notchy 6spd nc box?


i am in the search for a mk3+ and would have preferred the 6spd box.

i understand there are several reports of this box being notchy.

i understand this is mainly in low gears and mainly when cold (please correct me if i am wrong)

i also understand this can be improved with  changing the box oil to the “redline” brand, or whatever.

what i would like to know is whether this issue was addressed in manufacture?

if i buy a car dated after a certain year does the issue disappear?


No is the short answer i own a late 2013 sport with notchy gearbox , i have changed the oil to Redline which has helped a little but not cured …the more miles the car has on the clock the slicker the gearbox . Some boxes are better than others depends on how they were assembled during manufacture.


can i ask how many miles yours has?

i am going to look at a 62 plate kuro tomorrow with just over 30k.



It’s 1st to 2nd gear that is notchy, all others including reverse fine.

It’s not just confined to the Mk3 gear box either, I’ve had notchy gear boxes in my previous Mk1 5 speed and Mk2 6 speed, again it seems confined to 1st to 2nd gear selection.

Changing the oil to Castrol Syntrans 75w 90 seems to improve things but not completely eliminate the notchyness.

My oil was changed at around 50k miles (Mk3 6 speed) and I’ve also changed an owners gear oil on a 5 speed Mk3.5, his was on 11k miles and he complained of a notchy gear change.

Changing the way I shift the gears 1st to 2nd has helped to, if you know what I mean. I own a 2  year old SEAT 6 speed car and that can be difficult to get into 1st and reverse when cold, that’s only done 9k miles but seems to be getting smoother with adding miles.

There’s also a clutch adjustment that some people have reported as helping.

it’s honestly not that bad though, 1st and 2nd can be a bit notchy when cold, changing the oil helped on my NC1, wasn’t the red line, castrol I think, it’s all well documented somewhere.

NC2 (13 plate) wasn’t as noticeable so didn’t bother doing anything.


Hi Simon, mine now has 21,000 mls . once the oil in the gearbox gets hot its smooth . Its just when cold its a bit notch .So when you try this one your looking at make sure the engine is cold …then if its slick you will know its going to be fine. The problem is only evident when the gearbox is cold not when hot . Hope this helps

I’ve had a 2013 6spd and now have a 2011 5spd. They are both really nice snickety boxes and although there was a little notchiness on the 6spd it wasn’t bad or undrivable

My previous NC ZSPORT 6 speed had the slightly notchy change from 1-2. I used to give the accelerator a little blip when changing up and that seems to help a little.  I recall it was at its most noticeable when cold.  I always looked upon it as a characteristic of the model. 

My 2006 2.0 47,000 mile 5 speed’s the same when changing from 1st into 2nd when cold. The oil was changed by the previous owner at 42,000. I don’t know what make of oil they used and I don’t feel inclined to change it again only to find there’s no improvement.  As far as I’m concerned it’s the nature of the beast and no big deal taking 1st to 2nd cold changes slowly for a few hundred yards.   

i shall not get hung up on that then.

drove a 2012 2.0 venture today and loved it.

i noticed no notchiness from the 6 spd box.

the only real thing that stopped me buying it was the £12k asking price.

earlier i had just missed out on a 2013 plate Kuro with low miles, which went for £9995 5 minutes before i called. 

When they are realistically priced you have to be quick 

'The prices some people expect to achieve can be completely unrealistic too.

I’ve sort of learned how to nurse mine until it gets warm, even after the oil change it’s notchy.

A very slight pause in neutral before going in to 2nd or third and it’s fine.

Hi Simon

I’ve recently posted a similar post on my local club forum. I have a MK3, 2009 with 33,000 miles on the clock and a very notchy 1st and 2nd gear change.

This seems to be a common problem with some and the suggestions are many including…Redline oil In the gearbox, adjust the clutch, check that the carpet isn’t preventing the clutch pedal from fully  depressing and adjust your seat and change your driving style!

The problem is worse when cold and improves when the car is at running temperature. It certainly takes away a little of the driving pleasure and I’m still looking for a solution.

Best of luck and let me know if you find the answer.

Regards Vince H.


Look upon it as a cunning built in engine life preserver to discourage setting off at the gallop from cold. Smile

I’ve an NC Sport 6 speed, notchy 1st - 2nd change when cold.  I’ve changed the gearbox oil to the Castrol synthetic stuff, adjusted the clutch as the bite point was just about at the carpet, which was a bit stupid.  It has improved it but it hasn’t went away.   I normally change mine from 1st - 3rd at low revs, when its cold as I live on a hill, then when I come off the hill, it is flat on an A road, then it is warmed-up. It’s not a massive deal if I don’t do that though.

But as mentioned some are worse than others.  I test drove a shoddy 2013 car when looking for mine, it was notchy in all gears, and didn’t get much better when warmed up.  I walked away from that one.  I also drove ones which were better than the one I bought, but they had problems in other areas, mainly surface rust underneath, bodywork scuffs etc.