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Infiniti G35 Manual Transmissions

I thought I would start a thread on the 6 speed standard for all past, present, and potential future owners of a G35. I just got a 07 sport sedan with the 6-speed and I absolutely love it. BUT, it's taking me forever to get my shifts in smoothly. More specifically, I'm having alot of trouble shifting from 1st to 2nd smoothly without letting the clutch out very very slowly. I have gotten used to takeoffs and am fine with anything above 3rd, but I need some help with the 1st to 2nd shift. Any suggestions from fellow G35 drivers?
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Comments

  • Is the amount of vibration in the stick a quirk or a problem?
  • I've got an '06 G35MT Coupe and I had similar problems. My clutch loosened up around 2-3k miles and didn't feel great until about 9-10k. At 12k the clutch is really smooth and I don't feel any of the tight near jerkiness it had when it was new. :)
  • Man..you just made my day. I'm at 1700+ miles and I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get this down. Anyway, this spells relief for me. This car is also the first stick I have ever driven...probably not the easiest to learn on, but never the less an awesome car to drive.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    the problem is that the clutch is really hard to operate in a smooth manner. IOW, the take up, and where it engages is in a funky place.

    I haven't driven it yet to know for myself, but does that sound plausible?
  • Yes I would agree. There are a couple of things that I've noticed driving this car for the past 3 months or so.

    First, like you said, the clutch pedal engages really high off the floor...which is awkward for most people. It's almost like you're encouraged to just tap the clutch rather than push it in all the way between shifts.

    Secondly, in lower gears (namely 1st and 2nd), the RPMS drop pretty fast between shifts. This always encouraged me to give some extra gas to compensate. However, since you're playing with a rev-happy 306 HP engine, a "little" extra gas can jolt the car forward.

    The combination of the above factors make it really hard to get smooth takeoffs from either 1st or 2nd gear. It can be done...but it requires way too much effort in my opinion. That's why I was very happy to hear that the clutch eventually loosens up some around 9-12k miles. Personally, I've gotten used a little bit of a rocky start. It bothers me more when I've got other ppl in the car.
  • g35mcg35mc Posts: 9
    This gives me some difficulty at times as well. However, it just takes a bit of practice. The one thing to be aware of is that if your G hasn't been driven for 8-12hours it will be more rocky than normal due to the high rpm idle (1.5-2.5k depending on where you live).

    There's a couple things that will help from 1st->2nd shifts and driving:

    1) The gas peddal in the G35 is most sensitive at the BOTTOM, not the top. While it may take some getting used to and will be a bit uncomfortable at first, try using your entire foot on the peddal (toes at the top and heel towards the bottom). I read this somewhere else here and it made a big different for both low gear shifting and driving.

    2) When shifting from 1st->2nd I usually shift between 3k-4k rpm as the RPMs drop quickly in these gears. When you are shifting from 1st->2nd don't feel that you have to push the clutch all the way in, otherwise it will always be a rough shift.

    3) Pull the shifter down quickly from 1st to 2nd, although it may not be the best way to shift, it definately helps if you pull it quickly down into 2nd as the RPMs drop fast.

    4) I swear the harder I try to make a smooth shift the worse the shift actually is. It's all in your head! The key is to push the clutch in just to the point where it pops out quickly. With practice, good timing, and some luck your 1st->2nd gear shifts should improve.
  • jagguarjagguar Posts: 25
    Are most of you guys new to driving a manual? The clutch is different in every car. I'll admit the clutch in this car is unique. It almost feels like they used a sports clutch but then added something to keep it from stalling too easily. It's weird, because it does feel like a sports clutch, but like I said, it's not easy to stall it.

    Any new clutch takes some getting used to. Take an hour one day and find an empty parking lot and just keep starting and stopping to get used to the clutch. You have to get used to where the "catch point" is and also learn to control your right foot. It takes some practice, but hold down the clutch and push the gas a little and try to hold it at 2000 rpms. Then try to hold the gas down at 3000 rpms. Then again at 4000. Once you can get the hang of this, try to start by holding the gas at 2000 rpms, and then as you disengage the clutch, very slowly increase the gas.

