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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brutal cold temps last week and I found the manual shift on my 03 ZX3 to seem to me to be easier. The stick moves gear to gear with hardly any resistance, which seems unusual to me.

Is there a reason the cold weather would cause this? Or could something be wearing out?

The clutch seems to engage fine and there are no problems driving, but this change in the feel of the stick has me curious.

Thanks for your input.
 

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Mine too. Do you know what gear oil is in your trans?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, I do know the gear oil, it is the expensive Motorcraft stuff for MTX. I replaced it myself 8-9 months ago and it has been fine ever since.

I'm wondering, maybe all bundled up with winter clothes and driving on snow and ice if it might just give the impression that it is looser. But, I wanted to check if anyone knew of a problem of which this could be an early symptom.

I did do a search and saw where some people complained of the opposite, that is stiffness in cold weather. So, I find it a little puzzling. Maybe it is my senses that are dulled by the cold.
 

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Blame it on bundled up, it'll be the same as Summer once it warms up - and if you still had gloves on it'd feel like a toy gearshift.
 

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The skin's mechanoreceptors are most likely responsible for this. Gloves cushion the external pressure exerted on the skin and reduce the stimuli in the mechanoreceptors that gives us a sense of pressure. Hence why many people find it hard to even use a pen wearing winter gloves.
 

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C2H5OH
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The skin's mechanoreceptors are most likely responsible for this. Gloves cushion the external pressure exerted on the skin and reduce the stimuli in the mechanoreceptors that gives us a sense of pressure. Hence why many people find it hard to even use a pen wearing winter gloves.


[histerical][histerical][histerical]


Nice try.





Here is the correct answer.
Where do you have you're heater directed to?
The floor?

With the added heat down low in the car and the cables being very near, the grease inside the cables can soften and the cable can move easier.

I would imagine that first start the cables are still a bit stiff but that once the car/cabin warms the shifter feels nice and loose. That is how it works in my car atleast.
But with my car I have removed the ducting for the rear heat and have not blocked the hole in the heater box fully. So that heat is directed at my shifter/cables. So my car having issues I kind of understand a bit more than most might.
 

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[histerical][histerical][histerical]


Nice try.
Not sure why you're so quick to dismiss his explanation because it actually does make perfect sense.
 

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Not sure why you're so quick to dismiss his explanation because it actually does make perfect sense.

Put on a glove and go lift an ice cream pail.
Take the glove off and repeat.

Does it feel any lighter?

Nope.

Grasping something and pushing/pulling aren't the same thing and involve different muscle interactions.
 

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Well, iminhell - I'm not convinced so I'll stick to my theory for now !

In the meantime, do a headstand on hard stone and repeat with a cushion under your head and tell me if you can feel the difference :)

The force needed to shift gears in a good running gearbox is negligible and as mentioned before, cold weather usually results in slightly harder gears due to the changes in oil viscosity. I don't see how it could be any different for the OP. In fact I suspect that he's applying a little bit more force than usual since part of that force is being absorbed by the thick lining of the gloves and hence why the gears are quicker to shift. On the other hand, the mechanoreceptors are deceiving the brain into thinking that less force is being applied as the gloves are cushioning the resistance (back pressure) from the gearstick. The same principle applies for instance with boxing gloves.
 

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I've noticed the same thing in my car -- in the past the gears always got stiffer during low temperatures, but this year it's shifted smoothly. The fluid is almost two years old now.

Toby
 

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Mine is hard to shift into gear when cold and I don't drive in gloves. I think the gear oil has more to do with shifting than warm cables. I think my gear oil is the original stuff but am not sure so one day I may change it out. I found its easier to shift into 2 first then 1 engauges much easier. Maybe my 1st gear synchros are worn too far down and 2nd are still good but if I'm having lots of trouble grabbing 1, I'll grab 2 then 1.
 

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Stiff from cold when you first start driving is normal for cold/sticky fluid.

Loosens up as it warms, and will feel very light by comparison.

On slippery stuff you can have different revs & match by accident compared to normal driving, making the feel even more different.
 

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Polygon has a very valid point FWIW
 
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