I am working with a 98 Mustang GT. After I replaced the motor and transmission mounts, I started having a whirring noise that is possibly coming from the transmission. I hear it in neutral and it increases in pitch after 2k rpm in 1st gear. It also shortly increases in pitch when I let my foot off the gas. I hear it subtly in 2nd but not after that gear. After some driving 10 - 15 min you rarely hear it, even in neutral. The sound reminds me of a supercharger sound. Could it be an input shaft bearing?
It may be an input shaft bearing, countergear or countershaft worn bearing.
I have a 2001 Ford F150, 4.2. It's stuck in gear. What should I check?
I'd guess there's a problem with the linkage. Seems more like a mechanical issue. Check the mechanism and see if you can find anything that might be interfering with its movement. It may just need some lubrication. Check also the hydraulic clutch linkage.
I have a 2008 Cobalt Sport. The shifter is loose and can rotate 360 degrees. It won’t shift into 4th gear and when I try, it grinds bad. So I completely skip that gear and go from 3rd to 5th gear. What could be the problem?
Most likely the shifter is either worn or damaged, that would prevent going into 4th.
What would be the cause? I was driving my 2004 Jeep Wrangler today when I pushed in the clutch to shift gear, I heard a weird noise, then a clang. It slipped into neutral and would not go back into gear, and a weird pinging noise while sitting in neutral at idle. It started kind of whining last week when I would push in the clutch to change gears. Any ideas?
Seems like the noise was coming from low fluid. If heat built up enough, it might've caused gears damaged. Check first how much fluid the transmission has. If you hear some grinding when trying to shift into gear, probably the transmission is damaged. But you need a proper diagnostic before deciding on any major repairs. Also, there could be a mechanical problem in the clutch assembly.
I have a 1968 Ford Mustang with a 4-speed toploader transmission. After shifting into reverse and backing into my garage I realized the shifter would not shift into any other gears. It is now stuck in neutral and with the clutch pressed in will not go into any gear. What is most likely the problem?
The most common source is a bent or worn shift linkage, lack of lubrication; binding of the shift rails or forks. But problems with the clutch can also lead to this.
If you feel the gearshift lever too stiff, even with the engine off, most likely the problem is with the shift linkage. If the shift lever becomes stiff only when the engine is running, most likely the problem is with the clutch.
I have a 2009 Mini Cooper. It won't go into 5th gear and makes a grinding sound. And third gear sometimes won't go in. What could be the problem?
Check for low transmission fluid. This is one of the common issues here. On the other hand, there could be a problem with the transmission itself. If your vehicle is using a Midland model, you may want to think about installing a different model. There seems to be issues with this particular one. Do some research before committing to a new one, if that's the route you want to go. Have a local reputable shop assess the problem.
I have a 1998 BMW 318Ti 5 speed with 89k miles. 3rd gear will pop out after getting up to ~2500 RPMs, but doesn't fully go to neutral. And the car will not go back into gear even with the clutch depressed. All other gears work fine. Reverse can be hard to get into. Is this problem with my BMW more likely to be shift forks, linkage, or clutch?
Usually, worn or damaged detent plugs or springs will cause a gear to slip out. But there can also be a problem with the synchronizer assembly.
My 1990 Toyota 1/2 ton truck has a manual transmission and four-wheel drive. While driving on the freeway, the vehicle suddenly slows down as if it is coming to a stop. When this occurs, I shift to a lower gear and then re-engage back into fourth or fifth gear, and the truck then lurches and starts to drive normal again. Sometimes this happens frequently, and other times I can drive a long distance without this happening. What could be the cause?
There could be several reasons for this. For example, (this actually can happen), the caliper may be closing on the rotors, just to “let go” a few seconds later. So have the brakes checked. Pull down possible trouble codes form the computer memory, even if the check engine light is not on. It can give you some information on pending codes (sudden fuel pressure lose? A faulty throttle position sensor TPS?)
My 2011 manual Toyota Yaris makes a grinding and scraping noise when I let off the accelerator while it's still in gear disappears when I engage clutch or accelerate. What could this be?
There could be a problem with the clutch release bearing. They sound like this when they start going bad.Helpful 7
I replaced the clutch in my 2003 Dodge Ram 2400. It has a six-speed manual transmission. Now, it grinds when I try to get it into third gear. While I was driving in sixth gear, it made a popping noise and felt like it was dragging from the bottom of the truck and the transmission fluid leaked out. I ended up having the transmission replaced completely. What did the guy who replaced my clutch do to it to cause all this?
It's hard to tell, but I assume it was a bad clutch repair job. Maybe the clutch wasn't adjusted properly, or the clutch began to bind. The fault could be in the linkage as well.
I have a 1926 Dodge with 3-speed manual gearbox floor shift. I can change up through the gears, but when I want to change down from 3rd (top) to second, I cannot get it out of top gear. The lever is stuck. Clutch works ok. Do you have any advice?
Make sure the shift linkage is not stuck, worn or damage. Otherwise, an internal mechanical problem seems to be the issue.
What could cause a humming noise in a '92 Camry when in neutral at 2000 rpm or 4th gear?
The problem could be with worn bearings on the input shaft.
I have a 2014 BMW 335xi manual transmission that grinds going into second gear. If babied, there is no grinding, what can be the cause of that?
Check the fluid. If it is low, top it off, that could be the issue. If fluid level is OK, then try draining and refilling with a good transmission fluid for your application. This could improve synchronizer operation. Otherwise, the synchronizer for 2nd gear might be showing signs of wear and you may need to rebuild the transmission down the road.
My 1996 Jeep Cherokee has a stutter while in 3rd gear at about 30-40 and in 4th at about 45-55. It only occurs while in gear and I have let off the gas. Any thoughts?
Seems like an ignition issue, a misfire. Check the coils. Sometimes, the oxygen sensor may become hesitant as well.
I have a 2008 Cadillac CTS 6 speed Manuel transmission. The problem I’m dealing with is my car only goes into reverse once a day. If I try putting it in reverse for the second time, it won’t get it anymore. I’m so frustrated with this problem. Do you have any idea what’s wrong?
See if you can move into different gears with the engine off, and watch the linkage. Probably the linkage is getting stuck somewhere. Or this could be an internal mechanical problem, Although it probably won’t explain how it gets “unstuck” the next day.
With wheels jacked off the ground, you can put transmission y in all the forward gears but the tires will spin with clutch pedal completely pushed in. Reverse on the other hand grinds and will not go in. I never had this problem till I rebuilt the motor this winter and just not getting everything back together. Any ideas?
Probably the clutch is dragging. Take a look at this other post, it may help:
I think my manual transmission has a stuck shift rail. What are some things I can try to fix it? The car is in neutral, but the shift looks like it's just about in first but not quite. The shifter is also pretty stuck on there.
You might want to check the gearshift linkages and check for some binding in the mechanism outside the transmission. Follow the gearshift level mechanism to the shifter assembly or rods, and see if anything is interfering with movement.Helpful 9
My car has no gears. It began not going into 2nd. Then all bottom gears, 2nd, 4th and 6th; then all gears. Now the shifter just turns freely in circles. What could be the problem?
