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Old 14th February 2013, 02:46   #1
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Question Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift-252394_10151324986526942_740789722_n.jpg
Hello everyone. I own a pre-loved 2005 Ford Fusion 1.6 Petrol. The car has clocked over 1,48,000 kms on the odo and had recently got a new engine after suffering from a hydrostatic-lock. The car is mainly driven in the hills and we've been fairly satisfied with it since it joined us in 2007.

Of-lately however, my father reports that the car's gear-shifts have become very hard and are not as smooth as they were earlier. Strangely though, this problem occurs only in the hills and the gear-shifts, for the most-part, are still pretty smooth in city driving conditions and even in the plains!

We called up the Ford helpline to check whether this is a serious problem and the helpline-representative recommended us to get the transmission-fluid checked at an authorised service station. The folks at Bhagat Ford, Dehradun however tell us that the gearbox on the Fusion is "very advanced" and doesn't need any fluid-refills. (They are probably thinking of it as the PowerShift unit on the Fiesta A/T)

After we insisted on getting atleast the fluid-levels checked, the service manager told us that it will require them to open up the complete transmission unit, which in-turn will set us back by Rs. 17,000.

For now, we've let go of the idea of getting the fluid-levels checked from Ford because of obvious reasons. However, my father still wants to sort out this issue with the gear-shifts. What could be the problem here and have any other Fusion Petrol owners (all four of them) reported of similar problems? Please help.

Other pointers:
  1. We do not have a lot of Ford service stations in Uttarakhand and for now, Bhagat Ford is the only accessible dealership we have. Taking this to another Ford Dealer is, sadly, something we cannot to.
  2. My father intends to keep this car around for another year or so and thanks to our limited running (5000kms/year) all expenses in the 5-digit territory will pinch a whole lot more.
  3. We tried checking the fluid-levels ourselves but strangely the gear-fluid container isn't very accessible and neither does the ownership manual mention anything about it. The last time we 'cheaped-out' and tried to get something fixed from an outside mechanic, we had to get the engine replaced [damn you smiley limit].


[MODS: I am aware that there are a few similar threads about the gear-shift issues on the Fiesta Classic, however none of them mention of any solution to this problem. I therefore request you to NOT club this with any other thread and leave it as it is. Thanks.]
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Old 14th February 2013, 07:04   #2
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Definately get the transmission fluid changed. Use the recommended fluid as given in the owners manual. I'm surprised it's not been changed this long. Generally, for the manual transmission, as a rule of thumb, oil is to be replaced at around 80,000 kms.
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Old 14th February 2013, 07:31   #3
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

@abhinav667 - given your present situation, the first option would be a FNG (friendly neighbourhood garage). However you seem to have had a bad experience with your previous one so if you go down this route please check out a good garage from referrals.

Also, try and check if there is a way to top up or fill in transmission fluid. If it is a sealed unit as I suspect you are in for a five digit bill to get it properly checked. Go online and check the Internet and figure out where the gearbox is and how the unit is. This information is what I found from a cursory google search. http://www.ehow.com/about_5672289_fo...-problems.html

Good luck and keep us updated on the progress of the vehicle
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Old 14th February 2013, 08:04   #4
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I had a similar issue on my fiesta. The pattern however, was, after driving for 80 odd kms, the shift became hard. Harpreet was unable to diagnose, as it always absconded at the workshop.
Well, eventually, one day the master cylinder gave way, was replaced, and there has never been a problem since You may want to get that checked.
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Old 14th February 2013, 08:54   #5
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

I recently had the High Mounted Stop Lamp of my Figo go phut (bulb needed replacing). Asked A.S.S. and got told it will cost Rs.500 to replace I searched online and found plenty of help in European forums, and replaced it myself for the cost of a bulb!

Try searching UK forums - passionford.com seems to be a good one. I am sure there will be a solution to this issue. You can then find a good FNG and guide the mechanic.
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Old 14th February 2013, 10:36   #6
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

This gearbox does not require gear oil changes. Sometimes an oil change can ruin this box. Believe me on this one. Most probably your gear linkages are worn. Attached is a read about your gearbox. I would not touch the gear box and look at the linkages first.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ib5.pdf (1.43 MB, 2325 views)
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Old 14th February 2013, 12:33   #7
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Is there a difference in the RPM at which the gear changes are done in plains/city Vs. hills? For instance, are gear changes typically done <2000rpm while driving in the city/plains and do you hold on to the gears till ~4-5000rpm in hill driving?

I agree with @Catalyst_delhi - check your linkages. Also, what is the condition of the clutch? If the clutch is worn, gear changes will become harder.
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Old 15th February 2013, 01:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
@abhinav667 - given your present situation, the first option would be a FNG (friendly neighbourhood garage). However you seem to have had a bad experience with your previous one so if you go down this route please check out a good garage from referrals.

