Melanie Reiff
Updated on Aug 11, 2022
If your car is hard to shift, you might have a problem with the transmission. This is a complicated system that requires every part to work perfectly. It’s best to have a professional take a look as soon as the problem arises.
It’s dangerous to drive if you can’t shift safely. Hopefully, all it takes is a simple fluid replacement to resolve the issue, but you could need a complete transmission replacement in some cases.
Here, the car insurance broker Jerry has compiled a short guide to transmission inspections when your car is hard to shift.
The exact cost varies between different Toyota models. For example, newer vehicle models are usually made with more expensive materials, so recent or high-end models will cost more, especially if your service requires a part replacement. Use the table below to estimate the cost for your own vehicle.
CarTotal Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostAverage Dealer PriceEstimated Service Duration
1988
Toyota 
Van Wagon
$60$0$60$601h
1961
Toyota 
Crown
$60$0$60$601h
2007
$60$0$60$601h
2013
$60$0$60$601h
1981
Toyota 
Tercel
$60$0$60$601h
1992
$60$0$60$601h

What does it mean if a car is hard to shift?

Shifting problems usually indicate a problem with the transmission. (FYI: There’s no way around it—transmission problems can be complicated and costly.) Your mechanic will likely start by checking out the following components:
  • Transmission fluid: A leak means that the transmission does not have enough fluid. Dirty fluids lead to inefficiency in shifting.
  • Transmission solenoids: Solenoids control how much fluid moves around the transmission.
  • Transmission: Vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer are especially vulnerable to transmission problems. Clunking or humming sounds are clear indicators of a mechanical problem.
  • Shifter cable: This cable connects the shifter handle to the transmission. If it is broken or stretched, the misalignment could cause problems shifting.
  • Clutch: A failing clutch has a spongy feeling, and you may also smell something burning. Malfunctioning clutches make it very difficult to shift.

How to get a transmission inspection when your car is hard to shift

Your transmission will need a thorough inspection in this situation. Call a garage and explain that your car is hard to shift. Describe any specific sounds you have been hearing, like grinding or clunking.
Mechanics may inspect:
  • Transmission fluid
  • Transmission
  • Shifter cable
  • Clutch
How long will a transmission inspection take?

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The transmission is one of the most complex pieces of machinery in a vehicle. A thorough inspection can take at least half a day to complete. If the transmission needs a complete replacement, your car could spend several days in the shop.

How do I know if I need to get a transmission inspection when my car is hard to shift?

On top of difficulty sifting, bad smells and bad sounds are clear indicators of a transmission problem. You might hear clunking, grinding, or humming when you try to shift gears. Slow acceleration may also be a problem.

How important is a transmission inspection

Trouble shifting may not seem very important, but transmission trouble is very serious. Do not delay this service.
A malfunctioning transmission can self-destruct, which is dangerous and expensive to repair. The longer you wait, the higher the chance that your vehicle will suffer more damage.

Finding affordable car insurance

No matter where you live or what car you drive, you can find affordable car insurance with Jerry.
Jerry gathers information from over 50 top insurers so that you never miss out on any savings. Just browse through dozens of competitive quotes, select the one you like best, and Jerry will do the heavy lifting and help to cancel your existing policy and get you switched over.
Keep in mind that your location is another factor that determines the final cost of repairs. Areas with higher cost of living will usually have more expensive car repair services, especially if there’s less local competition. Check out the table below for an estimate of what Toyota drivers pay in different cities.
CityCarTotal Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostAverage Dealer PriceEstimated Service Duration
2000
Toyota 
MR2 Spyder
$141.29$0$141.29$141.291h
2011
$135$0$135$1351h
2019
$117.5$0$117.5$117.51h
1996
$131.25$0$131.25$131.251h
2021
$134.25$0$134.25$134.251h
1995
Toyota 
Celica
$112.87$0$112.87$112.871h
1992
Toyota 
Cressida
$111.66$0$111.66$111.661h
1985
Toyota 
Land Cruiser
$123.32$0$123.32$123.321h
2019
$121$0$121$1211h
Anthony
FL
2019
Toyota 
Prius AWD-e
$105$0$105$1051h
Jerry doesn’t just offer fair price repair estimates for Toyota drivers! Our team of writers has collected everything you need to know for every car. Here’s how much the repair costs for some popular cars:
CarTotal Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostAverage Dealer PriceEstimated Service Duration
2012
Land Rover 
Range Rover Evoque
$60$0$60$601h
1987
GMC 
R2500
$60$0$60$601h
1963
Pontiac 
Strato-Chief
$60$0$60$601h
1995
Chevrolet 
C1500
$60$0$60$601h
2020
Ford 
EcoSport
$60$0$60$601h
1962
Ford 
F-100
$60$0$60$601h
The cost of repairs might vary depending on which Toyota you drive, but there’s an easy way to save money for the services you need! Just download the Jerry app for help lowering your insurance premiums. In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from top insurance companies and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one upon request.
With an average annual savings of $887, Jerry can help you free up funds for the repairs your Toyota’s needs.