Hard shifting down to 1st / 2nd when cold
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This is a discussion on Hard shifting down to 1st / 2nd when cold within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've had my WRX for just over 3 months now, and my one complaint is that when you come out ...

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    Registered User XRedJar's Avatar
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    Hard shifting down to 1st / 2nd when cold

    I've had my WRX for just over 3 months now, and my one complaint is that when you come out to a cold car in the morning (for example) and set off for work, until you get a few miles on it to get the trans warmed up, it's a miserable bitch to get back to 1st and 2nd gear.

    I just wanted to see if that was "normal" and everyone else has the same problem, or if it's just me. I talked to my father who has a 2012 Outback wagon, and he has the same issue with his.

    I know you can double clutch it to get the downshifts done and make it easier, and that it's just the trans fluid that needs to warm up to let the syncros do their job. It is just frustrating, and really my only complaint about the car.
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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XRedJar View Post
    I've had my WRX for just over 3 months now, and my one complaint is that when you come out to a cold car in the morning (for example) and set off for work, until you get a few miles on it to get the trans warmed up, it's a miserable bitch to get back to 1st and 2nd gear.

    I just wanted to see if that was "normal" and everyone else has the same problem, or if it's just me. I talked to my father who has a 2012 Outback wagon, and he has the same issue with his.

    I know you can double clutch it to get the downshifts done and make it easier, and that it's just the trans fluid that needs to warm up to let the syncros do their job. It is just frustrating, and really my only complaint about the car.
    It's normal. The car doesn't like it when you dont' warm them up on a really cold morning (or anytime of day for that matter). I've had this experience with every manual I've ever driven.

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    Registered User Ruh Roh's Avatar
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    Yup very normal. Mine doesnt like to go in reverse sometimes either so its not very fun trying to do the 1st to reverse trick to get it in gear when it doesnt go well in either fml. My car is also veryyy touchy when cold in first.

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    Registered User XRedJar's Avatar
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    Thats what I thought....just seems to be more pronounced in the WRX than most of the other manuals I've driven.
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    Registered User Ruh Roh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XRedJar View Post
    Thats what I thought....just seems to be more pronounced in the WRX than most of the other manuals I've driven.
    Agree. Hate pulling out in the cold in my car. If i try to slip the clutch a little it will make a horrible knocking sound, but if i let it out too fast ill stall or be really jumpy so ill kinda tap it to get moving then once moving its alot easier. I pulled out on a hill in second today second time and same spot ive done that in, waiting for a school bus to make a stop...sorry 94k mile clutch

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    Registered User XRedJar's Avatar
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    I did go to SOA's website and drop some feedback on this. Just to make myself feel better if nothing else. I figure they can't do anything about it if they don't know...so I did my part. Likely nothing will come of it, and maybe there are no real better options for trans fluid.

    It's more of an annoyance, and I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill. I'm a software integration test manager, and know the value of feedback to improve the product. Love the WRX, but this is one small area that could be improved.
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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    I guess I have an advantage, since I've never owned a car with a really smooth shifter. My WRX's have never really bothered me in that way, cold or not.
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    Registered User XRedJar's Avatar
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    LOL....my last car was a 2006 Honda S2000...and that had one of the slickest shifters I've ever had the pleasure of driving. That said, I have the optional short shifter on mine, and when warm....is almost as good as the S2000s was.
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    Registered User AmateurX's Avatar
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    Re: Hard shifting down to 1st / 2nd when cold

    On a related note, is it true that different transmission fluid could/would make shifts smoother?

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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    my last car was a 2006 Honda S2000...
    That would explain it..the S2K is known for having a great shift action.
    My first manual was a 1970 VW Beetle with a blown 2nd gear synchronizer. Everything else has felt just great, ever since.
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    Registered User Ruh Roh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmateurX View Post
    On a related note, is it true that different transmission fluid could/would make shifts smoother?

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    after i changed my fluid it felt amazing!!!! then a day later it was back to normal -___-

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    Registered User XRedJar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    That would explain it..the S2K is known for having a great shift action.
    My first manual was a 1970 VW Beetle with a blown 2nd gear synchronizer. Everything else has felt just great, ever since.
    That could have something to do with it ;-)

    The funny thing is, I thought I'd miss the S2000 more, but I don't. It's a great car and I had a lot of fun with it, but overall the WRX has me not looking back at all.
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    Road Hazard STI*NG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XRedJar View Post
    The funny thing is, I thought I'd miss the S2000 more, but I don't. It's a great car and I had a lot of fun with it, but overall the WRX has me not looking back at all.
    Very surprising! The S2000 is one of the cars I've always wanted, but it's not practical enough for me to be the "only" car. It doesn't seem that the Rex could even be in the same league as the S2000 being so different.
    The STI has probably the best tranny out of any of the cars I've had, though I've noticed some reluctance going into second when it's cold. None of the reverse problems though.

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    Registered User XRedJar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STI*NG View Post
    Very surprising! The S2000 is one of the cars I've always wanted, but it's not practical enough for me to be the "only" car. It doesn't seem that the Rex could even be in the same league as the S2000 being so different.
    The STI has probably the best tranny out of any of the cars I've had, though I've noticed some reluctance going into second when it's cold. None of the reverse problems though.
    The S2000 is a great car. The WRX and S2000 just go fast very differently. The S2000 is a high-revving momentum car, without a lot of torque. Always have to keep it wound up tight to really get it to sing. The WRX has so much more torque that for daily driving, it's just night and day different. The lack of practicality was probably the largest reason for me to go looking for something new. The WRX hit all the right check boxes.

    I do miss the 8500 rpm redline in the S. 6500 comes up awful quick in Rex ...... lol
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    As said, cold transmission fluid shifting always is a bit rough. It's just a nuance you'll have to live with on the car. You'd have to switch viscosity to fix that, and I just wouldn't bother. Do you have difficulty getting into 1st at a stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by XRedJar
    The S2000 is a great car. The WRX and S2000 just go fast very differently. The S2000 is a high-revving momentum car, without a lot of torque. Always have to keep it wound up tight to really get it to sing. The WRX has so much more torque that for daily driving, it's just night and day different. The lack of practicality was probably the largest reason for me to go looking for something new. The WRX hit all the right check boxes.

    I do miss the 8500 rpm redline in the S. 6500 comes up awful quick in Rex ...... lol
    If I could have two fun cars and a DD, I'd do the following...

    STI: Weekend / HPDE
    S2000: Slap a S/C on it; nice-weather DD / Auto-X
    $5-7K Outback: DD

    If I could afford a bit more, I'd keep the first two, but replace the Outback with a Tacoma (4x4 / Dual Cab / 6MT)
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