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2002 Carrera 42,000 miles

I've recently had a problem with shifting into second gear. It only happens in second and when the car has just started up in the morning.

When I shift into second I get a grinding noise and it won't lock in. After driving a couple of miles everything is fine.

Any ideas?

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You can try a transmission gear oil change - use only factory gear oil. If that does not cure it then you likely have a bad synchro - which means a rebuild (sorry if that is the case).


Thanks I'll bring it into the local independent (Stuggart SW) which does a great job. Any idea why the problem goes away once the car has warmed up and why only shifting into 2nd?

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You can change your trans fluid your self --- not very hard. After doing some looking around on the wed --- ie German Transmissions -- I went with Royal Purple trans fluid.

Not the same problem -- but worth a try.

Good Luck


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my boxster is like that when it's cold. i always think that i don't press far enough on the clutch and that is the problem. So now i make sure i do a real slow and thought out shift and no grind.

I have 57k so along with the other fluids, it's time to change the trans fluid.

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It's a pretty common issue on the 996. Mine does it sometimes when I downshift, especially if I skip a gear (example, coming into a corner and dropping from 4th to 2nd, bypassing 3rd). I find that if I'm careful, I can avoid it. Also, in the example I described, if I go sequentially and don't skip 3rd, I don't have a problem. I believe mine is a bad synchro.

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  • 2 months later...

Interesting, mine is hard to shift into second when cold. It requires a very deliberate hand and much slower shift than normal (until it's up to temperature).

I know it is not the synchro as its was replaced less than three months ago when the gearbox was rebuilt. The gearbox oil is the Shell type specified by the factory. Therefore, in addition to the synchro and lubircant issues there must be a third one - I am guessing shifter mechanism adjustment... Any thoughts?

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I had this problem last year and ended up having the transmission rebuilt. At the time, I had 70k miles on a 2002 C4. I went through my local independent shop and they recommended a local transmission shop that do the work. They've done other Porsche gearboxes, but had problems with the 996. The independent shop did a great job of keeping on top of the issue and managing it for me. Next time, I'm going to send it to someone with more experience. Currently it shifts into the gears, but tends to be a little stiff on cold mornings.

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Might be worn gear oil or the wrong gear oil -- or a bad snchro.

Changing the oil is inexpensive way to find out without a transmission tear down.

any idea on where to source oem gear oil? (other than dealer)

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