Shifting issue

Asked by Jan 08, 2016 at 11:12 AM about the 2003 Ford Explorer Sport 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ok, my truck has an issue going into gear.
Please don't reply with answers to make
me feel stupid. I am asking the question to
the best of my ability. It will shift into
reverse fine. But when I try to go into other
gears it feels like something is blocking the
slot where the shifter goes into. If I turn the
engine off I can freely move thru all gears,
but when the engine is on I can't force it.
The reserve of fluid was empty when I had
it towed to a repair shop. They filled it up
and said that was the problem. Well now it
is still full but after driving it for 2 days it
started doing it again this morning. I am so
frustrated and my boyfriend seems to think
it is "how" I'm driving it. But I know how to
shift gears. I have driven 5 speeds most of
my life. Someone said it sounds like the
slave? Someone else says the sync?
Please help!!

5 Answers

I'm curious as to what fluid you ref. to when you said the reserve of fluid was empty. What kind of fluid did they put in your truck for them to come back and say "that was the problem":.? And is it possible that the fluid the repair shop put in was empty again.


Ahh, I'm glad you identified it as a stick shift. Let's start over. Can you start it in first gear and release the clutch to move forward? does it try to lunge forward when starting it in gear? When you release the clutch does it feel different to you? Such as releasing lower or higher than you are used to it doing?

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The only way I know to describe it is it feels like something is blocking the slot. Sometimes it goes in gear fine, others it will only move into reverse. And as far as fluid, I really don't know. That at why I said plz don't make me feel stupid lol. Whatever fluid goes through the shifter? Tranny fluid maybe? And my boyfriend checked the fluid yesterday and said its still full. I had him check it bcuz it started feeling like it was grinding (but only a little) up against something when I tried to shift, but this morn it was back to being all the way blocked. Finally got it n 2nd, drove 20 all the way n2 town, even took off in2nd bcuz I was scared if I took it out I would b stuck in neutral again. It will move freely thru gears when turned off. And now it is shifting for again.clutch is a bit "easy" to push in my own opinion, as n there doesn't seem to be a lot of resistance like what I feel when driving our 95 mustang, but it has a "harder" clutch than any others I have ever drivin so I don't know if it feels "light" bcuz I had gotten used to mustang.

I can't get it into first at all when it acts up, only 2nd and that's after trying and trying. But if I turn it off I can go through all. Before we took it to shop I was turning off motor each time I had to shift


The clutch takes brake fluid that is in the reservoir. If it was empty then it would seem that there is or has been a leak. That style slave cylinder/throwout bearing is difficult to bleed without the right tools available. if it was low It may have gotten air in it that wiggled it's way to the slave cylinder and caused it to act up again.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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