Also, try and check if there is a way to top up or fill in transmission fluid. If it is a sealed unit as I suspect you are in for a five digit bill to get it properly checked. Go online and check the Internet and figure out where the gearbox is and how the unit is. This information is what I found from a cursory google search. http://www.ehow.com/about_5672289_fo...-problems.html

Good luck and keep us updated on the progress of the vehicle
Thanks @pganapathy. I tried doing some research on the internet but all the links talk about the American Ford Fusion, which is a sedan and has a much bigger engine than my car. There are absolutely no markings in the engine bay that suggest where the gear-oil unit is. So, I guess it is indeed a sealed unit as mentioned by you. Will keep you updated on the progress for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1self View Post
Definately get the transmission fluid changed. Use the recommended fluid as given in the owners manual. I'm surprised it's not been changed this long. Generally, for the manual transmission, as a rule of thumb, oil is to be replaced at around 80,000 kms.
I've driven the car for around 48,000 kms (the other 1,00,000 were covered by the previous owner) and since I've had it with me, not even once has the car seen a gear-fluid refill. When we asked the service manager at Bhagat Ford, he said that the Fusion doesn't need one. The same is being said by another BHP-ian in this thread as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
I had a similar issue on my fiesta. The pattern however, was, after driving for 80 odd kms, the shift became hard. Harpreet Ford was unable to diagnose, as it always absconded at the workshop.
Well, eventually, one day the master cylinder gave way, was replaced, and there has never been a problem since You may want to get that checked.
Yes, even in my case, the gear-shifts are smooth when the car is at standstill. The shift's become hard gradually and stopping over at the road-side, for a short break usually sorts it out. When the folks at Bhagat Ford connected the car to a VAGCOM, it pointed out a replacement for the gear-sensor. However, the gear-sensor replacement it suggested was for a different problem altogether. After we got the new engine, the car used to stall every-time the RPM dropped below a 1000. Not sure if both these problems are related but for now, the new gear-sensor has sorted out the engine-stalling issue. Will definitely get the master-cylinder checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalyst_delhi View Post
This gearbox does not require gear oil changes. Sometimes an oil change can ruin this box. Believe me on this one. Most probably your gear linkages are worn. Attached is a read about your gearbox. I would not touch the gear box and look at the linkages first.
Ah, this sounds scary. The link you've attached is strangely from MG, the world's most unreliable manufacturer. Thanks anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
Is there a difference in the RPM at which the gear changes are done in plains/city Vs. hills? For instance, are gear changes typically done <2000rpm while driving in the city/plains and do you hold on to the gears till ~4-5000rpm in hill driving?

I agree with @Catalyst_delhi - check your linkages. Also, what is the condition of the clutch? If the clutch is worn, gear changes will become harder.
Yes. In the hills, because the roads are narrow and the car is climbing up, you keep shifting from 2nd to 3rd and back. Even while changing gears, you have to build up the revs first, so as to maintain some momentum. While driving in the city however, you can cruise on third at fairly relaxed revs, all day long. Will definitely get the clutch and linkages checked though. Thanks.
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Old 15th February 2013, 05:17   #9
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Download an owners manual from the net & join a ford fusion specfic forum. That will be the right way forward. When you see what people have & haven't done, you will get an idea. I still stand by my statement of changing gear oil at specfic intervals, based on observation & personal experience on both manual & automatic transmissions.
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Old 15th February 2013, 08:17   #10
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Strange problem indeed. Normally the clutch hard is reported due to the clutch plate wearing off and disengagement occurring near limit spring of travel. But that is constant hardness and not what you are describing.

Check - Is the problem more pronounced going uphill than coming downhill?

There could be two oils/fluids involved. The gear box oil - which the service guys say need not be/ is not changed. The second could be the hydraulic fluid for clutch operations. Does Fusion have hydraulic clutch operation or mechanical linkage? If former then replacing hydraulic fluid could be a solution to try.

Though a strange problem indeed and looks like what mayankk reports.

Last edited by sudev : 15th February 2013 at 08:19.
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:15   #11
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Talket to the mechanic when he was replacing the cooling fan of our Fusion 1.6L petrol. he said next failure point is the rubber bushing in the shifter assly.

Costs around 1400 or so if I remember rightly. Get it checked.
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Old 15th February 2013, 13:34   #12
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalyst_delhi View Post
I would not touch the gear box and look at the linkages first.
75W90 synthetic Oil filled for 'lifetime'.

Does this hold true for iB5 only or does it include B5 transaxle also?
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Old 15th February 2013, 16:50   #13
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalyst_delhi View Post
This gearbox does not require gear oil changes. Sometimes an oil change can ruin this box. Believe me on this one. Most probably your gear linkages are worn. Attached is a read about your gearbox. I would not touch the gear box and look at the linkages first.
Hi Catalyst, I just went through the PDF in detail and thanks a lot for sharing it. I guess the problem is with the linkages itself and will get them checked ASAP! You just saved me 17k.
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:40   #14
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
75W90 synthetic Oil filled for 'lifetime'.

Does this hold true for iB5 only or does it include B5 transaxle also?

Only iB5 , Transaxle I am not so sure.
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Old 16th February 2013, 09:40   #15
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Default re: Solutions to a Stiff / Hard Gearshift

A couple of time before I sold my Fusion 2006, I noticed after crossing a 100-150 km on a long drive, the gears became hard. They returned to normal after the car was parked for a while and again hardened when one drove for 50-100 km. In the city it is not noticeable at all as rides are 15-20 km. I did not get it checked as it was not hampering my normal driving though. The running was about 60-65000 at the time.
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