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997.1 manual gearbox oil- Motul Gear 300 worsening the shift when cold?


23 Nov 2023
Hi everyone
I recently changed my gearbox oil with Motul Gear 300 75w90, and the shift when cold is def worse, esp 1st to second. Fine when warm.
The change was done at 25000 miles. Old oil came out look ok, minimal metallic debris on the plug. Searching the various forums this seems to be described- Plenty of people also said they found the motul great which is why I went for it rather than a 20 litre drum of ptx.
Anyone on here experienced similar?
no reason why it should, it's just not warmed up, but it's common for the cold to present such issues
i dont think it's anything to worry about, noting that strange things can happen with new fluids
Thanks. Let's be honest -after 18 years the original fluid was probably past its best. Maybe this is how the change is when cold or I need slight cable adjustment.
I found the Motul 300 horrible, especially into 2nd.

I would highly recommend getting the proper PTX put in, it is night and day better.

It won't harm the car, just a horrid, hard to engage and spongy feel.

Redline is not too bad, just make sure you choose the right one if you go that route, being transaxle.

Another thread on here in the last week where someone went back to PTX and said it was night and day too.
Years ago I did this to a 944 turbo I had at the time. The gear change was terrible after. Went to OPC and bought gear oil from them and it was perfect with the correct lub.
Interesting, I went with Motul and had exactly the same issue, maybe I'll change the oil again in the spring.
Motul make two 300 75w/90 transmission oils, one is semi-synthetic, the other fully :


Semi-synthetic :

The fully synthetic variant gets bad reviews from pretty much everyone that tries it in their 996 transmission ...

The semi-synthetic variant IS however specifically recommended for :

"Gearboxes which are hard to shift and/or noisy gearboxes. All mechanical transmissions, synchronised or non-synchronised gearboxes, gearbox/differential, transfer gearboxes and hypoid differentials without limited slip systems, operating under shocks, heavy loads and low revolution speed or moderate loads and high revolution speed."

The above is quoted verbatim from Motul's information/data sheet on the semi-synthetic variant here :

No it's not clear, and yes, it is really annoying ... (I only found out by noticing the price differential on various websites selling the two variants) I then did a deep dive and found the above data sheet ...

I'd bought the semi-synthetic (luckily). I'd say it gave an improvement of 15, maybe 20% in shift quality, 1st to 2nd and back down is still "sticky" when cold (but less so) but it takes far less time for the 'box to warm up with the Motul, and the those awkward 1st to 2nd shifts become easier, quicker as a result.

Hope that helps solve the mystery.
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There was a recall on my manual Merc CLK regarding stiff gear changes. They dropped the level by 20%. Difference was night and day.
Searching the various major forums, as many people who found Motul gear 300 worsened the shift, found it a miracle cure for their badly shifting box. I'm going to try a cable adjust and fit my SSK provided by Alex :) and see how I get on before I change the oil again. Trying it tonight, focusing on the change, its as least as good when warm as the original oil.
SSK will only make the changes far harder.

Don't get me wrong, I have got Alex's SSK fitted to mine, but I had to change my transmission mounts (actually, I put in the Powerflex inserts first) before I couldn't enjoy the SSK properly. I had to take it back out and after I put in the Motul 300, I couldn't even get it into second properly.

Be careful there. I would get the shifts nice before installing the SSK. If the shifts are right the SSK is a dream, but don't do it when you have issues.

Also, adjust the cables while you have the centra console out so you can adjust it after a quick drive.

I always set up the left/right first, this is easy, you just want it so it falls naturally with 3rd and 4th straight above and below.

You then need to adjust the up and down and that takes time, if 2nd is feeling spongy adjust till it snaps in, 3rd might feel a little less rifle bolt then, but I always find 2nd the one that disappoints, so get that as good as you can and the rest still feel as good if not better than 2nd.
yes I'm going to adjust first and get it perfect with the standard shifter- and change the oil to ptx if I can't- then fit the ssk

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