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Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly, Toyota Mechanic
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 69
Experience:  17 years experience as an auto mechanic, foreign and domestic. 5 years running my own repair business.
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Corolla, manual, 2003. I can only select 3rd and 4th gears.

Customer Question

Hello. Corolla, manual, 2003. I can only select 3rd and 4th gears. The stick will move sideways across the gate but will not select 1st, 2nd, 5th or reverse. I have removed the gaiter to reveal the rods - the move backwards and forwards ok so the problem is where I can't see it at the moment. Is this likely to be a simple or difficult fix?
JA: How many miles are on the car? Have you noticed any fluid leaks lately?
Customer: Approx 110k. No visible leaks. I've just had a closer look at the rods - the stick will move sideways to 1st/ 2nd, but the lh rod does not move more than a couple of mm when I try to engage. The stick will not cross to 5th/reverse at all.
JA: Are you fixing your Corolla yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I will if it's not too tricky - I used to fix my own cars but not recently. It only went wrong yesterday so I've only looked at it so far. It was fine when I drove it home. I went out again an hour later and the problem was there as soon as I had reversed into the road. I drove around the block in 3rd, parked up on the driveway and then could no longer select reverse.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Is it worth fixing? It's otherwise running well and in good condition but isn't really worth anything any more. I can't think of anything that I haven't already said, except to ignore my initial description of the problem. Thanks, Pearl.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  CarDoc replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for using JA. I am one of the experts.

Have you inspected the gear linkages for damage? You may have to remove the battery and air box if it sits on top of the transmission. Get someone to shift the gears and see if the linkages are operating correctly.