Car problems question

I have a Honda Civic 2010. For the last few days I have noticed that the hand brake will not be fully effective unless yanked to the hilt and that sometimes the gear stick gets lost between gears while shifting and I have to really force it into the position I require and or stop and go to neutral and reshift. Its a manual otherwise in good condition. What could be the problem? I cannot get it to a shop until Friday, the the only other option is borrow the parents car, which I dread doing.

The hand brake sounds like it might just need an adjustment . Do you park daily on a steep hill that requires the hand brake to be used? You car isn’t that old so I am surprised it’s not working as it should.

The transmission problem sounds potentially more serious. Having to force it into gear is not normal. It could be a linkage issue, or you could be leaking fluid out of the transmission, or your transmission could be dying. I would not drive it that way until you have had a chance for someone to look at it. Hopefully it’s just something minor.

The gear shift issue can be caused by several things. The most common are worn/damaged clutch (not disengaging all the way) and low lubricant level in the transaxle. If the fluid needs topping up, be sure to use Honda MTL. Others will work, but the OE fill that Honda uses is by far the best for the price. (Get it from a dealer, should be around $8 a quart and you’ll probably only need one.)

Secondarily, Red Line 75W90 will work, and you can find it at auto parts stores. Red Line makes several gear oils, but only the 75W90 has proper chemistry for transaxle use.

If these symptoms started simultaneously and represent a sudden (not gradual) change, it suggests that something in the console area, near the shift lever and handbrake lever, has loosened or broken. Offhand I’m at a loss to figure what it might be other than a portion of the body rusting away. It’s not something I’ve encountered before.

There are specific things that could cause slop in the shift lever, and other unrelated specific things that could cause slop in the handbrake, but the odds of two of those failing at the same time are miniscule.

Is it even possible these days that a 2 year old car, and one known for reliability at that, could have a rusting issue?

The handbrake issue often indicates that the rear brake pads are worn and need replacing. This seems less likely on a two year old car unless they were dragging. It’s possible that the handbrake was set too tight originally and the pads have been in contact with the discs for a long time.

The days of Hondas being more reliable than most cars ended in the late 1990s when the lost focus of why they existed. Since then, they’ve been chasing market share with a series of trucks, SUVs and generic automobiles.

That’s a possibility, or it could simply be that the brake cable has stretched and needs adjusting.

A bit more info might help pin this down a bit better. Has this been happening for a while and recentely got worse? Unless both problems have suddenly appeared together, it’s unlikely they are related.

Could it be possible that you only noticed the handbrake had lost it’s effectiveness because leaving the car in gear is no longer effectively stopping the car from rolling?
It could be that the brake hasn’t been effective all along, but you didn’t notice it because leaving it in gear held the car just fine until this new shifter problem.

Also, Honda has a reputation for mechanical reliability, but at least in the early days they had quite the opposite in terms of rust prevention. If you lived in the rustbelt in the 70’s, you could buy an American car that would be worn out in 10 years or buy a Japanese car that would be still running great but rusted to dust. But no 2-year old car should have anything close to such serious rust that the drivetrain is sagging. Certainly not in this day and age.

What about driving over something? The object could have hit the transmission/linkage/brake cable as the car travelled over the object? A shrubbery? for instance.