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Hard gear shift in cold weather

Hi, I have a 2005 Buick Rendezvous with automatic transmission and ~60K. Now that it’s started getting cold again, the gear shifts are hard / rough pretty much all the time (even after the car has warmed up) During the summer occasionally it was hard to move the shifter from park to drive, but I didn’t have the rough shifting issues. Any help / ideas?

Have you at least checked the transmission fluid? Has the transmission ever been serviced? Is the check engine light on?

You’re going to need to take it to a transmission shop and have it put on a scanner. You don’t need a dealer, do not go to just any mechanic, and do not go to a national chain transmission shop.

Just ask around for the best local, owner-operated transmission shop and bring them the car.

There are any number of reasons this can happen so guessing won’t do much good.

Thanks for the reply!

I have checked the transmission fluid, and it looks to be at proper levels and not black / burned. The transmission hasn’t ever been serviced, which the manual suggests at 100K. The check engine light is not on, nor are there any other symptoms other than the hard shifting and moving the stalk out of park.

Trust me, I won’t ever be taking a car to a dealer unless it’s under warranty. I do have a local mechanic I trust, but are you suggesting that he won’t have the equipment to test the transmission? Can I simply ask if he has a “transmission scanner”?

Just curious, what’s the reasoning behind avoiding a chain transmission shop?

Thanks again for the response.

As far as servicing the trans, automatics need to be serviced with filter/fluid every 25-30k miles regardless of what the owners manual says. Tear that 100k page out of your owners manual and deposit it in the circular file. Owners manuals are great for telling you what that little doohickey on the dash does but for service intervals, consult a pro. Your transmission should now be due for its SECOND service.

I agree with cigroller about getting it scanned, that harsh shifting could be the computer commanding the transmission to do it because it has picked up a problem. Its a safety feature that protects the transmission from destroying itself.