First check that there’s not a problem with the linkage. The shifter should be properly connected to it. Other possibility is an internal mechanical problem in the transmission.Helpful 9
My 2003 Toyota Corolla will reverse with no problem or noise. I can shift it into first with no problem. However, when driving in first it shakes and grinds terribly. I have only crept along with in going 5mph to see if it would go forward; it does. Could this be the gearbox?
It could be a problem with the gearbox, input shaft or CV joint.Helpful 7
I have a 1999 Toyota 4Runner Manual Transmission 5 speed. I am having trouble getting the car into 1st gear and reverse. If the car is turned off it will go into 1st gear or reverse no problem. Once I am driving the others gears seem to work fine with an occasional slight difficulty getting into other gears. I do not have any leaks or noises. Do you think I just need to change the transmission fluid?
Check the engine and transmission motor mounts. They could be cracked or worn.Helpful 5
What would cause my 2001 Trans Am not to go into first with the car on or off? All other gears work.
The problem could be a detent plunger worn or broken spring or a loose plug (not able to hold the detent pin or spring). This is just an idea. You need a better diagnostic before disassembling.
This may give you an idea although the mechanism might not be exactly like yours:
I have a 2007 Toyota Corolla that is making a whining noise in all gears and sometimes a clanking sound. Does this sound like it could be a problem with the clutch?
Seems like a worn clutch or flywheel; possibly a problem with the pilot bushing being worn as well.
I heard a little bang when in gear, then I was out of gear, and although the clutch was able to put the tranny into each gear, the transmission would keep acting as if I was in neutral. Is this a clutch or transmission output shaft problem?
If there's enough oil, check the clutch linkage for adjustment.
I have a VW T25 diesel 4 speed. It started grinding into 3rd and 4th recently and can be hard to get into first. And pops out of 2nd. So not a good start (was fine before an engine replacement). I was driving on a trip, and it dropped from 4th to 2nd without touching the stick. Now I've only got reverse, 1st, and 3rd, and I'm pretty sure 2nd is 4th! Grinding when the clutch is engaged too. Any ideas? I've restored the linkage but no good.
It seems like an internal problem, probably a damaged gear. You may need to bring the car to a transmission shop for a proper diagnosis.
Is the transmission blown if it acts like it's in Neutral even when it's in gear?
Not necessarily. Probably the clutch is not engaging. The clutch may be worn out, clutch in need of adjustment. or some wear on another component.
I have a 2012 Chevy Sonic with a manual transmission. It makes a knocking noise in all 5 gears that gets faster with speed. The noise disappears when the clutch is pressed, or when in neutral. What would cause this?
This kind of rhythmic, knocking sound usually happens in a component with a chipped or broken teeth. This may be a gear, input or intermediate shaft gears or similar part. But you need a good diagnostic, because something like this requires disassembly if a shop suspects this is what's going on.
So when I let off of the gas of my car (but still in gear) at highway speeds (50 mph plus) there's a thumping and bumping noise. I can feel it very slightly! My question is, what would cause this? I have no other issues with shifting. I just noticed it happening today.
Usually, this type of noise comes from a worn universal joint; but other related issues that may cause noises during deceleration or even acceleration - axle bearings, or a worn transmission extension housing bushing.
I have a 1994 Ford F150 with the 5 speed Mazda in it. And it made an extremely high screeching sound when moving, and on my way home I was doing 70 in fifth gear when all of a sudden I lost all mobility in every gear except fourth. So 1,2,3,5,R go nowhere now. And if I engage the clutch in any of those gears I just hear an awful grinding/clanking sound. What could be wrong with my car's transmission?
Your transmission might be in "limp mode". The problem could be a faulty neutral-start switch or a problem with the shift linkage, or another issue with the transmission that has triggered limp mode. A capable scan tool might help you diagnose the issue here.
1992 Ford Ranger 5 speed manual. While running in neutral, as I let out on the clutch, it starts making a rattling noise. When I push the clutch in, it stops. Also it will go in all gears fine but when I start to take off, it will try to move but then makes a loud popping sound and won't move. Previous to this it had started making a whining sound when driving. What could be wrong?
This could be a problem of worn or bad countershaft bearings. But I believe your model has the Mazda M5OD R1 5 speed transmission. Make sure you got enough oil. The rubber shift cover plugs tend to shrink and leak, usually while the vehicle is moving. This could affect bearings and gears.
Sometimes when I shift my 1999 f250, it feels like it goes in gear, but the check engine light comes on, and there is no throttle response or grinding when I let out the clutch. I try to go into different gears, and this usually works. It was doing it a little bit, and I changed the clutch. It worked great for a moment, then started doing the shift thing again and feels like it is getting worse. There is new fluid in the transmission and filled until it came out the side. Could it be a bad slave cylinder?
It's hard to say without a diagnostic, but check the shift linkage for adjustment. Before you do that, though, make sure to download the trouble codes from the computer memory. They can point you in the right direction if there is any store in there.
When I push on the accelerator and shift into gear, it makes a whiring sound when I drive. What could be the problem?
If you can hear the noise in all gears while moving, but you don't hear it in neutral, probably you got faulty output bearings.
I have a 98 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 nv3500. Trans grinds into 2nd and 3rd. If I pause after pressing in the clutch, it doesn't grind. Pedal seems a bit harder to press than normal. I changed the fluid. It was not too dark but magnet had a fair amount of metal on it, looked silver for the most part. Should I do a clutch before condemning synchros?
It does sound like a syncro issue, but it could be a linkage adjustment problem or slave cylinder issue as well.
I have a 06 Scion. In first and second gear only you can literally feel the entire gear shift pull forward when accelerating. In second gear, it pulls so hard it drops to gear shift back into neutral. If I try to hold the gear shift in second, it grinds. Third, fourth and fifth are all fine. Do I need a new transmission?
There could be a number of things. Gearshift, shift fork or rail problems, clutch shaft or synchronizer assembly damage.
Got a 1996 Ford Ranger 2.3L. It mainly only grinds downshifting to third but occasionally taking off as well. And also goes away after I release the clutch pedal. I can be in 5th gear, push in the clutch to rev it up and it will grind. Could my problem be the clutch or transmission?
2005 Scion xB – car making grinding/banging noises while driving that caused the car to stop. The car seemed to be stuck in gear/gearbox scrambled. I was able to put the car in reverse with the engine running, and while trying to reverse the car made the same grinding/banging noises once I let off the clutch. After much resistance and noise, the car reversed like normal, and when put in first gear, it drove normal. What could be the issue?
It’s possible the front or rear bearing on the intermediate shaft is worn or damaged. But you need to have the issue correctly diagnosed before making any repair decision.
Why has my 99 Nissan Frontier lost 4th gear?
There could be several reasons for this, like a damaged synchronizer sleeves or hubs; a worn gearshift lever; a problem with the shift rail or internal linkage; or a worn shift rail detent plunger (something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H48OY-QYYSU).
My Ford F150 is stuck in second gear, but the shifter moves. What could be the problem?
The gearshift lever may be worn or broken, or there could be issues with gear train components.
My 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer pops out of first gear half the time and grinds when downshifting to 2nd, what could be the problem?
Probably the gearshift mechanism is faulty. Usually, this is caused by worn or damaged detent plugs or springs failing to keep the gear locked in place. Other problems that can cause the gear to slip: faulty shift forks or rail; a worn clutch shaft or roller bearing; worn pilot bushing; bad synchronizer assembly.
