1996 Nissan Altima will not go in gear


1996 Altima feel like it’s not going into gear…5-speed manual My son was going down 465 and the car stop moving as if it was in neutral…no noise did not pop out of gear or grind just came to a slow decent.

He tells me that the last couple of days prior to this he noticed the car felt sluggish…feeling you get when you go from 1st gear to 3rd gear…and the car is struggling a little to get to speed.

If the engine is not running or is running and I put it into gear nothing happens and I can push the car by hand and it will roll forward.

Any suggestions…I am thinking Clutch or Synchronizers in the transmission


Your clutch is toast.

Synchros perform an entirely different function. They only “prep” the upcoming gear as you shift by getting it spinning to the proper speed before engagement. Bad synchros don’t prevent engagement, they just make it chunkier and they whirrrrrrrrr as you drive down the road.


I have to agree with Mountainbike. It sounds like a clutch, but the clutch has to be GONE, not just worn, if you can put it in gear and push it by yourself.

If the engine is running normally, it almost has to be the clutch.

It’s NOT the synchros.


Before you call it a clutch (which it could very well be), crawl under the car and look at the half-shafts that deliver power from the transaxle to the front wheels. I’d almost be willing to say that a CV joint failed (albeit very quietly, but that’s not out of the realm of possibility).

As mcparadise said, the clutch has to be completely shot… like non-existent for you to be able to move the car by hand in gear.


Thanks for the synchros understanding and that makes since…I know the half shafts need replaced…the boots are severely torn and has been for a while but how do I determine whether it’s the clutch or CV joints…I am with mcparadise…I don’t find clutches just going out without some prior issues


Physical inspection will be what you need to do for the half shafts. If a shaft is broken, or a CV joint has failed, it should be fairly obvious.