    It's very possible to have a smooth takeoff in this car. You just have to take the time and teach yourself how to do it.
  • bobzgbobzg Posts: 6
    It just takes a little while to adjust to the clutch. On the testdrive I warned the salesman about my coffee spilling, but he insisted it had cupholders. The coffee was spilling before we got out of the parking lot. (good thing I bought the black one) But after driving the G for a couple days it's real smooth and my civic SI feels like the awkward clutch. My pap's says the clutch is smiliar to previous 300Z's with a real low engage. On the civic it connects almost all the way out. The stick does vibrate a little bit, but it's not as drastic as some might believe. So far the car has been a dream.
  • g35mcg35mc Posts: 9
    I just hit 900 miles today on my '07 G35 6MT. It's been a few days since I've driven it, and I noticed today that the clutch /shifting felt extremely smooth. I believe it's starting to break itself in nicely and just the practice I've had over the past month has alleviated all my fears about the clutch and transmission I had before purchasing the car.

    Another thing that I suggest if people are still having trouble with the clutch or jerky shifts is to take your ride out in city streets with a lot of stop and goes. The 1st->3rd gear shifting is the main problem area and again all it takes is practice.
  • pdxgqmanpdxgqman Posts: 1
    Dumb question, but I'll ask anyway: is anyone skipping 1st and just starting in 2nd? I know not to do this when facing hills, but on flat ground it seems to be the best option and two dealerships have told me it doesn't hurt anything.

    Your thoughts???
  • jagguarjagguar Posts: 25
    It doesn't hurt anything. You're perfectly fine doing that, you just have less power so there's less lurch. But this is a cop out. Just practice starting in first, let yourself get used to it and figure out how to do it right.
  • r34fanr34fan Posts: 3
    I'm on my 2nd 6MT (had a '06 and now a '07) and I've got to say my ONLY complaint with the vehicles themselves would be the way that Nissan/Infiniti tuned the gear ratios. This has to be the root of a lot of driver's frustration, especially those new to stick and/or learned on a less technical clutch. With 1st & 2nd being so close together, I almost feel inclined to start in 2nd and jump right into 4th. While devout enthusiasts may love this feature (and in which case should tune it themselves with an adjustable cam gear), those of us who utilize the car as a daily driver are left wondering why it's tough to drive smoothly.
    What gives?
  • I agree the shifting is kind of tricky. I have driven Nissan Altima 1995 5 spd manual transmission for the last 3 years, and I test drove a G 35 6 MT last week. I really couldn`t get a feel for the power and handling because the dealer-agent who was with me during the test drive was very concerned about my shifting and the clutch plate damage.

    But I have read that it takes some time to master the clutch and the shifting and the car itself takes around 2k miles for the clutch to break in.
  • jagguarjagguar Posts: 25
    Okay, so now that I finally got the car I can say that it's really quite easy to get used to. Here's what the deal is: the car has a sports clutch and you have 306 horsepower under your right foot. If you give it much gas at all when you take your foot off the clutch, the car is going to lurch forward. Drivers typically react by reducing the gas and you get a slight bounce effect.

    To learn how to drive the car smoothly, here's what I suggest. The gas pedal pivots at the floor. Take advantage of this. If you place your heel on the floor at the base of the pedal, you have a lot more control of the gas. Then get a feel for the clutch. Find a nice flat parking lot somewhere where you can practice going from a stop. Take your foot off the brake and keep it off the gas, then hit the clutch and slowly pull it up until you feel the gears start to catch. You need to memorize where this point. Just get used to it. Do it over and over until you really get a feel for it. Now because the car has so much power, you really don't need to give it much gas at all when your lift the clutch. Just give it a tiny bit of gas to get it moving, and then when your foot is completely off the clutch you can start to give it more gas. Trust me, you'll take off as fast as you want to and you'll do it much more smoothly.
  • jagguarjagguar Posts: 25
    Oh, and also, I don't know why you would buy a 6MT if you're complaining about the low gear ratios. That's the whole point of getting a manual with 6 gears. It gives you much more control of your power. I'm also really happy about the fact that 6th gear has as high a gear ratio as it does. I can hit 100 mph before I get to 4000 rpms. If the driving is a little rough for you, just take it easier on the gas pedal. I've been taking it so easy on my car and I still end up with the rest of traffic in my rearview mirror.
  • lwechslerlwechsler Posts: 15
    Yes, I have tried it many times. I do not know why you do this, but I do it because it has a rough shift between 1st and second (not from any other gears, up or down).
    Do you have the same problem or you just tired of the very low gears ratio?!

