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Mike, Toyota Mechanic
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Tech Expert
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I have a 1996 celica gt which I have had for 16 plus years,

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I have a 1996 celica gt which I have had for 16 plus years, at times it is a job to engage first gear i.e on moving the gear lever to get first gear it moves slightly and then locks metal to metal, after trying to move the gear lever it frees it self. The car is fully serviced by toyota. Kind regards, XXXXX XXXXX

Hello and Welcome -

My name is XXXXX XXXXX Im happy to help you with your question.

If as you say the gear locks, metal to metal, this sounds like an actual selector issue / fault... but that of course depends on if the description of the fault is correct. I realise its very difficult sometimes - and its difficult for us to be sure without being able to test / feel such symptoms... but assuming that is the case as you describe, then the gear linkage / selector mechanism should be checked for any signs of problems / wear / damage etc..and then progress on that side as found.

If nothing is found, then clutch drag is a definate issue that can cause as you describe - often it will be found that the fault is with the selection of reverse also - not always - but I mention it just in case.

If you find when it does it again - that re pressing the clutch doesn't help- but selecting 2nd gear- then 1st does help it to select 1st - then clutch drag is usually the issue.. the only answer then is to have the clutch out -and usually replaced at the same time.

So check it through as above - that way you will know what you have and can progress accordingly.

Best Rgds, MIKE.

Let me know if you need anything more on this at all -

Please do click on the OK rating to Excellent ratings service for me now, Thank you for that... and you can get back to me anytime if you need / wish..

Best Rgds, MIKE.

Please note, you are rating the content of my "answer" - my help to you - not the "system" which can experience delays etc which are not under my personal control -or delays caused by "time -off" which we all have on occasion - Thank you.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mike,-What I cant understand is why it works most of the time perfectly,am I right in thinking that clutch drag is the clutch not disengaged i.e its stuck in part drive ,if this is the case why does the gearbox work in the other gears o.k.?

Kind regards,



Hi again Geoff -

Thank you for your reply..Sorry, I wasn't on yesterday ..

It can be - or not engaging - its basically sticking where it should slide -on the splined first motion shaft.

I understand what you are saying - but if it is clutch drag - that is because its not stuck / seized -otherwise you would just have no operation at all....its basically that it sticks on the spline - sometimes moving easier than others - hence the erratic operation that you have - sometimes its ok / sometimes not.. that is typical of what happens with this situation ..
Further - its always a symptom as I mentioned, ( clutch drag ) that it occurs in first - and as I said, sometimes but not always reverse - because of the actual ratios ( speed of movement ) in the gearbox rotation speed of first - and reverse. These two gears you may well know have synchro - thats why.

So yes - I so suspect it will be clutch drag from what you have outlined Geoff - but it makes sense to just check the other as I mentioned above , first and then go from there.

Just further - if it is clutch drag - it can last like this for months / years - so its not problem essentially - more an annoyance... but if it gets progressively worse, then you will need to have it done as it will get so it wont select at all - as I say above..

Kind Rgds - MIKE.

.................Please dont forget to click on the OK/ Excellent ratings for me as that's how Im credited for helping you - Thank you in advance for that...

You can and are most welcome to get back to me anytime you might need - clicking the OK ratings does not close you out at all..

Rgds, MIKE.