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Hard to Get into Gear

I know- that is a common problem for most of us- especially those of us over 40! Actually this question is about my son’s car again. His 1997 Mitsubishe Eclipse Spyder is always kinda sketchy in the shifting department in my opinion. In the mornings sometimes I have been unable to get it in Reverse until I have tried numerous times. Today my wife wasn’t able to get the car into reverse or any gear for that matter. I finally was able to get in gear with the motor turned off and then start car and it was still sticking in gear unless you shut the car off and could take it back out of gear. Tonite I pumped the clutch several times and went thru all the gears a couple times before starting vehicle and It went into first and reverse with little trouble. Is this normal for this vehicle?

Sorry for the misspelling and bad grammar- I need remedial typing skills it would seem.

Clutch cable could be stretching… You put in the clutch but the gears are still engaged. Probably other things it could be so look at all the posts.

When was the last time gear lube was changed? Old, nasty gear lube causes issues like this. 13 years is waaaay too long if this is the original lube.

A couple of things: 1) Adjust said clutch cable. 13 years old I bet the clutch is close to needing replaced. The reason it is hard to get into gear in first and reverse is the fact that these gears do not have what is called Synchro-mesh. With the clutch ever so slightly out of adjustment, the input shaft is still turning enough that it won’t go into gear when the engine is running (shut the engine off, the input shaft stops turning as if you had depressed the clutch)

  1. Remind your son (as I had to remind my own son): The pedal on the left is NOT a foot rest!!! Nor is the brake pedal for that matter. Resting his foot on the clutch pedal wis most definatly cause premature clutch FAILURE…

Don’t know for sure- I did have them service the transmission this year- I am guessing that service should have taken care of gear lubrication.

I will ask my mechanic about adjusting the clutch cable as I am not that mechanically inclined- thanks.

Don’t guess. Incorrect gear lube can also cause this problem.

your clutch is hydraulic. Not unlike your brakes. When you pump the clutch pedal you are basicallt doing the same as pumping up the brakes when they have air in them. For some reason you have air in the clutch hydraulic system. Probably a leaking slave cylinder. Could be a leaking master cylinder. Check fluid level in res. You may be able to fill it up and get the air pumped out.

Ah yes, you are correct. No cable. Hydraulic. But there should still be some adjustment in the clutch itself to compensate for wear AFTER you bleed the system.

no adjustment. As your front brakes wear, do you adjust adjust them or do they adjust themselves? Hydraulic clutch operates on the same principle.

The thought that this vechile had a cable operated clutch floored me. The last cable clutch that I can think of were 80’s VW Rabbit. Does anyone know of a more modern car with a cable operated clutch?

Having started my life as an auto mechanic with the VW Bug I have dealt with plenty of issues involving clutch cables. I have seen domestic car mechanics with way more experience than I had at the time (I was 18/19) just throw up their hands in frustration when dealing with VW clutch cables.

For hawk59, I hope this is a hydraulic issue but it could also be internal with the clutch.

Well- my son hasn’t complained about it yet- so maybe he has some trick up his sleeve to get it to cooperate for him. I have driven plenty of manual transmission cars and this one has been the toughest for me- except for an old 1974 Volkswagen Bug- I could not get that to go into reverse- but all the other gears seemed to work normally.