Stiff shifting into 4th, 5th gear - '97 Honda Civic

just back from a cross country drive in '97 civic hatchback, 5spd, 135K miles (1.6L) the weather was wet and cold (just above freezing). difficulty developed and remained in getting shifter into 5th gear primarily, and somewhat into 4th gear. was just stubborn, and sometimes ‘grinding’ even with clutch fully down. all was normal once in the gear. 1st, 2nd, 3rd gears felt normal and smooth. With problem limited to those two gears, could it be an issue with fluid??? or does someone have more specific ideas that would explain the selective difficulty?

thanks a bunch - backyard mechanic in sc

If the transmission oil has never been changed that’s where to start. People think that manual transmissions don’t need fluid service on occasion. Well, what you’re expieriencing with the problem shifting can be a result of not sevicing the traany oil.


Could be the clutch isn’t fully releasing due to a bad master cylinder or stretching clutch cable.
If the clutch is hydraulic the clutch fluid (and brake fluid) should be changed every 3 years.