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Old 11-12-2016, 04:51 PM   #1
C152
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2008 Astra XE
Default Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Hi all,

On a cold -20 C morning last winter something odd happened after backing out of my parking spot, I could not shift into first gear because the little button on the shifter remained in the engage reverse position. After a few seconds it lazily snapped out. This is not a problem if the cabin has warmed up. Similar foible with my glove box, don't open it on a cold day, it won't close.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? Should I get one of those hand warmers for my shifter?

...
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:11 PM   #2
Action Jackson
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Maybe the button/switch is caught on something?

There's a youtube video showing how to change the shiftknob on these cars. Probably wouldn't hurt to check yours out.

I've taken mine apart to have a look at.

...
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Presuming this is a sticking linkage in sub freezing temps, would a good quality silicone lube in spray work to keep linkages moving? An alternative would be lithium grease.

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Old 11-16-2016, 10:57 PM   #4
C152
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Thank you both.

...
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

I've definitely had it happen to the glove box latch in cold weather, but not the gearshift, although it's like stirring molasses at those temps. It'll still let you select 1st, right? It just wouldn't prevent you from going into R accidentally?

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Old 11-18-2016, 12:06 AM   #6
C152
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by tackepj View Post
I've definitely had it happen to the glove box latch in cold weather, but not the gearshift, although it's like stirring molasses at those temps. It'll still let you select 1st, right? It just wouldn't prevent you from going into R accidentally?
Hi tackepj,

Nope, to the best of my knowledge, it can only go into reverse until the button snaps out.

...
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

I've never had it keep me from going into first, but I've had the button stick and make it hard to find first gear. I've never been able to find what is binding, but I got in the habit of just hitting the shifter against the spot below 5th gear when I shift out of reverse, and it always pops the reverse lockout button back into place.

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Old 01-27-2017, 03:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by C152 View Post
Hi all,

On a cold -20 C morning last winter something odd happened after backing out of my parking spot, I could not shift into first gear because the little button on the shifter remained in the engage reverse position. After a few seconds it lazily snapped out. This is not a problem if the cabin has warmed up. Similar foible with my glove box, don't open it on a cold day, it won't close.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? Should I get one of those hand warmers for my shifter?
I have this problem constantly. What I do is bring it back into neutral after reversing, and wiggle the stick back and forth quickly until the reverse button snaps back down.

...
2008 Saturn Astra XR3 5-Speed

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Old 01-27-2017, 09:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

I have noticed this or what I believe to be this only this year after a recent -20 cold snap. I would back out of my driveway, then go to put it into first (figuring since I let go of the button, and brought it down to neutral, straight up should be first right?) only to be surprised that releasing the clutch gets me going in reverse again. But the second time going back into first always seemed to work. I'll keep a closer eye on it next time it gets cold to see if its the button sticking.

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Old 02-02-2017, 06:35 PM   #10
FieroAlex
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Ours has started doing it this winter and we also jiggle the shifter in neutral to get the button to pop back out. It's annoying. Sometimes she's hard to put into first gear too so I'll probably look at replacing the shift linkage in the spring. Hopefully it's not too much of a PITA or expensive.

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Old 02-02-2017, 09:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Just a little FYI - My sister's Nissan Sentra auto shift lever would stick sometimes in winter cold. Without dismantling anything, it was determined the linkages or spring loaded detents and pushbutton were probably sticking in freezing weather. Someone, maybe me (don't recall) simply tried some WD40 in the plastic gaps where the mechanical button hangs up and other areas (possibly lifting up the boot cover and spraying WD40 on linkages). No more sticking in freezing weather. Sticking occurred after a few years of ownership but went away after some well placed lube allowed this sticking to go away.

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Old 02-10-2017, 12:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

It happened to me again yesterday, and I can say for certain that that something is sticking. What I noticed is that if I pull the stick back from reverse and let go of the stick as it hits the neutral point, the button does not release and the shifter stays to the absolute left in the neutral zone. In warm weather or when the vehicle is warmer, the same procedure would automatically release the button, and the stick will move slightly to the right. In the cold weather, when it stays to the left, a slight nudge to the right will release the button and allow the shifter to go to first. So is it the button that sticks or is it whatever linkage or mechanism that allows the shifter to pop to the right that sticks (if there is such a thing)?

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Old 02-10-2017, 05:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

I'm guessing it's the linkage under the boot. You can always try some WD40 behind the button first and see if it works otherwise the boot may have to be lifted to examine linkages for lubing with a light lithium grease. I don't have drawings for this xmission selector otherwise I would be certain where lube can work.

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Old 02-24-2017, 12:15 PM   #14
David R
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

I did a little research into this as my manual does this when ever the temperature goes below about +2C. Getting progressively worse as the temperature drops. Tried WD40 in what I thought were key locations, had an effect, but not enough. At moderately cold temperatures popping or snapping the trigger un-sticks it.

Went as far as researching changing out the shifter. That's not happening. A lot of fussy work, and from the looks of things a real PIA if you want to do it right.

The fix from else where on these forums (non-fix really more of a work around) is, clutch-in, shifter out of reverse and straight across to 5 gear and a light smack against the far side. Works every time, even at -15C. Makes a real pop.

...
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Hello David R.,

~I'm ALSO not an authority on anything~

But I have played one at a bar after having a few.

Anyway, this is an interesting video of a product I am considering installing. I like the idea of a lighted stick shift. As it happens, the layer of display on mine is delaminating and starting to cut me if I am not careful.

An interesting thing to note is the large amount of lithium or other type grease one sees on the stickshift this fellow removes in the instructions on how to dismantle and then replace the OEM with this item. Looks like someone in a cold German winter must have needed to keep things well lubricated. I had the opportunity to have a look under at an Astra in a parts depot, and there was not anything like this amount of lubrication under the boot.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMZvJQ26ArM

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Old 02-25-2017, 12:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Ha, I remember that video. I usually stopped at just around were he started doing the wiring. It was the cut and screw business that kind of turned me off. I have enough chewing gum and rubber bands in my life.

Yes the chrome lamentation is peeling off my shifter as well. Have a nice edge coming up, so far not a health hazard. Probably will be fine if I don't start picking at it.

Funny I'd never noticed all the lithium grease until you mentioned it. I'll add this to my to-do list for when the weather is warmer.

...
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2009 Astra XE 5sp 200K km
2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
1997 SW2 DOHC Auto 330K km - Stored for winter, used in summer

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Old 02-25-2017, 02:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Reverse in cold weather - manual transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFS View Post
Hello David R.,

~I'm ALSO not an authority on anything~

But I have played one at a bar after having a few.

Anyway, this is an interesting video of a product I am considering installing. I like the idea of a lighted stick shift. As it happens, the layer of display on mine is delaminating and starting to cut me if I am not careful.

An interesting thing to note is the large amount of lithium or other type grease one sees on the stickshift this fellow removes in the instructions on how to dismantle and then replace the OEM with this item. Looks like someone in a cold German winter must have needed to keep things well lubricated. I had the opportunity to have a look under at an Astra in a parts depot, and there was not anything like this amount of lubrication under the boot.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMZvJQ26ArM
Oh, this video is going to be handy. I noticed my shift boot has worn a hole in it after 114,000 miles of stick shifting goodness, so I bought a new leather set of boots online and they arrived this week. I hadn't yet researched how to actually get the shifter off to replace the boot. Now I know. Thanks!

...
Drives: 2014 Volt, 2017 Acadia
Past Cars: 08 Astra, 15 Acadia, 12 Enclave, 09 Traverse, 05 Vue, 04 Grand Prix, 00 Alero, 97 LeSabre, 72 Cutlass S

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