Why has my 2001 toyota manual transmission become hard to shift into 3rd and 4th?

It is a 5 speed. 1st, 2nd, and 5th shift normally. It feels like 3rd and 4th are going into gear shallow; some times they will pop out imediately after engaging. This condition just started.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
abadfart5 years ago
id change the fluid first
caarntedd7 years ago
Worn out shifter seat.
I had the same problem on my '93 truck. Would not go into 3rd or 4th at all when moving. It was the shifter seat. Parts less than $20 and you can fix it yourself. Here's the link.


Yeah. A common problem that can cost you $ at the mechanic's workshop.
Burf7 years ago
An educated guess, but i would say it is a bad synchronizer. Constant mesh transmissions use synchronizers to lock the gear clusters in place and it sounds to me as though that is the problem.
Or, you might want to try the fix in the 'ible here;'
NachoMahma Burf7 years ago
. The fact that it affects two gears leads me away from a bad synchro diagnosis - or there are two bad synchros.
. The link sounds like a better possibility to me, especially since the affected gears are on the same shift rail.
. But the only manual transmission I've rebuilt is an old Ford top-loader, so YMMV.
Lots of times one will get bad and then another one. I'd bet that he drives in 3 and 4 a lot and rests his hand on the shift know. Bad habit. IT puts pressure on the syncros and they wear faster that way.
Burf NachoMahma7 years ago
I don't know specifically about the Toyota tranny, but most 5 speeds use the same synchronizer to engage 3rd and 4th gear. 5th gear is usually direct drive.
The gear cluster is moved forward or backward and the synchronizer is placed between the two gears and one end or the other of the synchro will engage the selected gear.
NachoMahma Burf7 years ago
.  Maybe I'm using imprecise language. The 1-2 (and 3-4) synchros are usually in the same synchronizer assembly, but they have separate pieces to synchronize/engage each gear - dog clutches (see items 45 here). Having two dog clutches go bad at the same time is low on my list of possibilities.
.  But Toyota may do it differently; I didn't find a drawing with a Q&D search.
Re-design Burf7 years ago
I'd bet on your answer.
I agree with Burf it sounds like your synchronizer is going. It happened to my dads car about a year ago and he had similar symptoms.
orksecurity7 years ago
I know you don't want to hear this, but it sounds like your transmission is wearing out. If you're extremely lucky, it may just be a linkage problem and may be externally adjustable. If not, you're looking at a rebuild -- or at trying one of the classic short-term kluges such as trying to use a bungee cord to help keep it from popping out of gear.

Or you can try to learn to upshift to 5th as soon as possible, using 3rd and 4th only for a moment on your way up to 5th, and settling for 2nd at lower speeds even if you do have to crank it higher and burn more gas (or drive slower). If you're doing mostly highway driving, you can get away with this for quite some time; if you're driving in city traffic you probably won't be able to tolerate this for long.

Take it to your mechanic, tell them what's happening, and hope they don't need to make a boat payment next week.