Driving without 2nd Gear

saturn
manual-transmissions
transmissions
sc

#1

I drive a 93 Saturn SC 1 that’s got a lot history (stolen in CT, broke down in CO & KS). It recently won’t go into second great unless there’s a lot of force & it also grinds. A local shop said that 1st & 2nd Syncro’s most likely need replacing & it would cost about $1300. I was wondering if it’s okay to continue to drive the car without 2nd gear - just go straight from 1st to 3rd and viceaversa.


#2

Is there any difference in the way it shifts if the engine is running or not?? If it shifts OK with the engine off, more than likely, it’s a clutch problem (check the fluid)…Most FWD cars use a somewhat Micky-Mouse arrangement to transfer the shift motion from the gear shift lever to the transmission. Some use a system of rods, bell-cranks and levers and some use a cable mechanism…You should have that shifting mechanism checked before you condemn the transmission…


#3

If the linkage or clutch master/slave cylinder fluid or seals are not the problem and the synchros are indeed the problem, then as follows might might be helpful:

In the bad old days, 1st gear on all brands of US vehicle 3 speed transmissions had no synchro so you should have no problem there with your four speed; just can’t as easily shift into first while moving.

Yes, it’s ok to go from 1st to 3rd as long as you don’t over rev or lug the engine. This is called short shifting and I often do it with one of our two 5 speed cars that has enough low speed engine torque and flexibility to handle it.

To shift into second gear without grinding, try double clutching. The Internet will tell you how. This was done by everyone on all vehicles before synchromesh became available around the early 1930s.


#4

As mentioned, yes, you can skip 2nd gear as long as you don’t lug the engine (short shift). I do it all the time in my cars and trucks. Just make sure you give it a few extra revs in 1st before skipping to third as a cushion to prevent lugging the engine.


#5

Well if you can skip second gear why did they put it in? Is there something wrong with this tought process? Skipping a gear is certainly not prefered but if the other choice is walking, well I guess it is OK to skip a gear. Think of it as a technique to use until a proper repair can be made, not a permenent soulution.

I had a friend in the 70’s that had a VW without reverse. This woman dealt with it by never getting into situations where she needed reverse. It worked pretty good, most of the time.

I also had a co-worker who shared a company car with me. I commented on how it was hard to see out the back of this car, he responded by saying “Why do I need to see where I have been”?

I had a 6 volt Chevy truck and after this truck got hot it never wanter to crank fast enough to easily start. I always parked in a spot that allowed me to push start the truck. There are techniques to get around many defects in your car but they can all fall short at times. What would happen if you needed to accelerate rapidly? you can’t do this if you can’t use second gear.


#6

Old School, some Corvettes with 6 speed manual transmissions have a feature that prevents shifting to second and third gears during sedate driving to help meet EPA fuel mileage needs. Google “Corvette Manual Transmission Skip Shift” for more on this.


#7

With only the driver, and on fairly level ground in a straight line, most manuals will shift from 1st to 3rd directly without a problem as long as 1st is wound out some. The ranges overlap that much.

With more high performance cars, the first gear range will even overlap the 4th gear range, although possibly at the expense of your pink slip.

In a '93 SC1, with 600 pounds of relatives in the passanger’s seats, you definitely need ALL your gears.


#8

You can drive it like this without damaging anything else. Considering the age of the car there is no way this tranmsission should receive a piece-meal repair if that is what the shop is telling you.
It should be a complete transmission overhaul and the car is not worth it. A good used transmission would be a more viable option.

It could be that whoever stole the car was responsible for getting this problem started. It’s unknown to me what your insurance situation is on this car or the details behind the theft are but the possibility of insurance covering the repair is at least possible.


#9

What makes you think I sould read this information?


#10

“No damage” if you don’t consider someone running up your backside because you cannot accelerate as expected. Yeah sure the guy that hit you is at fault but you knew you were a limpin.


#11

I understand your point anyway about the possible sudden balk between 1 and 3 but in OK anyway, when it comes to a rear end collision the rammer will get the blame 99% of the time unless there are extenuating circumstances and plenty of credible witnesses.

That person is usually ticketed for following too close due to whatever reason it may be; weather, traffic, skipping a gear, or hitting the brakes suddenly.


#12

In a momentairy laspe of judgement I stopped at a green light (while living in Switzerland) and got rear-ended. Can you believe the guy that hit me got the ticket? The guy that hit me was about 85 years old and was so startled that he could not express that I had been stopped at a green light. Non-injury accident but it was in the only brand-new car I ever bought, a 1986 e-30 BMW coupe (3 series). I loved that car so much I wanted to bring it to the states an really researched the job and it was just too complex.

What got me was the fact that the Swiss did not have overhead stop and go lights, I was just barely rolling and looking for the light that was on a post at the corner.


#13

When leaving first gear, shift into neutral,let out the clutch, give it a little gas and put the clutch back in, shift into second.