Manual trans — trouble shifting into 1st

Discussion in '2016 + Toyota Tacoma' started by warmfuzzies, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Well-Known Member

    Searched and couldn’t find any threads so asking this forum:

    Anyone with a manual trans ever find themselves not being able to shift into 1st from neutral?

    It’s happened to me a few times where I find myself stuck at a green light trying to shift into 1st but can’t. After enough tries it finally goes in but it’s happened enough times now I’m starting to think somethings up.

    3700 miles, 18 OR
    Malicious Mike and OR17TRD like this.
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  3. OR17TRD

    OR17TRD Well-Known Member

    With that low miles and being so new I’d take it in and see what they say.
    I had an old toyota that did that. If I pumped the clutch a couple times then pushed it in all the way then put it into gear that would work or if I put it in second and then up onto first it would go in easy. Tring to go straight into first was tough sometime so I got into the habit of pumping or down then up then go. Im going to assume you’re making sure the clutch is all the way down?
    geekyadam likes this.
  4. OP

    warmfuzzies Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah definitely depressing the clutch all the way.

    Haven’t ever experienced this in the other manuals I’ve driven (non-Toyota) so likely the truck.

    Trip to the dealer it is
    OR17TRD likes this.
  5. Crawdad

    Crawdad Well-Known Member

    Mine occasionally does what you're describing but so has every other manual I've driven, if it doesn't go in smoothly the first time, simply let the clutch out a little in neutral to spin the input shaft just for a split second and as you press the clutch pedal back down it should slide right in... you should also do this BEFORE the light turns green... lol
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  6. pauljboudreau

    pauljboudreau Active Member

    My problem at red ligth is that i want 1rst gear, but often shift in reverse, deaf as a stick, can’t hear the darn beep with radio on. Feel weird going the wrong way. No accidents yet , i now watch the screen to make sure it is in first
    Malicious Mike and B-Man like this.
  7. geekyadam

    geekyadam Well-Known Member

    I agree with the "go to second then to first" as well as "pump the clutch once while in neutral then try again".
    I bought my 2017 MT Sport new and had to wear in the clutch but that didn't take long. And sounds like you've been driving it for awhile, so should already be broken in, so ultimately, if I were in your shoes, I'd take it to the dealer for sure.
    Atomic Diesel likes this.
  8. Bojangles

    Bojangles Well-Known Member

    So you're saying that if u were test driving a new vehicle off the lot and you were told to do this dance in order to find 1st gear by the salesman, you would be completely fine with that?

    @whippersnapper02 be sure when u buy ur new vehicle to do the 1st gear dance
  9. geekyadam

    geekyadam Well-Known Member

    What? No, I said he should take it back to the dealer to have it looked at. In the meantime he can try the dance until he gets to the dealer. If it was a matter of trying the dance vs slamming into gear, grinding something, I'd at least give the dance a try. Maybe you disagree.
  10. Bojangles

    Bojangles Well-Known Member

    Oh, I thought u were saying u had to do the same for awhile. Misread.
    I'd def go back asap too
  11. geekyadam

    geekyadam Well-Known Member

    No I just had to wear in the brand new clutch when I started driving it. Smelled like I was burning it out even when bring super soft with it. Turns out it's normal for brand new clutches, I just never drove a brand new clutch for more than a 10 minute test drive. Never specifically experienced this stuck 1st gear issue. Except maybe when it's really cold and I don't let it warm up first. Gotta give her a little nudge into gear, but just a little love nudge and then she's good.
  12. Joisey

    Joisey Well-Known Member

    I'm not directly familiar with the Toyota clutch, but in general, it sounds like the clutch isn't fully releasing, making it difficult to shift into first gear. Does your Toyota use a hydraulic clutch? If so, there may be an adjustment to be made or less likely, an air bubble in the line giving you less throw to release the clutch.
  13. OP

    warmfuzzies Well-Known Member

    Just closing the loop since my last post:

    Took it into the dealership but didn’t have much to say other than logging it for the record. It hasn’t done it much since then so I’m happy.

