Problems with shifter in the cold weather - Mustang Evolution

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Old 12-12-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
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Problems with shifter in the cold weather

Just the other day I started to notice this issue with my 2012 V6. Lately, we've been having very cold weather here down in Ft. Campbell. I went to start my Mustang the other day and noticed that when I started up it the shifter seemed to be stuck. I couldn't get it out of gear until it warmed up a little. This evening I went to go to the store and it was very hard to get it out of gear and the clutch seemed to feel a little weird. I haven't done any mods to the shifter or clutch, it's 16,000 miles, and it's been doing it when the weather is in the mid 20's high teens. This just started happening but after the Mustang warms up it seems to disappear and be fine. I'm just a little worried because I go on leave next week and I have a 9 hour drive back up to VA. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:14 PM   #2
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Sounds pretty normal for the getrag in cool to cold weather. Up here in Montreal I'll notice it around the middle of October. 1st and second are my worst gears, really notchy and hard to put in gear until it warms up. Last year I drove it occasionally in the winter and first gear was completely useless until it warmed up. Unfortunately its just how it is with these transmission's. I wouldn't worry, but pre 13s have a tsb for that very issue, it addresses the transmission fluid and calls for a fluid swap, its under warranty and completely free, I'll dig up the tsb 4 u. I had the new fluid in my 13 but it didn't really help much.

Tsb 11-3-18
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
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Hey thanks for the response! It really put my mind at ease. I'm going to the dealer tomorrow to get my oil changed so I'll ask about that transmission fluid.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:27 PM   #4
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I'm glad to see this post. I have a 2012 that I just bought in September and now that the weather is colder I've notice my shifter being a little more stubborn. I'll check with the dealer when I go in for my next oil change as well.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:08 AM   #5
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Ford issued a TSB on this issue. Go here, write down the TSB number, and present it to you Ford service advisor. They will fix it for free:

http://mustangsdaily.com/blog/wp-con...sb-11-3-18.jpg
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:34 AM   #6
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^^^^ remember to be polite and firm when talking to your dealer. Yes they will/should do it but your attitude matters.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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Hey thanks for the response! It really put my mind at ease. I'm going to the dealer tomorrow to get my oil changed so I'll ask about that transmission fluid.
Your welcome.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rotors View Post
Just the other day I started to notice this issue with my 2012 V6. Lately, we've been having very cold weather here down in Ft. Campbell. I went to start my Mustang the other day and noticed that when I started up it the shifter seemed to be stuck. I couldn't get it out of gear until it warmed up a little. This evening I went to go to the store and it was very hard to get it out of gear and the clutch seemed to feel a little weird. I haven't done any mods to the shifter or clutch, it's 16,000 miles, and it's been doing it when the weather is in the mid 20's high teens. This just started happening but after the Mustang warms up it seems to disappear and be fine. I'm just a little worried because I go on leave next week and I have a 9 hour drive back up to VA. Thanks!
Another thread on the MT-82 problematic crap. Damn glad I traded my V6 MT on an auto GT.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #9
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Another thread on the MT-82 problematic crap. Damn glad I traded my V6 MT on an auto GT.
I'd still take the manual any day, that's hardly a deal breaker. But I would like your gt!
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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I'd still take the manual any day, that's hardly a deal breaker. But I would like your gt!
I had the MT it only takes one bad one and i'm done. The new mustang has an updated MT-82. But I'll wait till the new tranny is dropped it.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #11
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I had the MT it only takes one bad one and i'm done. The new mustang has an updated MT-82. But I'll wait till the new tranny is dropped it.
What happened??
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:54 PM   #12
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When my car is cold and I drive it I struggle with the 2nd to 3rd gear without grinding until everything is warmed up. Mine is an '08.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:56 PM   #13
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What happened??
Notchiness,grinding and grinding with clutch in. I bought a bracket and had the TSB done with little help. In the cold forget about it had to let my car sit and warm up at least 15 minutes before I pulled out. Thought I was going to keep my V6 MT, but just got tired of the notchy, grinding shifts. Not to mention reading some of the headaches on here. So GT was the only other car I wanted.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dobypaw3 View Post

