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Car doesn't want to go into gear when it's cold out

#1 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:04 PM

So...this was the first time I was driving my s in the cold....and it did not want to go into any gear.after playing with it a bit I was able to get it to third then reverse. Any ideas?


Also I haveno idea wat type of oil the previous owner used. Anyway of telling if they used synthetic or not?

#2 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

Ah just flung my answer in the FAQ....well then to the second question

#3 User is offline   kryptonite 


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

To your second question.. Drain the oil and have it analyzed (most brand name garages do an oil analysis).. and replace it with synthetic.

#4 User is offline   slalom44 

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:12 AM

View PostM2736185, on 23 December 2012 - 04:04 PM, said:

So...this was the first time I was driving my s in the cold....and it did not want to go into any gear.after playing with it a bit I was able to get it to third then reverse. Any ideas?

Checke your clutch fluid level. If it's low, you will need to add clutch fluid and bleed your lines to get the air out.

If this doesn't fix it, you likely have problems with your synchros. Changing your transmission fluid might help, but it's hard to tell if it will fix it.

This post has been edited by slalom44: 24 December 2012 - 11:14 AM

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#5 User is offline   _brandon 

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:51 PM

Surprise no one has said this.. Tried adjusting the clutch pedal? Happened to me and I adjusted it, goes into gear fine now. :rolleyes:
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#6 User is offline   xviper 

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

Will it go into gear when the engine is off? If it does, then your tranny is likely OK. When it doesn't go into gear when the engine is running, that's an indication that the clutch won't disengage enough to disconnect power to the tranny and it's still being turned. When it happens because it gets really cold, that's an indication that there is air in the clutch system. Air contracts a lot when the temperature gets low. This, in turn, makes it seem like you're only partially depressing the clutch. Solution is to get the air out. Water in the system can also convert to air (vapour). If you have air, you likely also have water. Get the clutch fluid changed and bled.

If you are uncertain about the oil in terms of viscosity, then change it. Once you change it, there's no need to analyze it. The old oil is gone, so who really cares? If you are confident of the viscosity of the oil and when it was changed last and it's still got time and miles left, don't worry about whether it's synthetic or not. Just use whatever correct viscosity oil you have or wish to buy and use it for topping up. After the next change, you'll know exactly what you've got in there. Don't worry about mixing viscosities or synthetic with non-synthetic. This harms nothing and has been done as long as synthetics have existed. Ever heard of synthetic "blend"? If you have 4.5 qts of 5W40 and add 1 qt. of 10W30, you simply end up with a crankcase of a mix. Rough calculation would make it a 5.2W33 oil. No big deal.

#7 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

What I was worried about are leaks if there wasn't synthetic in there. The car has about 130k miles so if the previous owner was using regular oil I might have leaks after switching

#8 User is offline   xviper 

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

View PostM2736185, on 04 January 2013 - 08:46 PM, said:

What I was worried about are leaks if there wasn't synthetic in there. The car has about 130k miles so if the previous owner was using regular oil I might have leaks after switching

That's always a possibility. If it has leaks now, it'll leak more with full synthetic. If it doesn't leak, with that kind of miles on it, it may or may not leak with syn.

#9 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

There are no leaks now...from what I can tell. Any recommendations on oil to switch to?

#10 User is offline   bewareofthepoop 

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

do you have any mods done to your car?
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#11 User is offline   xviper 

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

View PostM2736185, on 06 January 2013 - 05:14 PM, said:

There are no leaks now...from what I can tell. Any recommendations on oil to switch to?

This has been discussed and argued till the moon turns blue. Honda recommends 10W30 or 5W40. Syntec, Mobil 1, Amsoil, Penzoil, Quaker State., etc, etc. What do you like? What is easy for you to get? Read the oil threads stickied at the top of this section.

#12 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:47 AM

So...I read through the threads and the majority seem to prefer Honda MTF for the transmission Mobil 75W90 for diff, but as far as oil...there seems to be no consensus on the type..weight or brand. I have heard many good things about mobile 1 fully sythetic, but is there a real benifit other than the oil change interval?

#13 User is offline   brummimatt 

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:06 AM

I have a similar problem when mine is cold. Only really on first and second gear though. Eases up once its warm. Im having my clutch changed this week so will let you know if it helps.

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#14 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

I found a great post comparing the different lubes.

http://www.s2ki.com/...0w30-for-s2000/

Amsoil seems superior in every test. Mobile 1 is usually in the middle or towards the top. I think I will go with Amsoil, but if I cant find any mobile 1 will do.

#15 User is offline   Andersonracing 

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

View PostM2736185, on 13 January 2013 - 05:47 AM, said:

So...I read through the threads and the majority seem to prefer Honda MTF for the transmission Mobil 75W90 for diff, but as far as oil...there seems to be no consensus on the type..weight or brand. I have heard many good things about mobile 1 fully sythetic, but is there a real benifit other than the oil change interval?

