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Thread: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

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    Default Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    Hi Everyone!

    I recently purchased a 2009 Mazda 3 Sedan as my first car so I can learn how to drive stick and learn more about performing basic maintenance on my own. For the most part, the car has been great and I absolutely love it! One issue that I have had for quite some time is, whenever I try to shift into the reverse gear, the shifter has a tendency to half engage the reverse gear. But the shifter never pops out of gear and if I apply more force to the shifter, it feels like it's fully into the reverse position, but it's not. It's just stuck there. When this happens and I let off of the clutch, I begin to hear a "whiny" noise and the reverse gear doesn't engage. Once this happens, I push the clutch in again and then push the stick further into reverse again, then it fully moves into the reverse position and the car backs up without an issue. I've attached a video to better outline this:

    https://youtu.be/RWlRijpXZMI

    One thing I have been trying is shifting the car into the first gear before shifting it into reverse to see if that helps the problem, however this doesn't always seem to work. I also make sure the car is fully stopped and isn't rolling whenever I do try to change into reverse. The car has 163,000km on it and I don't think the transmission fluid has ever been flushed/changed. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be wrong? Or is this common to manual gearboxes? This does not seem to happen in any other gear. I have been unable to find much information on Google regarding this issue.

    Thank you for your help!

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    Default Re: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    Sometimes it doesn't pop into gear and that is that Pop it back into neutral, release and re engage the clutch, put it in gear and you should be good. If you're grinding gears and know it is a problem I would suggest getting the fluid changed (owners manual doesn't have interval) as there is some metal in the fluid now.

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    Default Re: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    It never hurts to change out the gear oil, especially if you don't know whether its been done before, but I don't think it would cause the issue you have. Sounds more like your clutch is gone, or atleast the bearing which is not allowing your clutch to disengage properly or fully. When my clutch was on its last legs I had some issues getting it into reverse also.


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    Default Re: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    That's odd because I replaced my clutch when I got the car 2 months ago. Long story short, my engine started misfiring and I ended up replacing the engine through my family's regular mechanic. My clutch was worn out at the time so I got the clutch replaced. I've only put 2,500km on the car since I've gotten the replacement. Is it possible that it could be worn out again? Before the engine change, I had the same issue. Or is it possible that maybe something is whack with the clutch assembly?

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    Default Re: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    You may need to adjust the bias on your shift cables. If you open up the center console around the shifter, you'll see greenish or orange plastic release latches where the shift cables attach to the shifter. Push these down with a screwdriver and it will release the shift cables. move the shifter while these are released and you can cause it to grab the cables in a slightly different place. Play around with it a bit as it will affect how other gears engage.

    Also try pulling some new fluid through your clutch hydraulic line as this will reduce any spungy-ness. if none of this works, then it's probably clutch time
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    Default Re: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    My 2012 has been like that since it was brand new.
    They're cheap cars, you get what you pay for.
    If it doesn't engage at the first try, throw it back to neutral, perhaps even engage the 1st gear, back to neutral, and try again. So it looks like you've been doing it right.
    But obviously, it's best to avoid reversing with those cars, I guess they were designed to go forward mostly.

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    Default Re: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    Quote Originally Posted by WHO View Post
    They're cheap cars, you get what you pay for.
    I wouldn't have bought it if I couldn't reverse.

    Anyway, it sounds like maybe the gear isn't moving up to mesh with the gears properly, do you always have your foot on the brake when trying to engage reverse? If you do, the output shaft would be locked to the wheels and it wouldn't move when met with a gear. I would try to take my foot off the brake when shifting into reverse and see if it helps at all. They are straight cut gears on the reverse pall and they aren't known for meshing well. That's one of the reasons you can't select reverse when the car is rolling forward, it doesn't let you because the output shaft is still spinning in the forward rotation.

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    Default Re: Manual Gearbox Reverse Gear Half Engages/Does Not Engage? [Video Included]

    you all are overthinking this... what he described is perfectly normal for any manual transmission car... the reverse gear is not synchronised and the gears need to be more or less lined up so that they can mesh together when you shift into it

    if you can't fully get into reverse, then go back to neutral, let off the clutch, then try again... or if the car can roll, roll it a couple of inches, then try again while stopped

    NEVER force the shifter into gear... you WILL break something and it can cost thousands to fix!
    2005 Mazda3 SP23 hatchback (auto)
    2016 Mazda3 Sport GT (auto)

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