Notchiness,grinding and grinding with clutch in. I bought a bracket and had the TSB done with little help. In the cold forget about it had to let my car sit and warm up at least 15 minutes before I pulled out. Thought I was going to keep my V6 MT, but just got tired of the notchy, grinding shifts. Not to mention reading some of the headaches on here. So GT was the only other car I wanted.
Sounds like it would test anyone's patients. The tough cold shifting is livable, as my 2000 Mazda protege Manuel winter car is rough getting it in first when its cold and my bro 06 civic has the same issue so it not just a getrag issue. But grinding with the clutch in is not acceptable! When my car was just 6 months old I went with a Barton bracket and out with the OEM tranny fluid and in with royal purple. Other than the cold notchiness my tranny is silky smooth with zero grinding anywhere, 18000kms and counting. I love my manual but you can't go wrong with fords auto trannys also, although I have destroyed a couple of them in years past. Lol
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:29 AM   #15
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Sounds like it would test anyone's patients. The tough cold shifting is livable, as my 2000 Mazda protege Manuel winter car is rough getting it in first when its cold and my bro 06 civic has the same issue so it not just a getrag issue. But grinding with the clutch in is not acceptable! When my car was just 6 months old I went with a Barton bracket and out with the OEM tranny fluid and in with royal purple. Other than the cold notchiness my tranny is silky smooth with zero grinding anywhere, 18000kms and counting. I love my manual but you can't go wrong with fords auto trannys also, although I have destroyed a couple of them in years past. Lol
No worries I destroyed a Torque Flight tranny in my 65 Plymouth with neutral drops. But it took 78,000 miles. lol
I wouldn't try that with my 12 Mustang though. Way more expensive to replace.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:47 AM   #16
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No worries I destroyed a Torque Flight tranny in my 65 Plymouth with neutral drops. But it took 78,000 miles. lol
I wouldn't try that with my 12 Mustang though. Way more expensive to replace.
Lol +1
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:44 AM   #17
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Sounds like it would test anyone's patients. The tough cold shifting is livable, as my 2000 Mazda protege Manuel winter car is rough getting it in first when its cold and my bro 06 civic has the same issue so it not just a getrag issue. But grinding with the clutch in is not acceptable! When my car was just 6 months old I went with a Barton bracket and out with the OEM tranny fluid and in with royal purple. Other than the cold notchiness my tranny is silky smooth with zero grinding anywhere, 18000kms and counting. I love my manual but you can't go wrong with fords auto trannys also, although I have destroyed a couple of them in years past. Lol
You would think that after over 100 years of making manual transmissions they would have figured out a way to solve cold shift problems that seem to effect so many cars
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:04 PM   #18
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You would think that after over 100 years of making manual transmissions they would have figured out a way to solve cold shift problems that seem to effect so many cars
+1 lol, 4 real!! We just got 25cm of snow today at a healthy -16 lol and I had to move my Mazda winter car to shovel around it, when I finally fought it into first it was a "crunch" sound and feeling. Once it warms up its fine, but until then yikes! My stang is the same thing, but if you start an auto in cold weather like that and start driving without letting it warm up it will shift a little rough also. In cold weather you should always let your car warm up before driving it, manuals just seem more touchy with the cold and also take longer than autos to warm up. : (
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:15 AM   #19
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Don't mean to sound rude, but am I the only one who realizes (being from Maine and having learned on a stick) that you should let any car run for AT LEAST 10 minutes before driving if the outside temp is below freezing? Not only is it bad for the transmission, but all components of the car at that temp are stiffened and more likely to fail unless properly brought up to operating temp. I know it sucks to have to go out to your car, start it, come in, and then go back out to leave but it's worth the hassle if it saves your car. Are you letting it properly warm up before driving?
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:37 AM   #20
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Freezing isn't cold enough to waste that long on warming up. Modern cars are ready to go once they drop off from the initial fast idle.

It was -30 today in Fairbanks and my mustang did just fine driving around, like it always does. It's a little stiff to shift when I first start out in the morning, but after 2-3 miles everything works normally, even down to nearly -60 like we got last winter. I actually get more grief from the LSD than anything first thing as the gear oil and clutch packs wake up. 22,000 miles, mostly frozen, and no complaints. As far as transmissions go, the manual in this car will never be mistaken for a miata's or s2000's, but it's not bad.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:23 AM   #21
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Don't mean to sound rude, but am I the only one who realizes (being from Maine and having learned on a stick) that you should let any car run for AT LEAST 10 minutes before driving if the outside temp is below freezing? Not only is it bad for the transmission, but all components of the car at that temp are stiffened and more likely to fail unless properly brought up to operating temp. I know it sucks to have to go out to your car, start it, come in, and then go back out to leave but it's worth the hassle if it saves your car. Are you letting it properly warm up before driving?
This is no longer the case with modern ignitions and fuel injection cars of today. Perhaps 30 seconds for the fast idle to drop, but 10 minutes is not required.

