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Before I proceed, I want to clarify that I'm writing this here because money is pretty tight, and I'd rather avoid a large fee if possible. I got the car from my grandmother who gave it to me with the condition that all work would be done through the dealership (which has actually been great so far), but if this is an easy fix, I may be willing to break that promise just this once.

Anyway, my 07 Forrester is having a rather odd shifting issue, and I haven't found anyone with a specific match to it, so I'm hoping you guys might be able to guide me in the right direction.

  • Shifting between P and R initially feels stiff, but if I shift back and forth quickly between them, it loosens up and shifts normally.
  • Between R and 3 feels normal, except when immediately after coming out of P, in which case the shifter feels like it's getting tugged back to R. After a moment, (even quicker if I shift between R and D a few times), it feels normal and shifts between D and R without noticeable issue.
  • After R-3 has relaxed, there's still resistance in shifting into 2 or 1. Again, moving the shifter back and forth in that section seems to relax it.
  • After getting one section functional (P-R, R-3, 3-1), shifting into the other sections sometimes becomes difficult again. For example, I get P-R to shift normally, then try to shift into D. I reach noticeable resistance after N, so I shift back and forth, and it starts feeling normal. I reach my destination and shifting back into P has quite a bit of resistance (and the shifter has to be moved into and out of P multiple times for it register the car in park and release the key).

My gut is telling me that there may be an electronic component to the shifting that is going out, but the only things I've seen as issues from other people is either something getting spilled on the shifter and gunking it up, or the an improperly lubricated bushing. Any ideas?
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