    LW, Miami Fl.
  • lwechslerlwechsler Posts: 15
    2006 G35 Sedan w/6600 miles only.
    Had rough shift from first to second from day one.
    Dealer said (@1000 miles) "Thats OK".
    I dont think so but there is no way to contact the factory.
    The general dealers complaint office in the South East recommends you back to the dealer.
    To avoid ruining the transmission I have installed a mechanical reducer for the accelerator, for softer start-ups with this 300 HP monster. It helps a little.
    Anyone out there with same problem?!
    LW, Miami, Fl.
  • lwechslerlwechsler Posts: 15
    I already left a messege regarding hard shifts to day, however I will go in to more details here.
    Because the shift from first to second is rough 9 out of 10 times, I have designed, built and installed a mechanical accellerator reducer.
    This (relatively simple device) attaches without any drillings to the car. it reduces the ratio to 3 to one for the first 25% of the accellerator's pedal range.
    This allows for softer shifts and reduces wear and tear to many parts of the drive train. after you pass the 25% it works normally. I did this because no one at Infinity is able(or willing) to contact the manufacturer in order to change the Computer Program Software for the accellerator, which should be very simple to do.
    My device (second generation by now) is anchored to the seat bolt that connects the seat to the car, so it does not affect anything on the car except the ratio one depresses the accellerator. This affords much softer starts, yet retains full power, if you realy need it.(When driving to the supermarket and back)
    LW, Miami, Fl.
  • lwechslerlwechsler Posts: 15
    After reading the suggestions in the above email from [nefariousbc)I went to test his theory.
    Indeed if one presses on the clutch half way down when shifting from first to second, it improves the shift by about 50%.
    With that in mind one does need to depress the clutch all the way when downshifting to second or first.
    Very good advice, Thanks

    LE, Miami, Fl.
  • I bought a G35S in a manual transmission back in early May. About 2 months into the purchase, the clutch began to feel a bit weird on a long drive to Palm Springs. The shifts from 4-5-6 gears became erratic due to the pedal being "sticky" (not releasing fully) and the "spot" in the release where the gear engages feeling as if is was changing. Example: I would press the clutch and change from 5th to 6th and then try and release the pedal but the gear would engage almost as soon as I shift the knob into 6th position and when I release the pedal, the pedal will not come all the way back to the starting position but be stuck a bit off the floor and I would have to snake my left foot in there and give it a nudge for it to pop back into the original position.

    This originally happened around 2000 miles and just intermittently for that week. Then it disappeared. When I took it in for the first maintenance, I told them about it but they said unless it could be duplicated, they wouldn't look into it. The last few days, I'm up to about 5800 miles) the problem has been occurring more frequently. Then last night it got bad and all the gears were affected. It was as if the entire clutch was going haywire and I was out entertaining a out of town friend and so I was out driving him around town. Well, I was able to get around but when I was returning home, I got on the freeway and could not shift into 3rd. The clutch pedal was stuck and even when I was able to pop it out with my foot, it locked me out of shifting. Essentially, the gear spot didn't exist anymore. I pulled the car over and coasted to a stop by the side of the road where I was stranded at 3am. I tried to see if restarting the car would help. No dice. Without any other option, I called roadside assistance and they picked up the car. I'm not sure how far I want to take this issue with the dealership and would like to know if anyone else has had this problem or felt something wrong like what I have described regarding the clutch. Please post and let me know. Thanks.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I follow the G35 Tech forums and check for updates daily.
    I have not seen even one instance of this in the past, but I'll keep my eyes open.

    Sounds horrible but I guess there is a bright side.
    The dealer said that they could not fix it if it was not duplicatable.