Besides, this is not going to warm manual transmission oil. The only way that will warm up is to get the gears moving, and that requires you to drive the vehicle in gear, not idling.

In European countries such as Germany, it's against the law to idle a car more than 3 minutes. In traffic, you are supposed to shut down the engine. This is why BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and now GM has introduced it to some of their lineup, the auto stop/start feature. Personally, I don't like it, but it saves fuel (yep, it saves a small amount), plus removes unnessesary exhaust gases during long idling periods.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:50 AM   #22
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This is no longer the case with modern ignitions and fuel injection cars of today. Perhaps 30 seconds for the fast idle to drop, but 10 minutes is not required.

Besides, this is not going to warm manual transmission oil. The only way that will warm up is to get the gears moving, and that requires you to drive the vehicle in gear, not idling.

In European countries such as Germany, it's against the law to idle a car more than 3 minutes. In traffic, you are supposed to shut down the engine. This is why BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and now GM has introduced it to some of their lineup, the auto stop/start feature. Personally, I don't like it, but it saves fuel (yep, it saves a small amount), plus removes unnessesary exhaust gases during long idling periods.
You obviously don't live in a "real" cold environment. This morning it was -24 which is cold even to Quebec standards and yes while the car will function after a minute of idling after start up, I do not recommend driving it until at least a few minutes of letting it warm up. Up here we have all, at one point been in a rush to get somewhere and only let it run for 30secs but we can tell you...
A- your transmission, auto or manual will shift pretty rough for a little bit.
B- Your car will accelerate like it has an extra 200lbs in it.
C- You wouldn't be able to see out of your windshield which is extremely dangerous and most important!
So yes your car will function 30secs after start up but makes no sense not letting it warm up for a few minutes. Up here its just common sense when its that cold.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:57 AM   #23
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Sorry, I disagree that starting a car and letting it idle is going to "warm" up the standard transmission oil. With the car idling, no gears are moving in the transmission, so no heat is building up. Only when the car is moving will the standard transmission oil warm up.

Back to my story in Germany, I would start my rental in the early winter days and let it run to defrost the front windshield (the rear glass had the defrosting lines in the glass). One morning a police officer stopped, and in German, talked to me and was shaking his finger at me. When I informed him my German was not so good, he spoke english and said to shut my car off while I was parked. I told him I was defrosting my windshield. He told me again to turn off the engine, or he would write me a ticket. Then he went to his trunk and grabbed his scrapper and cleand off the snow and ice from the windshield for me. He told me that Germany does not allow idling for more than two minutes. The engine must be shut off, even in traffic. It seemed dumb to me, but I was not going to argue with the police officer.

Again, this explains why automobiles today have this "auto on/auto off" feature. My wife's BMW has it. Weird as heck to ba at a traffic light, and the engine shuts off after a few seconds. The time it takes you to remove your fott from the brake and press the right pedal, the engine starts and drives off. Literally no lag. If the AC is on, it disables the feature, as well as a button on the dash after you start the car.

If it's that cold, a block heater is your best bet. I spent several months in the wintery Canadian weather when I worked for Northern Telecom (back in the 80's). Yes it was cold; don't know how folks do it. I had to plug in my rental each day in order for it to even start. Found that out the hard way. The rental was an automatic, so it's pump would circulate when the engine was started, and that fluid would warm somewhat. However, with the block heater, and the car "plugged in", I would start it, and know the engine oil was warm, the block was warm, and I would have cabin heat within 30 seconds.

I'm only stating that a manual transmission will not "warm up" during any length of cold start and 10 minute idle. Yes, it may be sluggish with it's shifts until its oil warms, but that's not going to happen with a 10 minute (or more) idle warm up situation.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #24
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Sorry, I disagree that starting a car and letting it idle is going to "warm" up the standard transmission oil. With the car idling, no gears are moving in the transmission, so no heat is building up. Only when the car is moving will the standard transmission oil warm up.

