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Discussion Starter #1
Not really sure how this happens. But Friday morning before I left to go to Hot August nights at 5am, I started the car and tried to put it in 1st. The shifter didn't want to engage. I doulbe clutched it a few times and it finally said YES. Then I get to the coffee shop and get my coffee. Get into the car and tried to put the shifter into reverse. Same problem. The shifter didn't like it and wouldn't let me engage it into reverse. So after numerous double clutching and putting the car into random gears I was able to put the transmission into reverse. I had no other shifting problems on my way to Reno.

On the way home. I get into my car at my parents house and try to shift the transmission into reverse again. Nope. It won't let me. Kinda wierd. I just coasted out of the driveway instead.

So what do you guys think is the problem? Maybe not enough trans fluid? Clutch fluid? Maybe finnicky shifter? Maybe my CAGS eliminator isn't cooperating? What do you guys think?
 

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Did you try to put it in another gear first other than the one you were trying to get into? For instance, if it wouldn't go into 1st, did you try shifting to second and then into first? That usually works, unless your synchros are shot (which they could be)...do you race the car? miss a lot of shifts and grind gears?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did you try to put it in another gear first other than the one you were trying to get into? For instance, if it wouldn't go into 1st, did you try shifting to second and then into first? That usually works, unless your synchros are shot (which they could be)...do you race the car? miss a lot of shifts and grind gears?
Yes. I tried putting it in the other gears and then into 1st. Then I was having problems with putting it into reverse.

This problem only happens randomly. Kinda wierd.

No I never speed shift the car. Never race it. Never have ever grinded a gear. That's why I am thinking it is either the trans fluid or the clutch fluid. Or maybe it has something to do with the electrical unit on the transmission.

The problems only seem to happen when the car is cold. Like early morning. But like I said, it happens randomly. Not every morning.
 

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I have a similar prob, the first drive of the day its hard to get into gear and when i take off i have what feels like clutch hoping, you have any anything like that? i think i'm going to bleed the clutch and see if that will fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a similar prob, the first drive of the day its hard to get into gear and when i take off i have what feels like clutch hoping, you have any anything like that? i think i'm going to bleed the clutch and see if that will fix it.
It doesn't really feel like the clutch is hopping. Clutch feels fine. Just feels like I am locked out of the gears for some reason. And double clutching doesn't really allow me to get it in gear either.

I think I may drain the transmission and put some new fluid in it. Any suggestions? I had good results with Redline Shockproof synthetic in my WRX. Seemed to make shifts much more smooth.

http://www.turbobits.co.uk/acatalog/redline_heavy_weight_shockproof_synthetic_gear_oil.html
 

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Clutch fluid? Huh? Hehe.. It actually could be a problem w/ the master or slave cyl. not working properly. I think we all really have problems getting into gear at some point.. I usually have to go into 3rd if reverse is hard to get into. Had the same prob. w/ my past Vettes..

If it keeps it up, it would def. be replaced under warranty... GM quality, baby!
 

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Wow, I'm not the only one. The exact same thing happened to me this AM, so I did a search for "clutch" on this forum, and found this posting. Is this a common problem? Will an aftermarket (SPEC) clutch help?

Greg
 

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2005 CTS-V
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Not really sure how this happens. But Friday morning before I left to go to Hot August nights at 5am, I started the car and tried to put it in 1st. The shifter didn't want to engage. I doulbe clutched it a few times and it finally said YES. Then I get to the coffee shop and get my coffee. Get into the car and tried to put the shifter into reverse. Same problem. The shifter didn't like it and wouldn't let me engage it into reverse. So after numerous double clutching and putting the car into random gears I was able to put the transmission into reverse. I had no other shifting problems on my way to Reno.

On the way home. I get into my car at my parents house and try to shift the transmission into reverse again. Nope. It won't let me. Kinda wierd. I just coasted out of the driveway instead.

So what do you guys think is the problem? Maybe not enough trans fluid? Clutch fluid? Maybe finnicky shifter? Maybe my CAGS eliminator isn't cooperating? What do you guys think?
As your post recognizes, when you cannot get the car into the gear you want, the standard work-around is to put it into another gear. However, your post does not make it clear that you are doing the whole work-around. Specifically, when you put the car into an alternative gear, like 2nd gear when your trying to get to reverse, you are supposed to relase the clutch enough to rotate the transmission "a little" before reattempting the shift into the desired gear, i.e. reverse.

If you look at the sevice manual regarding the diagnosis of transmission problems the first thing on the trouble shooting sequence is to go find the clutch troubleshooting chart. Under the clutch troubleshooting sequence the first items are clutch pedal related - its adjustment, its spring, etc. After that, the clutch trouble shooting process goes to the hydraulics. This involves the quantity and quality (age) of the brake fluid in the clutch master cylinder, possible kinks in the line, and whether the master cylinder and or slave cylinder could be binding. Bottom line is - check the clutch operation first.

