CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Sound when Shifting Gears

Hello all, I own a 2000 Honda Civic with a manuel transmission. On a recent road trip, I began to notice a low-moderate volume grinding noise whenever I was moving slowly in 1st or 2nd gears. I haven’t noticed any change in the car’s performance (in terms of acceleration, or anything like that), and I rarely hear the noise once I’m in 3rd gear or above. Any ideas about what this could be and how much it’ll cost me?



Thanks!

From your description, it sounds like either the input shaft bearing or counter shaft bearing nearest the 1st & 2nd gears is failing. As you move up the gears the load shifts to the bearings on the other end of the shaft. The age of the car is a little early for bearings to be failing. How many miles on this car? Has the oil level in the transmission been checked?

You might have the gear oil changed and inspected for metalic debris. However, steel particles will have been caught on the magnet in the transmission just for that purpose. At least with new oil you will give the transmission a chance and are sure that the level is correct.

Usually the cost of rebuilding the transmission is more than getting a used transmission installed. If you do not spend a lot of time in 1st and 2nd you might just live with it until the problem becomes a lot worse. You might talk to a transmission mechanic to see what the cost would be to just remove the transmission, open it up to just inspect and replace the defective bearing, reassemble, and reinstall. Have him/her listen to the noise and give you an opinion. If you opt to delay repair, you might have this done when you already have the transmission out for a clutch change.

Hope that helps.