Question about 1997 Honda Civic

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Hard Shifting 1997 5 Speed Honda Civic Manual Transmission

I have a 1997 Honda Civic CX hatchback with 150K miles, For some time now I have noticed that shifting the car in just about every gear is getting increasing more difficult to the point where I often grind gears before getting it in the proper speed. I added gear oil and that did not help. When it warms up, it's a little better, but not much. First gear gets much easier once warm, but the others only get marginally easier. Any ideas?

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  • tom6863 Jul 28, 2008

    yes, I'm just encountering this problem now. Where do I put whatever fluids are needed?

    I am having difficulty with the clutch as well...it seems to go to the floor without resistance. this lasts a couple of minutes then slowly goes away.


  • Anonymous Sep 04, 2008

    i have a 97 honda civic ex i don't know why but for some reason every gear in my car is geting realy hard to shift when my car get a little warm it changes a little bit but no much and i don't know why is doing that

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    why is my 1996 honda civic not changing gear properly

  • Anonymous Mar 20, 2014

    1996 Excel X3 (Australia) / Accent (international). Manual transmission, 200000+km. The shift is getting a little notchy and I'd like to try changing the gear-oil. The 24mm drain plug loosens easily but the 17mm filler-plug is frozen hard. I've already used about as much force as I dare, only managing to burr the head some.
    About 2cm below and offset from the stubborn filler is another bolt head: 14mm, angled slightly downward, marked '7' on my car. This one loosens easily and bleeds oil, but it's not mentioned at all in my manual. Does anyone know its purpose and what's behind it? Could it be an extra inspection point?
    I'm tempted to try jacking the front-end up and feeding in the specified fresh fill through this smaller hole. Convince me I'm crazy. Stop me before I kill again.

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My 1997 honda civic lx is very hard to shift and when i get it to shift sometimes it gets stuck in that gear what could be the problrm and how can i fix that?

Posted on Jan 17, 2009

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If its manual transmission, when moving in any gear try stepping on the gas pedal, does the engine feels like its running away? if it does it maybe the clutch lining is expended expensive job.
If not you have to check the clutch fluid level or a leak in the master cylinder (at the foot pedal) assembly or in the slave(clutch lever actuator) the clutch actuator may not be traveling (pushing) sufficiently to give you an adequate clutch separation in other words you are trying to shift the gears with little or no clutch at all.
There is an overhaul kit that you can buy (cheap) for the master or the slave. easy to do really just remove, disassemble, replace the rubber seals and cups, reinstall, bleed the air out.

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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It sounds like 1, your using the wrong fluid, most manual trannys on hondas and acuras take a 10w30 motor oil yes motor oil. 2 you could have bad syncros. 3 most hondas have hydrolic clutches your clutch resivor maybe low check it, its l,ocated right beside your brake fluid. honda manual transmision are sapose to be serviced every 15k too 30k the guys at lube shops arent tryn to take your money u need thes servises done acordingly its just like changing your engine oil. hense the reason ther called prevenitev matinences.

Posted on Jan 29, 2011

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Broken gear selector or worn shaft and synchros.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014

  • Martin Tiffany
    Martin Tiffany Sep 23, 2014

    id bet its the selector snapped in half verry comon on the civics.

  • Martin Tiffany
    Martin Tiffany Sep 23, 2014

    could be all 3

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I have same issue with Integra Type R, 1.8DOHC Vtec, S80 tranny. Already replaced Honda MTF but no good. Gears are smooth as butter with the engine cold (I\'ve checked all Gears, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and even Reverse) but when operating temp is reached it gets more n more difficult to shift and this isn\'t a problem with one gear. The shifter takes more effort to put it into gear. There is no grinding, no squealing at all. By the way with engine hot, even if I shut the engine try to shift it is still hard to shift. This I believe rules out issue with pilot bearing or clutch, has to be something in linkage cuz with engine off shifting the crankshaft isn\'t turning shouldnt be hard to shift. I suspect some swollen rubber bushing or i dont know. Please help.

Posted on Dec 24, 2012

  • Martin Tiffany
    Martin Tiffany Sep 23, 2014

    gear selector is snapped in half.

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I asked a Honda repair technician and he said that it sounds like the throw out bearing and due to it's location, we are looking at a $1,500 repair.

For a manual transmission, if you open the hood and look to the left of the engine on the side near the bottom of the engine compartment, you will see a large nut that, if removed, is where you put your gear oil, but that did not help me. If you have an manual, look up gear oil and there will be a diagram.

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

I had the same problem. Someone put gear oil (SAE 90) in my transmission, and the shifting was very hard. I Replaced transmission fluid with honda transmission fluid. It has been very smooth now.

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

Well the gear oil is now fresh. It almost took an entire quart.
What is a dog clutch? Never heard of that before.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008

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Hi
that is 2 parts could be happen: 1. hydraulic system or clutch breake disc system.
hydraulic system have master cylinder, line, hydraulic switch (attached with engine and hydraulic pipe line)
clutch break disc system have clutch disc, pressure plate, switching bearing, switching fok.
in 1997 honda civic have a menual oil for sure. you can see the rectangle shap nut hole conner of transmission, you can see the drain plug blow of transmission, You need to replace every 30k or 1 and half years.
Try to shift gear number one to back and back to one. if you cant do that could be clutch disc too thin. if you can't do every shifting number one to 5 that meant your shifting switching something wrong. you need to check hydraulic system.
I hope that would help you .
Alex

Posted on Apr 19, 2011

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I am recogment that honda should never replace with gear oil period. honda only take honda mtf. older honda may take motor oil. new honda only honda mtf or atf. hard shifting i recogment to change your mtf it will solve the problem. honda have this kinds problem for many years. hope this will help you out there.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009

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Could be a lot of things. What's the gear lube look like?
Most common would be dog clutch...a pretty in depth repair unless you're somewhat familar with the beasts.
Could also be as simple as cable adjustment

Posted on Jul 28, 2008

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