Assuming the clutch operation is okay the next thing would be the quanitity and quality (age) of transmission fluid. Beyond checking the level of, or changing the transmission fluid I would be at the point where I take it to the dealer because troubleshooting the transmission requires diagnostic expertise beyond mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As your post recognizes, when you cannot get the car into the gear you want, the standard work-around is to put it into another gear. However, your post does not make it clear that you are doing the whole work-around. Specifically, when you put the car into an alternative gear, like 2nd gear when your trying to get to reverse, you are supposed to relase the clutch enough to rotate the transmission "a little" before reattempting the shift into the desired gear, i.e. reverse.

If you look at the sevice manual regarding the diagnosis of transmission problems the first thing on the trouble shooting sequence is to go find the clutch troubleshooting chart. Under the clutch troubleshooting sequence the first items are clutch pedal related - its adjustment, its spring, etc. After that, the clutch trouble shooting process goes to the hydraulics. This involves the quantity and quality (age) of the brake fluid in the clutch master cylinder, possible kinks in the line, and whether the master cylinder and or slave cylinder could be binding. Bottom line is - check the clutch operation first.

Assuming the clutch operation is okay the next thing would be the quanitity and quality (age) of transmission fluid. Beyond checking the level of, or changing the transmission fluid I would be at the point where I take it to the dealer because troubleshooting the transmission requires diagnostic expertise beyond mine.

Well it happened to me again this morning. And it didn't get any better after the transmission warmed up. That's why I am thinking its the clutch fluid.

I do try to put the car in first gear every morning. If I can't, I double clutch it and try 2nd or 4th gear and then back to 1st. It doesn't always work though.

The clutch fluid has 28k miles on it. I will check it at break time during work hours:) I will also check the transmission fluid when I get home today, just in case.

If I do decide on taking it to the dealership, I will need to take off the CAGS eliminator off the transmission before I get there.
 

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Putting it into another gear to get into first just puts extra wear on the gear teeth. The reason a car sometimes doesn't want to go into first is that synchros don't work unless the car is moving, and first gear requires the most synchronization to engage. The easiest workaround is to put the car in Neutral and let the clutch out, which will spin things a bit inside the transmission, then clutch in and put it in first. Putting it in another gear is just forcing a non-synchronized shift.

Every manual transmission car I've ever owned has this same behavior, including 3 Miatas (the pinnacle of transmission quality). If it happens constantly, you may be experiencing a problem with the clutch not fully disengaging. Darkman is right on the money as far as causes, such as slave cylinder pressure or aged fluid. You might also make sure that your floormat is not preventing the clutch pedal from going all the way to the floor. It sounds silly, but I've seen it happen.
 

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Haha...kept getting the "Server Busy" message, and hitting the back button.

As Ah-nuld once said: "Big.......Mistake."
 

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you do know that synchromax is a fluid recommended for manual trans' that spec ATF right?

the royal purple manual tranny fluid is Max Gear
 

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Putting it into another gear to get into first just puts extra wear on the gear teeth. The reason a car sometimes doesn't want to go into first is that synchros don't work unless the car is moving, and first gear requires the most synchronization to engage. The easiest workaround is to put the car in Neutral and let the clutch out, which will spin things a bit inside the transmission, then clutch in and put it in first. Putting it in another gear is just forcing a non-synchronized shift.
I am not exactly clear as to what you mean here. I believe that if you start with the car running, the transmission in neutral, and the clutch engaged (pedal not depressed) that you can then (1) depress the clutch pedal; and (2) put the transmission in any gear you choose without damage. Specifically, you can start out in 2nd gear if you want to. Granted, starting out in higher gears may require a lot clutch work and/or bog the engine, but should not represent a transmission issue. Simply put, there is nothing magic about "first gear" being "first" chronologically.
 

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I am not exactly clear as to what you mean here. I believe that if you start with the car running, the transmission in neutral, and the clutch engaged (pedal not depressed) that you can then (1) depress the clutch pedal; and (2) put the transmission in any gear you choose without damage. Specifically, you can start out in 2nd gear if you want to. Granted, starting out in higher gears may require a lot clutch work and/or bog the engine, but should not represent a transmission issue. Simply put, there is nothing magic about "first gear" being "first" chronologically.

There's nothing "magic" about first gear, but it does require the most synchronization to engage due to the difference in size and rotation speed from the main drive gear. The main drive gear, cluster gear and all the mainshaft gears are always turning, even when the transmission is in neutral.

All I'm saying is if you're having trouble getting the car in first (assuming that your hydraulic release system is working as designed), putting it in 2nd or 3rd just to force the car to let you into first gear is unnecessary. Letting the clutch out in Neutral allows your entire gearset to rotate, at which point you can reapply the clutch and engage first.
 

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There's nothing "magic" about first gear, but it does require the most synchronization to engage due to the difference in size and rotation speed from the main drive gear. The main drive gear, cluster gear and all the mainshaft gears are always turning, even when the transmission is in neutral.

All I'm saying is if you're having trouble getting the car in first (assuming that your hydraulic release system is working as designed), putting it in 2nd or 3rd just to force the car to let you into first gear is unnecessary. Letting the clutch out in Neutral allows your entire gearset to rotate, at which point you can reapply the clutch and engage first.
Got it. Thanks.
 
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