I can switch gears, and it won't take off. When I press the pedal in, all you can hear is a rubbing noise as if the clutch itself isn't catching and spinning around. What do you think it could be?
The clutch might be slipping. Set the parking brake, disengage the clutch, shift into third gear and increase engine speed to about 2000 rpm. Slowly release the clutch pedal until the clutch engages. The engine should stall. If not, the clutch is slipping. The clutch linkage could be binding, clutch disc wear, or some other damage.
My 2011 Camaro is a V6 manual transmission but when the engine is running it will not shift into first. But, if started in first the car creeps forward; I've been using second for now. What could the issue be?
This could be several things, cable in need of adjustment, leaking cylinder (hydraulic models), a linkage problem.
I have a 1998 Pontiac Firebird 3.6L V6 with a 5-speed manual Transmission. When shifting into 5th gear, it doesn't go into gear unless I shake it in and out. It doesn't kick me into neutral or grind unless I let off the clutch when it isn't in a while holding it in 5th without "setting" all the way in 5th. But it works fine as do the other gears; it just requires a little shake to get into gear. What could be the problem?
This could be a worn synchronizer sleeve or hub issue. But it’s better to get a proper diagnostic.
I have a 1989 Toyota with 5-speed Transmission that won’t go into 5th or Reverse. Does This Camry have a repair kit for The early 90s pickup do? At the shift linkage inside the car?
Check the motor and transmission mounts too. If you know for sure the linkage is the problem, search on line for the kit to get an idea about costs and what's included with the kit.
There is a clunking noise coming from the right side axle. And when I jack up the car, put it in gear with the motor running only the left wheel turns. What could be the problem?
The CV joint (the part of the axle that slides into the splined hub on the wheel) is probably busted.
I have a 2003 Honda Accord (Euro) CL9. My transmission grinds when I put it in reverse. I found out that before engaging reverse if I engage the 3rd gear and then the reverse, the reverse it won't grind. Sometimes it's hard to engage the 1st gear whether it's cold or hot. What should I do? Can the transmission fluid be the culprit ?
The clutch might be dragging. Shifting into a higher gear before engaging reverse helps to stop reverse from spinning. Usually this happens because the clutch is dragging. The clutch disc is spinning and then you hear it grinding. Most of the time first and reverse don't use a synchronizer. If first has a synchro, the selector ring and blocker ring have problems (wear-damage) aligning. Check the hydraulic system for leaks or problems with the master and slave. This other post may help as well:
I have a 1999 Saturn SC1 5sp. I have trouble engaging the first and second gears, especially when the transmission is cold. What could be causing this?
Usually, incorrect grade gear oil would cause this kind of problem. But there could also be an issue with the gear linkage being out of adjustment.
I have a Nissan Xterra 2004 manual transmission, and the clutch is not coming up as it's supposed to do. It is staying down and I have to use my feet to put it in the right position to change gears. What can be happening?
Check first the linkage, if it looks OK, check for leaks at the master and slave cylinder. Otherwise, there could be something wrong with the release assembly internally.
I have a 2015 Fiesta St and I’m having gear whine in 4th-6th. The dealer said it’s a synchro but that doesn’t sound right to me. I believe it has to be one of the bearings. Have any ideas?
This is usually caused by worn or damaged synchro, gear teeth or bearings.
What causes a vehicle to roll back an inch or two when you park on an incline and leave it in first? I once parked in second and the vehicle rolled back several feet.
If this was a slight incline and the vehicle started rolling, you may have a slipping transmission or an engine that's losing compression. However, even parking a car in gear in a steep incline, it may still roll. That’s why you always engage the emergency brakes and turn the wheels against the curb.
Have a BMWZ3. I thought the battery was dead. Jumped it and started the engine. In first gear, the car engine bumped over; the car leaped forward and then cut off. I tried 3 times. Put the car in neutral, jumped it, and it started. But then it would not shift out of neutral. It had a strong smell of burning rubber odor. Car won’t drive at all now. What do you think is wrong?
It seems like the clutch is binding. The clutch disc probably got stuck. The strong burning rubber smell is probably the clutch facing rubbing against the pressure plate and flywheel. This could happen for several reasons: problems in the clutch linkage, warped clutch disc or pressure plate, loose disc friction material, problems with the release lever, bad pedal adjustment, bad pilot bushing or bearing.
My 2003 Toyota Camry has a manual transmission. It grinds several times a day. It has popped out of gear one time. Is this something simple to fix, or will it be expensive?
First, make sure there's enough fluid. There could be one of several problems like wear or damage to bearings, gear or synchronizer. A bad synchronizer will make it pop out of gear. If you notice the noise is related to the pedal operation, the problem could be in the clutch assembly.
I have a VW Jetta MK4, manual transmission. It goes into all gears just fine when the engine is off. But when the engine is running and I try to put it in first and second, it’s near impossible to get it into gear; but the problem is not always consistent. What could this be?
This is usually a problem with the hydraulic system. Sometimes all you need is fluid, but it may have a leak. Take a look at the system.
I have a 2004 GMC 2500 Duramax diesel with a six speed manual transmission. Lately, when I try and shift gears, the transmission sticks or releases but I then can't shift. When this occurs, I turn the engine off and then upon restart I can shift again. This occurs at random and intermittently. Would this be a shift assembly or electrical issue?
I have an 88 Ford F-150. I hear whirling and grinding noises coming from my transmission. I can get into all gears except 4th. When I try to put it into 4th gear, it won't let me put it into 4th gear and while the truck is idling, whether the clutch is engaged or not I hear sounds coming from it like metal being thrown around and whatnot do you think that by replacing clutch throwout bearing in pilot bearing this might go away?
There could be several problems, the synchro sleeves or hubs may be bad on 4th and won't let you get into gear. If you hear noises even when idling and in neutral, that sounds like bad input shaft or countershaft bearings. You need a more detailed diagnostic before you start replacing components.
Why does it feel like I’m trying to start driving in 2nd or 3rd gear when I am in first?
The clutch may be starting to slip. Check this other post, it may help:
I just changed my wheel bearings, struts, axles, tie rods, ball joints and sway bar links on both sides of my 2002 Subaru Outback. Now my car makes a clunking/thumping noise on the front. What could this be?
Check the engine and transmission mounts. Make sure the is still well attached to the backing plates and the rubber is not cracked.
1991 Honda Accord, manual 5 speed won't take off in any gear but will if I put it in neutral. What could be the problem?
Check the shift linkage first.
What should I do? After reversing, the shift lever easily gets into 1st gear position, but the car won't go forward, seems stuck in reverse. If after reverse put it in neutral and release the clutch, a clanging noise is heard, which can be felt in the clutch pedal, then shifts into 1st and go forward with no problem. Went to an authorized Audi repair shop, they replaced the clutch disk, plate and bearing but the problem remains. Now they say it's the flywheel and needs to be replaced.
Seems like the throw out bearing is not engaging properly. But this needs to be diagnosed properly.
I have a 91 honda civic with a manual transmission. My transmission is leaking oil, so I had the input shaft seal and barring replaced. I started my car at the shop, and noticed that it's hard to put my car into gear. 1st - 4th works, but it's stiff, and my car grinds to go into 5th. I can't put it in reverse at all because it feels like it will break. The mechanic told me that I need to drive it for a few days and it should loosen up. All of my gears shifted smoothly before I had this work done. Any idea what this guy messed up on my car?
