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paook
06-19-2012, 12:23 AM
I posted this on the 500 Madness forum, but I'll repeat here now that I've joined this one.


Trying to get a feel here whether other Abarth owners have experienced this.

Since day one of owning the car (just over a month), I occasionally get a quick grinding noise when shifting into reverse. It is not every time that I shift into reverse, say, maybe 1/3 of the time. Every time, I am at a complete standstill with the engine at idle (and waited a few seconds) before I put my left foot completely to the floor. All other gears are perfectly smooth. The quick crunch/grind occurs even if starting in neutral and then first shifting into reverse before any other gear.

I have actually gotten into the habit now of starting the car with the transmission already in reverse and backing out right away from my garage or a parking spot. My previous habit was to start the car and then let it sit in neutral for a few seconds while I buckle/check mirrors/etc.

Original thread on 500 Madness (http://500madness.com/500madness/forums/showthread.php?1166-issues-with-shifting-into-reverse)


Anybody else here experiencing this?

deathshead
06-20-2012, 09:10 AM
Are you shifting into 1st THEN reverse or just jamming it into reverse?

SeaDawg
06-20-2012, 09:45 AM
Since day one of owning the car (just over a month), I occasionally get a quick grinding noise when shifting into reverse. It is not every time that I shift into reverse, say, maybe 1/3 of the time. Every time, I am at a complete standstill with the engine at idle (and waited a few seconds) before I put my left foot completely to the floor. All other gears are perfectly smooth. The quick crunch/grind occurs even if starting in neutral and then first shifting into reverse before any other gear.


This is NOT unique to the Abarth, but is probably exacerbated by the fact there is no reverse lockout to pull before engaging reverse. Those of us who have driven manual transmissions for decades have learned to ALWAYS put the transmission in a forward gear, ANY forward gear before attempting to engage reverse. You will, or at least should, find that this annoyance goes away. Once it becomes a habit to either start the car while the transmission is IN a forward gear (with the clutch always DISengaged, of course), which I also do, OR put it in a forward gear before engaging reverse it should become second nature.

BillE
06-20-2012, 10:20 AM
Edit: oops....posted this before I saw SeaDawg's post. +1 to SeaDawg.

Hi paook,

Since our Abarths have a non-synchronized reverse gear, try these things:


.............I am at a complete standstill with the engine at idle (and waited a few seconds) before I put my left foot completely to the floor.............

Pause after you push in the clutch all the way, rather than before. That works for me and I think that is what's on the tag which was attached to the gearshift when we picked up our Abarth (can't look now because the tag's in the glove box).


.............The quick crunch/grind occurs even if starting in neutral and then first shifting into reverse before any other gear..............

Try the opposite: Slip it into any other gear (for example, 5th) BEFORE putting it into reverse. That's the simple thing I do all the time now.

HF Stinger
06-20-2012, 11:51 AM
I replied to your thread there too.

Reverse is not a syncronized gear, so if the transmission internals are still spinning after pushing in the clutch you will hear a grind. The forward gears ARE syncronized so there is almost a two-step process of going into gear (to "syncronize") the different speeds of the two shafts that the gears ride on. If there is any motion of the vehicle - even if its just inching along as you take your foot off the brake- this is enough to induce the grinding.

If you want it to stop grinding, put the shift lever into 4th gear before you stick it in reverse. This stops the rotating assembly within the transmission and will allow for a grind-free entry into reverse.

This isn't a Fiat problem, it's not an Abarth problem, it's not even a YOU problem - it's just inherent to this type of manual transmission. There are other manufacturers that make a fully syncronized transmission where even reverse is syncro'd but they have other means of keeping you from entering reverse inadvertantly. If reverse was synchronized could literally go from 4th gear at 40 mph into reverse and let the clutch out and grenade the whole lot. With reverse NOT synchronized you may get some grinding, but isn't that alerting you that you are about to do something tragic?

pchop
06-20-2012, 12:36 PM
1. Come to a complete stop
2. Shift into FIRST
3. Shift into REVERSE

ewflyer
06-20-2012, 12:44 PM
Why is everybody pointing out that the Reverse gear isn't synchronized? Can anybody name a car brand/model that comes with a synchronizer on the Reverse gear? I'm not personally aware of any (so let me know).

