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Can't Shift Gear

I have a '97 Ford Taurus with 190k miles. Yesterday morning the car was driving just fine, but then later in the evening i started it, but couldn’t shift my gear without force.

The only way i can shift to reverse or drive is to put a lot of force on it, i feel like i’m going to break it every time i try to shift. It also makes a weird whistling sound when my car is warming up.

What do you think the problem is?

Note: it has been cold out here in Detroit.

automatic? manual?


When was the last time the transmission fluid was changed? Is it easier to shift once warmed up?

it’s been a very long time. Warming up the car doesn’t help.

“it’s been a very long time”

As in…never?
If that is the case, then difficulty in moving the shift lever is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of impending problems with this transmission. This car needs to be examined by an independent transmission shop.