There could be several reasons for this, but from the work done to your transmission, there are a few guesses: it is possible the transmission was not properly aligned when installed, the input shaft bearing retainer might be a little loose.
If it sounds like gears clashing going into reverse, it is possible the input shaft pilot bearing is sticking.
If possible, first check the oil level in the transmission. If necessary, add the necessary oil and check the transmission; otherwise, bring it back to the shop.
I'm having issues with my Audi manual gear shifting. The shifting gets harder when the car is warm. I have noticed that the shifting gets normal when the car is switched off, BTW. There are no weird sounds from the gearbox. Do you have any idea what can be wrong here?
Sometimes this is due to bad, contaminated fluid. A fluid flush may help. But you need to have the problem properly diagnosed.
In my Ertiga Suzuki owner's manual, the recommended gear oil is 75W90; however, at the maintenance garage (at 50000 Km) they have used 80W90, after 15000Km (i.e. 750000). The 5th-grade transmission jumps out of gear (into neutral). Could the used oil be the source of the problem?
A manual transmission can slip out of gear for several reasons:
- Insufficient oil --
- sometimes contaminated oil.
However, mechanical issues may be common as well, for example:
- gearshift lever problems, like a worn nylon insert or lever attachment nut loose.
- gearshift mechanism, shift forks, shift rail, springs, detent plugs worn or damaged.
- the pilot bushing is worn
If this happens in only one gear, there could be a problem with a synchronizer assembly, worn or damaged, gear teeth are worn or damaged, worn thrust washer worn and causing excessive play.
I have a 5 speed, 2007 Kia Spectra that can't get it in any gear. Do you have any suggestions as for where to start?
Check the post, section 6. It gives you an idea of the issue plus a link a post on clutch issues that might be relevant to this problem.
My 97 Jeep TJ makes a loud grinding sound when turning left or right under load. If the clutch is engaged or the transmission is in neutral, there is no noise. Starting to think I have a transmission problem. If so, why would grinding noise only be when turning?
Seems like the transmission 'misalignes" when turning. Maybe a problem with a motor or transmission mount, if it only happens when the transmission is coupled to the engine. Just a though.
I have a 2020 BMW M240i and when downshifting to 2nd the RPM suddenly jumps. Is this normal?
If the rpm jumps but car speed doesn't match accordingly, the transmission might be slipping. Electrical systems are very sensitive in modern vehicles. Make sure the battery is Okay. Check for trouble codes, even a pending code can help you here, if the engine light is not on.
My parents had a new clutch put on a 2001 Kia Sportage. It was grinding to shift in any/all gears, so they thought that was the issue. However, it is still doing so. The garage said this happened on other Sportages and that it most likely needs another transmission installed. Is this a common issue with these vehicles?
The most common reasons for a grinding noise is a worn out synchronizer, bearings, or gears. But it can also happen if for some reason the transmission is running out of oil or the oil has been contaminated. Other problems that can lead to a grinding noise include bad speedometer drive gears or too much end play at the input (or output) gear end.
I'm not aware of a TSB (technical service bulletin) reported specifically for the transmission on this model. The most common issue on this model has to do with the engine, cooling, and fuel systems. But you might want to call your local dealer to make sure. It'll be cheaper to have it diagnosed at a transmission shop first, then make a decision accordingly.
We have a 1985 Nissan mini motorhome. The problem is that it makes a high pitching whining noise when in 5th gear when pushing the gas pedal, and a rattling noise in the 4th when releasing the gas pedal. We think it’s probably the bearings, any other idea?
The whining noise may come from a worn bearing. Sometimes, changing the oil helps a bit, but eventually, the bearing will have to be dealt with. If the rattling noise is coming from the transmission, it could be the gears (worn or chipped). You may find out when replacing the oil.
I have an Insignia with an F40 gearbox, I had a new clutch installed and slave and bearings and oils, but 2nd week in till now 6th week been horrible it grinds on junction/pulling away or reverse only from a stop. It grinds/slips while getting the biting point then clutch peddle all the way to top it goes and car fine in every other gear np driving just that. The clutch maker blames it on gearbox though got new clutch coming 8 garages said the same it the clutch. What are you think it is?
There could be some air in the hydraulic system. Check and see if you can hold the clutch depressed for a few secs before shifting into first. Also, try going to second and then to first. If any of this makes shifting into first without grinding, you may need to bleed the system.
I have a 2007 Nissan Versa, manual transmission. While driving on the freeway, the car loses power like the gas pedal won't work. When I press on the clutch, the engine revs but when in gear I have nothing. It does not happen when going slower on surface streets. Do you have any advice?
It’s possible the clutch is starting to slip. Quick test:
* Park in a safe place to allow car to move forward safely.
* At idle, fully depress the clutch and shift to third gear.
* Increase engine speed to about 2000 rpm.
* Slowly, let go of the clutch pedal (engage clutch).
* The engine should stall, if not, most likely the clutch is slipping (worn or mechanical fault in release mechanism).
Just don’t let the engine run for more than two seconds after fully releasing the clutch (if engine doesn’t stall) or you’ll damage the flywheel or pressure plate.
I have a '96 Mustang V6 standard transmission. Why is it when I put it in reverse it's hard, and when backing up there is a popping sound and also hard to take out of reverse?
Sometimes, bad engine mounts may cause this type of problems. The engine seems to lose alignment with the transmission when engaging reverse.
What is the possible source of “ tapping” sound coming from a 2005 manual 6speed Jeep. I only seem to hear it in 1st and 2nd gear?
If the sound is coming from the transmission, this could be worn gear teeth. Unless there's some broken part (rhythmical knocking sound type) inside from chipped or broken teeth.
My 2006 VW Jetta keeps making a rattling noise only after 30 minutes of driving. I'll shut the car off and turn it back on, and it's gone until another 30 minutes of driving, then it'll come back again. Why?
If it only happens after driving for about 30 minutes, this could be a temperature related issue, perhaps in the exhaust system. I was also thinking possibly a clicking sound coming from the transmission – when the rattle appears and you pull over and disengage the clutch and the noise stops, it is probably transmission related. This could mean an input or intermediate shaft with bad teeth on a transaxle; on a transmission this could be related to the output shaft gears or gear assembly. Noises are sometimes hard to diagnose. You need to make sure where the noise is coming from before start pulling things apart. Have a qualified shop diagnose the source first if necessary, before making any repair decisions.
My Acura RSX Type-S would go through all the gears except third. It felt like nothing was in third, and then it wouldn't shift down into any other gears until I put it in third. But now it's stuck in third, even if I go under the hood and move the linkages around. Do you think my gearbox is gone?
First, check the gearshift lever for wear or damage. Other possibilities are problems with internal linkage or shift rail, shifter fork. If the transmission has been abused, there could be other damage.
I've got a 1999 Dodge truck 3500 4*4 SLT. When you try to put it in 5th and reverse it sounds like it's grinding. Neither the gear shift nor anything else is shacking. What might be wrong?
Before shifting into reverse, try 4 or 5th gear first, then reverse. If that eliminates the grinding, that's pretty much normal. Fifth gear grinding could be a synchro issue, though. If that's the problem, that might be affecting reverse too. It's possible there could be a problem with the countershaft gear.
