If I start the car, in the beginning I can put in a gear without problems. However, after driving for a while, putting in the gears becomes much more difficult. If the car is turned off, it is always easy to put in the gears. What are possible reasons that might cause this behaviour? The car is already 20 years old and not in the best condition.

Edit: It's a VW Lupo from 2001 with a 1.0 engine with 50 PS.

Edit: Replacing the transmission fluid resulted in a huge improvement :-)

  • It would help to know what "not in the best condition" means. But from your description I'd be checking the clutch. If the clutch does not fully disconnect the engine from the transmission input then shifting can be difficult.
    – jwh20
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 17:35
  • @jwh20 Thanks for your advice :) I don't know much specific about the condition of the car since I only purchased it recently and I don't know much about cars, but it seems that in the last years there has not been a lot of maintenance. If the clutch does indeed not fully disconnect, will that be an expensive repair? And why would it only cause problems when the engine is hot? I do have to press the clutch very far in order to put in a gear.
    – simplemind
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 17:44
  • 1
    When the engine heats up the clutch heats up also. That changes things and perhaps is keeping the clutch from fully disconnecting when hot. I'm just speculating and you're probably going to take it to a mechanic for diagnosis.
    – jwh20
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 17:49
  • 2
    And if you gave us make, model, engine, year etc then there might be common issues relevant which would help you further...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


I would try replacing the transmission fluid.

I had this issue on a 1997 Saturn SW2 with a manual transmission, and changing the transmission fluid solved the issue. I was very surprised what a huge difference it made!

Let us know what worked if you fix the problem!

  • Thanks! I will wait a bit to see whether it gets worse over time. If it does, I will follow your advice and replace the transmission fluid and report whether it worked :)
    – simplemind
    Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 18:40
  • I had the transmission fluid changed and it is much better now, thanks for your advice :-)
    – simplemind
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 15:28

In those with manual transmissions, that's the clear symptom of failing clutch pressure plate: engine heats, the clutch assembly heats and since it is failing, there would be some more added temperature because the disc may not be coupling evenly. I would check the whole clutch assembly, disk, plate and bearing. Sometimes I have seen the bearing grooving the leaves tips that much it got actually embedded there and of course ended up breaking some of the leaves.

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