Back to my story in Germany, I would start my rental in the early winter days and let it run to defrost the front windshield (the rear glass had the defrosting lines in the glass). One morning a police officer stopped, and in German, talked to me and was shaking his finger at me. When I informed him my German was not so good, he spoke english and said to shut my car off while I was parked. I told him I was defrosting my windshield. He told me again to turn off the engine, or he would write me a ticket. Then he went to his trunk and grabbed his scrapper and cleand off the snow and ice from the windshield for me. He told me that Germany does not allow idling for more than two minutes. The engine must be shut off, even in traffic. It seemed dumb to me, but I was not going to argue with the police officer.

Again, this explains why automobiles today have this "auto on/auto off" feature. My wife's BMW has it. Weird as heck to ba at a traffic light, and the engine shuts off after a few seconds. The time it takes you to remove your fott from the brake and press the right pedal, the engine starts and drives off. Literally no lag. If the AC is on, it disables the feature, as well as a button on the dash after you start the car.

If it's that cold, a block heater is your best bet. I spent several months in the wintery Canadian weather when I worked for Northern Telecom (back in the 80's). Yes it was cold; don't know how folks do it. I had to plug in my rental each day in order for it to even start. Found that out the hard way. The rental was an automatic, so it's pump would circulate when the engine was started, and that fluid would warm somewhat. However, with the block heater, and the car "plugged in", I would start it, and know the engine oil was warm, the block was warm, and I would have cabin heat within 30 seconds.

I'm only stating that a manual transmission will not "warm up" during any length of cold start and 10 minute idle.
Agreed with the manual transmission as nothing is moving creating heat. But I challenge you to try your 30sec cold start then drive to see for yourself how the car reacts and feels up here. Yes a block heater will help you start your car at those temps but not all cars have them here and even with it will not defrost your windows to be able to see where your going anyways which is not safe! I speak from 20 years experience.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:18 AM   #25
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I chose to live in the south and avoid these types of situations. It's been great so far!

All I was defending is that a ten minute warmup of the engine will do nothing to a manual transmission.

Stay warm and safe up there.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:23 AM   #26
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Just gonna throw this one out there. What's the transmission connected to? A big ole V6. What's that V6 create? Heat. I'm not gonna beat a dead horse so I'll just say it one more time,(because it's my opinion on how to solve the thread issue). Start the car, let it run, and don't try to drive until you see the temp gauge start to climb. Before you take off, run the transmission through the gears a few times to see if they feel stiff (obviously talking about a stick shift). If it's still giving you issues maybe try a different gear oil. Or you know, don't drive a mustang in the winter.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:29 AM   #27
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Just gonna throw this one out there. What's the transmission connected to? A big ole V6. What's that V6 create? Heat. I'm not gonna beat a dead horse so I'll just say it one more time,(because it's my opinion on how to solve the thread issue). Start the car, let it run, and don't try to drive until you see the temp gauge start to climb. Before you take off, run the transmission through the gears a few times to see if they feel stiff (obviously talking about a stick shift). If it's still giving you issues maybe try a different gear oil. Or you know, don't drive a mustang in the winter.
You could let that engine idle for an hour...in the temps described in Canada, there's no way heat from any engine regardless of cylinder size is going to tranmit enough heat to a standard transmissions oil to help it shift any better. Getting the gears spinning is what produces friction, and friction creates heat. Now perhaps the exhaust pipes running along side the transmission will help radiate some heat to its case. The exhaust reaches temp much quicker than the engine though, so idling is not an issue here either.

It's simpler than this for me: I just stay in Florida. No issues with warmup times.

Although it was 50 degrees this morning when I left for work...had to grab a light jacket; but my transmission shifted smoothly.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:33 AM   #28
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Your logic is somewhat difficult to swallow. You agree a block heater will help start the car (and it also keeps the oil warm), but "not everyone has them". I agree that defrosting the windows is key to see and drive. However, I did not make the laws in Germany. However, there are ways to defrost the glass without running the car for 10 minutes.

And my 40 years of driving have mostly been in the warm, sunny south. To me, that's a good way for me to look at avoiding issues we have been discussing.

