Trouble Shifting MT Into Reverse

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KuroNekko
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So today, I did both a drain and refill of Red Line MTL and a clutch line bleed. You can easily bleed the clutch by removing the air filter box. It's not hard to do. The clutch bleed nipple is a plastic 11mm nut that works just like a brake bleeder. After the fluid change and clutch line bleeding, shifting and Reverse engagement improvements were very evident immediately after.
If you have 60K on your trans fluid and you are having issues with engaging Reverse, try both a fluid change and bleed. The combo should restore shifting and gear engagement to optimal conditions assuming parts like the clutch aren't worn.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
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redmed
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I bled the clutch today and nothing changed. So I guess my next step is to replace the trans fluid. I'm going to wait for a semi warm day. I froze pretty good bleeding the clutch today. Taking the air filter box was easy but had a hard time getting the back bolt back on. I had put in Redline MTL before and did not notice much of a difference. So I'm going to try Redline MT-90 this time.

When you bled the clutch did you have to pull the clutch petal back up after the bleed? When my wife told me that the petal was not coming back up. I thought great, now what.. We bled and pulled the clutch petal back up three times.
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G13b
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2011 kizashi MT model never had issues in putting in reverse, I'm of the belief that your style of driving could be the factor.
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KuroNekko
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redmed wrote:I bled the clutch today and nothing changed. So I guess my next step is to replace the trans fluid. I'm going to wait for a semi warm day. I froze pretty good bleeding the clutch today. Taking the air filter box was easy but had a hard time getting the back bolt back on. I had put in Redline MTL before and did not notice much of a difference. So I'm going to try Redline MT-90 this time.

When you bled the clutch did you have to pull the clutch petal back up after the bleed? When my wife told me that the petal was not coming back up. I thought great, now what.. We bled and pulled the clutch petal back up three times.
Merry Christmas.

I just want to make sure the following was done:
To properly bleed anything, the nut needs to be re-tightened before the pedal is raised. Was that done? Otherwise, air can be reintroduced into the line. Basically, after you loosen the nut, the pedal needs to be slowly depressed until stopped, you re-tighten the nut, and then the pedal is raised back up by hand slowly. I did this process about 5 times with an assistant and made sure the fluid in the tube did not contain air bubbles in the last few pumps.
My clutch engagement is now significantly improved and I no longer have the "fuzzy and soft" engagement feel I used to have for a while. I now wish I had bled my clutch much earlier and more often.

That all being said, I still think the actual gear engagement and smoothness of it is most dependent on the gear oil. Basically, the bleeding of the clutch fluid made the effect of what my leg feels while the new gear oil made the improvement of what my hand feels.

I've had MT-90 in the past and it works fine. However, given it is a heavier fluid than MTL (which is the weight Suzuki specifies for the MT), I'm not so sure it will be great for the frigid Michigan winters you encounter. Fresh MTL with a proper clutch bleed should yield positive results. It sure did for me. Between MTL and MT-90, I think I prefer MTL. It feels "lighter" and a bit easier to shift. This could make a big difference in temperatures far below freezing.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
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redmed
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Thanks. That's what I wanted to know. I had my wife press down the clutch petal before I opened the nut and shut the nut before she released the petal. I was being careful by not opening the bleed nut until the petal was pushed down. Brake fluid only came out after I opened the nut a full turn. When bleeding brakes in the past opening the bleeder nut only a quarter turn would produce fluid. I was surprised I had to open the nut as far as I did to get fluid. By opening the nut then pressing the petal probably more fluid will evacuate the clutch. I suspected as much but was being careful since this is the first time I have bled a clutch. Every YouTube video I watched was not clear about when to press the petal except one, which said to press the petal before opening the nut. I was being too careful I guess. I'm going about it again. This time I'll open the nut then press in the clutch petal hopefully that will clear the air in the system like it did for you.

I used MTL last time I replaced the trans oil and I had bought 2 quarts of MT-90 to use in my Toyota. I never did use the MT-90 because the Toyota shifted so well and every time I stuck my finger in the fill hole it was full. So I still have the 2 quarts of MT-90 but reading the specs again I see I need more than 2 quarts for the Kizashi. Reading the manual again I also see it calls for 75w-80 oil. Redline MTL is the only 75w-80 oil I can find so I guess I will have to get 3 quarts of MTL. Kind of a bummer because today is going to be warm, a perfect day to crawl under the car, but I have a appointment and also have to drive a distance to the only store I know that stocks MTL. So not today. :>(

