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I have an 89 Mazda 626 LX. The shifter is really lose even when it's in gear. It shifts fine, no slipping or anything, but when it's in gear I can move it back and forth as if it was in neutral.

How hard is it to fix, and does anyone know what's wrong?

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shifter? is this automatic or manual? – NoCarrier Apr 6 '11 at 21:30
sorry, yes this is manual – silkcom Apr 6 '11 at 21:41
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Assuming the shift linkage is not loose, this is probably caused by a worn shift bushing. A professional mechanic should be able to quickly check this. Replacing the bushing is generally inexpensive, although I do not know Mazdas.

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Is this something that can easily be replaced? (anyone know?) – silkcom Apr 6 '11 at 21:41
I think it's generally straightforward, but it has to be done from underneath the car. – William Cline Apr 6 '11 at 23:03
This sounds like the '94 300ZX I bought back in 2005... I had the dealer replace the shifter bushings, and after that it felt like a new car. I don't recall exactly how much the bushings were, because I had a bunch of other things done at the same time. – Sean Reifschneider Apr 9 '11 at 22:54

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