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Car not going into reverse easily, is this normal Watch

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    Hi guys, just a small issue I found with my car whilst I was practising manouveres (3 point turn, bay park, ect). The issue is that my car won't go into reverse easily. If I just stop in 1st with the clutch down and try and put the car into reverse it won't go in. I have to put the car in neutral press and depress the clutch and then it will go into reverse, however it makes a large clunking noise when doing so.

    This being my first car I don't know whether this is kinda normal and not an issue to be worried about or whether I should get it looked at.

    I have reasonable mechanical knowledge and I can't think of a logical reason why the pressing and depressing of the clutch solves the problem, but it does.

    Any help would be awesome.

    Thanks
    Luke

    EDIT: Might be helpful if I told you the make of car, its a 2006 Ford Fiesta 1.25l petrol.
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    This happens a lot. My car struggles sometimes, and I know a few of my mates cars don't always like going into reverse either!


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    My Dad's car just goes from 1 to reverse. There's no need to put it in to neutral.
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    It ised to be a sign of wear on the gearbox. It was said the first areas of wear were reverse and first gear. Ask a mechanic to check your gearbox.NB if it is this and the car is as old as you say the repair could be mega
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    A lot of cars don't like going into reverse.

    Try shaking the gear stick left and right a couple of times first.
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    Take it to get looked at. This happened to my brothers Clio, and couple of weeks later the gear box broke.
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    Mechanical explanation: When you engage a gear, you're moving a toothed collar across to engage a toothed ring which couples the desired gear with the output shaft. On forward gears a synchromesh unit synchronises the collar and ring so the teeth are aligned. Reverse doesn't have a synchro so sometimes the teeth clash. Spinning the input shaft (by bringing the clutch up in neutral) moves the collar and ring relative to each other, so next time you try and put it into reverse it should work. If that doesn't make sense, go and look up how a syncro gearbox works and it should become obvious.

    Short answer: with no other symptoms, it's nothing to worry about. In 8 years of driving the only car I've had that didn't occasionally have this problem was an auto, and I've never had a gearbox failure (touch wood!)
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Mechanical explanation: When you engage a gear, you're moving a toothed collar across to engage a toothed ring which couples the desired gear with the output shaft. On forward gears a synchromesh unit synchronises the collar and ring so the teeth are aligned. Reverse doesn't have a synchro so sometimes the teeth clash. Spinning the input shaft (by bringing the clutch up in neutral) moves the collar and ring relative to each other, so next time you try and put it into reverse it should work. If that doesn't make sense, go and look up how a syncro gearbox works and it should become obvious.

    Short answer: with no other symptoms, it's nothing to worry about. In 8 years of driving the only car I've had that didn't occasionally have this problem was an auto, and I've never had a gearbox failure (touch wood!)
    Good advice as usual.

    I would just add that in a worn gearbox it sometimes helps alignment if rather than just lifting the clutch it's often worth depressing the pedal once again and moving the gear lever into first and then straight into 2nd (without lifting the pedal) and THEN attempt to select reverse.
    Certainly on worn MGB Gearboxes and Triumph 3 rail rail boxes this has always helped in my experience.
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    Just had another thought... fiesta is a cable clutch IIRC?
    Might be worth having it adjusted up. Clutch may be dragging a little bit hindering gear selection.
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    ^ To add.

    If the cable is lose then the clutch will be biting very low down.

    I remember when I random gained a lot of slack on the cable and the car started biting with the clutch pedal all the way down. Meant is was very hard to get it into reverse and changing gear was quite hard.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Mechanical explanation: When you engage a gear, you're moving a toothed collar across to engage a toothed ring which couples the desired gear with the output shaft. On forward gears a synchromesh unit synchronises the collar and ring so the teeth are aligned. Reverse doesn't have a synchro so sometimes the teeth clash. Spinning the input shaft (by bringing the clutch up in neutral) moves the collar and ring relative to each other, so next time you try and put it into reverse it should work. If that doesn't make sense, go and look up how a syncro gearbox works and it should become obvious.

    Short answer: with no other symptoms, it's nothing to worry about. In 8 years of driving the only car I've had that didn't occasionally have this problem was an auto, and I've never had a gearbox failure (touch wood!)


    Ah that makes sense, my dad told me it doesn't have syncro on 1st aswell (you have to be almost stopped to change into first without it grinding), I also found a discussion on another forum about this issue and it seems a common one with 2002-08 fiesta.

    Its not the clutch cause that only starts biting about half way up.
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    My friend drove a focus and had been told that fords are prone to it.


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    Sometimes my car doesn't go into first or reverse (it's the same slot), so I have to put it in second to move it forward a tiny bit, then it goes into first/reverse.

    It's pretty rare though.
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    (Original post by lbsf1)
    Ah that makes sense, my dad told me it doesn't have syncro on 1st aswell (you have to be almost stopped to change into first without it grinding), I also found a discussion on another forum about this issue and it seems a common one with 2002-08 fiesta.

    Its not the clutch cause that only starts biting about half way up.
    Sorry, but your dad is wrong. All fiestas have synchro on first. It might be *weak* but it'll certainly have it!
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    (Original post by Runninground)
    Sometimes my car doesn't go into first or reverse (it's the same slot), so I have to put it in second to move it forward a tiny bit, then it goes into first/reverse.

    It's pretty rare though.
    It isn't the same slot but it may feel similar...
    If you have, for example, a newer VW you may find you actually need to put your hand on top of the gear lever and press down and THEN move it into the gate.

    Some gear levers have an up and down action as opposed to just left/ right and fore / aft.

    As another example, a none overdrive Triumph Spitfire requires you to grip the gearlever like a brandy glass, pull the lever upwards and slot it into the third gear position to engage reverse.

    Weird, eh?
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    It didn't suprise me when you said you had a Ford Fiesta. It's a Ford thing. My Fiesta (07), my instructor's Fiesta (11), my friend's Fiesta (99), and my mum's Focus (05) all have this problem. (Not just me, all their respective drivers agree.) You just have to take it out and put back in firmly.
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    (Original post by JC.)
    Sorry, but your dad is wrong. All fiestas have synchro on first. It might be *weak* but it'll certainly have it!
    Ahh thanks. I won't trust all he says in the future then.

    I will try the pushing up and down just to see if that makes any difference, it does seem like this is a known ford issue though.
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    Fords have had this issue for many years. I had a '96 Fiesta that did it, and my friend has a '59 Fiesta which also does it. It wouldn't surprise me if they haven't changed their gearbox design for many years. Generally they're very solid boxes and have a good feel to them!
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    CurlyBen's explanation is spot-on. I'd like to add that if the car doesn't want to go into reverse, put it in neutral, lift the clutch, press the clutch, and try again.

    For fun I used to mow fields using a 1930s Fordson tractor which had no synchro on any gear which means every gear change was like that... and if it didn't go in, a quick "neutral, lift clutch, press, try again" would work.

    T3
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    Definately a ford thing. The fiesta i learned to drive in was almost brand new (sub 10k miles) and had issues going into reverse. Would sometimes catch or not fully engage.
 
 
 
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