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Hard to put car in gear when engine running. If I start the car in gear the clutch still works fine. What could be the problem? thanks

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  • kiwiryder Nov 25, 2008

    Thankyou for a speedy responce. It is possible to get the car into top gear with the engine running but seems progressively more difficult to obtain lower gears. 1st and reverse are impossible. The clutch is a cable and appears fine. I tried adjustment but no improvement. There still seems to be plenty of clutch as I can stall the engine if I hold the brake and let it out in gear. I am a bit puzzled by all this.

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If only some gears are effected, then most lilkley it is worn syncronizers on those gears requiring a tranmission rebuild. if it is on all gears then it is clutch related. the clutch could be dragging slightly, try flushing and bleeding the clutch hydralics

Posted on Nov 25, 2008

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2003 Porsche Carrera 4 will not go into any gear with motor running. With the engine off I can shift through the gears just fine. It feels like the clutch is not fully disengaged.


You can test the clutch hypothesis. Carefully put the car in gear for a safe direction, then depress the clutch and turn over the engine. If the car lurches, then the clutch is not working. In this case, check the linkage to the clutch, or if yours is hydraulic, check the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder. If the cylinder is low, then don't stop by just filling it, you want to find out where the fluid went. Look for leaks - especially around the clutch slave cylinder.
If on the other hand your engine it starts with the transmission in gear and the clutch down without lurching, then try letting the clutch out slowly. With any luck you have it running and in gear. See what happens next. Good Luck!

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1998 Honda Civic manual trans will not shift into gears. Car starts, push in clutch and it goes to the floor, release clutch and comes back up. Unable to put into gears. Brake fluid and clutch fluid seem...


Eric, how are you confirming whether or not the car goes into gear if you shift gears without the engine running? One way would be to put it in 1st and see if you can push the car. If you can't, it is in gear.

Another option is to roll the car slightly forward or backward (engine off) while trying to put the car in gear. Once it is in gear, then the car shouldn't move any further. However, if it goes into gear, DO NOT start the car without taking it back out of gear.

The clutch is much more likely to be the problem than the transmission.

If the clutch fluid ever ran dry, then the clutch hydraulics will need to be bled of air. Otherwise, the problem could be the clutch master cylinder, slave cylinder or throwout bearing. Since you didn't report the clutch slipping (e.g. engine revving without accelerating when in gear) it is likely not the clutch disks themselves.

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Shifting gears is hard when car is first started


this is completely normal, when your engine isnt running you can usually get into any gear without even putting the clutch in. My jeep does this and all u usually have to do is give it just a tiny bit of gas while pushing the clutch in and it will slip right into first. Your clutch is fine my car does the exact same thing and the clutch is fairly knew, around 10k miles.

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Either the clutch has failed, or something inside the transmission has broken.
Can you shift gears with the engine running and not depressing the clutch ? Can you put the transmission in first gear and move the car by hand ?

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I am having a problem putting into gear when engine is running but goes in easy when engine turned off,clutch is fine ,it feels like gateway to gears is wrong ,any ideas


the clutch may fell as if its working but its not right, its draging,,,,that whey you cant get the gears when the engine is running,,

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I have a Fiat Palio 2002 and off late I find the gear shift getting stuck - means I cannot change gear when the engine is running. The gear is smooth when the engine is off.


the clutch plate is burnt and needs replacing.. Thats why it works when the car is cool or aint running. as soon as it gets hot,, the seal of the metal has burnt out.. meaning the metal binds making it hard to shift.. Change the clutch play,, you'll be fine!

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Well, there is only one thing I can think of in your situation. Your pressure plates just simply are not creating enough pressure to allow the gears to engage. Either you have a defective clutch and it needs to be replaced, or possibly just needs a ton of adjustment. When you put it in 1st gear while engine is off, then start it and take off that works b/c there is enough pressure to keep the gears from starting to move when not already moving. However when they are already moving, there is just not enough pressure to stop them from turning, not even long enough to shift. Have you tried forcing it into 2,3, or 4 while driving without the clutch? As long as you achieve the correct RPM's your transmission should be able to do so.

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