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Phillabust 10-06-2012 01:45 PM

2002 zts 5-speed will only go in reverse when engine is off????? Help?! Please.
It started about a month ago... I turned on my car, and when I put it into reverse it took a lot of struggle, but I eventually got it in there. Then every day after that, it just got worse and worse and now it's impossible to get it into reverse when the car is on. I end up turning the engine off, putting it in reverse, then turning it back on just to get out of my driveway. That, or jumping out, pushing it, and jumping back in. A few weeks ago it would get better as the day went on, and after about a half hour of driving I could force it into reverse again, but now it won't work at all. Even after I've been driving it all day. And now 1st gear is doing the same thing.... it's a struggle to get it into 1st with the engine on. And it's getting worse, so pretty soon it wont go into 1st at all.

I don't know much about cars, I'm only 17. But if anyone has any advice, that would be splendid. Thanks.

mikebontoft 10-06-2012 01:53 PM

does it try to grind if you put the clutch in and move it? I know the feeling though... have seen that with a few Subarus though it should be the same for any gear.

normally I might say clutch, but I believe its trouble with your shift linkage. a bushing is probably loose or missing.

Phillabust 10-06-2012 01:58 PM

It doesn't really grind when I put the clutch in and move it. Just today and yesterday, when I put it into 1st, it would feel like it's in the gear, so I'd let go of the stick... then it would pop out and make a grinding noise. All the gears are stiff.....

matmatician 10-06-2012 02:18 PM

My bet would be the linkage. I had some linkage disconnect while I was driving and the only gear I could get the car into was 2nd. That's where I would start.

whynotthinkwhynot 10-06-2012 02:29 PM

Try this, engine off, no clutch, shift into each gear before you start the car. I used to have to do this to "loosen up" one of my old vehicles. I'd go 12345R54321N before I even pushed the clutch down to start it. It would loosen up considerably after a short distance of driving.

Phillabust 10-06-2012 02:52 PM

Could it have anything to do with not changing my transmission fluid?? Because its been at least 20000 miles since its been even checked.

whynotthinkwhynot 10-06-2012 04:20 PM

Well, that would certainly help. I highly recommend Ford's fluid. Just go to a dealer and tell them what transmission you have, and get 2 quarts. There is a How-To on this site for changing MTX fluid, check the link in my signature.

nilskje 10-07-2012 05:56 AM

If it works fine with engine off, its most likely the clutch not disengaging properly,or the pilot bearing dry, making the input shaft rotate a little, most commonly seen on IB-5 gearboxes (the one without a drain plug), It has no syncro on reverse, unlike the MTX-75.
Try putting in 1 gear and then take it to reverse, keeping the clutch pressed. Mine has been like that for a long time..

whynotthinkwhynot 10-07-2012 09:07 AM

OH snap!

What engine do you have? That will tell us what transmission you have. Do you know how to identify the different engines? Very easy: If it says Zetec on the valve cover, then the MTX75 is what you have. If it says Split Port Injection, then you have the IB5 transmission.

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