Unable to access 5th gear and reverse on manual trans



Just today while I was driving all of a sudden I was unable to access 5th gear. When I went to shift up from 4 to 5, it was like the stick was hitting a wall and it just directed me back to 3rd gear. No because both 5th and reverse are on the same side, I also cannot access reverse.

I have no problems with the other gears. I’ve read that it may be a couple of different things but not sure. any ideas?


I recently had an almost identical problem on a VW; could not access 5th gear; went into 3rd instead. It was a broken plastic link on the shift mechanism. It cost me 12 bucks for the part and I was relieved that the problem was not internal to the transmission. Possibly yours is similar.

My reverse is adjacent to 1st gear, not across from 5th.


You might be in luck, the problem might be your linkage. There is a very easy way to tell if the linkage (the mechanical, manual aspect of shifting gears). Try shifting through all gears with the clutch depressed. If you cannot, the linkage has lost a rivet or is bent or both.
Your linkage is pretty fragile, in a way. Start with that.


Make model and year of your car?

BTW I also would suggest checking the linkage first.


It’s a '91 Saab 900s, thanks everyone for your input. I’d like to take the car to the shop this week and offer the mechanics some info.