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  #1  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:31 PM
lamontcg lamontcg is offline
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6-speed locked in gear when temperature below freezing

I have had a repeated issue when parking my car leaving the transmission in first gear and finding the next morning that if the temperature has dropped below freezing that it is not possible to pull the shifter out of gear.
I initially suspected frozen water on the underside of the car but it even happens when it has been dry for days.
The only fix has been to either to push the clutch in and let the heat from the engine warm the trans -- or to wait for the outside temperature to warm up.
This is not an issue of simply thick trans oil when the car is cold as I have been driving manual transmission cars for 30 years.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:00 PM
Grahams315 Grahams315 is offline
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Could be a corroded boot on the shifter cables allowing moisture in and freezing over night. I had a similar issuie and new cables fixed it. If you want you can pull your intake and inspect the boots where the cables attatch to the transmission.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:00 PM
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leaf_fan_1988 leaf_fan_1988 is offline
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My car was harder to shift when it was cold, never stuck though. I pulled out the intake and sprayed the shifter linkage with rust check (WD40) will work too, and then threw on some silicone grease.

My e-brake freezes in the cold. I have to rock the car back and forth to fix that.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:45 PM
Da_Ghost Da_Ghost is offline
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Like Grahams315, if the shifter cables boots (under air filter box) are cracked, it can allow moisture/water to get in and freeze the cables in place. If it goes away when warm, chances are that it's the cause. Add cold trans oil and it's even worse.
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:06 PM
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weezil302 weezil302 is offline
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Slightly related, my car does weird things during freezing temps also. Most electronics on the car stop working like headlights, turn signals, the heater, the dome lights. The seat warmers, radio, transmission, and ebrake work fine. And it does this everytime it freezes. But it will still start and after the car warms up it returns to normal operating conditions.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:31 PM
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alpinamike alpinamike is offline
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Change the clutch / brake fluid , other then checking the shifter cables above the transmission , you might have a slave cylinder on its way out. Sometimes the rubber can harden over time when cold.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:42 AM
cmt52663 cmt52663 is offline
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If you leave the car in neutral, how does the shift linkage feel on startup? Or to put it another way is this 1st, or all gears?

My R53 was also stiff at very low temps, and I got used to doubling my shifts for the 1st mile, but based on your observations your situation is worse.

Warming the car up with the clutch in is what has me curious. Is it the tranny that is being warmed, or is it the portion of the linkage which is under the bonnet I wonder?

I'm tending to agree with those that are pointing to the linkage as a potential cure.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:21 AM
CHKMINI CHKMINI is offline
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It's moisture in the cables. Normal wear at the cable ends will allow moisture in and it freezes. Replace both cables. The electrical issue is probably battery related. Whencold the voltage drops and MINI's don't react well to low voltage. After the car is running a while voltage is increased within the battery and the ekectrical issues cease. Replace the battery.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:58 AM
lamontcg lamontcg is offline
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Based on the replies above I believe it must be moisture/water in the cables. It does it in any gear that I leave it in -- including neutral (meaning the shifter simply does not want to move until warmed up. Yes, the tans oil is thick when cold -- but that's a completed different feel.
Any suggestions on where to buy the cables?
Thanks all!
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:09 AM
Helix13mini Helix13mini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamontcg View Post
Based on the replies above I believe it must be moisture/water in the cables. It does it in any gear that I leave it in -- including neutral (meaning the shifter simply does not want to move until warmed up. Yes, the tans oil is thick when cold -- but that's a completed different feel.
Any suggestions on where to buy the cables?
Thanks all!
Yep. This was particularly a problem with the early cars--MINI redesigned the cables in about 2004 with boots on the end which helped prevent moisture from running down the cables and freezing. It may be that your boots are disintegrated and are leaky, or you may still have the early cables if your car is old.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:43 AM
lamontcg lamontcg is offline
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Thanks Helix -- yes, I bought my MINI in May of 2003 -- so I guess it might be an early model with no boots. Seems as though something like this would be a recall issue or have a service bulletin.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:53 AM
ashchuckton ashchuckton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHKMINI View Post
It's moisture in the cables. Normal wear at the cable ends will allow moisture in and it freezes. Replace both cables. The electrical issue is probably battery related. Whencold the voltage drops and MINI's don't react well to low voltage. After the car is running a while voltage is increased within the battery and the ekectrical issues cease. Replace the battery.
Great advice! Remember to keep those boots buckled on the shift cables.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:53 AM
 
 
 
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