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Old 26 Dec 2012, 10:16 pm
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Default My 1998 Honda Civic ex 5 spd manual has a problem putting it into gear. whats causing this?

I have a 5spd 98 honda civic manual tranny. I just noticed this today. i was driving in the morning and it was hard to put into first gear. later at night i went to put it in reverse and it would not go into the gear. so i shut the car off put it in reverse and turned the car on. it engaged. i went to put it in first gear and same thing happened. the boot on the CV joint is split but the axle and joint are still working. after driving it for a couple of minutes it became easier to shift into gear. whats causing this? the sycronizer? or could it be the transmission?
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Old 26 Dec 2012, 10:32 pm
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most likely problem is bad clutch possibly a spring on the clutch jumped out ,or something within the area of the clutch has gone bad/wrong, ,its possible synchronizer are causing difficult shifting,but i believe its just a clutch problem, either open the transmission yourself and check or have a shop do it before it becomes worst and you get stranded for good ,hope this narrows down an helps you solve your problem
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Old 26 Dec 2012, 10:46 pm
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Most Honda manual transmissions have a hydraulic clutch. It is just like your brakes, if you don't have enough fluid in the reservoir, the brakes will not work. I believe this is what you are up against.

Open your hood and on the firewall, driver's side, there is two reservoirs. The leftmost one is the clutch and is much smaller than the brake one. Open it and fill it with brake fluid. Close it back up and pump the clutch about 20 times. Recheck the level. While you are at it, top off your brakes as well. This has a good chance of fixing your problem.

If the problem is resolved and it comes back, in a week or so, then you have a leak in the clutch hydraulic system. It may be the master cylinder or the slave cylinder for the clutch. If the problem persists, you have a problem with the clutch itself and not the actuating mechanism.
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Old 26 Dec 2012, 11:03 pm
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 72

everyone take note. it is getting colder outside and the O.P. said "after driving it for a couple of minutes it became easier to shift into gear."


when colder the transmission fluid is thicker. after the car/transmission warms up a little bit it starts to thin to its ideal viscosity. with the thicker oil it puts more of a barrier between the synchronizers which greatly increase the "spin up" time which will make it seem like doesn't want to go into gear.

two options you can either change the trans fluid to make sure it is O.E.M. the O.E.M fluid shouldn't cause this but with it being older I am sure someone has changed it at some point (I hope) or you can just let your car warm up for a few minutes before you drive it on colder days. it is common when people change it that they use 5W-30 motor oil. the older transmissions used this the newer transmissions use dedicated manual transmission fluid. there are a few aftermarket options.
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