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What am I doing wrong?

1197 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  FenPhen
The reverse is so hard to engage. There is no pushing device like my old Audi. I tried a few tricks like matching RPM, go forward a bit. Can somebody help? I picked up my 325i today. I hope I won't have to return to my dealer for this.
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Um, well you might need to...I trust you are dis-engaging clutch fully (not an insult, just asking?)

Mine at least has freed up considerably over 13K and now engages in gear / reverse pretty smoothly... :dunno:
Saintor said:
The reverse is so hard to engage. There is no pushing device like my old Audi. I tried a few tricks like matching RPM, go forward a bit. Can somebody help? I picked up my 325i today. I hope I won't have to return to my dealer for this.
In my experience it will loosen up a little bit with time.

Or, maybe you need these:


:angel:
RPM matching?

Saintor said:
...I tried a few tricks like matching RPM...
Are you trying to shift into reverse while the car is moving? Come to a complete stop before engaging reverse.
A friend of mine, who is not the most muscular woman in the world, got an 5spd E46, and said that she says she had to pull with both hands and all her strength to get in to reverse when the car was new. It loosened up lot after a few hundred miles.
bren said:
In my experience it will loosen up a little bit with time.
Hold your palm to the right of the stick a couple inches away, then slap it left. That little bit of distance builds enough momentum to overcome the stop.

Also, make sure you are completely stopped. Reverse gear has a synchro, so it won't grind, but maybe it's putting up some resistance because you're shifting too soon after moving forward. :dunno:
Saintor said:
The reverse is so hard to engage. There is no pushing device like my old Audi. I tried a few tricks like matching RPM, go forward a bit. Can somebody help?
Does this difficulty engaging reverse happen every time? Or is it an occassional thing? I sometimes have problems getting reverse to engage, but it's usually when the car has been sitting overnight. It's pretty rare, though. But like everyone else has said, everything will loosen up over time. In the meanwhile, you might want to try double-pumping to get the shifter over under the reverse gate.
Sound advice; it works!
:thumbup:
FenPhen said:
Hold your palm to the right of the stick a couple inches away, then slap it left. That little bit of distance builds enough momentum to overcome the stop.
Not just woman and E46. I have a friend who is a guy, in his S2000, he has to use both hand to engate reverse also.

Just an observation, I have driven audi A4. Their shifter is very smooth, fluid like smoothness. the efford is also very low. While not as solid feeling of E46 shifter, it does give a positive feed back when shifting into gear. Also their clucth, also very low effert, while it offer no feedback at all, it is very forgiving. Whatever way I drive the car, it engage smoothly. A lot easier to handle then E46. Anyone with experience with A4, can you commend on this?

eel
operknockity said:
A friend of mine, who is not the most muscular woman in the world, got an 5spd E46, and said that she says she had to pull with both hands and all her strength to get in to reverse when the car was new. It loosened up lot after a few hundred miles.
There are actually 2 components of "engaging" reverse that people are addressing here. One is just getting the shift lever into the left-most reverse shift plane, and the second is moving the lever forward to do the actual gear engagement. From Saintor's first post, I kind of thought he meant he had trouble pushing the lever forward to get the gear engaged, not so much moving the shifter over to the left. If the problem is the former, and it is not consistent, it's probably a random gear alignment scenario that sometimes occurs going to first as well, and probably nothing wrong. If the issue is getting the shifter to the left gate, I agree mine (10 weeks old) seems to be easier than it first was, or, I am just used to it now. I have noticed though that once in a while I don't quite have the shifter centered in the neutral position and then moving it to the left gate is impossible. Be sure you aren't trying to push a little forward as you push (hard) to the left.

I do think it's a little odd that they just didn't incorporate a pull up or push down mechanism to lock out the reverse gate which then wouldn't necessitate such a difficult pull to the left.
Once the lever is in position to be slid forward I often find I have to pump the clutch once or twice to align the stars with the planets or whatever. When pushing it forward it's like it hits a wall. Perhaps releasing and re-engaging the clutch realigns the synchro?

I am not even going to pretend to understand what goes on inside the tranny but that works for me. For getting smoothly in to first at a light I find going from neutral to second to first makes it MUCH smoother.

Just my experience.

James.
Shift into first then into reverse.
This is the trick...shifting into any forward gear will stop all those "gears on a stick" from spinning randomly, and will make reverse engagement much easier....

Regards,
Bob
PABS said:
Shift into first then into reverse.
You shouldn't really need to cause reverse gear comes with a synchro (at least, on the currently available 6-speeds). Going to first would definitely do it though.
Fast Bob said:
This is the trick...shifting into any forward gear will stop all those "gears on a stick" from spinning randomly, and will make reverse engagement much easier....
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