Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Synchros shot? Weird noises while shifting? Not sure what needs to be replaced?
suby6
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Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby suby6 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:50 pm

Hi! I recently purchased a 2009 Ford fusion 2.3L with a manual tranny. It has 75,000 KM.

While driving or moving it shifts nicely but when I come to a stop and put it in neutral it is often difficult to get it to go back into a gear for some reason. It doesn't grind but seems to lock me out. I then have to mess around with pumping the clutch and playing with the gears to get it to shift into gear, especially first and reverse. I normally have a habit now before trying to put it in gear at a stop to pump the clutch a few times. Sometimes it goes right in other times it's still fussy.

Recently I tried to bleed the clutch to see if that would help but then during bleeding the clutch lost pressure and wouldn't come back. Ended up changing the master cylinder and the clutch is working again but the same issue of getting locked out of gear after putting in in neutral at a stop.

Any suggestion on what the problem may be or what needs to be done? Would this be a clutch or tranny problem? While in motion it shifts well with no feeling of bad synchros..

Thanks!

Dion

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tankinbeans
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby tankinbeans » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:40 pm

My friend had a similar situation when his slave cylinder went out, but I don't remember the specifics. A good bumber of peeps will come in with more in depth answers.
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby Rope-Pusher » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:46 pm

Does it shift just fine with the engine off?
Can you come to a stop, have it block you from shifting into 1st gear, but then shut off the engine and find it will go into gear with no problems?

If so, I'd say that the clutch is not fully disengaging. The clutch pedal should come up 25-25 mm off the downstop before the clutch starts to engage. If it is happening sooner than that, less than an inch from the downstop, then you don't have any / enough "Reserve" in your clutch disengagement.

Reserve can decrease if there is air in the lines - clutch hydraulic fluid is virtually incompressible, but if there are air bubbles, the air compresses and the release bearing travel is reduced. I don't know how your system bleeds, but it is often a two-person operation to manually bleed a clutch hydraulic line. It does help to use a clear hose on the output side, and have that hose empty below the surface of a small cup of hydraulic fluid. That way, you will be able to see as air bubbles come out and also it won't suck air back in as the pedal is released.

Sometimes, there are places , especially near the slave cylinder, where air bubbles seem to get stuck. We will bleed the system, pump the pedal a full 50-100 times and then bleed it again in order to get those last hidden air bubbles out. When the pedal comes to the top of its stroke, the upstop, when your foot is completely off of it, is when the port should be open between the master cylinder (the pedal is connected to it) and the reservoir hose. If the pedal is not coming up all the way to the upstop, it may not open the port and allow fluid to come down from the reservoir or bubbles to pass upward and away.
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby IMBoring25 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:15 am

With a known-bad master, it's not uncommon for the slave to also be on its way out.

suby6
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby suby6 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:04 am

Thank you.

It shifts great with the engine off. If it gets stuck and I turn off the car I can then shift. Also sometimes when getting it in gear with it running it will make the car kind of clunk lightly sort of like an auto going into drive but more gentle and without pulling forward.

When the master cyl seemed to have failed bleeding it I ended up having a retired mechanic I found on craiglslist do a mobile repair as I was in a jam with it being a holiday weekend and shops closed. It wasn't a job I wanted to do myself in my underground parking. After he swapped it the clutch felt really soft and had to be put all the way to the floor to shift. After nagging him he bled it more and adjusted the pedal rod. This seemed to improve it a bit. The brake fluid was really old and black so I brought it to the shop the next weekend to get both brakes and clutch bled/ flushed. I don't think they spent much time bleeding the clutch though as he said he didn't have to do it much as barely any bubbles seemed to come out.

Aright so I guess the next step is more bleeding with a helper and if it doesn't improve further then I will have to replace the slave and go from there.. The master is pretty hidden away on the firewall but the slave is on the outside of the tranny at least. Seemed very odd for the master to have failed when bleeding it but I'm sure we had done it right with 2 people a one way valve hose that was also submerged in fluid.

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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby potownrob » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:23 am

this issue is common to many standardshifters (maybe they misread your description??), and it could easily not be due to a clutch issue at all. it is recommended to shift into another gear (preferably not 2nd though) and then into 1st to mitigate this issue. you can also try holding down the clutch longer before shifting into first (or otherwise press in the clutch a second or 2 before you plan to shift into 1st). when the engine is running and you press in the clutch, is there a noise that quiets down right away, or does it stay loud for more than a second??
BUT DEM FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby theholycow » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:30 am

If you've got a new master and are replacing the slave, go ahead and replace the hose/tube too. Might as well not risk a leaky hose, mangled fitting/flare nut, or corrosion being the cause.

Also consider that the hydraulic clutch release system could be working ok but the clutch disc itself may not be sliding freely on the transmission input shaft. I suspect that I have a problem like that, but I've been too lazy to take it apart and grease the shaft. The clutch may still be touching the flywheel after the pressure plate pulls away from it.

Other possibilities: Cracked fork or cracked clutch cover assembly fingers/pivots.

That's all assuming it's something broken. Rob could be right, you could just not be giving the clutch time to spin down. If waiting for it helps then that was likely the problem all along. Either way, a workaround (which should merely be temporary if something still needs repair) would be to leave it in gear as you come to a stop and stay in gear, to neutral thou shalt not shift, excepting that though then proceed with haste to another gear. Letting up the clutch pedal is right out, thou must leaveth it floored. If you forget, you might try shifting to another gear (perhaps 5th) before trying for first or reverse, though it sounds like you've already worked out a strategy like that. Your car may have better synchronizers on other gears. That's how I roll.
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby tankinbeans » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:39 am

You win an internet cow. Thine Python hath made me chortle.
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby Rope-Pusher » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:12 pm

Image

The Proof is in the Pudding

I'll stand by that if the problem goes away when the engine is shut off, it is that the clutch is not fully disengaging.

