Can't shift when car cold

I recently had my mechanic “drop in” an engine and new clutch into my 1998 Subaru Outback. It is cold here now (Mid-Atlantic) and unless I warm up the car/engine (i.e., on for 3 to 5 min.) I cannot shift into first gear and reverse grinds like the dickens. I never had this problem before. Did my mechanic put the “wrong” kind of clutch in? Can he adjust “something” to fix this? Thanks!

The clutch isn’t releasing completely and it is most noticeable when the engine and transmission is cold. It could be a number of things, but a trip back to the mechanic is in order to diagnose, adjust, or repair.

I agree. I’m guessing the problem is in the clutch hydraulic system, but only your mechanic can diagnose it correctly.

It could also have the wrong gear lube in it. Ask him what gear lube he put in there, and compare that to the lube listed in the owner’s manual. Not all gear lube is the same.

Find out if he changed the clutch slave cylinder.

If only 1st and rev. all others good? Make sure right trans oil was used. If clutch is issue I think it would happen with all gears. If I had a parts explosion I could give you a better answer.