The gear linkage is a sequence of parts that connects to the gear stick and allows the driver to change gears. In a gear change system there is sometimes a rod attached to the gear handle which runs straight down and is attached to the brake pedal arm. At the end of this rod is a lever, near the brake pedal arm. There is a cable that runs from the firewall to the linkage. When the driver moves the gear stick the linkage system pulls or pushes on the cable. The same process happens on the transmission linkage and changes the gear. Some gear linkage systems work in a similar way but don’t use the rod. Instead the movement of the gear handle creates the necessary pressure on the cable.
The most common symptom of gear linkage failure is a difficulty shifting gears, particularly between 1st and 2nd gear. This may be accompanied by a grinding or crunching noise when attempting to change gears. This is often caused by the ball joint part of the linkage wearing and popping out of its socket. This will need to be replaced before improvement will be seen.