Q: stiff gear change

asked by on

I recently bought an audi a3 fsi. soon after I epc warning light remained on and at times had trouble starting. after diagnostics, sensors and connectors replaced the problem was dirty oil. the system was cleaned and oil replaced. I now have the problem of when the engine is cold it is difficult to get into first gear and reverse goes in with a big clunk. the other gears are also stiff. when the engine is warm the problem is not as bad but it is not the ease and smoothness as before. could this be associated with the recent work carried out?

My car has 126000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hey there. One of the problems associated with buying a used car is having accurate data on how the previous owner maintained the vehicle. When you mentioned that after diagnostics were completed, that the technician discovered that dirty oil was the problem it seems pretty evident that routine service and maintenance may have been an issue with the previous owner. It definitely raised a red flag with me.

However, what typically doesn’t show up on a diagnostic check is what damage the dirty oil may have caused to the engine/transmission or other components inside including gaskets, o-rings, or gears. Oil works best when it has reached an operating temperature, which is most likely why you’re having problems shifting when the car is cold and why when you shift into reverse initially you hear that "BIG CLUNK"; and when the car heats up, it becomes smoother.

The one thing that dirty oil does a good job of however, is masking mechanical problems inside the engine and transmission case of a manual transmission. It’s quite possible that changing the oil simply brought to life the damage that had been done previously because of wear and tear and lack of proper maintenance. Having 126,000 miles on your manual transmission is about when you’re due for a transmission inspection.

Let us know if the problem smooths out over the next week or so. If not, a good road test and diagnostic check by a qualified mechanic can give you a good starting point for fixing your shifting issue. Thanks for writing into us today! I hope your problems go away sooner rather than later.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. stiff gear change

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: HI I have a 99 Audi A6 The radio lights are not working also the AC lights

You could be right about a fuse, or it could go deeper. There are two circuits for the console lights, one makes them go dimmer when you turn on the headlights. That's why things change when the headlights are on....

Q: There is something wrong with the central lock system and when I shift in gear its not indicated and an alert sound is heard.

Hi there. The shifter is designed to make a charm when the shifter is not engaged properly. Check the lock button on the shifter and make sure that its unlocking as the shifter is moved. Also, step on the brake...

Q: Heater only works at high speeds

If the blower fan is operational, then you might have a clogged cabin air filter. The filter is located behind the glovebox and should be changed periodically, to ensure proper HVAC operation and air volume. If the blower is not...

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 Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...