Q: 2003 Mazda Protege Manual, shift lever hart to move

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I have a 2003 Mazda Protege DX manual transmission. it has been very difficult to switch gears while my car is running. It is hardest to switch it into 1st gear, but I meet a lot of resistance with each of them even reverse. I almost have to use every ounce of strength I have to get it to move. When the car is not running, the gears shift with no resistance. I appreciate any advice. Thank you!

My car has 166000 miles.

Do you have any transmission fluid leaks or clutch hydraulic control leaks? If the transmission gear oil has leaked out, that can cause hard shifting. If no leaks are apparent, there are only two possible causes of what you describe: 1) a malfunctioning clutch system; or 2) an internal transmission problem such as worn synchronizers, hub gear and so forth. Some clutch malfunctions can be resolved without removing the transmission if the problem lies in linkages or the hydraulic components. If not, the transmission will have to be removed to service the clutch and/or the transmission. To obtain an authoritative diagnostic, and repair estimate, please refer to YourMechanic’s manual transmission shift diagnostic service page. If you request that service, the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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