The issue here (the cause of the slight grind) is that the driver isn't waiting the few moments it takes for the gearbox oil to drag the transmission's input shaft rotation down to a halt.

Manual transmissions have two parallel shafts inside them, one is the input shaft (power coming in through the clutch from the engine) and the other is the output shaft (power going out of the transmission to the final drive, then to the wheels). When the clutch pedal isn't depressed the clutch plates will be engaged to the gearbox input shaft and the car's engine will be spinning the gearbox input shaft.

So the "slight grind" senario is as follows: If you're sitting stationary (the car isn't rolling) and you've got the gearbox out of gear (the stickshift is between gears) and you have the clutch out (pedal not depressed, meaning that the engine's rotation is currently being transmitted to the gearbox) and then you depress the clutch in preparation to select Reverse. At this point you should wait just a moment while the gearbox input shaft comes to a halt. This only takes a moment because a. the gearbox shafts are really rather small and don't carry a lot of rotational momentum, and b. the gear oil in the gearbox creates drag that will pretty rapidly bring the input shaft to a halt.

The reason this grind only happens occasionally is that quite often you're selecting reverse by moving the gearshift out of the last forward gear you were using before you brought the car to a halt in preparation for backing up (like arriving at a parking spot where you're going to reverse into it in a parallel parking situation). So in that version of the senario: coming to a halt with the gearshift still in one of the forward gears, you would necessarily have to have the clutch depressed so the engine won't be spinning the gearbox's input shaft.

The time when the grind is likely to happen is when you are sitting still already (like when you're preparing to back out of a parking spot) and you don't have the gearbox in one of the forward gears, and the clutch pedal isn't depressed. Then you quickly press the clutch pedal and select reverse. The little grinding noise is the reverse gear on the gearbox's output shaft hitting and stopping the rotation of the reverse gear on the gearbox's input shaft.

Fiat500USA
06-20-2012, 12:55 PM
Why is everybody pointing out that the Reverse gear isn't synchronized? Can anybody name a car brand/model that comes with a synchronizer on the Reverse gear? I'm not personally aware of any (so let me know).

The issue here (the cause of the slight grind) is that the driver isn't waiting the few moments it takes for the gearbox oil to drag the transmission's input shaft rotation down to a halt.

Manual transmissions have two parallel shafts inside them, one is the input shaft (power coming in through the clutch from the engine) and the other is the output shaft (power going out of the transmission to the final drive, then to the wheels). When the clutch pedal isn't depressed the clutch plates will be engaged to the gearbox input shaft and the car's engine will be spinning the gearbox input shaft.

So the "slight grind" senario is as follows: If you're sitting stationary (the car isn't rolling) and you've got the gearbox out of gear (the stickshift is between gears) and you have the clutch out (pedal not depressed, meaning that the engine's rotation is currently being transmitted to the gearbox) and then you depress the clutch in preparation to select Reverse. At this point you should wait just a moment while the gearbox input shaft comes to a halt. This only takes a moment because a. the gearbox shafts are really rather small and don't carry a lot of rotational momentum, and b. the gear oil in the gearbox creates drag that will pretty rapidly bring the input shaft to a halt.

Both my Audi Quattros have synchronized reverse. The Abarth also has a tag explaining about putting the car in reverse.

Fiat500USA
06-20-2012, 12:59 PM
I posted this on the 500 Madness forum, but I'll repeat here now that I've joined this one.


Trying to get a feel here whether other Abarth owners have experienced this.

Since day one of owning the car (just over a month), I occasionally get a quick grinding noise when shifting into reverse. It is not every time that I shift into reverse, say, maybe 1/3 of the time. Every time, I am at a complete standstill with the engine at idle (and waited a few seconds) before I put my left foot completely to the floor. All other gears are perfectly smooth. The quick crunch/grind occurs even if starting in neutral and then first shifting into reverse before any other gear.

