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My Honda Civic LX Coupe 2001 will not go into 5th gear

My Honda Civic will not go into 5th gear and sometimes has trouble getting into reverse. I just bought it and the previous owner said it was sitting for about two years. I’m wondering if the problem is just low transmission fluid or is it something that would be best fixed by a mechanic? I was told that it might just be low transmission fluid, so i was going to clean out the transmission system. Do you think that would be a good choice or just a waste of money? I’m obviously looking for the cheapest option.

I don’t see how low transmission fluid could cause these symptoms. It’s more likely there is damage to the linkage between the shifter and the transmission, assuming it has a manual transmission. If that’s not it, you might need the transmission rebuilt or replaced. Heck, there might just be a stick or something underneath your car that is blocking the shifting linkage from moving over to the right (from above, to the left underneath), where 5th gear and reverse are.

It couldn’t hurt to change the transmission oil. If it’s a manual transmission, you can use 10W-30 oil rather than Honda manual transmission fluid, but I’d use synthetic oil if you’re not going to use the Honda branded stuff. If your 2001 LX is like my 1998 DX, it only holds 1.9 quarts, so you only need to buy two quarts. It’s a pretty easy job to do. If you can change your own motor oil, you can change your own manual transmission fluid. I wouldn’t expect it to fix this problem though. Changing the transmission oil is maintenance, not a repair.

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Hey i appreciate the help!

When my 1999 Civic EX 5-speed was new, there was some problem with the shift linkage, which the dealer fixed under warranty. I think it had something to do with bushings. If you put the front up on ramps you can see what’s going on when someone tries doing the various shifts. I still often get a little gear clash when shifting into reverse, so I do that gently.

Has the car been driven hard? Lots of Hondas, especially coupes, seem to appeal to young drivers who wring them out mercilessly.

…which is why they might not be good candidates for purchase after 10 years–or more–of daily owner abuse.

Will the shift lever move into those gears with the engine off?