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So I've driven manual my entire life, but this is my first new car. I notice that the stick moving into the various gears is not a smooth experience and occasionally from stopped position pushing the gear stick into first gear it just won't budge until I let the wheels roll a little. I have had this happen before on 10 year old cars and figured it was just due to age. Is this okay on a new car?

  • Not going into gear just means that the teeth on the gears aren't lined up, and rolling the car allows them to turn a bit so they do line up. I think the synchronizers should theoretically line them up so they mesh smoothly when driving, but from a stop (assuming the clutch has been depressed and the gears have stopped), they won't be spinning, so if they don't line up you might have to ease off the clutch a tad to get them to line up, or as you have noted, let the wheels roll. I've noticed this frequently with my old truck, but I'm surprised you're experiencing this with a new car. – the_storyteller Feb 21 at 18:18
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    If it doesn't improve after 1000 or 2000 miles when everything should have worn in properly, get the dealer to readjust the gear linkage. Often, pushing the stick into another gear and back into first is enough to nudge the shafts in the gearbox a bit, rather than flipping the clutch or letting the car roll a bit. – alephzero Feb 21 at 20:04
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    It can be because the clutch isn't completely disengaging (and so the gearbox shaft on the engine/input side can't easily stop and engage with the stationary output side). That's why it can engage more easily when the car is rolling, and can also account for the difficulty in the intermediate gear changes. – Weather Vane Feb 21 at 20:05
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    @SimonKay when stationary, on a level road, in first gear, and no brakes, clutch depressed, does the car creep forwards? If so, the clutch is not disengaging fully. Is there any "free play" in the clutch action, in other words, does it bite the moment you start to raise it, or is there a bit of slack? There should be. – Weather Vane Feb 21 at 20:15
  • You definitely should bring it back to the dealer, could be the transmission. – CalgaryCoolCat Feb 21 at 22:27

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