Gears grinding at low RPMs.

When in first or second gear it sounds like the transmission is grinding. This only happens at low RPMs.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
I am going to go ahead and move forward with the assumption that your Honda Civic is equipped with a manual transmission. I have owned Honda’s most my life and I have encountered this problem with the sound of transmission grinding myself more than once. As an experienced mechanic, test driving the vehicle would allow me to pinpoint the exact issue within a few minutes. However I am going to do my best to attempt to guide you in the right direction so you may at least have some idea of what is happening to your Civic.

The first culprit you will want to suspect for this grinding is a worn out clutch. The clutch and transmission get a lot of abuse, especially in densely populated areas of stop and go traffic. The clutch disc is a wear item, just like brake pads and spark plugs and like these parts, needs to be replaced. The clutch cannot be inspected without the removal of the entire transmission, so gathering as many facts as possible can help with accurate diagnosis. With your Honda being 15 years old, it would be important to know the mileage of the car and if the current clutch is original or has been replaced previously.

The second culprit I would suspect in your car is the syncro gears, which are found in the transmission. Syncros are designed to allow the engine’s input shaft to engage the gear you select, such as first or second. Both the input shaft and the gears are rotating at different speeds and the syncros allow them to join together, usually without grinding.

With this particular situation, taking into account that the grinding only happens at low rpms and 1st and 2nd gear, it is more likely you are experiencing the syncro problems I mentioned. Verification of this requires inspection of the entire transmission. During this process the clutch and supporting components will all be inspected for wear. This inspection consists of the labor to remove/install, disassemble/reassemble and inspect the transmission and supporting components. Once the tear down has taken place, the mechanic will know what component needs to be replaced and a quote for parts and labor usually follows.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

If your transmission makes a grinding noise when you shift gears, you are likely experiencing friction between gears due to insufficient transmission fluid, worn transmission linkage, maladjusted binding, or a “dragging clutch.” If you hear grinding sounds when shifting from neutral to any gear, you may be dealing with …
When a grinding noise occurs with your transmission, it could mean a serious problem with your planetary gear system. Automatic transmissions depend on a planetary gear system to function probably, and if this system is allowed to fail, it can result in major damage throughout your transmission.
Grinding noise = worn or dried out bearings, Steering joint could be freezing up, or your brakes have something stuck in them. Ticking noise = Something stuck in your brake system or wheel and it is hitting, O ring on one of your pistons could be wearing out, Some sort of “inside the block” problem…
A healthy transmission will shift between gears smoothly and there won`t be any slippage. Low fluid levels can cause gears to miss, which will result in a grinding sensation.
You might notice a grinding noise when driving at low speeds. The most common causes are problems with your continual velocity joints, brake pads, wheel bearings or alternator. Examining each one of these parts can help you pinpoint exactly where the issue is.
To avoid this be sure to press down fully on the clutch pedal when changing gears and remember to shift smoothly and softly. Grinding your gears too much or trying to force a gear change could cause long-term damage to your car.
Warning Signs

A grinding or shuddering sensation is common when a transmission has trouble shifting fluidly. Sounds: Any grinding noises while shifting or knocking noises while in neutral are clear indications of a transmission in trouble.

THE CLUTCH WOULD BE STILL WORKABLE. GRINDING THE TRANSMISSION GEARS WOULD ONLY DAMAGE THE GEARS IN THE TRANY.
The solution: You`ll need to replace the worn-out wheel bearing. If you`re handy with cars, you can do this yourself. will cost roughly $60 to $150, depending on the type of car you drive. If you get a mechanic to replace a wheel bearing, it will cost around $300.
Grinding gears is one of the most common signs of a transmission problem. It means that the clutch isn`t completely disengaging from the engine while the gears are still rotation. However, there are numerous reasons why it could be happening. In some cases with a manual transmission, it`s actually user error.
THE CLUTCH WOULD BE STILL WORKABLE. GRINDING THE TRANSMISSION GEARS WOULD ONLY DAMAGE THE GEARS IN THE TRANY.
If you notice your car making a grinding sound when it accelerates, your issue is likely to do with your transmission, a problem with your differential, a bad wheel bearing, a damaged CV joint, or a worn engine/motor mount.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My manual car won’t go into gear, it turns on and the clutch goes down perfectly fine. It happened after my gears grinded, the car
ANSWER : If the clutch mechanism is releasing properly, and the shift linkage is not malfunctioning, your transmission will have to be removed from the vehicle and inspected. Once a transmission has been removed from a vehicle, if the problem is a broken or worn part or parts, and the transmission has 100,000 miles or more, the most cost effective approach is to just simply rebuild the whole transmission. There are transmission rebuild kits that are sold just for this purpose. Rebuilding a transmission is no big deal and is indeed easier in many respects than rebuilding an engine. You can rebuild your transmission right in your own garage. You can NOT rebuild an engine in your own garage due to the highly specialized, and extremely costly, machine shop equipment required. Occasionally, mobile mechanics will take on a transmission rebuild job especially as once the mechanic removes the transmission from the vehicle, it is just simply a modular unit that can be easily transported to a mechanic’s shop and rebuilt right there and then returned to your vehicle. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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Loose gearbox that won’t find 2nd or 5th gear, sometimes hard to differentiate between 1st and 3rd.
ANSWER : There are a couple of possibilities. The first thing that comes to mind is of course the shifter itself. There is a nylon ball and socket joint at the base of the gearshift lever that sometimes falls apart, making the feel of the shifter very vague. Additionally, there are links to the transmission shift linkage that involve nylon bushings and joints that can fall apart. Both problems are very common on your car. The other less common possibility is that you have a bad motor mount that is allowing the transmission to move around too much when you try to shift gears. either way, it’s not a big deal to fix, and probably won’t require expensive transmission work. If you contact Your Mechanic, they can send a technician to your home or office to check out you shifting issue and let you know what repairs it will take to correct it.

