Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Gear shifting problems

asked by on

I got this car about 3 years ago with 90,000 miles on it from a one time owner(older woman). The car hasn't really had any major issues, especially transmission issues. At the most, just replacing the starter and the usual brake changes and spark plug changes and stuff. I will also add that after about the 2nd year, the car has barely had any clutch left. Maybe about 2 inches in the pedal. Well, about 6 months ago I got in it to go to work and the shifter was really loose and for some reason I didn't have 2nd, 4th, or reverse. Only 1st, 3rd, and 5th. I sat there and kept trying to go through the gears and now I've got all gears except first and second. When I try to go into those gears it doesn't pop back out or grind or anything. It just won't go into them. I checked my trans fluid and topped it off and looked at the linkage right under the leather cover on the shifter and it seemed fine. I'm puzzled on what is going on with it. I'm hoping it's an easy fix I might be able to fix mysel

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Your description of the situation makes it ...

Your description of the situation makes it sound like there could be a combination of problems. With only having 2 inches of clutch pedal, this is an issue that might have bearing on the shifting issue, but I doubt it. Yet, it is an issue that still need to be addressed, as it could be a failing clutch, or failing master/slave cylinder assembly. Either of these by themselves can cause their own headaches. But, it sounds to me like you are probably dealing with a shifter control problem. Meaning that there is probably a problem in the shifter cable assembly, or the linkage that controls the gear changes, and is the exposed linkage on top of the transmission. If a cable has stretched, or the mounting point has become loose, it can cause the type of issues that you have described. A visual inspection, by a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com, should be able to tell you if something in the shift linkage has stretched, or become loose. Keep in mind that it is not completely out of the question that there has been a failure inside the transmission. When a clutch is not performing as it should, it can wreak havoc on the inside of the transmission.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Problems with overheating, accelerating, and starting

Did all of these happen at the same time? It is possible they are related but they may be separate problems. For the overheating problem, it sounds you may have a coolant fan that is inoperative. The hesitation could be...

Q: Low coolant temperature, thermostat issue

Hey there. If a new thermostat has been installed, I believe one of two things could be your issue. Either the thermostat you purchased is somehow faulty even as a brand new part or the cooling fan on your vehicle...

Q: Hard to start and idles roughly, though travels at normal speed once started.

Hi there. There are a lot of possible causes of this. If the check engine light is on then the computer should be scanned to see what codes are coming up. Most of the time when you have symptoms like...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...