Possible clutch problem?

I have a 2006 golf 1.6 fsi petrol

I just bought a car , test drive was good ( my friend test drove it for me and we only got up to high speed once , where he changed as he would up/right/up ) but on the way home putting it into 5th gear was not the smoothest .

the best way to explain this is like this .

when driving and changing gears from say 4th to 5th gear , I don’t push the gear stick up then right then up , I try and just go straight diagonal ( if that makes sense )

in all other gears it works fine and smooth changing gears diagonally ( 2nd to 3rd - 1st to 2nd - 5th to 4th ) , but from 4th to 5th it wont go in . I have to push from 4th up/right/then up , it wont go in in a diagonal movement .

when the car is not moving it goes in fine .

what might be the problem ?

many thanks for reading

The problem might be your assumption that it will go into 5th with a straight diagonal movement when it won’t.

that is true TSM , the thing is though that I have driven 2 other golfs of the same model/year and they both slid nicely from 4th to 5th diagonally .

All cars are different, and even different cars of the same year, make, and model vary, but if there is an actual problem it would be in the linkage adjustment or in damage to the gates.

Checking the clutch adjustment never hurts either. But, hey, it’s an eight year old used car. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can’t be expected to be perfect.

what is the linkage adjustment ?
is it a big job for a mechanic to take a look at it and to look for damage to the gates ?

apologies TSM , I have no clue about car mechanics .

No need to apologize. You’ve done nothing to apologize for.

I’m not a VW guy, but I’ll bet there’s lots of shift linkage adjustment advice on VW Golf forums. I seriously doubt of the linkage adjustment is challenging.

The “gates” refers to the physical “pattern” that your shifter follows as you move through the gears. Checking that would require lifting the console, and that can be a challenge on some vehicles. Again, a VW Golf forum might have good directions. I doubt of any VW mechanic would consider that a serious challenge.

many thanks for the advice TSM , I will try and bring it to a garage and see what they say .

as I have no problems changing into any other gear , would it be safe to guess that the gearbox and clutch are ok ?

If you were unable to get it into fifth gear without grinding the gears, I’d suggest that the synchro is bad. But if I understand your description correctly, it’s simply an issue of smoothness when moving diagonally rather than in an up-side-up pattern. If I understood correctly, the gearbox is fine.

For the record, a “synchro” is an arrangement that, using conical frictional engagement surfaces, causes the gear being engaged to spin at the same speed as if it were engaged BOFORE it actually becomes engaged. The conical surfaces engage just before the actual gears. That smooths the engagement greatly. These devices can wear out, and that would cause grinding and difficulty engaging the gears. The “fix” is to either tear the tranny open and replace the synchros ($$$$$$$$$) or learn to “rev match” manually.

yes TSM , I have no problem changing into 5th if I go up/right/up from 4th , but diagonally it wont go .

is it something that I should get fixed , that if I don’t get it fixed it could cause more damage and problems later ?

I’d just reprogram my brain.
Fixing it would not cause other problems unless it was done improperly, but on the other hand why bother?

For the record, the shifter is spring loaded to assist in upshifting smoothly through the gates. If the shifter doesn’t automatically go right when left to its own devices in neutral, a broken or disconnected spring is another possibility.

I’d just reprogram myself. But, if I wanted something to do some Saturday, I’d probably get an exploded view drawing of the shifter linkage and console installations (you can get these from a dealer’s parts guy), pull the console up, and see what I could find. I’ve torn cars apart for dumber reasons.

haha , it would probably be easy for you to do something like that on a Saturday TSM , but I would probably make things worse


I will try take it to a garage and see what they say

thanks for replying to my message and helping me out

Sincere best.

TSM , I spoke to a guy on the phone who fixes my cars , he said that that is how it should be .
I wasn’t sure if he understood what I was trying to explain about the diagonal movement . so I then took it to VW , the sales guy who seemed very clued up and has drove many VW also said that is how it is , and it is the same on his car . apparently he said because it is a 6 speed gear box , there isn’t as much room , so things are a bit squashed if that makes sense .

your first post was correct .

thanks for replying to my messages quickly .

have a good day

When you move the stick diagonally you are rubbing against the “sides” of the gates, possibly causing more wear; and putting more strain on the shift bushings (part of the linkage).
Units that tolerate the diagonal move better probably have more wear and are looser.
I’ve seen the results of especially ham-fisted shifter technique: loose linkages and even a lever that drops out of gear by itself.
My 5-speed matrix is a bit clunky shifting from 5th to 4th, but I just remember to do a deliberate zig-zag.

thanks CS , I drove a golf 6 months previous and was sure it was smoother from 4th to 5th than the one I am driving now . thought it best to double check .

when I say smother , I mean it was possible to move from 4th to 5th diagonally .
but thinking about it now and what you said and what TSM said , I think they are not designed to change gear like that . maybe the car I drove 6 months prior was not as it should be