I just test drove a used 1999 Toyota Camry LE 4-cyl. with A/T. It was very stiff trying to move from park to reverse or drive. It only has 76,000 miles. Could this be a sign of a transmission problem, or is the selector unrelated to the actual drive train? Can it be fixed with grease or other methods?
I wouldn’t buy it like that. If the problem is outside the transmission it’s easy to fix and the seller should have taken care of it already. If it’s inside, it’s expensive.
The problem most likely is in the manual shifter cable or floor shifter itself. If you could disconnect the cable end from the transmission selector arm and manually move the transmission arm (block the wheels from moving). If the selector arm moves easily by hand, try moving the floor shifter. If there still is significant resistance, disconnect the cable to see if that frees up the shifter. Alternately, you could suggest to the seller that he/she have the cable replaced on speculation.
Hope that helps.