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I drive a 16 year old Subaru Legacy automatic which still has its original transmission and has never given me a moment's trouble in 16 years.

Today while pulling out of a parking spot, I suddenly discovered that the shift stick was, how to say--- sticking. There was suddenly a great deal of friction on it. After a little back and forth, it returned to normal for changes between P-R-N-D, but if I tried to go the extra step to the 3-2-1 gears, the friction became so strong the stick almost wouldn't move.

Is my transmission about to break? What could be wrong?

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try to lubricate the transmission maybe the grease is dry – Dimensionless Aug 10 '13 at 9:45
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The first thing to check is the shifter linkage. If it uses a cable the cable my be frayed on the inside of the casing causing the friction. You may also have some other part of the linkage binding up, but my money is on the cable itself. It doesn't seem likely that it would be an internal transmission problem.

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