    Separately has anyone ever had their auto collision shut off when driving and get the icon?
    geekyadam likes this.
  14. Yotagoat

    Yotagoat New Member

    Put it in 2nd before you go into 1st or Reverse. 1st and Reverse aren’t synchronized.
    texasred and B-Man like this.
  15. texasred

    texasred Well-Known Member

    Check the trans oil to full. Make sure the rpm’s are stable and at idle. Second to first or double clutching (old school stuff) works.
    B-Man likes this.
  16. OR17TRD

    OR17TRD Well-Known Member

    Words :D
    B-Man and texasred like this.
  17. Joisey

    Joisey Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the clutch isn't releasing completely. Since the vehicle is so new, I'd look at a badly assembled pressure plate. If the pressure isn't equal at all points, one section of the pressure plate will not move as far away from the clutch disc, causing drag on the clutch and preventing you from getting the truck in first gear or or reverse. IF this is the problem, it should get worse as the clutch warms up with use.

    Other causes, a misaligned transmission to bell housing. A piece of dirt or junk (a fallen washer when components were assembled at the factory) between the face of the transmission and bellhousing or the face of the bellhousing and the rear of the block. My Dad's new Ford station wagon had a tailshaft drip from day one. Dealer said it was 'normal'. Didn't drip much, maybe a half pint a year. Got tired of the drip, pulled the driveshaft, unbolted the tailshaft from the trans and found the parking pawl spring squashed between the housing face and the tailshaft face. A new gasket, some oilstone work to smooth the ding and the car never dripped a drop for the next 15 years.

    Usually if this is the cause, the truck will be hard to shift thru all gears, synchro or not because of the drag.

    If it's a hydraulic clutch, could be an air bubble in the line which compresses and lessens the throw of the release bearing. Anyhoo, it's under warranty, Toyota should fix the problme, WHICH IS NOT NORMAL.

    Good luck.

    I worked at a Chevy dealer the summer before I went in high school, washing cars. The truck came in loaded with new cars, among them a go fast 396 Chevelle with a 4 speed. The cars are unloaded in a certain area and we had to take them one at a time and detail clean them, remove shipping papers, etc. I start the Chevelle, push in the clutch, slide it in first and it sounded like a tin can with twenty quarters being shaken had next to your ear.

    I get yelled at for breaking the car (I'm 15). The mechanic takes the car for a spin around the block and the clutch can't hold the torque. Floor it at 60 mph and the tach just climbs as you slow down.

    Long story short, the factory put the clutch disc in backward, they put it in springs facing forward. Idiots. Mistakes happen.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  18. krt~fabs

    krt~fabs Member

    I had this problem on my 1995 Toyota pickup and what we did was took the boot off and took the stick out which on the bottom of the stick is a rubber price that breaks apart over time. I’ll try to find a video.
    OR17TRD and texasred like this.
  19. Joisey

    Joisey Well-Known Member

    OK. New Process had a nylon piece at the bottom of the stick that engaged the shift forks. When one....or both sides broke off you had sloppy shifts and difficulty getting in first, second and reverse gears.
    OR17TRD likes this.
  20. Atomic Diesel

    Atomic Diesel Well-Known Member

    I had one wear out a shift tower once. Got stuck in 2nd AND 9th, iirc.
  21. manual tacoma

    manual tacoma Member

    I don’t want to sound like a jerk but I really feel like this is driver error.

    Try moving your seat forward your probably not pushing the clutch down all the way before shifting into 1st. And in the flustered moment don’t realize it.

    I have the 18 TRD Sport Manual the same miles with no such issue. Any issue I had was my own.

    Being a mechanical issue you should be able to repeat it over and over not once in a while. That and I’m assuming your still getting use to the clutch and shifter.
    evantc likes this.

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