Very stiff manual gear shifter

I just bought a 91 geo prism for cheap. The gear shifter is extremely stiff; I can barely get it into gear. The previous owner, (someone I know) never had this problem. It’s about 25 degrees outside. It got a little better after driving it for about 15 minutes, but it’s still not great. Any ideas?

Manual or automatic?

If it’s a manual it could be a clutch problem. A clutch that’s not releasing fully can cause difficulties. Or linkage. Gummed up corroded linkage combined with tranny fluid as thick as molasses (it gets this way at 25 degrees) can make shifting difficult.

Thank you, it is a manual.

I suspect mountain is right. However if someone has changed the transmission fluid since last winter, it could be they used the wrong fluid. It is also possible the linkage is messed up.

I believe that manual trans call for automatic transmission fluid if it was changed and 80-90 gear lube put in you will have that problem also