    Sounds like you duplicated it! ;)

    Sorry... good luck.
  • Thanks for the encouragement. I'm looking to see this is an isolated issue or not. I'd hate to get an automatic, I'd be bored and probably looking to trade it in for something else, but at the same time, I'm not going to take a chance with dealing with this issue ever again. It was very dangerous and I almost got hit several times due to my car being stuck out of gear.

    The car got delivered to the dealership this morning and we'll see what happens. Both the sales manager and sales person I worked with are gone and this is the largest Inifiti dealer in So Cal so I am hoping they will be good about taking care of me. :sick:
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I completely understand what you are saying and I wish the G35x came with a 6-speed, but it doesn't.
    I know a slushbox is a slushbox, but the auto in the G is actually kinda fun.
    No, it's no 6 speed, but it holds gears and allows the driver to choose what gear and when... unlike Lexus and Acura.
  • I was originally looking at the S auto but on the day I was supposed to sign, I changed my mind and went with the manual on my way to the dealer to pick up the car. I live in west LA and it can be brutal here to drive a manual but I can't drive anything else. I get bored. The only other car I seriously looked at before buying was the 335i but I hated the sedan model and at 52K for the coupe, I knew the G35S was it for me.

    I love the car and have fun driving it but this clutch issue really has me alarmed. I had a '96 240SX for 11 years and only replaced the clutch once at 122K. I'm not a racer, but I know how to drive and have driven everything from commercial trucks to 15' stretch limos, Lambos to a NOS kitted '89 Civic CRX. I got this car because it was a good balance between a sedan and a sports car. I'd like for things to work out.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    There is obvisouly something uniquely wrong with your particular car.
    Hopefully, they'll fix it right the first time and you can go back to being a very happy G owner. :D
  • Dayamit:

    Man! This just happened to me this morning on the way to work. I bought my 2007 G35S in April and it's been fine until this morning. I encountered the soft feeling clutch and then total failure/engagement. I was lucky too in that there must have been an accident this morning and traffic was crawling. I managed to coast over to the right shoulder (thanks nice drivers for letting me over) and call for assistance. I'm right under 8500 miles. The dealer said he has not seen this problem yet. I asked my friend at work to search the internet for the problem and luckily enough he found your post. I feel very lucky that I was not going freeway speed when this occurred- thank God! I'm a bit miffed about this too and am thinking I should have gotten an automatic...my wife would love that. I'll let you know what the dealer says....

    Garmond :mad:
  • No clutch jamm but starting to hear noises when engaging.
    The noises come deffinately from the clutch plate.
    I have 11,300 on the odometer and hope it will not happen like yours.

    LW
  • Ok, I finally got some answers today from the tear down (Thursday the Nov 1). It's been an ugly week for me and I'll tell you what happened once my car was towed. It was delivered to the dealership on Monday morning. I called to tell them what happened and the service people basically told me the clutch was burnt out and it was my fault. I asked for the manager. He came on the phone and said it was most likely driver error and they said they won't fix it unless I pay $2500 since the clutch is not a warranty issue. I tried to argue that in 6 months and 5800 miles, I never abused my car and that this issue started a while ago, but they didn’t care. They were rude, dismissive and told me I had to commit to paying $720 for the tear down for them to investigate the car more thoroughly or just pay the $2500 to get a new clutch. I asked if any other options were available and the Service Mngr told me "you can pick up the car and have it sit in your driveway".

    That's not much of a choice so I called corporate but they were closed for the day and I needed to make a decision since I didn’t have a car and the dealer would not give me a loaner unless I paid the $720 or $2500. The dealership also never offered a loaner. I had to literally beg for it on Monday but they specifically said not until I commit or pay. I did so on Monday evening and they said they’d try and get one for me as soon as they could. On Tuesday, they called me at 4:30pm and told me to pick up the loaner by 6pm. This was hardly possible since I didn't have a car, the cab takes 30 mins to order and costs $50, and even then it was at least an hour in rush hour traffic to get from Century City to Glendale. I asked if they could drop it off and they simply said "no". I asked if they could deliver the next day and they said they would not. I had to cab it there or find a ride!!! I would think most dealers would at least try to accommodate or be nice about saying “no” but Glendale just didn't give a crap. When I got there Wednesday past noon, I discovered that they gave away my original loaner (an '07) before I arrived (I saw the paperwork) and they gave me a crappy old model with no gas, a smudged/foggy windshield, and a funky smell as if Sasquatch had been rubbing his butt up against it.

