Shifting gears by itself

Well first things first long time reader first time poster to this great forum. After much searching I have not found a cause or solution to this problem and any help would be appreciated. :read:

I was cleaning my dear old lady (90’ RS) and all of a sudden she popped into a gear and lurched a little then died. I figured out that it was 4th gear that is stuck but what’s bothering me is what would have caused it. Due to the snow in my driveway I can’t get under the car right now so I was wondering if I could diagnose when I could get a chance to look. I’m guessing the shift linkage just got too cold and slipped but I feel stupid for saying that. Has this happened to anybody before??


:werd: bump

could be ice around the linkage, worse case is the pressure plate broke a spring or 2. check back with us when all the snow is gone.

thanks for the reply I’ll definitely update when the weather isn’t below freezing

if it popped into gear while ur car was on and idling, then vibrations is what knocked u into gear. that means the lil ball bearing indentation things inside the tranny that help “keep it in or out” of gear, thru the shafts is prolly loose, or just pretty worn or something.

from the sound of things, u might need to rebuild that transmission soon. A broken pressure plate or ice around ur shift linkage does not seem like a possibility but i could be wrong. cuz for ur pressure plate to even have bent fingers, it won’t throw ur car into gear. if anything that would cause ur car not to be able to go into a gear… or not be able to get out of a gear. (i know from experience).

u have a higher likely hood that ur shifter assembly is so torn and beat up that blowing on it causes the shifter to move and get it into gear. and even if that was possible, the dog teeth and the synchros would’ve clashed and made a grinding sound cuz it was trying to go into gear. for it to just go into gear smoothly is a lot harder to do even at idle.

and u say that 4th gear is stuck… u didn’t have it in forth gear while u were cleaning it anyways right? and for it to lurch forward slowly tho… almost sounds as if ur clutch is a bit worn too. a good clutch would’ve tried grabbing a lot but since u were at idle it would’ve stalled pretty abruptly. i’m basing that part on the 5th gear clutch check technique thing.

if u don’t know what is (might have different name for it, cuz i just threw that together right now)… as u are sitting in ur car at idle, not moving, in neutral. press clutch, put it into 5th gear, rev to about 2k rpms, then u quickly release the clutch pedal… if it stalls then ur clutch is ok. if it continues trying to keep going, and makes a clutch slipping whirring sound, then ur clutch is bad.

i guess just let us know what u find.

Well went under the car today thanks to a miracle 50 degree day. While under I checked the linkage and shifter which seemed to be doing okay. Once the car was up I let it off the clutch and even though the shifter appeared to be in neutral the wheels took off. So as far as I can tell 5th gear is not coming out because whenever I try to put the car into 1st - 4th the tranny locks up. I’m working on her right now but I’ll see if I can report any other clues.


are u sure ur shift linkage or parts associated aren’t broken or anything.

After spending a good ten minutes under the car I’m 99.9% sure that the shifter assembly is in operating order. All the other gears work R, 1st-4th because the tranny will lock up when in those gears. My dad was helping me out and he think it’s internal like maybe one of the shift forks came lose. I’ve needed to rebuild the bottom end of the engine anyway so I’m taking this all with a grain of salt and hopefully will have my car back in action during spring break.

Problem solved!!

Well after spending a lot of money on silly things I don’t need I have found the culprit for the tranny lock up. The needle bearing running on the mainshaft for 5th gear got tore up and pretty much made the gear stay activated. We got into the tranny and found the problem pretty quick. Besides a lil gear wear everything else seems kosher. New mainshaft bearing, needle bearing, and axle seals are on the way. Seems the oil I put in the tranny wasn’t enough. The question I really have is Honda MTF or Synchromesh.


your choice but i suggest honda mtf

i wish i saw this post earlier… this scenario was given to us in school… glad you got it figured out though.