I have actually gotten into the habit now of starting the car with the transmission already in reverse and backing out right away from my garage or a parking spot. My previous habit was to start the car and then let it sit in neutral for a few seconds while I buckle/check mirrors/etc.

Original thread on 500 Madness (http://500madness.com/500madness/forums/showthread.php?1166-issues-with-shifting-into-reverse)


Anybody else here experiencing this?

Try starting the engine with the clutch fully depressed and when the engine starts, put the car into reverse. If there is a crunch you have an issue.

ewflyer
06-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Both my Audi Quattros have synchronized reverse. The Abarth also has a tag explaining about putting the car in reverse.

Fantastic information.

Did I get anything else incorrect? I only ask because you quoted more than half of my whole post.

noopd
06-20-2012, 01:41 PM
Great thread and info. I didn't have the tag when my car got deliver so I did have the same "problem" and questions. I knew nothing about sync vs. non-sync. I had GTI and MINI in manual before and there is definitely different when i started driving my abarth. I started getting into a gear before getting into reverse. I also got a few "grinding" incident on the freeway which quickly make me realize i was trying to shift into the imaginary 6th gear :P

satellite
06-20-2012, 02:09 PM
I'll post up the tag here in a moment for all to see, but just like everyone else is saying. Let the car come to a complete stop and count a few seconds then slowly work it into reverse...OR...stop go into another gear and then back out into reverse. The first time I went to reverse it was a terrible noise, so I learned my lesson quickly...haha.

I also tried the imaginary 6th gear one time...once...:)

HF Stinger
06-20-2012, 02:25 PM
Fantastic information.

Did I get anything else incorrect? I only ask because you quoted more than half of my whole post.

Without having to list every single car utilizing a ZF transmission that has a synchronized reverse gear I think you're in the clear.

Think about it though - people are complaining about the transmission being clunky in the cheapest Italian sportscar available in the USA, can you imagine if the most expensive German one's ground when entering reverse??? Oh the humanity... MANY cars have sync'd reverse for that exact reason, but as I mentioned earlier - they have other means to keep you from inadvertantly putting the lever into reverse.

Are we good here? Does this need to hit the next Fiat forum we stumble on? lol Drive it and enjoy it's mechanical nature that so many cars have lost.

Fiat500USA
06-20-2012, 04:56 PM
Fantastic information.

Did I get anything else incorrect? I only ask because you quoted more than half of my whole post.

No, I just wanted to make a quick post and just hit reply. You have a good post, I just wanted to share that bit of info.

Fiat500USA
06-20-2012, 05:33 PM
Everyone is welcome to post here, no matter where they came from. There is an expression: There are no dumb questions, but there are dumb answers. Let us keep this in mind when we make posts. Another thing to keep in mind is: are we welcoming people or maybe doing the opposite.

paook
06-21-2012, 09:03 AM
Thanks guys & gals, I'll give the suggestions a try.

My 2005 Civic Hybrid's manual transmission didn't give me the same small 'crunch' when shifting into reverse, for my same habits. This stuff is good to know.

paook
06-22-2012, 08:52 AM
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5315/7419587172_98ce870cc7_z.jpg

I had read it, but I missed with key words "with the clutch pedal depressed". Looks like my transmission is fine - operator error.

ahh-bert
06-25-2012, 10:44 PM
I didn't get that card and am so glad to read it with only 275 miles on my car. I never had that problem with my Honda del Sol, but maybe it's because I'd already ground off all the gears that would have made that sound? LOL (OK, I know that you car guys with wives who resemble that remark aren't actually laughing with me here...) :) Thanks yet again for information that may be obvious to you all but not to me. My Fiat is grateful!

ahh-bert
06-27-2012, 01:08 AM
Wanted to add that I shifted today into 5th, then into reverse and it worked perfectly. I swear, if this is the only thing that I learn on this board (and trust me it already is one of many things I've learned) my time here has been well spent. Again, my Primo thanks you.

b56.1m6
06-27-2012, 08:01 AM
Allways do a quick first second then reverse. Someone showed me that 30 plus years ago and it has allways worked for me. BMWs, Porshe every type of american car and truck. Now it is just habit 1-2 reverse.

