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5spd Wont Go Into 1st When Cold

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Old 11-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #1
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Question 5spd Wont Go Into 1st When Cold

My 5spd manual when it sits over night in 40 degree or below it wont want to shift into first until Completely stopped for about a half of second. Its only like this for about the first 10 min of driving, once it warms up its back to normal. Any ideas or is this normal?
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:30 PM   #2
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This is normal. It should go in with a bit of pressure, but every manual car I've owned (6 of them) had this same issue.

If you let it heat up a bit before driving that should help.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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Letting it warm up does help but it absolutely will not go into first until your stopped completely for what seems to be forever when I back out onto the road I live on. This is when its 40 out I cant imagine what it will be like this winter in the teens. lol
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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Try double clutching it. Go into neutral, release clutch pedal, then quickly clutch in and glide it on in.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:06 PM   #5
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Do you have any problems shifting to other gears while it is cold, or is it just first gear ? How many miles do you have on your Taco and how many miles since the clutch has been changed ?


I know on my old MG, when the temps dropped the rubber seals on the clutch slave cylinder would contract and I would lose shifting ability. You may want to check your slave cylinder, by crawling under the truck and using a small screwdriver, slide back the rubber boot from the clutch slave body and see if any fluid leaks out. If it leaks, you are losing your clutch slave. It could get better as the warmth of the engine running would make the seal swell up and work better. Have you had to add any brake fluid to your clutch master cylinder lately ? Good Luck
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #6
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Normal.You should feel it at -20F.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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Mine has been like that since I bought it with 23K on the clock. I've got 93K on it now with no issue as far as the clutch or anything else.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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If you keep forcing it into 1st while moving you will destroy the synchros and you WILL be rebuilding the transmission. Stop doing that (unless you have 2k sitting around) You have been warned.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steves104x4 View Post
If you keep forcing it into 1st while moving you will destroy the synchros and you WILL be rebuilding the transmission. Stop doing that (unless you have 2k sitting around) You have been warned.
this is true....I don't downshift into first on the move at all. To clarify my post...when temp is cold, shifting into first at a stop is stiff. The colder the temp, the stiffer it is shifting into first ( from a stop).
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:30 PM   #10
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I see two possible issues here . I would suggest a synthetic gear fluid as a temp fix . Sounds like the first gear synchro is NOT getting the lubrication it needs when its cold .Part of a synchronizers job is cutting through the oil on the mainshaft . The synchro doesnt have to travel or cut through the oil very far and we all know that everything expands as temps warm up . These transmissions dont have a pump to lubricate the warm oil throughout the gearing first thing in the morning .
Are you sure the trans is full of oil or for that matter the correct oil ? . How does the truck like shifting into reverse when its cold ?
whats the mileage on the clutch ? if its difficult shifting into first gear or reverse , this is an indication you have clutch issues . When the trans does go into 1st gear , did the shift feel notchy ? did it grind at all ?
You might be able to buy some time if you back into the driveway at night .
How long has this been happening ?
Take the truck to a reputable shop and have them take it for a free test drive .A little tough diagnosing over a keyboard but from your explanation , i would be looking at the transmission fluid first as its easy to check but not the most likely issue , then look at the hydraulic assisted clutch.

