I just bought a 2001 Hyundai elantra 5 speed manual. The past couple of days when I come to a complete stop and try to shift into first, it just grinds. Sometimes I have to put a little force into the shift and other times if I shift into second then into first, it will go but not smoothly. Just recently I had to turn my car off completely then turn it back on while at a stop light just to get it into first. This starts happening after about 15 minutes of driving. If anybody has any ideas I would greatly appreciate it. This is my work car and I need it badly. Cant get it into the shop till Friday so just looking for some possible answers. Thanks

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Check the level of your fluid in your master cylinder. Could be you aren't getting full disconnect from your clutch. Also ensure your floor mat isn't up under the clutch pedal which wouldn't let you fully disengage your clutch either. Oct 3 '18 at 23:21
  • Check the alignment of the linkage between the gear lever and the gearbox. Some cars now use cables for this rather than mechanical links, and they can stretch. I have had the same problem (on a Fiat) where the gear shift was fine starting from cold, but as the transmission warmed up, to get into into 1st and 2nd you had to push hard to the left against the "H" that guides the gear lever. Readjusting the cables (no replacement parts required!) completely fixed the problem.
    – alephzero
    Oct 3 '18 at 23:39
  • If your car is hard to shift into gear (first in this case) don't force it! Let the clutch out, push it back in and try again. If that doesn't work let the clutch out rev the engine slightly then try again. I suspect your first gear synchro is getting worn. Perhaps the previous owner used your technique to find first. If it is a worn synchro if you are careful and don't force it into gear it will probably last a long time. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to check/adjust the linkage as alephzero mentions above.
    – Tim Nevins
    Dec 3 '18 at 20:56

Most likely its a clutch problem not gearbox one.

  1. Worn out clutch disk.
  2. Something under clutch pedal stopping it from full travel.
  3. Air in the clutch system (needs bleeding).
  4. Fluid level in master cylinder too low.

Edit: If you have this problem only for first gear it might be bad synchronizer ring (synchro).

  • 1
    These are all valid, but I'd like to add one. Years ago I put synthetic tranny fluid into a car that previously used non-synthetic. My rebuilt gearbox was crunchy getting into first. I changed the oil back to non-synthetic and the crunchiness disappeared. Regardless of synthetic or not, the wrong oil can cause issues.
    – Paulj
    Aug 30 '19 at 16:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.