So I've got an odd problem for a 2004 Toyota Echo. The second gear, sometimes not always, is hard to engage. If I be real gentle, and just put a bit of pressure, it would slip in. I could also be a bit rougher and get it into second. It's most pronounced when going from 3rd to second.

3rd, 4th and 5th doesn't have the same problem.

I've checked the shifter, cable, cable bushing has been replaced.

Aside from synchros, what else could be wrong?

  • How is reverse? Dec 12, 2014 at 18:35
  • Not much else is likely to be wrong. 2nd gear synchros usually are the first gearbox problems encountered. Careful driving can extend the life of the gearbox, but only an overhaul will fix (I now have 273,000 miles on a Toyota gearbox that the 2nd gear synchros were worn out at 80,000 miles. Short shifting 1-2 during acceleration and avoiding downshifting into 2nd except at very low speeds gets me by). Dec 12, 2014 at 21:06
  • Reverse can be a bit tricky. Sometimes it won't go in, but if it rolls a bit forward or back, (Eg neutral and let it roll a bit) then it would be fine
    – Calyth
    Dec 12, 2014 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


Second gear is usually the first of the gears to start to fail because it is the most used gear of the set. The hub and clutch, baulk ring, and gear cone wear and cause the difficult engagement. The gearbox requires an overhaul to remedy the problem.

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