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Lost fifth gear

to all! What part has failed when a standard transmission auto fails to stay in fith gear??? All other gears hold tight

It usually means a problem with either synchronizer assembly wear (hub/sleeve/inserts/etc) or a worn shift fork. Or both.
In certain cases, a fault in a detent spring/ball or shifter rail can cause this but it’s very rare.
Other than high mileage, wear on these items can be caused by driving around with the hand resting on the gearshift lever, a habit that many people have.

Not saying that you’re guilty of this habit; just something to think about if you are.

Worn parts in a transmission usually means a transmission overhaul because one should not tear apart a transmission for a piecemeal repair.

What make, model?
Toyota Rav4s can be fixed without removing trans.

I remember with the 914 Porsche you could work on 5th or reverse without pulling the trans. I am leaning towards it was reverse.

Thanks so much for the valuable insight! Not one to rest the hand on the gearshift lever thanks to Dad breaking me of the nervousness to let go of it on day one of driving! 132,000+ miles on the ride so…I hope to chalk it up to high mileage!

Do you think it is wise to drive? My ace mechanic is taking a well deserved vacation and I would hate to shop the work somewhere else! I had a trip planed for this weekend and expected to put about 400 miles more on the car! The thought of no fifth gear on that long of a trip sucks but would still take it in the slow lane if I could!


Hmmm If I only had a Porsche! Thanks for allowing me to drift into a little bit of a dream for a moment!

hey its was only a 914,closer to a Volkswagen than a Porsche.

It won’t hurt anything to drive it like this although it can be an irritant.

Just curious, but what kind of car are we talking about?

Thanks again for your valuable insight! The car is a 2002 Suzuki Esteem 4 Dr Wagon ! 1st brand new car I drove off the lot! Ultimately it was what I could afford at the time! At a 132,000 + I am super stoked that it is still truckin!

Here is to the slow Lane!

I will admit that I’m near mechanically clueless about the details on the Suzukis as there are not many of them around here at all.
So any comment will be general in nature. (extremely general due to my lack of knowledge on this model)

If this car uses a single shift cable or transmission lever linkage rod then odds are that the problem is internal to the transmission.
If it uses several cables or rods then it’s at least possible the problem could be related to an adjustment, worn bushing, etc.

A look at a picture of an Esteem manual transmission appears to show that it uses a single cable/rod; a la internal transmission fault.
Unless someone with more knowledge of this model weighs in then you should get a couple of opinions on this before having the transmission torn apart.
Maybe there’s a molecule of info in my post that could be helpful anyway. :slight_smile:

Indeed, more than a molecule of helpful information! Thanks so knidly for taking a peak at the picture to try and deduce the exact cause! The words “before having it torn apart” has a glimmer of hope in my eye… Would this mean that the problem could be fixed with out tearing the transmission apart? I would even be willing to give it a go myself all be it I am only a shade tree mechanic! Where by chance were you able to find a picture of the Esteem manuel transmission? Thanks again!