Trouble with Hyundai Tuscon Going into Drive

I am hoping to find an answer to a problem I’ve recently started having with my 2005 Hyundai Tuscon. When I leave my house in the morning to go to work I have to turn around in my driveway due to the hazards of backing out into a busy road. I have to back down a slight hill, but when I try to put my car into drive after backing down the hill it won’t go in. It goes into Reverse and Neutral perfectly, but I have to work it really hard to get it into drive. That is the only time and situation that it ever happens, but it seems to be getting worse when it does happen. I’ve had two different mechanics look at it and they have no idea and basically told me to bring it in if it gets worse, but in true fashion when I take it in to them it acts perfectly fine. Any ideas would be greatly welcomed!

Does “when I try to put my car into drive after backing down the hill it won’t go in” mean that you can’t move the shift lever into the Drive position, or does it mean that when you move it into the Drive position, the vehicle doesn’t move?

If it is a problem of moving your Tucson’s shift lever, then you most likely have a problem with the shift linkage, which can be relatively cheap to fix. On the other hand, if your Tucson doesn’t want to move when you shift to Drive, then the fix can get very pricey.

Please clarify exactly what the problem is, so that we can advise you more specifically.

I can imagine the engine and transmission being in a twisted position relative to the body with the car temporarily stopped in a sort of sidehill position, and a slightly out of adjustment auto transmission linkage being jammed as a result. Parked on a flat surface everything would be OK.

@VDCdriver: I can move the shift lever, but it’s like I can’t get it pushed all the way down into drive. I do have the option on my car to slide it from automatic drive and manually shift it, and I can push the lever into that position, but it’s still stuck in neutral at that point.

Try the same maneuver when you come home (engine warm). If it doesn’t misbehave, that tells me it’s probably an internal transmission problem.

@insightful, I did try that and it didn’t do it. I also, backed it into a position where I didn’t have to go down an incline to get out of my driveway. I still had the same problem. So I am thinking that all of the stuff I’m hearing about it being a transmission issue are correct :’( A friend did tell me to check my transmission fluid which I had done, but I didn’t realize that it was supposed to be pinkish in color, mine looks like engine oil. So I’m not sure which step to take next.

I’m afraid that dark transmission fluid is generally a bad sign. Things are likely to get worse from here. I recommend going to a good local transmission shop (not a chain) and having them check your transmission out.

Has your transmission fluid always been replaced on schedule so far?

If the transmission won’t misbehave for a mechanic, I’d get a fluid/filter change and hope for the best. (And start saving for a major repair.)