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Q: shifting problem from neutral

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My Toyota has a shifting problem. I stopped by he mechanic’s place today, and he said it might be a bad bearing. He checked the fluid, and it was good. I can shift, but I have to move it around in neutral a little to get it to shift into 1st. From there it's ok. Are there any tricks in the way I shift that I could use to lessen wear and tear? I imagine taking the highway more often would be one? It's a pretty worn out car but still runs great. Does this sound like a bad bearing?

A: Since the mechanic has seen, heard, and fel...

Since the mechanic has seen, heard, and felt what your Tercel is struggling with, they may have a much better position to say than I. From what you describe, it’s also possible you are feeling your clutch not fully disengaging. That makes it hard to get into first. You could ask him to check that. Before you drive off, try shifting it into second, then first. Sometimes that will make it go into first easier. The old cars like to be treated gently and not rushed when shifting. If you want to have a second opinion on the car, a technician from YourMechanic can road test your vehicle to pinpoint the cause of your rough shifting issue.

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