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Manual Trans Question

I’ve driven sticks for years, but I can’t remember if it is normal to run into the gears while the car the clutch is depressed and the engine running. Let me explain.

I have a 2012 Mazda 3 SkyActive with the 6spd manual (25k miles). While the car is running and the clutch depressed, if I row through the gears I will often run into one or more of the gears and the trans won’t let me into the gear. Say it won’t let me into 6th gear I can move to say 3rd gear and then back to 6th and it will let me in. Or if I take my foot off the clutch and put it back into 6th it will let me in, but may stop me from entering 3rd. This happens randomly for 1 or more gears.

Is that normal or a sign of a problem.

At about the 18k mark the 1st,2nd,5th gear, rear shaft, syncros, and clutch had to be replaced for a TSB. The car to this day will move a smidge when first shifted into gear. This they say is normal, but to me it seems like the clutch is engaged for a split second when first entering a gear. It won’t happen again if taken out of gear and putting it back into gear…unless I take my foot off the clutch and depress it again.


What is the reason you think you need to row through the gears while setting still anyway ?


I’m not familiar with your particular vehicle, but it sounds normal to me. My Civic’s manual transmission won’t let me shift from 5th to reverse, and it won’t let me shift into 1st if I the car is moving too fast.

I’m not sure why you’re trying to do this, but if you’re just trying to leave it in gear for safety’s sake, you should choose the lowest gear, which is usually reverse, but 1st gear will also do.

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It’s normal. If the shaft and counter shaft are completely still relative to each other it’s possible for the teeth of a synchronizer line up just right so it won’t go into that gear.
Occasionally I’ll come to a stop sign with my foot on the clutch and when I come to a stop it won’t go into 1st.
Then I let off the clutch for a split second to get things moving again, then it goes into gear.
It also happens going into reverse if I wait too long after depressing the clutch.
Again, briefly letting off the clutch will correct it.
this has been true of the four (Honda/Toyota) manual cars I’ve owned over the years.

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It happens a lot…If the clutch and input shaft are still, sometimes the dog clutch (gear) will be positioned such that the teeth run into each other instead of going in between each other and engaging. if it doesn’t go into gear, let up on the clutch pedal just enough to nudge the clutch disc and the gear will engage.

Don’t need to. The small lurch and the concern that the dealer didn’t really know what was wrong with it in the first place had me worried.

Thanks, it looks like the consensus is that this is fine.

I tried my Kia 6spd M/T. I can engage all gears normally.

Getting locked out of a gear, particularly reverse is normal, but the lurch is not. Does the clutch pedal engage at the correct point? Is the clutch pedal free play correct?

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On my Corolla 5 speed manual I can shift into 2,3,4,5 while idling consistently (from neutral), but 1 and R sometimes won’t go until I re-clutch. I expect it depends on the specific transmission design. In any event, unless some actual drivablity problems ensues, don’t worry about it.

The lurch is a concern. The gear(s) not engaging is normal. It seems the clutch is not fully disengaging, which means the transmission gears are spinning when you shift into 1st to start off. Eventually this will put more wear on the 1st gear synchro and that will result in a gear grinding or nashing when you shift into 1st gear. I don’t think this is normal and I’d get the dealer to document the problem on a work order. You might need this documentation to obtain a warranty repair at some point in the future.

A short and light gear grind is normal on a 1st or reverse without a synchro. If you depress the clutch and wait about 5 seconds the tranny spinning should stop on its own. The lurch means there is some some power in the spinning and the clutch isn’t fully disengaging. This kind of lurch is OK and normal on motorcycles but not on autos.