Nope, I won't be trying to drive off in temperatures that require anything other than a 30 second or less warmup time. This was my choice.
Yes hard to believe but up hear block heaters are not standard on cars. Your very lucky not to have winters like we do. I've driven cold cars 30 secs after start up at that temp, wiped a little spot on the windshield so I can see the bare minimum, and drove it. I can honestly say that any of the cars I drove like that did not feel the way they normally do in normal temps...cold shifts, sluggish acceleration, heavy car feeling. Just my 2ยข
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:38 AM   #29
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At my age, my body joints would need an hour to prepare for that cold, the heck with the car!

Yes some may say I'm lucky, but I see it more as a choice. I've had several offers for job promotions during my carreer, but turned them down when I saw what state or area they required me to move to (wintery north). I'm just not a cold person.

My Mustang appretiates that!
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #30
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At my age, my body joints would need an hour to prepare for that cold, the heck with the car!

Yes some may say I'm lucky, but I see it more as a choice. I've had several offers for job promotions during my carreer, but turned them down when I saw what state or area they required me to move to (wintery north). I'm just not a cold person.

My Mustang appretiates that!
You are lucky, my Mustang appreciates being in my nice heated garage for 3 months, but me sad! : (
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #31
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It warmed up today to -14*F (-25*C). No matter the weather, my mustang appreciates being driven.

The amount of warm up does matter on whether or not you can and do plug your car in.

With a block heater, battery blanket, and oil pan blanket (auto's tend to get transmission tray blanket heaters too), my car will start up fine and be ready to go in about 5 minutes (idle dropped, temp gauge has moved, everything works normally) no matter how cold it is outside. We don't have a problem with frosted windows thanks to there being little to no humidity here.

Forget to or aren't able to plug in at -20 or colder? Good luck... if the car even starts due to the frozen battery and glue-thick oil, it'll need to run for several minutes before it starts running correctly. That includes the automatic transmission, as it does actually warm up due to the torque converters pump, and manual transmissions that recieve radiant heat from its connection to the engine. I forgot to plug in once when it dipped to -45 overnight and warmed up to -35 when I got up to go to work and it took about 15-20mins to warm up properly and run right.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #32
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Sounds pretty normal for the getrag in cool to cold weather. Up here in Montreal I'll notice it around the middle of October. 1st and second are my worst gears, really notchy and hard to put in gear until it warms up. Last year I drove it occasionally in the winter and first gear was completely useless until it warmed up. Unfortunately its just how it is with these transmission's. I wouldn't worry, but pre 13s have a tsb for that very issue, it addresses the transmission fluid and calls for a fluid swap, its under warranty and completely free, I'll dig up the tsb 4 u. I had the new fluid in my 13 but it didn't really help much.

Tsb 11-3-18
FYI, according to my dealer, the TSB only covers 2011 through part of 2012. I don't know which month it ends at, but I believe mine was built in Sept/Oct time frame and they said the issue was fixed on the later 2012's, so they would not replace the fluid. Or did they just straight up lie to me and I should go back in there and raise hell?
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:37 PM   #33
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FYI, according to my dealer, the TSB only covers 2011 through part of 2012. I don't know which month it ends at, but I believe mine was built in Sept/Oct time frame and they said the issue was fixed on the later 2012's, so they would not replace the fluid. Or did they just straight up lie to me and I should go back in there and raise hell?
Well that could very well be true. I know the 13+ have all had it done at the factory before they got to the dealer, but its possible that it was corrected mid to late 12 production. There must be more info about it on the web if and when it was a mid model correction, I believe it is dual clutch transmission fluid that should be in it now if it has been done. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #34
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Yes, the late 2012's and up got the correction done at the factory. If it's still shifting hard, then there's another problem.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #35
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Actually, shouldn't the input shaft and the gears attached and meshed with it be spinning when the transmission is in neutral and the clutch released? My understanding is that in neutral the gears are not locked to both the shafts at the same time, but they should be spinning.

Try this in a quiet garage with the radio turned off, engine idling and the transmission in neutral; push the clutch in and then release it a few times. When released, every car I've ever owned with a manual transmission makes at least some additional noise when the clutch is released as the shafts spin up.

I don't think it's correct to say there's nothing moving in the transmission when it's in neutral and the engine is running.
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