Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Shift Indicator (Automatic Transmission)

The shift indicator is located next to the gearshift assembly. As soon as you move the vehicle into gear, the shift indicator will let you know what gear you are in. For example, when you move from park to drive, the indicator will light up the D and the P will no longer be illuminated. Some vehicles use an arrow, but most have a lighting system that will indicate what gear your car is currently in. If you suspect your shift indicator is going bad, watch for the following symptoms:

1. Check Engine Light comes on

The Check Engine Light comes on for a variety of reasons and one of them is the shift indicator going bad. As soon as this light comes on, it is important to get your vehicle to a mechanic so the vehicle’s problem can be properly diagnosed. The shift indicator may be going bad, but so many other parts in the shifting system, such as cable can also cause the fault. It is important to have the right part diagnosed and replaced so your vehicle is safe to drive again.

2. Wrong gear reading

When you put your vehicle in drive, but it goes into neutral, then your shift indicator is not reading right. This can be a hazardous situation because your vehicle could act unexpectedly, and you will not know which gear your vehicle is really in. It is important to contact a professional mechanic to have your shift indicator replaced as soon as you notice this symptom to avoid problems.

3. Shift indicator does not move

If you move the gear selector and the shift indicator does not move at all, then there is a problem with the indicator. This could be a misalignment problem, which can be solved with an adjustment by a mechanic or there may be a more serious problem. In addition, the shift indicator could be going bad, so it is a good idea to have a professional diagnose the issue so all of the problems can be resolved at once.

As soon as you notice the Check Engine Light, the wrong gear reading, or the shift indicator does not move, call a mechanic immediately to further diagnose the problem. The shift indicator is an important part of your vehicle and is a safety hazard if it is broken. Therefore, you should get this issue fixed as soon as you notice the symptoms.

YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your shift indicator easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.


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Subaru Forester H4-2.5L - Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection - Windermere, Florida
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Mercedes-Benz CLS550 V8-5.5L - Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection - New Port Richey, Florida
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