5 Causes of Manual Transmission Hard to Shift

Manual transmission vehicles are still used today by some people, especially those who drive regularly on rougher terrains or high-speed roadways. Although it may be inconvenient to have to switch gears as you drive, it will save you a lot of money on maintenance and fuel costs. However, there may come a point in time when you have difficulty with shifting the gears of a manual transmission. Most likely, this problem can be attributed to an issue with the transmission or clutch. Sometimes the colder weather will thicken the gear oil and make it difficult for the gears to be lubricated properly.

5 Common Causes

When you have trouble shifting gears in a manual transmission vehicle, you need to consider all the possible causes of it. This makes it easier to pinpoint where the problem lies so that you can fix it or replace whatever components necessary to resolve the issue.

Below are the top 5 causes of shifting difficulty in a manual transmission vehicle.

1) Very Little Gear Oil

There are two types of lubricating oil in a transmission system: transmission fluid and gear oil. The former is responsible for lubricating the moving components in the transmission while the gear oil is what lubricates the actual gears of the transmission. Since your gears incur the most heat, its oil is made to be very thick. You need a normal level of gear oil to ensure that your gear shifting ability stays smooth. If you start leaking gear oil for whatever reason, it will become more difficult to shift gears.

2) Bad Clutch System

The clutch system is very important for a manual transmission vehicle. It is responsible for disengaging the engine power from the transmission. There are several components which make up the clutch system, such as the release fork, release bearing, clutch disc, clutch cover, release cylinder, and clutch master cylinder. If any of these components were to go bad, it could compromise the clutch system’s ability to disengage the engine power when needed. As you experience this problem, it will be harder to shift gears at all.

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3) Synchronizer Ring

The synchronizer ring is a part of the transmission that engages the gear. This is done after the hub sleeve engages the ring first. There are several small teeth around the ring which make all this engagement possible. As you pack on the miles to your vehicle, the synchronizer ring will start to deteriorate and get worn out. Usually, this means its small teeth will break apart. If this were to happen, then it won’t be able to engage the gear. Then you will have problems shifting.

4) Bad Gear Teeth

A manual transmission has several gears, such as reverse gear, counter gear, 4th gear, 3rd gear, 2nd gear and so on. There are one large tooth and one small tooth on each gear. If any of the teeth on the gear were to be damaged or excessively worn, then you won’t be able to shift to that gear too easily.  Not only that, you may hear a lot of strange sounds as you attempt to switch to the gear as well.

5) Bad Hub Sleeve

The hub gear contains all the main gears of the transmission. The hub sleeve is responsible for engaging with these gears. When you go to shift to a particular gear, the hub sleeve moves in the same direction as the gear. But if you have a damaged or worn hub sleeve, then it can no longer move with the gear. This will cause difficulties in shifting the gear. You must replace the hub sleeve to resolve this issue.

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