I have a 2014 Chevy Cruze, 6 speed Manual transmission. I was driving along and without warning, it felt like I was in neutral but was in 5th gear. No clunking or anything. When I stopped and tried to take off again, it felt like it wanted to go. I could feel the tires pulling but it wouldn't move. When I shifted to neutral, we could push it out of the road. We thought at first it was a stuck brake until we got it to roll in neutral. What is wrong with it?
My guess is that there's a problem with the clutch master cylinder or clutch assembly -- worn or damaged clutch, perhaps. Check the fluids and potential leaks, if necessary.
My 69' VW Beetle makes a grinding noise when trying to shift into 2nd gear. If I shift into 1st with the clutch pressed and then try 2nd again, it will go into it fine. Do you have any ideas as to what might the problem be?
Check the clutch linkage, there could be some binding. Another possibility is low oil or synchro worn.
I have a 2004 Ford f350 Super Duty. I just had the clutch replaced but now when I shift gears and begin to let the clutch out it makes a short grinding noise also when I come to a stop it makes the grinding noise until I take it out of gear. What could be the problem?
It seems like a throw-out-bearing issue, but you need to have it checked to make sure there's where the sound is coming from.
My Honda transmission (P2A8) feels like a wall is blocking 4th gear only, and every other gear shifts fine whether the car is running or not. Any idea why?
There could be several reasons for this. It could be a problem with the gearshift lever (worn or damaged); shift rail detent plunger worn, broken spring or plug loose; internally, the gearshift linkage or shift rail may be damaged.
While my car is in 5th gear, it acts as if it's in neutral. It has no power. And when the clutch is fully released, the car doesn't stall. What could be the problem?
The gear might not be engaging at all. The problem could be with the shift rail detent plunger, the spring or plug. But the gearshift lever can be make it difficult for 5th gear to engage. Check the lever and the linkage. Other possibilities are too much wear on the shift rail assembly or a worn synchronizer sleeve.
What can cause my 1989 Volkswagen Citi Golf 1.8 to not want to select gears when the car is started?
Make sure there's enough transmission fluid. Also, there could be a problem with the clutch master cylinder. Other times this is a sign of a worn clutch assembly, especially if you can shift into gear with the engine off.
Transmission shifts fine to any gear and returns to neutral without any problem. That's good when the engine is not running. When the engine is running, then gear engages to any one gear, but will not disengage to neutral. No grinding noise at all. What could be the problem?
Seems like the clutch is not able to disengage. First make sure you have enough fluid. Otherwise, you'll need to check the clutch mechanism (cable or hydraulic system). Hopefully, you won't need to drop the transmission.
We were rear-ended in our 2002 Saturn SL1. There was no damage to the bumper or body at all. When we went to move it off the road, it would go into all gears, but it wouldn’t move. It’s a 5 speed. It shifted just fine before we were rear-ended. There is no noise or grinding. The car starts up in Neutral and all gears, but just doesn't move. Do you think it's the neutral safety switch? \
Get under the car and see if you can ‘shake’ the half-shafts by hand. These are the shafts the connect the transaxle to the front wheels. If they move, one or both have damage, or transaxle damage. Also, with the engine off and transmission in Neutral, push the car a few feet. If you hear any noise coming from the transmission, there probably damage there.
I have a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. What would cause it not to go into 4th gear?
There are several problems that may cause this issue. Worn gear shift level, linkage or shift rail problems; bad synchronizer sleeve or hub.
I have a 05 Hyundai Tiburon V6, 5 speed. I'm able to change gears, but while doing so my engine revs high and my transmission does seems to wanna catch gears. Do I need to replace my clutch?
Seems like the clutch is beginning to slip. Maybe this other post can help:
I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler SE, 2.4L with the 5-speed manual. My trans knocks but only for a very brief time after I turn the car on. It doesn't knock when I drive, and it shifts fine. But knocks when I turn it on and sometimes after I turn it off. What would cause this?
Knocking or clicking noises usually happen with worn gears, but this could also come from low fluid level. Sometimes it's a good idea to check the condition of the fluid. If you see metal chips, they may come from broken teeth. In this case, is better to remove as much of the fragments to prevent damage to other parts of the transmission.
I just did a transmission job on my car. But now it feels like the 4x4 is on. What can it be?
Usually vacuum lines connect to the hubs to activate the system. Make sure they are properly connected and also check the condition of the lines.
My car is a 2010 model Isuzu D-Max. Now, this seems to be unusual that I smell a burning odor. How is this? What could be the problem?
If the smell is coming from the transmission, probably the clutch is slipping (clutch friction caused by the disc between the flywheel and the pressure plate). This may happen when accelerating from a standstill or under heavy load. But riding the clutch pedal, need of release clearance adjustment and oil contamination can also cause this.
I have a 97 LS Integra with 134000 miles on it. It makes a grinding noise at roughly 3000-3600rpm, 4000-4300rpm, and 5000-6500rpm in all gears, as well as in neutral. Any ideas of what it can be?
There are several reasons for this: first make sure there's enough lubricant; worn bearings, gears or synchronizer can also cause this.
What would cause my 5 speed to lose power but not jump out of gear? If I shift out of gear and back in, it's fine, but does it if I let off the gas completely instead of easily.
Probably you are dealing with a worn-out clutch that is slipping. As the clutch and other components wear, they lose their grip and the engine appears to lose power.
This other post may help:
I have a 2003 ford focus ZX3 hatchback 5-speed hydraulic clutch, replaced the clutch, plate and slave cylinder. Now while in neutral it first makes a high pitched squeaking noise, but quickly turns into a grinding noise. The sounds go away when the clutch is pressed and while in gear. I have bled the system. I then pumped the clutch for an hour per my mechanic's direction. Could my car's problem be the input shaft bearing or something else, like not being inline? It's hard to shift out of reverse as well.
Yes, it's possible the input shaft bearing (rear or front) are worn or damaged.
What could my problem be? My 2004 Subaru Forester XT makes a loud ticking sound when at 2,000 rpm and less. As the car is coming to a stop, the noise becomes louder. But if I put the clutch in, after 2 seconds, the noise goes away and also if I put it in neutral. Also, after I put it in neutral or put my clutch in, the engine oil light comes on the dash but does not when under acceleration or braking.
The clicking sound may be produced by a problem with the cluster gear assembly teeth. The oil light is most likely a separate pressure issue in the lubrication system. You can check system pressure with a gauge. This other post may help you:
I have a 1997 Ford F250, 2wd 4speed with o/d with about 240,000 miles. It started making a growling noise from the transmission on the low end of third gear when hauling a trailer. So I stopped hauling with it. It makes a growling noise at low RPMs in 2nd gear. The newest noise, when coasting in 4th, it makes a light growling noise. No whining. Shifts well. Worn out gears?
The problem could be one or more bearings. It sounds like a worn countergear bearing, intermediate shaft front or rear bearing or even the output shaft bearing, if you can hear the noise in reverse as well.
Why is my Jeep not taking 1st gear?
There could be several reasons for this, for example a problem with the gearshift lever, gearshift internal linkage or shift rail issue; this can also be a problem with the rail detent plunger, spring or plug. A problem with the synchronizer sleeve or hub.
