Lately, my 1995 Civic LX (manual) has been getting off to a bumpy start in first gear. Normally, I would assume that my clutch is going out, but it only seems to do this when the engine is cold. Also, the action of the stick shift seems a little rough. Could it be that I just need to replace or top of the transmission fluid? Or am I looking at replacing the whole clutch? Any opinions will be appreciated. Thanks.
It would be a good idea to check the transmission oil. I believe on the passengers side there is a fill and drain plug. The oil is supposed to be filled until it reaches the fill plug. There is no dipstick, so you can remove the plug and use a strip of paper to gauge the level. This sounds to me though like you have a clutch that isn’t disengaging properly. Check the fluid reservoir for the proper level. It is near the fire wall on the drivers side next to the brake master cylinder. You may have a leaking line or master/slave cylinder. Check those things and post back.
P.S. The fill plug is the one on the side near the top, the drain is on the bottom or on the side near the bottom. You may have to buy a funnel with a small hose to fill it.
Could be the 15 year old fluid in the gear case is no longer very good. Also there maybe some bad shift linkage cable bushings. So I would replace the gear oil with Honda spec manual transmission oil, and check the cable bushings.
I agree a change couldn’t hurt, but be careful to put the right oil in. DO NOT use automatic transmission fluid. It’s not the same. I would even call the dealership to make sure you get the right stuff.
Changing the gear oil can’t hurt, but it will not help the problem
Thanks, all of you. I’ll start with checking the fluid and start from there.
The gear oil wouldn’t cause a bumpy start.
Could also be an issue with the clutch cable or master/slave cylinders.
Another possibility is just cold damp weather, that causes moisture, condensate, rust to build up on the clutch surface that can make the clutch grabby. If this is the case the grabby clutch will return to normal after some use. If not it could be a more serious problem that would require clutch replacement.