Why Is My Manual Transmission Hard To Shift?

Is your car’s manual transmission hard to shift? Do you know that this can get to a point where you won’t be able to even shift a gear? If you want to avoid that, then read this article further, learning the cause behind it and how to get it fixed.

A manual transmission is a type of transmission in which you have to manually shift the gear, using the gear stick. The manual transmission car is in most cases cheaper than cars with automatic transmission. Although manual transmission makes gear shifting more complex, it will certainly cost you less and some people just love the good old classic transmission.

What Makes Manual Transmission Hard To Shift?

Manual transmission hard to shift can cause extreme problems and it can get to a point where you can’t even shift one gear, making the car useless and can cause heavy damage to your wallet.

Top Reasons For A Laggy Transmission:

A laggy transmission is usually caused by a problem in the gear system or the clutch. Either one of the components is damaged or just too worn out of round.

1. Damaged Clutch System:

A clutch system has various components working together. They consist of a Clutch Master Cylinder, Release Cylinder, Clutch Cover, Clutch Disk, Release Bearing, and a Release Fork. It engages and disengages power to the transmission while it is between the flywheel of the engine. If any of the components listed above are damaged, the clutch system will not function properly. A damaged clutch system will result in the clutch and the engine not getting properly disengaged, which will make the manual transmission hard to shift.

2. Damaged Synchroniser Ring:

The synchronizer ring is to engage the gears continuously. It has small metal teeth, which makes the gear shifting smooth. The small metal teeth on the ring synchronize with the teeth on the hub gear. If the synchronizer ring is damaged, the gear shifting would become hard, as the gears would not get smoothly engaged.

3. Damaged Gears:

A car with manual transmission has several gears. From 1st gear ranging to even 6th gear in some cases. Every gear has two teeth, one small and one big. The small teeth accept the hub sleeve’s engagement with the synchronizer ring. When a gear shifts, the bigger teeth engage the spinning counter gear, sending a transmission to the output shaft. The teeth of the gear are responsible for smooth transmission. If the teeth of the gears are damaged, it will make the transmission problematic.

4. Damaged Hub Gears:

The hub gear bridges between two main gears, resulting in the smooth transmission from one gear to another. There are small teeth on the hub gear which will synchronize with the teeth on the synchronizer ring. It is connected to the transmission shaft and cannot move freely. If the hub gear is damaged, the transition from one gear to another gear would be laggy and hard to shift as this component is quite crucial.

5. Damaged Hub Sleeve:

As we know the hub gear bridges two main gears, the hub sleeve is actually the main component that engages them. The hub sleeve moves left or right depending on the gear you shifted. This is a very crucial component in a manual transmission car. If this gets damaged the gear shifting can become really hard.

6. Not Enough Gear Oil:

The gear oil is responsible for the smooth transition of gears. It is subjected to high temperatures hence, it is quite thick. It lubricates the gears of a manual transmission car. If the gear oil is leaking from somewhere, or if you have not changed the gear oil for a long time, it could make the manual transmission hard to shift. Any car requires a changed gear oil from time to time for smooth performance. A manual transmission that is not getting lubricated enough will give poor performance and you might also hear sounds from the gearbox.

How Do I Make My Manual Transmission Shift Smoother?

If you’re experiencing a laggy transmission you’ve got to fix it. But apparently, a problem with the clutch system or the transmission system is quite complex for an average car driver. Trying to fix this issue on your own might even damage your car even more. Henceforth, going to a certified repair shop would be the best option.

If you feel you are more experienced to give a try, please watch the below video:

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Manual Transmission?

Any problem with the transmission of a car is not going to be low-priced and easy. The clutch system is quite complex and will cost you a lot, depending upon your car and the extent of the damage. If your car just requires an oil change, it is going to be a relief to your bank balance.


A laggy manual transmission can have various reasons. The most probable reasons for this are listed above. This is most common in high-mileage cars and trucks. There are other reasons for a laggy shift but the ones mentioned above are the most common ones. Remember that these problems do not happen overnight and it builds up over time.

If these problems do not get resolved quickly, your car can get a serious and permanent problem with the transmission or the clutch system. Another key point here would be that prevention is better than cure. These problems usually happen due to the owner’s ignorance and poor maintenance of the vehicle. If you do not want the issues to get worse with time, then going to a certified repair shop as soon as possible would be a wise choice.