I'm having an issue with the transmission being stuck in fifth gear. I have recently installed an all-new motor mount, clutch kit, and shift cable. My question is, will the striking rod seal cause me to be unable to shift out of gear?
If this happened after installing the kit and shift cable, you may want to check the gearshift lever. There could be something incorrectly assembled. Otherwise there might be a problem with the shift rails, shifter fork, or other internal component.
I have a manual 2014 Nissan Versa, and had my transmission replaced not to long ago. Suddenly, as I try to shift gears, it's like they don't connect, and it is causing my car to move slow as if it were still on neutral. What could be the problem?
Probably the clutch needs adjustment, it might be slipping. Check the system. If the system is Okay, there could be a mechanical problem with the shift linkage. It might not be moving correctly to engage the gears fully. Another possibility is a problem with the transmission or motor mounts.
Why does the gear of my car jump out when driving?
There could be several reasons for this. One of the most common is a worn pilot bushing. But there could also be problems with the gearshift mechanism, shift forks, shift rail, detent plugs, worn gear teeth or synchronizer.
I can't seem to shift into fourth gear. I just get a bad grinding noise if I try even with the clutch floored. Do you have any ideas?
There could be several reasons for this. For example, it could be a problem with the gearshift lever, bad synchronizer sleeves, a worn or damaged shift rail, or internal gearshift linkage.
I have a VW Velocity Golf 1.4 and my clutch is slipping because of an oil leak from the gearbox. What can be done to remove the oil?
People try different methods to clean oil-soaked clutches with different degree of success. It all depends on how much oil there is. With very little oil contamination, you may try brake cleaner, WD40, even carburetor cleaner. The small spots here and there may burn eventually. The best way is to replace it.
My 95 Ford Ranger makes a rubbing or light grinding noise occasionally. It usually happens when I am engaging the clutch or have it depressed when the truck is rolling, and in first gear. I can't make it do it so I can try to find it. There is no pattern to when or why it does it. What could cause this?
The noise may come from worn bearing(s). Probably the input shaft or countershaft.
Why is there a grinding noise when taking off in first gear in my 1995 F150 4.9l?
This could be a worn bearing on the input, intermediate or output shaft in the transmission.
I just had new bushings put on the 5-speed shift lever in my 1999 Chevy 1500 4x4. Now, when I pull the stick to the left to put it in 1st gear, there is a strange noise. Almost like synchros. You can feel it on the stick when you hold it to the left. Any ideas what happened?
Possibly there is some play between the shift lever and linkage.
My vehicle has a loud clunking noise in reverse only and now I have no reverse. Is this repairable or do I need a new transmission?
Check first the transmission and engine mounts. A broken mount can cause the transmission to misalign with respect to the engine. This usually produce a clunking noise. Otherwise there could be a problem with the shift rail, internal linkage, or gearshift lever problem.
Why would my transmission leak out of the output shaft, and the car vibrate at 65mph but goes away at 70mph?
The leak could be caused by a leaking rear seal. Usually, a felt vibration at this speed comes from a tire or wheel lateral runout problem. If this is a noise (audible) vibration, check the drive shaft (if your vehicle has one) for out of balance or runout.
I have a 2008 Corsa 1.3 CDTI. I have a floppy pedal. The gears won't engage with or without the engine running. Would this indicate a gearbox problem?
Check the master and slave cylinders – proper operation and there’s enough fluid and no sings of leaks; otherwise, the clutch could be stuck.
I have an 07 Acura TSX. I just had the clutch replaced. It drives fine, no vibration or anything but when it's in gear it makes this loud clicking noise, which gets much worse if I let off the accelerator. Pushing the clutch in or having it in neutral makes it much quieter. It's driving me crazy bc nobody can tell me what it is. Any info would be helpful?
The noise may come from the input shaft gears. Make sure the transmission is properly aligned.
I have a 2007 Honda Civic EX coupe, 2 speed with the 1.8L. Today I pulled into my buddy's and I needed to move to the side and I went to put it in reverse and it was gone. And then my shifter got really stiff and kinda made a grinding noise, even when forced in the middle. And then I let it run for a second. Then kinda came out of it but, I have to slam it, and hold it in gear to work. What could be wrong with my Civic's shifter?
Seems like the clutch linkage or shift rail are binding, but this could be an internal problem, like an issue with the shift forks or synchronizer assembly. Check first the linkage assembly. You may be able to remove the shifter boot. If not, you may have to check from under the vehicle for loose bolts or something stuck.
My car will shift into reverse but will start grinding when I start to back up and won’t go any further. It's a 98 VW Jetta. I am currently replacing the clutch but am wondering if the transmission or outer parts need to be replaced?
This could be a problem with the syncro, reverse idler bushings, or reverse idler gear. Sometimes, if this happens when shifting from Neutral to reverse, the problem is little clutch pedal free travel, or a sticking input shaft pilot bearing.
My Mitsubishi 1997 Galant has no 2nd, 4th or reverse gear. Can you help?
Check the gearbox mounts first. Then check the shifter assembly and connections to the gearbox first. Look closely at the links for any obstruction.
I have a manual 2000 Ford Ranger. When I shift, there are two clicks as I put it into gear. I can feel the clicks in the stick. Do you have any idea what it could be?
Usually, clicking sounds like these come from teeth damage on an input or intermediate shaft gears, counter gear, or cluster gear assembly. But it’s better to have a diagnostic from a reputable shop, before agreeing to any major transmission job.
2009 GMC Canyon spills oil down the front of the engine. After that, the engine revs up when I hit the gas hard in the higher gears, just like when an automatic transmission slips. I degreased the pulleys and installed a new serpentine belt but still does it. What’s happening?
It seems like the clutch is worn out. If you hear any clashing sounds, there could be a problem with the transmission.
What could be the cause of my 1997 Toyota T100 manual 5speed transmission to be stuck in 2nd gear?
There could be several reasons for this. Check first the gearshift lever for wear or damage; there could be problems with the gearshift internal linkage or shift rail; on the shift rail, a worn plunger, broken spring or a loose plug can cause this as well. If the synchronizer sleeves are worn or damaged, they will cause the gear to get stuck.
I have a Citroën C1. The clutch pedal feels spongy and the car will not go into gear. Do you have any idea what could be wrong with it?
Check the clutch system fluid. There could be air in the system. Also, the clutch cable might need adjustment. Similar to this problem is the slipping clutch, which apparently is a common issue on this model. Take a look at this thread. I don’t know if this is similar to your problem but is worth a check:
When you say that a low oil level can make it hard to shift gears, what oil are you speaking of?
Transmission oil. If the transmission is been running with poor lubrication for some time, components may dry out and, in severe cases, they'll seize.
My Saginaw 4 Speed with 1/4 turn, then binds up. What is wrong?
There could be a problem with the shift rail or fork.
EPC light comes on because the car was jumpstarted. Now the gears must be shift manually. What could be the problem?
Apparently the computer has detected a serious problem that can damage the engine. But sometimes it's just a sensor (crankshaft, speed, etc.). Try scanning the computer for trouble codes and see what you find. you may need to bring your car in for service. The problem can be a sensor or module.
