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Unable to shift in to first gear

Tacomonster

Ready to race!
Location
Colorado
Car(s)
Gti 2019
Hey guys, I am having a hard time getting in to first and reverse gear only in cold weather (below 35). I had changed my brake fluid and clutch fluid to ATF type 200 instead of OEM LV back in March of this year. I don’t know if this is related to the difficulty in shift to those two gears but I didn’t notice anything different until now. I tried to adjust the linkage with an Allen key as the shifter alignment tool, which seemed promising as there was some improvement but not what it use to be. Can someone help me figure out what the cause might be?

Additionally, I noticed that my gear lock pin was in the horizontal position instead of the down position. I don’t know if this is related but I also recently had my water pump replace recently.


I’m thinking of getting the holy shift kit from shop dap in hopes that it would fix this problem. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks guys.
 

Cemetery

Go Kart Newbie
Location
PA
Car(s)
e36m/e46m/mk7r
Does the car shift normally to all gears with the car off? If so, it is almost certainly hydraulic related. I would start with bleeding the clutch and see if it improves. If not, its most likely your throw out bearing going.

If it isn't smooth with the car off, it is linkage related. You can by the DAP kit if you want, but unless something is seriously broken or worn, nothing would be keeping you from selecting gears.
 

Tacomonster

Ready to race!
Location
Colorado
Car(s)
Gti 2019
Yes, once the engine warms up it seems to go away. My car only has 23k miles, so I did not change the transmission fluid.
 

Tacomonster

Ready to race!
Location
Colorado
Car(s)
Gti 2019
That’s what
Does the car shift normally to all gears with the car off? If so, it is almost certainly hydraulic related. I would start with bleeding the clutch and see if it improves. If not, its most likely your throw out bearing going.

If it isn't smooth with the car off, it is linkage related. You can by the DAP kit if you want, but unless something is seriously broken or worn, nothing would be keeping you from selecting gears.
I’m starting to think too. I’ll go buy the fluids and flush again. I wanted to see if I was the crazy one or if someone else had a similar experience.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Champion
Location
Kansas City
Yes, once the engine warms up it seems to go away. My car only has 23k miles, so I did not change the transmission fluid.
Some fluids just turn into sludge at low temps. You can release the clutch once the car is on in neutral and give it a few minutes so the pressure plate warms up and passes the heat to the trans.

If it's the stock fluid, that's kind of surprising... You can always try a slightly thinner or fresh fluid and that should help.
 

Tacomonster

Ready to race!
Location
Colorado
Car(s)
Gti 2019
Some fluids just turn into sludge at low temps. You can release the clutch once the car is on in neutral and give it a few minutes so the pressure plate warms up and passes the heat to the trans.

If it's the stock fluid, that's kind of surprising... You can always try a slightly thinner or fresh fluid and that should help.
Yeah I tried that once for 5min but it never warmed up enough to shift in to reverse or first gear. And not it’s not stock fluid. I bought it on FCPeuro which said that the type 200 was compatible. Once I flushed then I realized that it wasn’t LV or low viscosity. Perhaps that’s why
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Champion
Location
Kansas City
Yeah I tried that once for 5min but it never warmed up enough to shift in to reverse or first gear. And not it’s not stock fluid. I bought it on FCPeuro which said that the type 200 was compatible. Once I flushed then I realized that it wasn’t LV or low viscosity. Perhaps that’s why
Yep... Sounds like this is your culprit.

Keep in mind that some additives or mixing fluid can also cause trans fluids to get thicker at colder temps. Mixing fluids was a common thing in the subaru community because of "uncle Scotty", the self described genius in Texas. Many a trans blew as a result of "uncle scotty's mix".

Are you sure you got Mt fluid and not the dsg fluid?

I'd recommend to flush it for the oem stuff.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Champion
Location
Kansas City
To get the car moving for now, you can literally force the shifter into a gear (3rd might be easier) and hold it in position as it doesn't go in, then release the clutch SLOWLY and GENTLY until you feel a vibration in the shifter. Not enough to actually engage, but enough to rub your clutch disc and warm it up with some extra friction.

Foot HARD on brake during this maneuver and handbrake yanked to it's top position!
 

Tacomonster

Ready to race!
Location
Colorado
Car(s)
Gti 2019
Yep... Sounds like this is your culprit.

Keep in mind that some additives or mixing fluid can also cause trans fluids to get thicker at colder temps. Mixing fluids was a common thing in the subaru community because of "uncle Scotty", the self described genius in Texas. Many a trans blew as a result of "uncle scotty's mix".

Are you sure you got Mt fluid and not the dsg fluid?

I'd recommend to flush it for the oem stuff.Just to clarify the fluid I changed was brake fluid not transmission. I’m going to change the fluid tommorrow before the weather gets colder and below 0.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Champion
Location
Kansas City
Brake fluid has nothing to do with your trans.

However, if you got your clutch and brake mixed up, that could be a problem. Seems silly, but I've seen people make that mistake...

Heavy fluids in the trans or mixing fluids in the trans can lead to just enough weight to lock you out of your synchros and gears until it warms up. From what you're describing it sounds like heavy fluid, but if it's stock it shouldn't be the issue. Stock fluid is designed for 0F temps.

That being said, heavy clutch fluid can also prevent you from properly engaging the clutch in cold temps.

Go to stock fluid and see how it performs. There's really very little reason to use anything other than stock fluids unless you've dramatically changed your operating temps...despite what aftermarket suppliers like to tout... Stock fluids and parts are typically the best bang per buck for performance.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Champion
Location
Kansas City
brake fluid and "clutch fluid" are the same thing. Same reservoir.


heavy clutch fluid ?????????
Yes they're the same, and you're right I was thinking of my other car that has separate reservoirs. I keep forgetting the mk7 is dumb.

Yes, some fluids get thicker as temps drop. Aka "heavier" fluid. While they're all either dot 3, 4, 5, 5.1 ratings based, some fluids are just designed for higher temps. What they gain in higher temp resistance they lose in lower temp performance. Of particular note is when changing fluid. If you don't "flush it all out" two different fluids could have a chemical reaction which can change the viscosity of the fluid overall or in "pockets".

This comes back to the golf being dumb and you should do your clutch and brake fluid at the same time.
 

Tacomonster

Ready to race!
Location
Colorado
Car(s)
Gti 2019
Yeah so I did the flush to both this past weekend. It seems that the shifting have improved but not quite snag free. I will try to recalibrate the linkage again. Perhaps a drill bit would work better than an Allen key
 
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