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My manual gear box is starting to get a little bit "clunky" as i change gears, is there an additive i can add to the gear oil?
ANSWER : The first thing to do is to drain and check the oil to see if it has any broken chunks of metal or a lot of brass metal pieces that indicate the gears and synchronizers for the gears are bad. If no metal is found then replace oil with recommended oils for transmission. If metal is found then an internal transmission repair is needed.

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I was driving had my car on gear and lost acceleration. I pushed the clutch in and put on gear but only grind but won’t move?
ANSWER : If the clutch lever, on the transmission, is functioning something has mechanically failed in the clutch and/or the transmission. If the clutch failed, and you heard gears grinding, as you tried to shift the transmission, some damage may have been done to the transmission. Even if just the clutch has failed, the engine and transmission will have to be separated to find the cause of the failure and worn out or broken parts will likely have to be replaced . To request an inspection, the recommended service is clutch system diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will evaluate what you have and let you know of your repair options and costs. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Read Full Q/A … : Gears grinding at low RPMs.

Low grinding noise in low gears like turning corners
ANSWER : Hi Kyle,
It sounds like you may have a failing or worn out wheel bearing. A wheel bearing will usually fail due to pitting or small damage on the surface of the rollers or the bearing race. Both the surface of the rollers and the race is precision machined to tight tolerances and highly polished to allow the rollers to pass easily over the race with the addition of bearing grease for lubrication and cooling. Over time the bearing will wear slightly, allowing microscopic pieces of metal into the grease. Bearing noise can sound a lot like a brake pad dragging or grinding. It can also sound like whirring, whining or humming depending on how much sound deadening material your vehicle has in it. Bearing noise will always be dependent on vehicle speed meaning as you speed up or slow down the noise should change frequency or loudness. Cornering may affect the noise from a damaged front wheel bearing and is usually more pronounced as you make turns. I would suggest having a professional from Your Mechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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Gear Shuffling Problem in Vauxhall Vectra 52 Registration
ANSWER : Hi there. We don’t see a lot of Vauxhall Vectra’s here in the United States, so unfortunately, we’re not able to suggest a possible solution or cause of this problem you’re experiencing. You should consult with a professional mechanic in your home town to determine what’s causing the shifting problem you’re experiencing.

Read Full Q/A … : Gears grinding at low RPMs.

Gears grinding at low RPMs.
ANSWER : I am going to go ahead and move forward with the assumption that your Honda Civic is equipped with a manual transmission. I have owned Honda’s most my life and I have encountered this problem with the sound of transmission grinding myself more than once. As an experienced mechanic, test driving the vehicle would allow me to pinpoint the exact issue within a few minutes. However I am going to do my best to attempt to guide you in the right direction so you may at least have some idea of what is happening to your Civic.

The first culprit you will want to suspect for this grinding is a worn out clutch. The clutch and transmission get a lot of abuse, especially in densely populated areas of stop and go traffic. The clutch disc is a wear item, just like brake pads and spark plugs and like these parts, needs to be replaced. The clutch cannot be inspected without the removal of the entire transmission, so gathering as many facts as possible can help with accurate diagnosis. With your Honda being 15 years old, it would be important to know the mileage of the car and if the current clutch is original or has been replaced previously.

The second culprit I would suspect in your car is the syncro gears, which are found in the transmission. Syncros are designed to allow the engine’s input shaft to engage the gear you select, such as first or second. Both the input shaft and the gears are rotating at different speeds and the syncros allow them to join together, usually without grinding.

With this particular situation, taking into account that the grinding only happens at low rpms and 1st and 2nd gear, it is more likely you are experiencing the syncro problems I mentioned. Verification of this requires inspection of the entire transmission. During this process the clutch and supporting components will all be inspected for wear. This inspection consists of the labor to remove/install, disassemble/reassemble and inspect the transmission and supporting components. Once the tear down has taken place, the mechanic will know what component needs to be replaced and a quote for parts and labor usually follows.

Read Full Q/A … : Gears grinding at low RPMs.

Sifter floats from gear to gear and when letting out the clutch there is no response.
ANSWER : Hi there. Either the clutch has failed causing the transmission not to engage in any gear, or the transmission shifter plastic rings broke and will not engage the shifter. Check the clutch and make sure that it is moving when the pedal is pressed down. If the fork on the bell housing is moving and the wheels can be moved when the clutch pedal is depressed and then the wheels not moving when the pedal is let up, then the clutch should be in an okay shape. Most likely the plastic rings on the shifter housing has broke and making the shifter move around. If you need further assistance with the shifter moving around too much, then seek out a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, to help you.

Read Full Q/A … : Gears grinding at low RPMs.