Pinecone
06-27-2012, 09:13 AM
Newbies, not used to a REAL tranny. :)

I learned the forward gear- reverse trick MANY years ago. So it is just habit. No idea if our BMWs have a synchronized reverse or not, because I always do the forward gear first trick.

Heck, if you go back far enough, amny sports cars had no synchro on first gear.

deathshead
06-27-2012, 09:42 AM
Newbies, not used to a REAL tranny. :)

I learned the forward gear- reverse trick MANY years ago. So it is just habit. No idea if our BMWs have a synchronized reverse or not, because I always do the forward gear first trick.

Heck, if you go back far enough, amny sports cars had no synchro on first gear.



Manual transmission newbies indeed!. :pride:

Pinecone
06-27-2012, 02:13 PM
I have never owned a car with a non-synchronized forward gear. I have driven a few with a non-shnchro first gear.

This not including true racing gearboxes, or which I have driven several with no synchro at all (dog clutch gearboxes), mainly in formula cars.

Del Rosso95
09-26-2012, 11:27 PM
i have found that after 2200km the abarth transmission is very **** and weak. makes me want to sell it already

EugeneS
09-27-2012, 01:04 AM
i have found that after 2200km the abarth transmission is very **** and weak. makes me want to sell it already

What exactly is wrong with your Abarth transmission that makes you want to sell your car? I have 7400 miles (~12000 km) on my Abarth, transmission is as good as new....

ukeluthier
09-27-2012, 10:54 AM
Manual transmission newbies indeed!. :pride:

Yeah, my first car, a 1959 Triumph TR3 that I found abandoned alongside the road in 1969 and paid $125 for, had no synchro on 1st gear (and worn-out synchros on the other three). That's how I became really good at double-clutching! :friendly_wink:

Del Rosso95
09-27-2012, 12:33 PM
What exactly is wrong with your Abarth transmission that makes you want to sell your car? I have 7400 miles (~12000 km) on my Abarth, transmission is as good as new.... Its terrible i beat my cars on and off the track and it cant take it. piece of s*it

jguerdat
09-27-2012, 04:35 PM
Well, that's descriptive...

Del Rosso95
09-28-2012, 10:24 PM
solved my problem got a new custom 6 speed tranny its like a whole new car:)

Fiat500USA
09-29-2012, 01:34 AM
Its terrible i beat my cars on and off the track and it cant take it. piece of s*it


solved my problem got a new custom 6 speed tranny its like a whole new car:)

:confused

DavidF
09-29-2012, 09:12 AM
Thanks for posting this. I noticed this card on my dealer test drive but when I took delivery it was not there. I just joined the forum and already have learned much. Thanks to all posters. DavidF.

deathshead
09-29-2012, 10:23 AM
Its terrible i beat my cars on and off the track and it cant take it. piece of s*it

Do us all a favor here, act like a human being or don't post at all.

Thanks

satellite
09-30-2012, 12:15 AM
solved my problem got a new custom 6 speed tranny its like a whole new car:)

So you put a 6 speed in your US Abarth? Pics or it didn't happen... :-)

deathshead
09-30-2012, 11:52 AM
The guy is a troll and needs to be gone..

MrFiat
09-30-2012, 01:08 PM
I have never owned a car with a non-synchronized forward gear. I have driven a few with a non-synchro first gear.
This not including true racing gearboxes, or which I have driven several with no synchro at all (dog clutch gearboxes), mainly in formula cars.

