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Old 01-23-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
jbanks25
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Hard to shift when cold

I just got a 2006 ZX4 ST and the last 2 mornings it's been down in the single digets and when I have gotten into the car it has been hard to get out of gear, then put it in another gear to go. (I usually park in 1st, but need to change from 1st to R to leave my driveway). Now there is an obvious solution to this problem (Park in R), but I'd rather know if this is a common problem, and something I can get addressed under the 3/36 warranty. Please let me know. Thanks.

Going down the road the car shifts fine, it is just the initial 2 or 3 shifts that are immpossible without exerting some serious force.


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Old 01-23-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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I dont know much about transmissions and im assuming your talking about a standard(manual) transmission/transaxle, but I would look and make sure i have enough oil in the transmission/transaxle, there should be a plug in the front of the transaxle on the drivers side, I think, but im not 100% sure, that the oil level should be filled up to that plug(the plug unscrews with an allen wrench). Check your owners manual to be sure. If it is hard to shift, try not to put too much force on the shifter, the support base for the stock shifter is weak, I broke mine pretty quick and i didnt have a problem with the shifting, once you break that it makes it hard to shift too and you could get stranded if it totally breaks.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks25 View Post
I just got a 2006 ZX4 ST and the last 2 mornings it's been down in the single digets and when I have gotten into the car it has been hard to get out of gear, then put it in another gear to go. (I usually park in 1st, but need to change from 1st to R to leave my driveway). Now there is an obvious solution to this problem (Park in R), but I'd rather know if this is a common problem, and something I can get addressed under the 3/36 warranty. Please let me know. Thanks.

Going down the road the car shifts fine, it is just the initial 2 or 3 shifts that are immpossible without exerting some serious force.
The oil in the transmission gets cold too.

Put the car in neutral and let it idle for a short time. That will warm the transmission lube and make for easier shifting. If I don't do that in the mornings it will will be really hard to shift into reverse. Thinner transmission oil will help but may be too thin for summer temperatures.

Cold weather is a bitch isn't it.?
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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Mine does the same thing, i wouldnt worry about it
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #5
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I guess I'll just have to start it and let it idle for a bit while I scrape my windows. :) Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks25 View Post
I just got a 2006 ZX4 ST and the last 2 mornings it's been down in the single digets and when I have gotten into the car it has been hard to get out of gear, then put it in another gear to go. (I usually park in 1st, but need to change from 1st to R to leave my driveway). Now there is an obvious solution to this problem (Park in R), but I'd rather know if this is a common problem, and something I can get addressed under the 3/36 warranty. Please let me know. Thanks.

Going down the road the car shifts fine, it is just the initial 2 or 3 shifts that are immpossible without exerting some serious force.
is just ford... mine does it too... and is not even that cold, around 35-60 it does it too
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:01 PM   #7
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She's tight ... what's wrong with that ...
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:54 PM   #8
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Try running a better quality transmission fluid. I'm running Amsoil ATF and have been for 3 years now in my MTX75 5 speed. The last week or so it has been below 0*F, lows near -20. It was finally getting a little stiff but nothing that was real tough to manage. Also the shift cables are usually more of a problem than the tranny itself.


But I think you are talking about an automatic transmission. In which case you can run the same oil I am. New filter and new fluid can make a world of difference.
But yes, any time you let the car sit and idle to warm up place it in Neutral and apply the parking brake. The fluid will circulate and warm, making it easier to shift when you leave.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:22 PM   #9
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i've had the same problem the last few days when its been that cold, it goes away after the car has warmed up.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks25 View Post
I just got a 2006 ZX4 ST and the last 2 mornings it's been down in the single digets and when I have gotten into the car it has been hard to get out of gear, then put it in another gear to go. (I usually park in 1st, but need to change from 1st to R to leave my driveway). Now there is an obvious solution to this problem (Park in R), but I'd rather know if this is a common problem, and something I can get addressed under the 3/36 warranty. Please let me know. Thanks.

Going down the road the car shifts fine, it is just the initial 2 or 3 shifts that are immpossible without exerting some serious force.
It's normal. I live in North Dakota, and we had a few days where it was well below zero, and it can become difficult to shift. Just let your car warm up for a minute or two in the morning before taking off, and take it easy until your car gets to normal operating temperature.
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