Ive been dealing with trannys for a long time, and if all of your components (clutch, pressure plate, tranny, flywheel etc.) are working correctly you should have no problem at all running a simple generic 90w gear oil. that being said, a synthetic oil would be better just because of the breakdown factor over time. a manual trans doesn't build a 1/4 the temperature of a automatic. so when you drain your trans oil it should look very bad at all, mabye a few shades darker than how it came out of the bottle.

As for the not going into gear problem, start with the simple things, bleed the clutch, check the slave adjustment and check the pressure plate for extensive wear (very unlikely).

#16 User is offline   HAMM3RED 

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

I started my car for the first time in three days with weather that was 25 as a high and in the teens for lows. My car also sits outside, for now. I had absolutely no issues when it came to drivability this morning. I use GM Synchromesh in the transmission and Mobil 1 75w90 in the differential. I'm very happy with the way these fluids have been holding up. I've also done a couple track days with this fluid combo with no complaints.

Note: I've only put about 3100 miles on these fluids thus far.

#17 User is offline   xviper 

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

It looks like as this thread has progressed, we've intermingled the discussion between engine oil, tranny fluid and diff fluid. Not sure if you were even interested in diff fluid.
Anyway, for engine oil, go with any brand name motor oil of the recommended viscosity and API rating. Mobil 1 seems to burn up faster for some S2000s than with other oils. Look at the date of that thread you linked. Times change and so have oil formulations. Amsoil is good but might be over kill for the vast majority of S2000s. Do you really want to spend that kind of money when a much cheaper oil will do just as well? That's up to you. Castrol Syntec seems to be today's favored choice among S2000 owners.
As for the tranny fluid, you can't go wrong with Honda's current offering of MTF, which is closer to a 5W30 motor oil with extra additives. I wouldn't be putting a 90 weight gear oil into the tranny. That's more for the diff.

#18 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

Really? Well there happens to be. Buy one get one free of Castro syntec right now at advanced. I recently purchased the car and have no idea when the fluids have been changed so I am doing everything. Previous owner looks like they were using mobile 1 oil filter. I think I'll stick to that.

#19 User is offline   xviper 

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

View PostM2736185, on 14 January 2013 - 11:41 AM, said:

Really? Well there happens to be. Buy one get one free of Castro syntec right now at advanced. I recently purchased the car and have no idea when the fluids have been changed so I am doing everything. Previous owner looks like they were using mobile 1 oil filter. I think I'll stick to that.

If you're changing all fluids, might I suggest .................
For engine ................ Syntec 10W30 or 5W40 (about 5.5 qts.)
For tranny ................ Honda MTF (you'll buy 2 qt. bottles but will only use about 1.75 qts.)
For diff .................. Mobil 1 75W90 or 75W110 or SAE 90. All MUST be GL-5 rated. The SAE 90 is obtained from most motorcycle shops and is sold as "hypoid gear oil". You'll need 1 bottle but use only about 0.8 qt. of it.
Check the boiling point and freeze point of the engine coolant. If you need to change it, flush it out real good and use Honda Type II. It's already pre-mixed (no dilution needed). You'll need ~2 gallons. Bleeding the system can be tricky but do some reading and you'll find the procedure.
Consider changing the brake and clutch fluids. You can use DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid. If you intend on doing a complete flush and change, you should get about 1 liter (1 qt.). If you want to just do a basic change for the time being, just suck out the stuff in the reservoirs and replace that. You'll only need less than a pint.

#20 User is offline   M2736185 

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

Thanks.

One more question. Since I dont know if syntetic or regular oil was used in the car before. Should I add one of those oil cleaners before I add the syntec

#21 User is offline   xviper 

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

View PostM2736185, on 14 January 2013 - 01:12 PM, said:

Thanks.

One more question. Since I dont know if syntetic or regular oil was used in the car before. Should I add one of those oil cleaners before I add the syntec

Not necessary. You can switch between synthetic and non-synthetic. There's no black magic behind it. They even make a synthetic "blend". Don't listen to too many "old wives". ;)

#22 User is offline   pmptx 

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

View PostM2736185, on 14 January 2013 - 11:41 AM, said:

Really? Well there happens to be. Buy one get one free of Castro syntec right now at advanced. I recently purchased the car and have no idea when the fluids have been changed so I am doing everything. Previous owner looks like they were using mobile 1 oil filter. I think I'll stick to that.

You might consider using the Honda OEM oil filter as the M1 filter has been known to back off.
One of my friends (altiain on this forum) had his back off at the track, leading to an engine fire. If yuo use another filter just make sure to use a filter lock.
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mister x, on 29 February 2012 - 03:55 PM, said:
^Agreed, once you go track, you never go back.
trancemission "once you take a hit off the track pipe its hard not to get addicted"

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