Most of today's drivers will never know the joys of driving a car with a non synchronized gearbox. The gearing in the Zagato's transaxle was woefully too short for the OT motor, so I replaced it with the spare Hewland Mk4 quick change box from my old Formula Ford. It has some really nice road gears now and allows for sensible engine revs at highway speeds. No synchros however, in any gear. Takes a bit of getting used to but once you do, it's not that bad at all. Kinda makes you pay close attention to your driving and that's always a good thing.

sashkraft
09-30-2012, 05:52 PM
Good info! I am from Germany, have been driving manual transmissions all my life, but never had any issues with putting them in Reverse.
Must be a "Race Car" thing?!
The only issue with a "normal" car and Reverse was that sometimes it wouldn't shift at all into Reverse. Then, the first and/or second then reverse trick worked!
I can't wait to see how it really feels with the Abarth (on the test drive I didn't go backwards I guess!:rofl:)

Pinecone
09-30-2012, 06:54 PM
Racing dog clutch boxes and non-synchro road boxes are WAY different.

Abarth Five O
09-30-2012, 07:47 PM
The guy is a troll and needs to be gone..

Yup, trolls be gone. :ak47:Go troll on another forum.

Thomas
01-28-2013, 11:32 AM
I know that reverse gear is non syncro, and the need to pause & put it into a forward gear prior to putting it in reverse (this has been fine for 6 months)....but I am starting to get (not the grinding noise), but a kind of clunk, where it slips out if gear. It almost feels like the shifter cable or something coming loose. Has anyone else come across this? This is when starting up in the morning, and backing out.

djhace
01-28-2013, 01:37 PM
**** happens. someone said. lol. no, for real. hope that issue goes away. sometimes it is harder to get the reverse gear for some reason.

jguerdat
01-29-2013, 08:51 AM
I know that reverse gear is non syncro, and the need to pause & put it into a forward gear prior to putting it in reverse (this has been fine for 6 months)....but I am starting to get (not the grinding noise), but a kind of clunk, where it slips out if gear. It almost feels like the shifter cable or something coming loose. Has anyone else come across this? This is when starting up in the morning, and backing out.

A clunk when engaging a gear at a stop may indicate that the clutch isn't fully disengaging and needs adjusting. If the gears are still spinning when attempting to get into first or reverse you'll get a clunk even if it goes into gear. Pausing for several seconds with the clutch depressed fully and then attempting to put it into gear is the real test for this.

Pinecone
01-29-2013, 10:40 AM
If it pops out of gear, it wasn't fully in gear.

I have had this happen a couple of times. Each time, the shifter felt like it was not all the way back like normal, but I was in a hurry and did not go back to neutral and into reverse again.

Thomas
01-29-2013, 10:53 AM
I know about the popping out of gear thing, and I can usually avoid that from happening. Now it makes a kind of clunking noise when you first let out the clutch, even though the reverse gear is engaged. No issue with any of the forward gears. I'll have to take her in some time soon.

Thomas
01-30-2013, 09:56 AM
Update to the above. It also kind of makes a kind of clunking noise when starting off in First gear (not just reverse)...but only the first time driving in the morning. It kind of feels like something is holding the car back, and then it breaks free, or becomes unstuck. I think I have figured it out. Maybe be parking brake is stuck, and when you first drive off it becomes unstuck. In any case, I'll try parking my car tonight without engaging the parking brake, and see if the issue comes back.

Deefourtay
01-30-2013, 03:42 PM
It's also been a habit with me as well, a lot of Manual Cars from the 80's-90's have the same issue if you don't shift in 1st gear before you reverse.


Newbies, not used to a REAL tranny. :)

I learned the forward gear- reverse trick MANY years ago. So it is just habit. No idea if our BMWs have a synchronized reverse or not, because I always do the forward gear first trick.

Heck, if you go back far enough, amny sports cars had no synchro on first gear.

Thomas
01-31-2013, 11:21 AM
It's a sticky parking brake...nothing to do with the non synchro reverse.

3Si
06-19-2015, 11:24 AM
Started the 1st into reverse trick that was mentioned, and no more problems for me. Thanks!

lanssolo
06-22-2017, 08:24 PM
Thanks for this thread!!!!!
phew!