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The vehicle has the 3.8 engine, 253,000 miles on it. It has developed stiffness in the gear selector. There is no stiffness when pulling the gear selector arm toward the driver to take it out of gear, but it is stiff when selecting the different gears or putting into Park. Does anyone have any ideas on how to troubleshoot this issue?

Some background info that may or may not matter: I had the van towed (put on a flatbed) two weeks ago due to a flat tire. The van sat at the tire store for two weeks until today, when I had time to get the tires replaced. When I drove it after it sat for two weeks, I noticed the stiffness when shifting. Could lack of use for two weeks have caused this problem? It shifted fine two weeks ago.

Thanks for any ideas on this.
 

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Sounds as if the tow driver damaged the trans linkage when he tied down the van.

If so, the damage is probably obvious.

Worn out linkage connections will also cause the same problem.
 
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That shift cable attaches to an arm on top of the transaxle. i think you have a worn cable making it hard to move inside the housing. if your not mechanical i would have it replaced they can be a blister.


Mr. Fixit
 

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This may be completely unrelated to the tow, FYI. It would be hard for him/her to mess up the trans shifting mechanism because it is on top of the trans, near the firewall (best way to describe it), and no where near where one would be tieing it down to a flatbed or lifting with a boom.

Has/had the van sat for a period of time, namely when it's rained or had high/higher humidity levels?

If so, this can make it hard to shift between gears. During the winter, I would jump between the Suburban and the van during the week and it wouldn't be an issue, but now spring is back out, and I drive the Caddy on nice days, both sit more often than not and that can be extended periods of time, I have noted this. Last time it was two and a half weeks sitting. In that time, it rained/drizzled and was sloppy out. The next time I went to drive it, it was extremely hard to move through the gears. Once I drove it awhile and shifted it up and down a few times, it was fine again.

At oil changes, I may start throwing some white lithium on the mechanism. You can see it when you pop the hood, on the drivers side towards the fire wall on top of the trans.
 
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