I have a Ford Fiesta 1.4 Diesel that required a clutch change. Everything seemed fine with the car until about a week after the change. I was driving on the motorway in 5th gear and was getting off at the next junction, reduced my speed into 4th gear and heard a horrible mechanical noise.. Parked up on hard shoulder for a bit, and started off again and now the car was not driving in 5th gear. So, it was engaging into 5th, but if I hit the gas, it's like the car is in neutral and just revs without actually moving. I'm taking it back to the guy who did the clutch tomorrow, because my recovery guy said the clutch and gearbox are related? Apparently there is some 'synchro' issue with the 5th? I was wondering if any of you guys might have a bit of an idea?


So, turned out that apparently 'something happened', it is not a linkage issue and required a whole gearbox change. This issue has now been fixed, so the car runs fine, engages 5th gear without a problem. Not closing the question just yet because I now have a deep grumble sound whenever I drive which was not pre-existing. So I'm assuming this is all related, so once it's fixed I will close the question

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    I'm not sure, but it could be a linkage issue. I don't know how the Fiesta's linkage is done, though, so take this with a grain of salt. Although this just occurred, if it's not a linkage issue where an adjustment could fix the issue, then the two (clutch replacement and this) are not related. A clutch replacement is pretty straight forward. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 16:13
  • Concur with Paulster's assessment. It doesn't take much to bend a linkage a tiny bit such that they don't function correctly. It would be very easy to modify a link the linkage alignment slightly during a clutch replacement job.
    – zipzit
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


I understand that this might not be the same for everyone as all cars are different, but for me it turned out that there was no linkage issue as far as the mechanic was concerned. He said the whole gearbox needed to be replaced (we managed to find one relatively cheap, relative being the key word) and once installed, everything is now OK.

The reason I decided to post this answer and not just delete the question is because I don't believe the mechanic I used was very good so if you have the same issue its not necessarily true the solution will be the same. But if you are certain it's not a linkage issue, this might point you in the right direction at least.

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    Don't be afraid to answer your own question! Glad to hear you got it fixed.
    – Nick C
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 8:45

I'm going to provide this additional answer, even though the issue was not linkage-related, because I had this precise issue some years ago due to a linkage.

The car was a 1986 VW Jetta, and it had a small plastic linkage that specifically moved the bits required to engage 5th gear. It got worn out, popped off the ball-posts that it sits on, and attempts to shift into 5th would end up in 3rd. Bought a new one from the dealer (really cheap) and pushed it on. The end.

Hopefully that helps someone with THAT problem.

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