Try this ...Back out of the driveway , turn the truck off , select first gear ,start the truck and let the clutch out ...report back what happened
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steves104x4 View Post
If you keep forcing it into 1st while moving you will destroy the synchros and you WILL be rebuilding the transmission. Stop doing that (unless you have 2k sitting around) You have been warned.
Its not like I force it into first going 10-15mph but coming to a stop about 2-5mph it will go in no problem (no forcing just like any other gear once its warm) I shouldn't have to be completely stopped to go into first. The truck has 91k on it original everything as far as im aware its not leaking fluid and toyota inspected everything @ 90k and said it was in great shape. It only does it to first gear. Toyota did the 90k service and changed all of the fluids with toyota oil only started doing it last month but only when its cold. I dont have a problem getting into reverse and no grinding. I have been backing in and it seems to be the only fix as it cant be diagnosed unless I let a dealer have it overnight.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camojared View Post
Its not like I force it into first going 10-15mph but coming to a stop about 2-5mph it will go in no problem (no forcing just like any other gear) I shouldn't have to be completely stopped to go into first. The truck has 91k on it original everything as far as im aware its not leaking fluid and toyota inspected everything @ 90k and said it was in great shape. It only does it to first gear.
I really don't think you have a problem here. Near as I can tell we have the same truck. Mine is at 93K and I run all synthetic gear oils. When it's cold, even in the 30(s)F range, shifting into 1st is stiff until the truck warms. The colder it is (down to -20F and colder sometimes) the stiffer it feels going into first, and the first couple shifts to 2nd and 3rd are a little stiff too; again until the truck warms (usually about 5 mins driving 25 to 35 mph cuz it takes me 10 mins to get off base. I experience this all winter long every morning leaving work (night shifter). My honest opinion is it's normal. I guess I should add I bought the truck May 2010 with 23k miles on it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:46 AM   #13
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There's isn't much you can do to improve it. I have 35k on mine and since it was new I cannot get into first without coming to a complete stop. Even 3-5mph like you state when doing rolling stop signs. I tried synth fluid and it improved my overall shifts, but still has the same feel in first. The gear is extremely low, but this helps get the truck moving and off-road. Enjoy it when it gets really cold.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jassco View Post
There's isn't much you can do to improve it. I have 35k on mine and since it was new I cannot get into first without coming to a complete stop. Even 3-5mph like you state when doing rolling stop signs. I tried synth fluid and it improved my overall shifts, but still has the same feel in first. The gear is extremely low, but this helps get the truck moving and off-road. Enjoy it when it gets really cold.
I'll add one more thing and shut-up ... with a little finesse I've learned to do the "rolling stop" in 2nd gear w/o bogging the engine. FWIW ... and I'm out.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MQQSE View Post
I really don't think you have a problem here. Near as I can tell we have the same truck. Mine is at 93K and I run all synthetic gear oils. When it's cold, even in the 30(s)F range, shifting into 1st is stiff until the truck warms. The colder it is (down to -20F and colder sometimes) the stiffer it feels going into first, and the first couple shifts to 2nd and 3rd are a little stiff too; again until the truck warms (usually about 5 mins driving 25 to 35 mph cuz it takes me 10 mins to get off base. I experience this all winter long every morning leaving work (night shifter). My honest opinion is it's normal. I guess I should add I bought the truck May 2010 with 23k miles on it.
Thanks a bunch makes me feel better to know someone else experiences the exact same thing maybe second will get stiff as temps drop bellow 40.... This is my first winter in the taco just paranoid I guess haha
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MQQSE View Post
I'll add one more thing and shut-up ... with a little finesse I've learned to do the "rolling stop" in 2nd gear w/o bogging the engine. FWIW ... and I'm out.
As for this the 4 banger is a hard engine to stall in my opinion ive been down to 500rpms without stalling.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camojared View Post
Thanks a bunch makes me feel better to know someone else experiences the exact same thing maybe second will get stiff as temps drop bellow 40.... This is my first winter in the taco just paranoid I guess haha
No problem. I know the feeling...don't want to hurt your baby.

Damn ... I said I'd shut up. Enjoy your truck!
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MQQSE View Post
No problem. I know the feeling...don't want to hurt your baby.

Damn ... I said I'd shut up. Enjoy your truck!
Your fine...
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:38 PM   #19
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After reading some of the additional posts here , i am interested why ( Aisn Warner )Toyota uses such a low gear in 1st .Seems like they just grabbed a trans off the shelf without doing any homework . If you have the clutch mashed to the floor as you are coming to a rolling stop we assume the engine is disenguaged from the transmission , the powerflow is then reversed starting from the rear diff and into the transmission as the vehicle slows down . In my understanding , this is a reverse powerflow issue . Matching the 1st gear synchronizer with the speed of the driveshaft and rear differential rather than the engine .
If you know the ratio of 1st gear and know the ratio of your final drive ,this may explain why its difficult to select first gear while its cold out . You are waiting for the counter shaft inside the transmission to match the speed of the mainshaft . If the clutch is mashed to the floor , the mainshaft is cold and not turning but your differential is still driving the driveshaft and counter shaft inside the trans . You have to wait until all the gearing slows down to match the speeds of both shafts . If this is the case as you are backing out of the driveway , do not select first gear until you come to a complete stop when coming out of reverse .Not good for the synchro at all .I would not do this with a warm transmission .
I would also consider stiff while its cold to be normal . You can purchase transmission heaters that run hot oil through the transmission .
Now if you are at a complete stop with the clutch mashed to the floor and cant get 1st gear when its cold , you have a hydraulic clutch issue
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:39 AM   #20
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1st isn't that low. It's just that it needs a better synchro design to work right. It's as if they designed the gears and bearings for 90wt oil and the synchros for something a LOT thinner.

You want a low 1st gear? Hondas are known for that and they can shift into 1st gear easily at low speeds. They don't exactly have chintzy gearsets either; they're overbuilt to use the thinner oil and most can hold 400+ hp as long as the diff is replaced with a stronger limited slip unit. My Honda Fit redlined 6500 rpm at 28 mph in first, and 50 mph in 2nd, and 68 mph in 3rd... that was very low gearing, yet it shifted like a knife through hot butter every single time.

My Tacoma runs 5500 rpm doing about 39 mph in 1st. Average gearing for a stick
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