Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Elias asks: I asked you for recommendations over a year ago for a good car to drive Uber with. You recommended a 2014 Toyota Camry or Corolla. I ended up getting a 2013 Toyota Corolla. I love it — thanks for the recommendations. Anyway, it’s a 5-speed manual transmission. Just recently, I had the transmission serviced. Apparently, I should have done that at 60k miles, but the car’s got about 81.7k on it. No biggie. But now, every time I shift into 4th, there’s a noticeable grinding noise as it goes in. At first, I thought I didn’t have the clutch all the way in. But, even with the clutch fully deployed, I’m getting an audible grind every time I shift into 4th. Should I be worried? Should I do something about this? What do you think this is?
My reply: Oh no… .
If this issue with the transmission grinding when you reach for fourth wasn’t an issue before the “service,” I’d be very concerned about the “service.” Specifically, whether the transmission fluid/gear lube was replaced with the correct fluid/lube and with enough fluid/lube.
Immediately have someone check. If you find that the level is low, the next step is to fill it to where it should be and see whether that takes care of the problem. Hopefully so. And if it is low (god forbid, empty – this happens) and filling it fixes the problem, whoever did the “service” needs to be called out and the whole ugly business documented and admitted to so that if the transmission problem comes back, they pay to fix it.
You should not have any problems with your transmission at just 81lk. The clutch should be just barely broken in at this point (so to speak).
Speaking of that. Also pop the hood and check the fluid level in the clutch slave cylinder. If that’s low, it could also account for the problem, though you’d probably have noticed the pedal feels different and engaging any gear would have, too – not just fourth. But worth checking. And not just for level. The “service” should have included new clutch slave cylinder fluid. If it’s not clear/translucent, they probably didn’t change it.
Check your bill and see whether they charged you for it…. sigh.
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