    During this ordeal, the dealership didn't call me back as they promised on 3 separate occasions. When they did call, they were not very nice on the phone and played stupid Good cop/Bad cop games with me to try and get me to feel powerless and abandoned.
    Corporate and the dealership called me back today after they performed the tear down (funny how corporate calls 4 hours before the dealership). They found that the bearings in the clutch pedal cylinder were shot and that was what eventually jammed the clutch pedal. The engineers from corporate and the shop mechanics agreed this was likely a manufacturer defect of the bearings and they will fix it for free. I'm just stating what they told me.

    Overall, I'm relieved but I gotta say I'm really disappointed in Glendale Infiniti for putting the blame on me and making me feel like I'm the one who screwed up instead of them keeping an open mind and investigating the issue without judgment. If I had not challenged them on the issue they would never have done the tear down and would have my $2500. The problem would eventually have been discovered by them but I wonder if they chose to disclose it or done a quick fix with no one the wiser. I wasn't even asking for the benefit of doubt. It was wrong to accuse me of being the perpetrator of burning out the clutch and putting the burden of proof on me by making me commit to paying for the tear down. I'm still very annoyed at the comments, attitude and tactics of the dealer to make me feel that this was "probably" my fault.

    Glendale Infiniti treated me like a mouth breather. They didn't apologize for any of this and then made it seem as if they were heroes for finding the REAL problem today when it was obvious their assumptions were completely wrong and their abusive attitude unnecessary. This dealership is definitely not a place where they go the extra mile. I guess when you're a huge dealership you can afford to take an R. Kelly attitude and just pee on the customer. I am also not very happy with Infiniti corporate in general as their service was cold, impersonal, and unsympathetic even though it was their fault and their defect. Had I known that the burden of proof on their products rests with the customer even before they look into it, I would have bought something else (probably anything else). I love the car (hopefully this was an isolated incident) but Infiniti service and business etiquette sucks Donkey Kong [non-permissible content removed] and Glendale in particular is the worst place to spend $40K.

    I did ask if this has ever happened before and the dealership said the Infiniti engineers said they had not seen this problem before. They are assuming that defective bearings are an isolated incident. Everything else is fine they say but the clutch pedal broke and the issue is isolated to that component. This is a new model and has been upgraded from the '06 sedan and coupe in many ways so I know things can happen but be careful because this problem is very dangerous since it occurs during shifts and you will get locked out of gears if the bearing fails but also this process can occur very quickly and even without complete failure, it’s extremely difficult to drive when you cannot shift consistently.

    You will notice that the clutch pedal is not returning all the way to it's original position but "sticks" a little or a lot. You will also feel the "gear grab" shift close down to the floor. When this begins to happen, you need to contact the dealer and take it in. This problem is very dangerous since it is random and you never know when it's going to happen. It will most likely happen when you're in motion. We'll see how it goes once I get the car back next week (I'm also having them do my 6 month scheduled service and replace the key fobs). Thanks everyone for the comments,.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,246
    Wow -- interesting, but depressing. Apparently this store hasn't figured out yet (if they ever will) that a majority of the "luxury" car experience is the dealer, with the balance being the car. As you've seen, in spades, there's a huge variation in dealers. In the cars, not so much.

    If I were you, I'd take the post you just wrote, edit it down to half its length or less, format it carefully in a letter & send it to all and sundry in the Infiniti/Nissan management/marketing chain from your zone office right the way up to whomever runs the whole deal in Japan. Send the morons in Glendale a copy as well, including the cc list, but wait until you've received your rating card (assuming you're sent one) for this "experience."

    Sad.

    Hope your luck with the car is better in the future. I doubt there's any hope for the dealer. I drove two Datsuns over 330K miles (combined) a number of years ago & have a Pathfinder now. To me, the vehicles have proven to be very solid.
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