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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks, I'm kind of new here, and haven't really started any threads on my own yet. In November of last year I bought a used 5spd base model ZX3. When I first started driving it around every once in a while when I would stop at a light or whatever it might be a little hard to put the car into 1st. I would let off of the clutch while it was in neutral, step on the clutch again, and wiggle the shifter around, and then it would go into the gear I chose.

Now more and more, I'm finding that this is occuring. I'll try and put it into first at a stop and it won't go, I'll try other gears and nothing. Sometimes if I rev the motor to like 2k really quick it will flow right in, and othertimes it won't. I am planning on brining it back to the dealership but if it doesn't happen everytime I'm afraid they'll just charge me the $65 for an hours labor of troubleshooting and say that the car is fine.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a TSB or reccomendation about poorly adjusted linkages? Thats all I can think is that sometimes the gates aren't lining up or something. My neon is at 96k and shifts as smooth as the day I bought it, same with the corvettes, golfs and other such vehicles I've driven through my days.

Help please.
 

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try lubricating the shifter

Idk if that'll help or not
 

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It sounds like you have a loose cable in there. Pull the top off of the shifter and have a look, while you are there, give it a good lube job with some good grease and see if that helps.
 

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Check your shifter cables. Recently my car was doing the same thing. Wouldnt go into gear at all (Check my post for details) People at the shop called and told me that the shifter cables had broken in the engine bay and caused the transmission to go into two gears at once, pretty much destroying the tranny. Check those before you have end up replacing a tranny.
 

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You also need to check your tranny fluid level. If you are very low on fluid, it will not want to go into gear.

If that is ok, you may also have a clutch master or slave going bad. Try idling in 1st, foot off brake, and see if the car tries to creep forward. If it does, you have a hydraulic problem in the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So depending upon how the car is sitting at the light, or stop sign would change where the fluid is and thus wether or not it goes into gear?

I'm just trying to make sure that the things you mention would present an intermittant problem?
 

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Its more of a question of how hot your transmission is at the time you want to shift, due to being low on fluid.

Or (in the clutch scenario) how much pressure had been lost in that particular stroke of the master cylinder
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the next question is where to look to check these things. I'll do some searching around and see what I come up with. This might be a good time to swap out the fluids anyways. They say that the Mobil synthetic tranny fluid is great, and if the clutch fluid looks low it could be burnt up.

I'll let you know what I find and post some links/information here, in case anyone else has this trouble. Thanks for the ideas/suggestions thus far.
 

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Hi,
My car (05 ZX3) does the exact same thing.
SOMETIMES, at a stop light I push in the clutch and try to engage first, but it won't go in. I put the lever into the neutral position and try again and it goes straight in no problem. It is kind of a bitch.
My car's fluids are all full. I will check my linkage this weekend. It has been 100+ outside for the last two weeks so I have been avoiding it.
 

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Hey Scott_SVT, I have this problem, and i was wondering if u can give me alil more information about "how much pressure had been lost in that particular stroke of the master cylinder" does the heat of the clutch fluid play a part in pressure of each stroke? but u said 'or'...

BTW: My situation with it is, mostly in the mornings it does this, and after awhile it does fine, my clutch pedal has lots of freeplay and is close to the floor, i am changing the fluid tomorrow, but see, it has done it before i believe, because today i was trying to get it into gear and the gearshift housing just snapped out of place only leaving me with 3rd and 4th...Really pissed but after taking the seats and console out for repair, it had plastic weld all over it from its previous break :p freakin ppl just not buyin new parts
 

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slaphappyjacko said:
Hi,
My car (05 ZX3) does the exact same thing.
SOMETIMES, at a stop light I push in the clutch and try to engage first, but it won't go in. I put the lever into the neutral position and try again and it goes straight in no problem. It is kind of a bitch.
My car's fluids are all full. I will check my linkage this weekend. It has been 100+ outside for the last two weeks so I have been avoiding it.
I have the same problem with mine, but the dealer won't address the problem. They say it engages into first fine. All my fluids are good. It's just occasionally when I go to put it in first it is very difficult or sometimes it won't go in unless I really force it. Gears don't grind, it's just difficult putting into first. Once it is in first, I can take it out and put it back in very easily.

I don't know what is wrong.
 

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wont go into any gear!

I have an issue, I have a '02 ZTW that won't go into gear at all! The shifter feels weird when I try and engage it but nothing. I think It might be the shift linkage but I'm not sure. Someone please help me! :-(
 

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i need urgent help please?????

i have a 2005 Ford Focus ZX3 and the gears aren't working i try to shift into first gear and it doesn't stay in it slides back the only gear that appears to be working is second i also try to switch to 3rd gear and it wont go in the stick for the gear gets really hard and it wont move so well like i said the only gear it shifts into is second.
 

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i have a 2005 Ford Focus ZX3 and the gears aren't working i try to shift into first gear and it doesn't stay in it slides back the only gear that appears to be working is second i also try to switch to 3rd gear and it wont go in the stick for the gear gets really hard and it wont move so well like i said the only gear it shifts into is second.


please help??!!!!
 

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i have a 2005 Ford Focus ZX3 and the gears aren't working i try to shift into first gear and it doesn't stay in it slides back the only gear that appears to be working is second i also try to switch to 3rd gear and it wont go in the stick for the gear gets really hard and it wont move so well like i said the only gear it shifts into is second.


please help??!!!!
It sounds like your synchros are worn if it will not stay in gear. I have the same problem with the fact that it is hard to put into first gear from a complete stop. The car vibrates as I push on the gear selector, but as it goes into gear it stops vibrating. I am going to start with a fluid change this week becuase I am due for one anyways.
 

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You also need to check your tranny fluid level. If you are very low on fluid, it will not want to go into gear.

If that is ok, you may also have a clutch master or slave going bad. Try idling in 1st, foot off brake, and see if the car tries to creep forward. If it does, you have a hydraulic problem in the clutch.
Scott_SVT
This is the issue im having with mine. Ill put it into gear then the motor starts to sound like it has a load on it but wont move forward. Your saying it would be the master cylinder but could there be anything else that would cause this issue? Thanks
 

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Having the same problem with my 2006 steeda focus zx3 changed the slave cylinder and throw out bearing assembly it worked get for a trip down my street then stopped going into gear pedals stiff but it won't go in any gear
 

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Does the shifter move freely but just not engage any gears? On mine it was the plastic collars on the bell housing. Installed zip ties to hold the cables in the proper position...lasted another 100 000kms.
 
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