I have a 91 cavalier with a manual tranny...2.2. when the clutch is cold it is fine but when it warms up it gets harder to push in and makes kindof a sqeeking noise coming from under the hood. what could be the issue
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It could obviously be the tranny is gone, but you would want to make sure you have enough clutch flood and the clutch is fully engaging. I had a leak in my 98 cavalier clutch fluid, and when it got low, it would not fully engage the clutch, simply making it hard to get into gear. Its DOT3 fluid. If so try reversing a little bit and gently tiring to get into gear. I believe 1st and 2nd gear share the same gear selection fork inside the tranny. Drain fluid and look for metal.
check the clutch operation especially the m/cylinder for failure. The fluid and the master cyl. is probably not disengaging the clutch enough. the rears will not necessarily grate as the synchros are working overtime to spin the gears for alignment because the clutch shaft is still moving under power from the engine.
It sounds to me like the transmission is starting to fail. As the clutches inside the transmission wear the clutch pack gains additional clearance. Your pressures in the transmission will be higher with cold oil so it has a tendency to build a bit of extra pressure, but it's also slower in flowing through the transmission. This results in a harder hitting first gear. As the transmission warms up, it will reduce the viscosity of the oil and work fine. Cold weather kills automatic transmissions. Let it warm up before driving it or it won't last long. It will require an overhaul soon.
A stretched clutch cable doesn't feel any different than a new one. Check the clutch play (disengage tolerance), and adjust it if necessary. This is the most popular reason for hard to select gears. Worn out clutches will slip, and this is not your case. A worn out or defective synchronizer ring/ sleeve will ONLY affect 2 gears, and all the others will work fine, if this is your case, then the gearbox has to be taken apart, and rebuilt.
You will have a slave cylinder either on the firewall and /or on the side of the transmission for the hydraulics of your clutch. hope that this answers your question. Good luck, and remember to rate all replies that you get. Thanx.