I have an 04 Honda Element. Transmission seems to run fine but it makes a tapping-like noise while in gear. The faster you go, the faster the noise but no noise in reverse. I just changed out the clutch thinking that that might be the problem. How would you diagnose my problems with my Honda?
This type of noise is usually associated with worn gear teeth or even broken teeth. A rhythmical noise may come from a broken or loose part. If something broke, it'll be a good idea to have the transmission inspected soon.
I have a 1994 Honda Accord. Just about burned my second clutch. Can a bad transmission cause premature clutch failure?
This usually happens when the clutch slips too much or the assembly is contaminated with oil. Check the clutch linkage or hydraulic system for any signs of problems. There are other mechanical issues in the assembly that may cause premature failure. This other post may help you here:
If possible, talk to the shop where the clutch was replaced, maybe they were able to diagnose the problem when they removed the failed clutch.
My Toyota Carina gearbox is jumping out into neutral as the vehicle is moving. What could be a problem?
Common sources come from issues with the shift-linkage (need of adjustment or mechanical problem), shift rail problem or pilot bearing problems. But they are not the only ones.
You may be able to make a visual inspection of the linkage.
Still, have the problem correctly diagnosed before committing to any repairs. Visit a reputable shop.
My 96 Nissan SE Hardbody, standard, 4spd, will not operate in 4th or reverse. Can you give me any ideas?
The main issue could be the starter with reverse gear. The issue could've extended to the output shaft, affecting 4th gear, but 3rd gear might've shown some symptoms as well. Make sure there's enough fluid in the transmission. Top it off, if necessary.
My Scion XD is going in reverse only but not forward, any advice?
Usually low fluid levels can cause mechanical parts inside to seize. Also, check for a possible misadjustment or damage to the gearshift lever linkage. Other internal mechanical damage may also cause this problem. Hope this helps.
My son's truck wouldn’t go in any gear. A month later, it wanted to drive in 3rd gear only. Yesterday, it would go in every gear but 3rd and 4th. What is going on with this truck?
The shift linkage could have a mechanical obstruction (something loose or in need of adjustment) that prevents a smooth change or full travel and interfering with the shift fork. The issue may be between the shifter and case; other times, the issue is internal. Also, check the transmission and motor mounts. If they are loose or damaged, it'll cause the engine and transmission to move independently and misalign, changing the adjusted length of the shift and clutch control cables. This affects clutch and gears engagement.
I have an 2008 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 5 speed manual. My reverse gear will occasionally engage then jump to neutral. If I feather clutch to keep it from neutral it is jumpy like it’s missing teeth. I’m trying to figure out if that would be the idle gear or some other problem. All other gears work perfectly as well as the clutch. I let a friend learn to drive and he rev dumped neutral. What parts should I plan on ordering? This is my daily drive and want minimal downtime.
There could be an issue with the shifter (bad or worn bushings perhaps); idler gear with worn teeth or some other related mechanical problem.
2013 Mini Countryman R60 S with a transmission problem. The car runs perfectly fine. However, when you put it into 6th gear, around 65 mph (104.61 km/h) or higher (in the beginning of the power band), the shifter will slowly move forward with more throttle until it pops out into neutral. You can hold the shifter in 6th gear and it will stay. Replaced the clutch pad and pressure plate 50k miles ago. I had no issues until 4-5k miles ago. I suspect bad synchronizers but maybe I am wrong?
There could be a problem with the synchronizer but check if the shift linkage needs some adjustment as well.
I have a 2000 Toyota Celica. I installed a new clutch bearing but the sound didn't go away. It's still making a grinding sound in 1, 2, and 3 gears. And the oil had metal shavings in it. What's wrong?
There could be worn out blocker rings and synchronizers. If the metal shavings are gold colored, they may come from the blocker rings. Check out this other post:
I have a 2005 Mustang GT 5 speed. It does good on everything but when I put it in 1st gear, then apply a little throttle and start to release the clutch, it makes a horrific vibration. It shakes the whole car, but if I apply more throttle my start off is strong. But if I'm just trying to cruise in a parking lot or if I'm in a drive-through, I have to almost rev up to high to keep it from doing it. When it does it, the car almost dies, even if I put it back in neutral. Any ideas?
Check first for a broken engine or transmission mount; also, inspect the clutch linkage assembly for any signs of trouble. Another common source of clutch chatter is contamination of the clutch friction surface. Oil from the engine rear main bearing seal, clutch slave cylinder, or a hydraulic line.
I have a 2010 Honda Civic. Sometimes I can't shift up or down into 2nd gear. Usually, it'll engage if I come off and depress the clutch down again (sometimes just goes into gear if I hold the stick into 2nd for a few seconds). It's really random. Had 1st gear lockout for a while too but that problem left on its own as this 2nd gear problem started occurring. Linkage is tight. I'm told it's the clutch but only 2nd gear is affected (makes me think gearbox). What do you think?
Check the linkage; something that might be hindering movement to one side. Perhaps a bad bushing. This could be an internal linkage problem as well.
My 2006 Toyota Corolla had its transmission cooling lines replaced and I put 3 quarts (2.84 l) of fluid in as the manual suggests. When the car is started, the car goes into gear and then drives about a half a mile and then it slows down and does not go, although the engine is still running. I then turn off the car, restart it and then the car goes again until it slows down and stops going again. What can be causing this?
You may be losing transmission oil pressure. Download trouble codes, even if the check engine light is not on. This is also a symptom of a weak fuel pump. Check fluid pressure and fuel pump before replacing any components to make sure what system you are dealing with. If possible, check fuel pressure after the engine loses power. This other post may help:
What could cause gear clashing when selecting a gear?
This usually can be traced to low fluid level, faulty clutch adjustment, problems in the clutch linkage or a binding cable, depending on your particular model. Hope this helps.
I have a 2003 Dodge Neon R/T (no turbo) that isn’t going into reverse or 5th. The reverse went out before I had the clutch replaced a few weeks ago. And now 5th isn’t working. What could that be?
Sometimes, this comes from a mechanical issue. Fully depress the clutch pedal. If you are unable to engage every gear, there's probably a problem in the linkage. Also, check the shifter. Hope this helps.
My 2012 Jeep Wrangle 6 speed shifts late and hard in lower gears. Mainly 3rd. What could cause the problem?
This is usually caused by a worn or faulty clutch disc, but it can also signal a problem with the linkage, shift rail. On a high mileage, or abused, transmission, burrs on a synchronizer groove or main shaft can also make it difficult and cause a gear to engage hard.
I have a Ford diesel F350 5 speed. The clutch goes all the way down, with proper tension, not spongy. Shifter goes into any gear. The truck won't move. This happened after I was going down the road and 5th gear made a horrible racket coming from under the boot. My truck had to be towed. Could this problem be a shifter linkage, bad clutch, bad transmission or all of the above?
If everything feels right but the truck won't move, check the transmission fluid. It may be low.
My 2017 Nissan Frontier has a hard time shifting from 2nd up into 3rd, down to 3rd from 4th is fine. It will sometimes grind a small bit. Do you know what might be causing this?
There could be a problem with a worn out hub gear for the third gear. This usually makes it hard to shift.
I have a 93 GMC Sierra 5 speed. The transmission from time to time will grind going into reverse only. What causes this issue?
Usually this is caused by worn reverse idler bushings, a worn or damaged reverse idler gear or counter gear, or faulty reverse sliding gear.
