Issue with shifting

I have a 2007 Toyota Matrix with 88,000 miles. It has a manual 5 speed trans. When I shift down from 2d to 1st gear with the car moving very slow, I get what I think is a little bit of grinding. It will occasionally do it from 3d to 2d. Should I be concerned and take it to garage?

I’d have the trans fluid changed if it hasn’t been done, and check the clutch to make sure it’s fully releasing (fluid level on that, too). Does it happen when it’s cold, warm, or both?

I drive a stick and I very rarely need to shift from 2nd to 1st when moving. Most of the time I downshift to 3rd when coming to a stop and once stopped go into 1st. Some grinding could be normal if the car is moving.

Your synchros for 1st and 2nd could be getting worn. You could be moving the shift lever too slowly so that after the synchro’s have done their job the slow movement of the shifter allows some spinning to occur just before the gear teeth engage.

It is possible your clutch might not be releasing all the way. If it is the clutch it would be hard to engage 1st when stopped, and you’d get grinding going into reverse gear. Most manual transmissions do not have a sychronizer on reverse gear.

I would take it to a garage if you suspect a clutch issue. Otherwise you need internal transmission work which is pricey. I’d learn how to live with it and develope a driving style the minimizes the low gear downshifts and therefore the grinding. All manual transmissions can handle a little gear grinding now and again without damage. Frequent grinding, like almost every shift indicates a potential problem.

both cold and hot

My 2006 5-sp Matrix very much doesn’t like a 2-1 rolling shift either.
3-2 acting up is more of a concern.
I changed my trans oil at 21k miles and it was pretty dark. It’s a good idea to change at least every 30k.
These transmissions have a reputation for having weak bearings and synchros.

I drive a stick and I very rarely need to shift from 2nd to 1st when moving.

Same here.  Maybe once or twice a year.  I agree with Uncle T.