What happens when the shifter cable breaks?

Asked By: Marketta Castaldo | Last Updated: 18th March, 2020
Category: automotive auto safety technologies
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If either cable is broken, the shifter handle won't return to the neutral position automatically if it isn't in gear. If the horizontal cable is broken, you won't be able to shift into any gear. If the vertical cable is broken, you'll be able to get into 3rd and fourth, but all other gears will seem non-existent.

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Besides, how do I know if my shifter cable is bad?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Shift Selector Cable

  1. Indicator doesn't match the gear. If the shift selector cable is going bad, the indicator light or cable will not match the gear you are in.
  2. Vehicle will not turn off.
  3. Vehicle starts in another gear.
  4. Vehicle will not go into gear.

Secondly, what is a transmission shift cable fracture? Your vehicle has a condition in which the transmission shift cable may fracture at any time. When the fracture occurs, the driver may not be able to select a different gear, remove the key from the ignition or place the transmission in park.

Besides, how much does it cost to replace a shifter cable?

The average cost for an automatic trans shift cable replacement is between $253 and $290. Labor costs are estimated between $136 and $173 while parts are priced at $117. Estimate does not include taxes and fees. When would you like to drop off your car?

Where is the shifter linkage located?

The shift linkage is located in the transmission tunnel of the vehicle and with exception of the shift knob, is accessed from underneath the vehicle. Because the linkage is located above the transmission there is very little space available to access the upper retaining pin.

30 Related Question Answers Found

Where is shifter cable located?

The shift selector cable connects the gear shifter, located on the steering column or on a floor mounted console, to the automatic transmission. The cable is typically steel and is protected from the elements by a plastic outer sheath.

What do you do when your car wont go into gear?

Refuses to Go Into Gear
If the car will not shift after engaging the clutch and trying to move the stick, take a look at the fluid to make sure that it is at the right level. Other causes include using the incorrect thickness (type) of fluid and the clutch linkage or shift cables needing adjustment.

How much does it cost to replace shifter bushings?

A shifter bushing costs on average between $10 and $15.

Is the shifter part of the transmission?

A gear stick (rarely spelled gearstick), gear lever (both, UK English), gearshift or shifter (US English) is a metal lever attached to the shift assembly in a manual transmission-equipped automobile and is used to change gears. In an automatic transmission-equipped vehicle, a similar device is known as a gear selector.

How do you change a shift cable?


How to replace shifter cables
  1. Step 1: Prep the bike and cut the old cables. Shift onto the smallest sprocket or chainring.
  2. Step 2: Strip the outer and eject the inner.
  3. Step 3: Measure up and cut.
  4. Fit the new inner cable.
  5. Step 5: Slide the outer cabling into place.
  6. Step 6: Attach to the derailleur and tension.
  7. Step 7: Dial it all in.

How long do shifter cables last?

five to eight years

Can you drive a car with a broken shifter cable?

If the cable is broken, you'll be able to move the shifter into any position, but the transmission will stay in the same gear. This may leave you stuck in gear, or even stuck in park depending on when the cable broke.

What connects the shifter to the transmission?

A manual transmission has a shift lever that connects to a set of forks. The forks move a sliding hub that in turn engage a drive gear. It sounds like you broke the shift lever, or the shift fork.

Why is my gear shift loose?

Generally, most all gear shifters will become loose due to aggressive gear changing from the gear shifter. Aggressive gear changing can cause damage to the bushing on the bottom of the gear shifter lever. Once the bushing is damaged, it will cause slack in the gear shifter.

How much does it cost to fix a gear shift?


Costs of Shift Cable Replacement
The total cost to complete the job would be about $289 using OE parts, or about $187 using aftermarket parts. For a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta with a 2-liter engine and automatic transmission, the labor time to replace the shift cable is estimated at 1.4 hours.

What is a shifter cable?

The shift selector cable puts the transmission into the proper gear, which is indicated by the shift selector that it has been moved by the driver. Automatic transmission vehicles normally have one cable that runs from the transmission to the shifter assembly, while manual transmission vehicles have two.

How do you adjust a shifter cable?

Check the shift cable where it attaches to the transmission shifter arm. Use your wrenches to place tension or remove tension on the cable until it forces the shifter on the engine block into neutral as well. Then tighten the locking screws to keep the cable sleeve from moving in the future.

How does a shift cable work?

The shift cable runs up through the firewall and attaches to this lever. The cable runs from the firewall to the transmission gear shift linkage, where it is attached and held securely in place. As the handle is moved, it either pulls or pushes on the cable. In turn, the cable does the same to the transmission linkage.

How do you adjust shifter linkages?

Here is the process:
  1. Loosen your shift shaft adjustment nut when your transaxle is still on the 1st gear.
  2. Move forward your stick shifter lever. Turn to the left by holding it tight in the 1st gear.
  3. Strengthen your shift tube jam nuts by the use of two wrenches.

What do shifter cable bushings do?


Designed from high-quality materials for durability, Dorman's Automatic Transmission Shift Cable Bushing connects the shift cable to the shift linkage, eliminating play in the shift linkage.

What does a shift linkage do?

The Shift Linkage refers to the cables that connect the gearshift or gear selector to the transmission.

How do I know if my parking pawl is broken?

If your vehicle rolls forward or backward more than an inch or so after placing the shifter lever into “P” Park, the parking pawl may be badly worn. If your vehicle rolls more than a couple of inches, or rolls freely, after placing the shifter into Park, the parking pawl may be broken.