Plan B.
I also read that Suzuki gear oil was only semi synthetic. On some forum I also read that full synthetic oil is so fluid that in some transmissions it will not produce enough friction to get the syncro gears turning. In this case non synthetic oil will be a better choice for that transmission. I'm not convinced but if bleeding the clutch again and MTL does not work I'll get some cheap 75w-90 gear oil and see if that is true. I'm desperate.
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Woodie
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At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I'm going to insist that this is a clutch problem. If the car is sitting still and you press the clutch pedal all the way down and wait a couple of seconds, then when you move the shifter toward reverse and get a grinding noise, your clutch is not releasing all the way. There is no synchronizer on reverse, changing the transmission fluid is not going to have any effect on this. Extremely thick gear lube would tend to stop the gears inside the transmission and might make it better, but it's going to play havoc with normal shifting in cold weather. I see you're in Michigan, I wouldn't put anything thicker in there.

If you're sure that the clutch is bled properly, take the floor mat out to ensure that the pedal is going all the way down, if it still grinds then your clutch is worn out.
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redmed
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Woodie wrote:At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I'm going to insist that this is a clutch problem. If the car is sitting still and you press the clutch pedal all the way down and wait a couple of seconds, then when you move the shifter toward reverse and get a grinding noise, your clutch is not releasing all the way. There is no synchronizer on reverse, changing the transmission fluid is not going to have any effect on this. Extremely thick gear lube would tend to stop the gears inside the transmission and might make it better, but it's going to play havoc with normal shifting in cold weather. I see you're in Michigan, I wouldn't put anything thicker in there.

If you're sure that the clutch is bled properly, take the floor mat out to ensure that the pedal is going all the way down, if it still grinds then your clutch is worn out.
In all cases it does not grind until I lift the clutch. Sometimes it goes into reverse without grinding other times not I never know. This has been happening since the car was new. Thru the years the times it grinds has gotten progressively more often. I hate to have someone else work on my vehicles. Now looking back I should have driven 100+ plus miles to a Suzuki dealer to hope that they would fix it under the warranty. Other times when have I taken a vehicle to the dealer they usually say we can not find any problem. With this being intermittent that probably would have been what would have happen.

I bled the clutch again today. This time I opened the bleeder nut before pressing in the clutch. Went through quite a lot of brake fluid and saw a few small air bubbles. Those air bubbles gave me high hopes that I had solved the problem. Took the Kiz out and went thru the now required procedure: shift in first, then neutral, let out the clutch and rev the engine to about 1200 rpm, then quickly push in the clutch and shift into reverse and ease out the clutch. Aaaand the gears ground. Major bummer. I then went for a 40 mile drive. Then at home went thru the required procedure and backed up the driveway without a grind. Back to the intermittent grind.

I tried your suggestion and took out the floor mat. Still grinds. I did trim the floor mat to make sure the clutch petal does not even come close to the mat. The clutch still seems fine. The forward gears are great. One of the best shifting vehicle I have driven. I can put it into a high gear at 10-20 mph and the car will ether stall or lug so don't think a warn clutch is the problem.
64 Galaxie 68 Olds 442 65 Impala 70 VW Bug
74 Nissan B210 66 Chevelle 73 Olds 98 71 C20
75 Monza 82 Escort 75 E150 75 Civic 76 Accord
86 Escort 87 Taurus 83 Chevy G20 85 Ranger 4x4
93 F250 4x4 95 Silhouette 95 LHS 03 Corolla 10 Kizashi S MT
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What happens if you select reverse before starting the engine ? If it doesnt change anything , Id look at the shifter cable bushings for wear or tears at trans.
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Woodie
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redmed wrote:
Woodie wrote:At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I'm going to insist that this is a clutch problem. If the car is sitting still and you press the clutch pedal all the way down and wait a couple of seconds, then when you move the shifter toward reverse and get a grinding noise, your clutch is not releasing all the way. There is no synchronizer on reverse, changing the transmission fluid is not going to have any effect on this. Extremely thick gear lube would tend to stop the gears inside the transmission and might make it better, but it's going to play havoc with normal shifting in cold weather. I see you're in Michigan, I wouldn't put anything thicker in there.

If you're sure that the clutch is bled properly, take the floor mat out to ensure that the pedal is going all the way down, if it still grinds then your clutch is worn out.
In all cases it does not grind until I lift the clutch.
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That's a completely different deal, everything I said does not apply. Sounds more like a cable adjustment or sticky linkage.
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G13b
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Like I said change the way to drive a manual Kizashi, don't listen to these non sense advise who doesn't even drive a manual transmission, been a mechanic for years. :facepalm:
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