Trouble shifting into 2nd and Reverse

George Siambis siambisg at
Tue Sep 18 22:39:27 EDT 2001

How stiff (hard) is the clutch pedal to push down? Has the clutch hydraulic
system (master/slave cylinder) and linkage been checked out?  Both of these
seem dodgy on higher mileage/older model Audi's.  I bought a 1988 90q two
years ago and had a similar problems crop up after buying it.
Knotchy/impossible shifting into second and grinding/impossible shifting
into reverse.  For me, probably a combination of synchro and clutch problem.
I had the shift linkage and slave cylinder replaced without solving the
problem.  After a new clutch and switching to Redline synthetic tranny oil,
I realized how stiff the clutch had been and that the wrong gear oil had
been put in by previous owner.

Mind you new the new clutch and oil didn't entirely solve my problem...I can
still grind reverse unless I put it in a forward gear first and shifting too
quickly into second will still cause grinding and difficulty (I'm told the
2nd gear synchro is probably worn a little).  However, the Redline oil is
fantastic; the new clutch was worth it while a new (used) transmission
probably isn't. The mechanic philosophically put it, 'the car (transmission)
is long as you don't race it.'  Double de-clutching is now almost
second nature to me and, I hear, is a good thing even without shifting

The easiest thing would be switching to the appropriate Redline synthetic
oil (if not already done), as this should reduce the cold shifting problems.
For your reverse problems, try putting it in 3rd then reverse or if you're
hitting that 'stop' let the car roll a little bit and it should fall into
reverse.  (I don't know why, but it seems to work for me.)  IF the clutch is
on its way out but you can't/don't want to get it done, or in the meantime,
double de-clutching should make shifting much less painful.

Good luck,
1988 90q (183k)

Message: 3
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 21:51:30 -0400
Subject: Trouble shifting into 2nd and Reverse
From: David Miller <millerds at>
To: Quattro List <quattro at>

    Hello, I recently bought a 1990 80 Quattro and now a few problems have
cropped up.  Namely: I have problems shifting into 2nd and reverse.  When
the car is cold (as in when I start it in the morning), I have trouble
shifting from 1st to 2nd.  It seems that there's a gate or some sort of
thing that catches the stick and holds it for a second before letting me
shift (I have made sure the clutch is fully depressed of course).  It just
feels bad for there to be a slight jerk when shifting.  Also, depending on
how the car feels it seems, there's a problem shifting into reverse.  Even
making sure the stick is fully depressed, I have problems getting the stick
into gear.  As with the previous problem, it seems some gate is catching the
stick, and in this case preventing it from moving into the gear at all.
When I've tried to reverse at night and this has happened, I've noticed it
happens at exactly the point where the reverse lights would come on... (as
in, when this happens, the reverse lights don't come on).

Thanks for any help you can provide,
David Miller

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