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99 C4. I have noticed that on a few occasions, the first gear will pop out into neutral. Seems to happen when I first start the driving the car in the morning. Any thoughts or suggestions? Seems to be occurring more frequently.

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Hi Loren:

Thanks for your assistance. The car has about 84,000 miles. The car had a "transmission service" at 68,000 miles in July 2010. There has been no recent gear lube service. I don't really know what you mean about gear oil (is that the same as tranmission fluid?). If you have any recommendations about any service the car should have, please let me know.


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Manual transmission use a heavy duty gear oil. Usually a 75W oil specifically for transmissions.

Automatic transmissions use a lighter oil usually called fluid (usually 0W-20) specifically for automatic transmissions..

I mention this because the we have seen problems here when folks replace their manual transmission gear oil with other than factory fill products. Whether it be the modifiers in the gear oil or magic - these transmissions run much better with factory gear oils.

Also, any changes in shifter alignment? Like did you get a short shifter? A mis-adjusted shifter or badly worn shifter gimbals can also cause similar issues.

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No changes to my shifter alignment and I do not have a short shifter. I have been reading up on the web and most people seem to recommend a transmission oil change. So, I will go there first. I have also seen recommendations of installing a shift detent plate. This appears to be the recommendation if the second gear pops out, but there are a few suggestions of doing the same for first gear with good results. What is your opinion about installing a shift detent plate and is the plate standard for any gear?


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Can anyone figure this out. When I am stopped and first put the gear in second and then move it to first and release the clutch the car rides and shifts fine and stays in first gear. If I start the car in first gear, it will pop out about every tenth time I do this. I am having my transmission oil changed tomorrow morning, but I would like to know what is causing this.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So the problem began to get worse. First gear would pop out and sometimes make a grinding noise about every 4th time. I had the transmission oil changed and no help. I ordered the upgraded second gear detent from GBOX. (www.gboxweb.com) Cost about $105.00 I called them to explain my problem was first gear and they thought it would help. I had the detent installed by my mechanic. Took about 1 hour. The results are excellent. No problems with first gear. If anything, each gear feels crisper (if that makes any sense). I would strongly recommend this fix if anyone has a problem with first or second gear popping out.

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  • 1 month later...

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