Also, if there is little to no "Reserve" pedal travel between the engagement point and the pedal downstop, something ain't right with the clutch release - this vehicle isn't all that old or mileagey.

Did this come on suddenly, or did it creep up gradually? Was there any incident that may have triggered it? Any strange new noises when actuating the clutch pedal? Any high speed mis-shifts into a lower gear? Had the vehicle been parked stationary for a long while?
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suby6
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby suby6 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:46 pm

I worked from home today with a cold so brought it back to the shop to have it bled more. They say no other bubbles came out and they are sure its bled as well as can be. He said too he doesn't think it's the salve as he feels if it were the problem it would be leaking externally.
I just drove it the few blocks home so not sure if the extra bleeding has done anything yet.

I've only had the car a month and started noticing it just after buying it. It used to be sometimes. Since the master cyl seeming to fail and replacing it it seems to now be often. I guess for now I will try the work arounds like not putting it in neutral. I used to always keep the clutch in at lights and then a couple years ago someone told me it was bad for the throwout bearing so I got into the habit of neutral. I don't mind going back to holding the clutch in or will try for 3rd first before 1st. If Im rolling just slighly too it goes into first great.

Ive tried sitting on a level area and having it in gear with the clutch in and reving. It doesn't seem to roll. Not sure about noises as I put the clutch in but it sounds normal. Will start paying more attention. I can hear a squeak from the clutch area when I press in the pedal. I do notice that the squeak continues until the clutch hits the floor so the clutch is still disengaging when the pedal can go no further?

There doesn't seem to be a clutch stop, the arm of the clutch literally just hits the body and stops. There is an upstop with an adjuster screw.
The rod from the pedal to the master is adjustable. With the clutch all the way up the end of the master shaft was not quite coming to rest on the c-clip retainer. If adjust the rod to allow it to travel further out then it results in a little bit of pedal play before you feel tension on the pedal. Hope that makes sense. Should there be any pressure from the rod off the clutch on the mater cyl when the pedal is fully out or should it be set to allow the master to fully decompress?

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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby Rope-Pusher » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:36 pm

suby6 wrote:I worked from home today with a cold so brought it back to the shop to have it bled more. They say no other bubbles came out and they are sure its bled as well as can be. He said too he doesn't think it's the salve as he feels if it were the problem it would be leaking externally.
I just drove it the few blocks home so not sure if the extra bleeding has done anything yet.

I've only had the car a month and started noticing it just after buying it. It used to be sometimes. Since the master cyl seeming to fail and replacing it it seems to now be often. I guess for now I will try the work arounds like not putting it in neutral. I used to always keep the clutch in at lights and then a couple years ago someone told me it was bad for the throwout bearing so I got into the habit of neutral. I don't mind going back to holding the clutch in or will try for 3rd first before 1st. If Im rolling just slighly too it goes into first great.

Ive tried sitting on a level area and having it in gear with the clutch in and reving. It doesn't seem to roll. Not sure about noises as I put the clutch in but it sounds normal. Will start paying more attention. I can hear a squeak from the clutch area when I press in the pedal. I do notice that the squeak continues until the clutch hits the floor so the clutch is still disengaging when the pedal can go no further?

There doesn't seem to be a clutch stop, the arm of the clutch literally just hits the body and stops. There is an upstop with an adjuster screw.
The rod from the pedal to the master is adjustable. With the clutch all the way up the end of the master shaft was not quite coming to rest on the c-clip retainer. If adjust the rod to allow it to travel further out then it results in a little bit of pedal play before you feel tension on the pedal. Hope that makes sense. Should there be any pressure from the rod off the clutch on the mater cyl when the pedal is fully out or should it be set to allow the master to fully decompress?

If the master cylinder is stopped too soon on the upstroke of the clutch pedal, it won't unblock the port to the reservoir hose. This needs to happen each and every time the clutch pedal is released, even if it does result in some dead travel at the top of the pedal stroke until the port is blocked again and pressure begins to build. There shoudl be NO pressure when the clutch pedl is full up. The master cylinder should be fully extended at this point.
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby IMBoring25 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:27 am

You can't necessarily assume a failed hydraulic cylinder will fail such that it leaks externally. I replaced the externally-leaking master on my 'Vette and it was still enthusiastically driving itself at idle with the clutch on the floor. The slave was not leaking externally but a new slave fixed it.

If enthusiastically pumping the clutch before attempting the shift improves the shift attempt, that would strongly indicate the hydraulics still leave something to be desired. That was the way I got the car back home from the test drive after the master cylinder change.

suby6
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby suby6 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:04 am

I would say currently the master reaches within 2mm of its final travel distance but will try it adjusted out fully and see if it changes anything. Sounds like I will have to swap the slave as a precautionary measure as well. No a big job being externally mounted. The master was a LuK brand I believe which should be good but who knows maybe it's not pumping well.

Thanks guys

suby6
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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby suby6 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:17 pm

Oh, I have a feeling it did sit undriven for periods with the last owner as they had 2 cars at the time and this one had storage insurance while they were selling it .. or who knows maybe longer.

I do hear a squeak noise from the front of the engine when I press the clutch. Can I pull back the boot and grease the piston or would that be a waste of time? Maybe its sticking?

It looks like this:
http://www.carid.com/images/dorman/tran ... 650069.jpg

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Re: Gets stuck in neutral at stops

Postby theholycow » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:39 pm

Looks similar to mine. On mine, the part that sticks out is actually a loose push rod and the piston doesn't extend into the boot. I don't recall seeing anything worth greasing on mine. It should be ok to peek under the boot.
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