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1996 Subaru legacy with sloppy shifting

I have a 1996 subaru I just bought this winter. well when its cold, it will shift fine, and we have no problem finding gears, However once its warm trying to find any gear is like hunting for a 21 window deluxe VW bus with full sunroof, hidden in a barn for the past 30 years, that somebody want you to take for free… once you find the correct gear it will engage without any problem, no grinding or any other issues, But we just can’t find them. the other issue is once its in gear, you can move the shifter back and forth up to 6 inches. lots of play!

If you have the above mentioned VW bus, let me know!

Thanks, searching for 2nd gear, Jason

I’m assuming this car has a manual transmission. You didn’t specify.

I’d have someone inspect the shift linkage. There’s WAY too much play.

Yes its a 5 speed, sorry that i didn’t mention it, I haven’t looked at the shift linkage, does it have rubber bushings that maybe need replacing?

Yeah, it’s shift linkage bushings, usually made of a hard plastic. I had to replace the ones in my '81 Accord. I blame it on my (now corrected) bad habit of holding the shift lever all the time when just driving along.