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Old 10-07-2020, 01:25 PM   #1
camaroJD
 
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Reverse not engaging on first clutch depress after start

This week I've started having an intermittent issue with my manual transmission when starting my Camaro. After a cold start and single clutch depress, reverse will not engage. It goes in slightly but feels somewhat like I am locked out and the transmission will stay in neutral. To get into reverse, I have to shift back to neutral, depress the clutch again, then it functions normally. I only notice this on cold starts (meaning the car has been sitting and not running). It first happened on a ~45 degree morning, but also today in the mid 60s. I have just under 4,000 miles on it with the stock fluid. I have no issues other than occasional chunky shifting before it warms up in cold weather.

The weird thing is, I had this same problem on my 2014 Cruze. I brought it in twice, they were unable to replicate and shrugged it off as normal. They also refused to change the transmission fluid under warranty, so I got pissed off and decided to live with it.

Has anyone else had this issue? Any idea what causes it? I'm probably going to change to Red Line D4 ATF this weekend and see if this resolves the problem.
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:42 PM   #2
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Odd! I always kill my engine with the car in first gear when parking in the garage. On the next start up I of course have to start the car with the clutch in then I shift to reverse. I've never had a problem going out of first gear directly into reverse in 29K miles and 4.5 years.

Do you start the car like that or do you start it in neutral?
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:54 PM   #3
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Odd! I always kill my engine with the car in first gear when parking in the garage. On the next start up I of course have to start the car with the clutch in then I shift to reverse. I've never had a problem going out of first gear directly into reverse in 29K miles and 4.5 years.

Do you start the car like that or do you start it in neutral?
It's very odd that this has happened on two unrelated cars too. I start in neutral most of the time.
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:59 PM   #4
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It's very odd that this has happened on two unrelated cars too. I start in neutral most of the time.
I'm a firm believer in leaving a car in gear when stopped. I don't trust the e-brake alone. So If it were my car I'd kill the engine with the tranny in either first or reverse and leave it there until the next start up. I have done that with the many manual tranny cars I've owned over the years. My guess is that if you switch to that habit your issue will go away. Just a thought. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:20 PM   #5
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Not sure about the Camaro, but for most econo cars, there is no synchroes on the reverse gear, hence why you could have trouble getting into reverse sometimes. Some even older econo cars didn't have synchroes on 1st gear. Getting into 1st gear when you are moving in those cars, and get ready for some crunches.

What you are doing is essentially double clutching, which is what you do to engage a gear when there is no synchro, or the synchro is busted.

On something like a Cruze, I also wouldn't be surprised if the reverse gears are spur gears(forward gears are helical gears). Listen for a whining noise why you back up the car. Spur gears can be harder to engage than helical gears.

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I'm a firm believer in leaving a car in gear when stopped. I don't trust the e-brake alone. So If it were my car I'd kill the engine with the tranny in either first or reverse and leave it there until the next start up. I have done that with the many manual tranny cars I've owned over the years. My guess is that if you switch to that habit your issue will go away. Just a thought. Good luck!
Yeah that's what you are supposed to do. Have a failsafe on top of the handbrake.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSDan View Post
I'm a firm believer in leaving a car in gear when stopped. I don't trust the e-brake alone. So If it were my car I'd kill the engine with the tranny in either first or reverse and leave it there until the next start up. I have done that with the many manual tranny cars I've owned over the years. My guess is that if you switch to that habit your issue will go away. Just a thought. Good luck!
I only do this when I'm not on a level surface. Personally, I'm more concerned with a momentary lapse and having the car lurch forward/back and causing damage when starting it up. I know this is a hot issue that people like to debate and realistically you should always leave it in gear.

Last edited by camaroJD; 10-07-2020 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by UnknownJinX View Post
Not sure about the Camaro, but for most econo cars, there is no synchroes on the reverse gear, hence why you could have trouble getting into reverse sometimes. Some even older econo cars didn't have synchroes on 1st gear. Getting into 1st gear when you are moving in those cars, and get ready for some crunches.

What you are doing is essentially double clutching, which is what you do to engage a gear when there is no synchro, or the synchro is busted.

On something like a Cruze, I also wouldn't be surprised if the reverse gears are spur gears(forward gears are helical gears). Listen for a whining noise why you back up the car. Spur gears can be harder to engage than helical gears.



Yeah that's what you are supposed to do. Have a failsafe on top of the handbrake.
Yes, I'm familiar with all that and double clutching. If it were a synchro issue I don't think it would be intermittent. The more I think about it and how it feels, I'm wondering if there is something going on with the lock out mechanism.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by camaroJD View Post
Yes, I'm familiar with all that and double clutching. If it were a synchro issue I don't think it would be intermittent. The more I think about it and how it feels, I'm wondering if there is something going on with the lock out mechanism.
If it's the lockout mechanism, it shouldn't even allow you to move past 5th/6th gear.

The only manual car I have driven that had this issue on a regular basis was a 1999 Corolla I learned manual on. It required me to double clutch to get into reverse about half the time, but I never had this issues with that on any newer manual cars I have driven.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaroJD View Post
I only do this when I'm not on a level surface. Personally, I'm more concerned with a momentary lapse and having the car lurch forward/back and causing damage when starting it up. I know this is a hot issue that people like to debate and realistically you should always leave it in gear.
I'm sorry - I didn't state the obvious. I always start every car I've owned since the introduction of injection fuel systems with my foot on the brake. For manual tranny cars I put the clutch in fully with my left foot and and have my right foot firmly on the brake pedal then I hit the start button. That method totally eliminates any possibility of a lurch or jump.

Anyway - I still wish you good luck with your problem.
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Old 10-08-2020, 07:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SSDan View Post
I'm sorry - I didn't state the obvious. I always start every car I've owned since the introduction of injection fuel systems with my foot on the brake. For manual tranny cars I put the clutch in fully with my left foot and and have my right foot firmly on the brake pedal then I hit the start button. That method totally eliminates any possibility of a lurch or jump.

Anyway - I still wish you good luck with your problem.
I do the same and I know what you meant, I was just saying for that one time that this doesn't happen (or if someone else starts my car) I don't want to risk going through the garage door or wall.
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