Manual transmission hard to shift when cold | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Manual transmission hard to shift when cold


Explorer Addict
October 22, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Huntington Beach, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT, OHV, 4D, 4x4, 5M
My 2000 Sport's (OHV + 5-speed) shift quality is quite crunchy when cold, and its been this way since I bought it with 94,000 miles. It now has 171,000 miles. I've tried new Mercon V fluid, Amsoil MTF, Redline MTL, Mobil 1 ATF, and Redline D4 ATF. They all feel about the same.

Shifting becomes nice and smooth once it warms up. It's really only crunchy when its cold outside and its been sitting awhile.

Any suggestions?

I've heard of slaves being affected by the cold when they are going out. Is it just certain gears affected?

I don't have any solutions to add to this old thread but I thought I would mention that mine does the same thing when it's cold outside. When it gets below about 45º it starts to get tough to shift. When it gets real cold it's almost impossible. It doesn't get much better when the car itself warms up but it does a little. It used to just affect first and second gear but now it does all gears to some extent. But still first and second the most. It can be near impossible to get it in first gear sometimes. I have to really play with it and the clutch to get it in and it's still not easy. Shifting from first to second can almost be as bad sometimes.