2nd Gear Resistance Honda Civic

Recently bought a 2007 Honda Civic w/ 5 speed manual trans. I’ve noticed occasional but consistent difficulty/resistance in 2nd gear, especially downshifting. Clutch is fully engaged. Mentioned this to the dealer during maintenance visit, but they found nothing - you need to drive it for a few weeks to notice.

WE have a similar problem right from new. DEaler checked into it and cannot reproduce it. Ours will not fully go into gear sometimes. It feels like it only goes half way into gear and when you let out the clutch it grinds. Now we are just use to it and use the rule “if it felt like it didn’t go into gear… IT DIDN’T” don’t know what else to do expect to be rebuilding the transmission at some point, probably a year or two after the warranty expires!

My Honda shop manual says:

  1. 2nd gear synchro ring defective
    2.1st/2nd synchro sleeve & hub defective
    3.2nd gear defective
  2. Change lever assembly defective

My money is on the change lever (shift linkage) being loose somewhere. I would expect bad synchros or gears to produce some kind of noise while shifting.

There is a good chance this 2007 Civic has never had the transmission oil changed. That is where I would start. The chances of new oil fixing the problem are pretty remote, but making sure it has fresh clean oil can’t hurt.

Check your owner’s manual so see what kind of oil is required and how often it should be changed. My 1998 Civic uses either 10W-30 oil or Honda Manual Transmission Fluid, which is basically the same thing with a few additives. I recommend you use either synthetic oil that meets the specifications or authentic Honda MTF. The Honda MTF is more expensive, but you only need two or three quarts, and you only need to change it every 30,000 miles or so.

Exactly. It sometimes only goes half-way in gear, and when you let out the clutch, the lovely sound of grinding gears. I didn’t expect the dealer to find anything, but wanted to get it on the record.

Thanks. I will definitely check that out - funny that the dealer’s service dept doesn’t seem to be aware of that.

Downshifting into 2nd is a pretty low gear. If you are moving at 15 or 20 mph are you taching up the motor to match the speed the wheels are sending into the transmission shafts? If the motor is idling at low rpm and the car is moving at 20 or 25 mph the synchro will be very stiff and won’t like making the shift.

If you routinely use the tachometer to match rpm to mph speeds then disregard.

Just checked on my '03 Civic 5 spd manual, 25 mph is about 3K rpm in 2nd gear. So, if downshifting to 2nd at 20 to 25 mph I’d tach up to about 2,500 to 3,000 rpm before shifting and releasing clutch.