Audi 80 mystery gear selection problem. Please help!


New member
Helsinki Finland
Audi 80 1.8s 1997
I have tried different forums without luck so I hope someone can help me here. My Audi 80 has a gear selection problem that is a mystery to me, when I first start the car and it's cold I cannot select usually reverse/first gears, after a while when moving the gearstick about I manage to find third gear after this it will usually go into reverse, then when I get moving the gear change is like normal, but when I stop at lights etc it's difficult to put into first, until the car is fully warmed up then the gear selection is normal all the time. Also if I push the gearstick down as I think you must to select reverse it won't go in, but it will go in without pushing the gearstick down ( when car is hot ). I have changed the gearbox oil to mobilube vs 200 that cost me £70 here in Finland but has made no difference. It's a mystery to me why the gearbox selection is like this only when it's cold, can someone please help? Thanks for all replies!:sad2:
Leave the car in 1st gear when it is parked and see if that helps. It sounds daft but it is a common Audi thing.

The other thing to check is that the clutch is ok, at 20mph in 1st gear stamp on the throttle and see if the revs rise without a matching pull on the car. Does the cluch pedal seem high?
Hi Waynne, Thanks so much for your quick reply! I think the clutch is ok and the pedal doesn't seem too high but I will try the clutch in 1st gear like you said. But I can't really understand why it's only like it when cold, It drives like normal when hot! Do you mean leave it in 1st when parked and when starting the car so I don't have to select 1st to move?

Yes leave the car parked up in first so it cools in first gear. Start with the clutch depressed but make sure the gear comes out and can go back in - i'd hate you to be stuck in first gear driving along.

If this works then try lubricating the gear lever and engagement rods. The less these gears are used the worse the problem will be.
does it go into gear ok when the engine is off no need to press the clutch then
if its ok hot and cold doing that most likey be the clutch

and also just cos the pedal looks and fills ok dont meen it is

but 1st thing i was going to say was the oil

how dirty did the oil look when you changed it
Hi, So if I can select all gears with the engine off without the clutch depressed, and when hot and cold then it's a clutch fault? When I changed the oil the old oil was clean so I wasted £70! Waynne suggested leaving it in 1st when parked but I have to reverse out of my parking place usually so then should I leave it in reverse when parked? He also mentioned the gear linkage could it need adjusting? or lubrication? The problem is here in Finland we are not allowed to do repairs in our parking place or even wash the car so we have to use a garage and it's very expensive here, I suppose it means getting under the car to lubricate the linkage I'm not sure how to do it I have a Haynes manual but it's not very clear. But I still cannot really understand why I have this problem only when the car is cold as when hot the gear change is normal! Cheers lutonmatt & Waynne!

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