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Thread: Hard to change gear... (problem in the shifter to the transmission?)

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    Question Hard to change gear... (problem in the shifter to the transmission?)

    Recently, i did have some problem for changing gear in my manual micra. It not the clutch, it is not slipping at all, it more about the shifter arm. The dealer found that normal at first, they are still checking about it...

    But i know that is the not fell like when it was new. It is not "critical", I can still change gear, but sometime it does not wanted to engage to the next gear for a second or two, even if the clutch it fully pressed down.

    Did anyone got a problem like that before? if yes, i'll be glad to learn more about it.



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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    I recall an issue with another member where the shift linkage popped off the shifter in one case.

    Now I'm not familiar with the micra's manual transmission enough to say 100% its this or that. But sometimes it can be a weak clutch cylinder (master or slave) not applying enough pressure to separate or apply the clutch, that can sometimes lead to a hard engagement and release of the gear selected.

    Most syncromesh transmissions have a brass "syncro ring" that can wear out or fail, and that can affect engagement as its purpose is to guide the gears together- but typically its usually one affected gear, and normally only when enaging the gear, so I dont think thats it.

    Some clutches can be adjusted. My mazda has a simple piston that could be adjusted in and out by a nut and threaded rod. Im not sure about the micra, but it could be out of adjustment and not fully engaging or disengaging the clutch, leading to harsh engagements and disengagements. All clutches do wear to a certain degree and need a little adjustment to keep them in check. It might be just a quick clutch adjustment is all that is needed.

    Also a lot of people dont understand that while you can shift without using a clutch, this practice isnt reccomended. Its hard on the syncrhos. Also rev matching can greatly increase the lifespan of the clutch assembly. The clutch is designed to separate the engine and transmission to make shifting easier, not to make up for a difference in rotation. So if you happen to be one of those people that push the clutch in and let the engine rev up then upshift- dont do that. Likewise, dont do the opposite and let the revs fall too much, that can also cause premature wearing of the clutch.

    Some people cite the 3-5 rule. This meaning for each gear you change, expect a 3-500 rpm difference between gears:

    So..
    1st 1500rpm *clutch in, lower engine rpm* 1200 rpm *shift, clutch out*
    2nd 1500rpm *clutch in, lower engine rpm* 1200 rpm *shift, clutch out*


    etc.. Of course, each individual ratio is going to make the rule a little off but 300-500rpm is a good range to start, and you can fine tune it when you learn the car.

    Downshifting (or slowing down) would be...

    2nd 1500rpm *clutch in, rev engine* 1800 rpm *shift, release clutch*
    1st 1500rpm *clutch in, rev engine* 1800 rpm *shift, release clutch*

    When you press the clutch in, and match the engine speed to the speed that the transmission is rotating on, you will have nicer shifts and less wear on components. Really the clutch is for starting and stopping, and taking up the minor differences between gear changes and seperates the engine from the transmission to make it easier to shift.

    *Bonus*

    When I drive tractor, there is an old technique that is sometimes passed along called progressive shifting. As you all probably know, you dont have to shift at 1800 and 1200 every time. Its a dynamic range. If you shift at 5000rpm, you might end up being at 3000 rpm for your next shift depending on the ratio. You can play with it. the 3-5 rule is just a rough guideline. Now depending on who you talk to in the truckstop, progressive shifting is sometimes thought to be one of the more fuel efficient ways to shift. Kinda looks like this:

    1st 750-1200rpm
    2nd 900-1300rpm
    3rd 1000-1400rpm
    4th 1100-1500rpm
    5th 1200-1600rpm.

    Now of course it doesnt work 100% like that. But basically you increase your bottom rev by 100rpm each time until you reach maxximum power. Ive tried it. I dont think it saves fuel. But worth a shot none the less.
    Last edited by Howie; 02-22-2016 at 11:05 AM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S automatic: 7.9 L/100 km ... 35.7 mpg (Imp) ... 12.6 km/L ... 29.7 mpg (US) ...


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    Sadly, the Nissan Micra manual got an hydraulic clutch and that specific hydraulic can't be ajusted (that what the dealer say). The clutch is high, but still engaging, so it could be the master cylinder, that true. My dealer saying that the car is normal, but I know is it not like when I was new. I know that is only hard when engaging a gear not when it time release a gear that it "jam" a bit. Gear 1-2-3-4 are the hardest. So anywait, the dealer won't do anything till it really broke, cause it is on the waranty till 3 years or 100 000km.

    Also, I alwait rev match, since I got the car and it is not the first manual car I have drived. (first one : subaru impreza 2001 : manual).

    Thank for your time about replying, alot of usefull info you write down there. It could be welcome to alot of people including myself. I will post more new about it when I will got the car back.

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    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    This may seem like a stupid question but have you changed out your floor mats?

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    Yes, and I did make sure that the clutch pedal can does all the travel till the end and I check often if is it in the right place the floor mats.

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Here's a test: with the car parked and the engine shut off (and the clutch pressed in), does the shifter move more easily from neutral into gear? Compare that to doing the same while the engine is idling. If it is harder with the engine running, it sounds like the clutch adjustment to me, which may indicate a problem with the hydraulic system.

    My brother's car had a leak in the clutch hydraulic circuit a few weeks ago which caused the clutch to fail to completely release (when the pedal was fully pressed down), so it was difficult to change gears or to put it into gear from neutral. He could not get it into gear to drive to the mechanic. I said: turn the engine off, put it in 2nd gear, THEN start the engine and drive to the mechanic, in 2nd gear the whole way. That worked.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    Ok just wanted to check because what happens with mine is my Matts are just Costco universal and after a cold night the Matt gets stiff and the clutch pedal touches it slightly if the matt has slid forward. Doesn't sound like yours is doing that at all as you check it and mine won't even depress enough to start it when the matt is stiff and in the way. How many km's on it?

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    ^ Thats actualy not a dumb question, its happened to me actually.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S automatic: 7.9 L/100 km ... 35.7 mpg (Imp) ... 12.6 km/L ... 29.7 mpg (US) ...


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    Thank alot for all post, I got the car from the garage back, they still didn't find anything wrong. Well I just tried ur test "metroMPG". It seem what you are saying is what it happening to my micra, little by little is harder to engage in gear, I feel a resistance when the car it shut down, but when it running it a bit worse. I also found, that when the temperature it colder outside, it even wost to engage in a gear, when is warmer than -10C. The car engage in gear with almost no resistance at all, like when it was new. The dealer said that he won't change anything right now, because the car is still working right to them, Sure, the clutch is not on the waranty, maybe that why they "say" nothing about it and wait then it will be even worse. Supposly, the clutch can't be ajusted for the pedal height, but that it sure it can be a problem in the hydraulic system.

    Anywait, I'm going to endure it a bit, see where it goes, if I see it even worst and it look that I could'nt change gear anymore. I will go see an other nissan dealership...

    PS: the car have 36 900km right now.

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    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    Ok thirty six nine have you been doing your own oil changes and stuff or taking it in because they want the brake clutch fluid changed at the second oil change or something in the maintenance schedule.



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