Just trying to figure out whether my car's issue is a worn out clutch or a damaged 5th gear.

Going up through all the gears, there's no resistance, slipping, grinding or any other suspicious noise. There's no difficulty or resistance in changing gears.

However once the car is in 5th (overdrive) gear, it travels smoothly for a little while and will then start 'hopping' along (a bit like either a fuel blockage or the hopping a learner driver sometimes gets while learning to drive a manual car). This has me thinking that the 5th gear is damaged but someone suggested it's the clutch - but if it's the clutch, wouldn't the issue show up in the other gears?

I've watched quite a few video's on how manual transmissions work which makes me think it's the specific gear that's the issue, however the person who suggested the clutch is a motor-vehicle wrecker/mechanic so I figure he'd know what he was talking about?!

Thanks for any (useful) feedback.

  • 1
    At what speed does this happen? Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 10:48
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    Your description leads me to believe it might be something other than clutch or transmission. Seeing as how this is an overdrive gear, there may be an issue with the engine or management system. What make/model/year/engine/mileage is the vehicle in question? Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 12:20

2 Answers 2


If it really only happens in 5th gear, and all the other gears are perfect at the same RPM, road, load, etc... then just from that evidence I'd guess it's something about 5th gear.

I don't know what "hopping along" means, maybe it's a local saying and your local mechanics know it and it really is something to do with the clutch. Even so, if you can get a mechanic to go for a drive with you & experience it for themselves they should be able to tell you their opinion a lot better than anyone else. A repair shop should have someone available for a few minutes to drive around the block with you & give you at least a guess and an estimate of what they would charge to really find out what the problem is.
If you can figure out exactly what conditions cause it to "hop" then it would be easier to show a mechanic, and help figure out what's wrong.

You said it's like a fuel blockage, maybe you're lucky and it's just something simple like a fuel or air filter or something a lot cheaper than taking apart a transmision.


I am not an expert in transmissions or anything, but I have the same problem in mine and after I replaced the synchronizer, it worked fine.

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