What is the procedure for testing gear clash?
You may need your vehicle repair manual. See if your clutch can be adjusted and check the clutch linkage. You may be dealing with low fluid. Other inspections would require some internal checks.
I have a 2001 Ford Escape 5 speed. 3rd and 4th want stay in gear, and now 5th as well! Do I need another transmission?
There are several reasons for a gear wanting to get stuck. Usually, this is caused by a worn component or a mechanical problem. For example, a worn or bad shift rails, shifter fork, gearshift lever broken or won, problems with the shift mechanism around the cover. But you should consider contaminated fluid as well. Manufacturers recommend changing the manual transmission fluid between 30 and 60,000 miles, depending on vehicle model (15,000 under heavy-duty use) mainly because of wear and tear to gears, bearings, and synchros. Accumulated metal particles will begin to affect these components.
My 98 Neon grinds when shifting into 1st and 2nd. There’s not any grinding sound. It just feels not smooth when shifting. Is this the CV joint? Or is it a transmission problem?
Usually CV joints will feel rough, produce a humming or growling noise when dry, and usually, the bearings will be worn. But make sure your gearbox has enough oil.
I have a 2001 Trans Am WS6, 6-speed manual, and it takes a while to be able to put it into second gear. What could cause this?
This could be a problem with the oil. Plus checking the oil could give you some clues as to parts wear if you see a lot of shavings there. But this could be a problem with a synchro as well.
I have a 2007 Suzuki SX4 and this morning the gearbox or something has gone wrong. It worked fine yesterday but now it won’t go into reverse and when in the other gears, the gear stick can still be moved around, like it hasn’t locked into place. Where should I start looking to repair my Suzuki's gearbox?
Have the gear lever-to-linkage and the linkage itself checked. There could be something loose or in need of adjustment there or with the rails or forks.
My 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt is having problems going into first and second gear. It will start in 3rd, slowly, and not a huge deal but as a woman, I now have callouses on my right-hand pads from trying to get it into gear (first and second gear- reverse at times, but mostly when it is cold). No grinding noises or any other abnormal noises. Is it the clutch or transmission? Perhaps something else?
The problem might be in the fluid. Make sure there's enough fluid and in good condition. Another possibility is the synchronizer assembly. This will require a better diagnostic before committing to any major transmission work.
Have a 2002 Toyota Camry. On startup, the car sounds like the engine is revved up and also when pressing the gas to change to other gear. Also, it won't shift into 5th gear. Makes grinding sound when trying to get 5th. Before 5th totally went out, it would pop out of 5th. Hope it's not the transmission. Could it be the clutch?
The high revs may come form a slipping clutch.
Also, check the gearshift lever for wear or damage that may prevent engaging into fifth gear. Other possibilities is internal damage.
I have a 2006 Nissan Sentra Spec V. It has a popping sound when the vehicle is in gear after it decelerates. It will seem to pop as soon as the vehicle starts to decline speed, or when I hit the gas it will pop again. I had recently in the past month replaced all motor and transmission mounts, CV axles, wheel bearings, control arms, sway bar, bushings, and the noise continues. Do you know what could cause a pop sound under deceleration and when I hit the gas again?
The only other mechanical thing that I can think of is a loose or faulty strut. Although you are describing a mechanical sound, a backfire in the exhaust may happen under the same condition. It usually comes from too advanced timing.
I have a 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX and it squeals in all gears and in reverse when letting off the clutch at initiation point. Any ideas?
Seems like the noise is coming from the input shaft bearing. This will make a noise when releasing the clutch pedal but will stop if you depress the pedal.
The left side axle shaft keeps coming out, what can I do to make it stop?
Check the suspension components that support/help that axle, lower suspension system. If a component is damaged it may be pulling on the axle. Another possibility is the C clip that locks the axle to the transmission. It may be damaged.
I have a 2008 Dodge Ram manual that grinds when trying to shift into reverse while it's running. It also is difficult going into 1st while running but doesn't grind on any other gears. When the engine is off it shifts fine. What could this be?
Reverse gears use a straight cut and some grinding noise is expected. But, if the noise is more pronounced now, there could be a problem with an idler bushing, idler gear or counter gear reverse gear. Now, having problems with reverse and first gear like you have is not uncommon for many models. First gear has a weak synchronizer. Try selecting another gear before selecting first. This is a trick that helps in other models. And try engaging 1st when the vehicle is completely stopped to avoid more synchro wear. See if this helps.
I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla manual transmission. When I downshift from gear 2 to 1, a sort of flapping sound came up but stops when on neutral or not noticeable in gear 1. What could be the problem?
Check first for loose parts or components near the transmission, like loose exhaust hangers or transmission mounts. These are the usual sources. They may be there at higher gears but the sound might be muffled.
My 2010 Hyundai Tucson is making a grinding noise when it gets over 40km/h. The sound disappears if I turn right, but is present when in a straightaway or turning left. I already had the right passenger side wheel bearing changed with no effect. What could be the problem?
Other components that can make noise include the axle/CV joints. Leaking grease or torn boots are an indication of damaged joints (inner or outer). If the brakes are grabbing slightly that can make a noise. Try slightly applying the brakes and see if the noise changes somehow. If it does, inspect the brakes. Try pressing the clutch pedal when you go above 40 kmh. If the noise goes away, it may be related to the transmission (possibly a worn shaft bearing or intermediate shaft bearing). If you notice the grinding increases with vehicle speed, there could be a problem with a tire or wheel out of balance, even a damaged or bent rim. Hope this helps.
It has become difficult to downshift from 5th to 4th in my 1981 Toyota diesel pickup. It shifts out of 5th smoothly but catches going into 4th. Double clutching helps, but it will still grind a little. Pumping the master cylinder helps intermittently. Also, on a random shift up or down, it feels as if the clutch is not fully disengaging and the gears will drag slightly as they disengage. That happens less often with the new master cylinder. Any thoughts?
Kind of unusual, but if you hear the grinding, probably the synchro is the issue here.
What causes a car to roll when its on gears (1-5 & R)? I replaced my gear box but still the same. The car is Mazda 323 1.6i.
This is usually caused by a slipping clutch. It may be worn or not properly adjusted.
2000 Mazda B3000, same transmission as the Ford Ranger M5R1. It is hard to shift into 1st, sometimes 2nd too, whether the engine is running or not. Has a new clutch, and all new hydraulics. Do I need another trans or shift forks or synchros?
There are one several reason for this to happen: A problem with the gearshift internal linkage or shift rail assembly; gearshift lever (worn or damaged); problem with a synchronizer sleeve. You need to have the problem properly diagnosed. You might want to start with the gearshift lever.
Can a flywheel cause a car to crank but not start?
If the flywheel has missing teeth, it can prevent the starter from properly sniping the crankshaft. You'd probably hear some grinding.
I changed the clutch out in 89 Toyota 4WD and it drove great for 5 miles, then it developed a grinding noise. Now it won't pull at all, what is causing this?
There could be a problem with the throw-out bearing; check the hydraulic system as well, master cylinder and lines.
Why does my car only shift gears when the engine is off?
Have you checked the fluid level? If low, it may need some attention. Look for leaks if necessary. If you didn't move the car for a while, look for rust around the flywheel-clutch assembly.
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