Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Gears won't engage and car has had five battery replacements

asked by on

First, when I put my car into Reverse the lights on the gear shift come on and the Reverse gear will not engage. Then I put my car into Park and then go back to Reverse. A second incident: the engine would not start even when it was in Park. Thinking it was probably the battery, a neighbor helped me to jump-start it. Because of a short in the doors and the power lock relays, I have already gone through “five” new batteries!

Finally when I put the car into Neutral, it started. When it goes through this long process, then I am able to drive it. To explain a third incident: I had parked the car and while my child was getting out, the car started rolling forward. My child could have been hurt! I’m so thankful there were no injuries! After that happened, I headed to my mechanic’s shop and they reported to me that the cause was the cable. I started researching online and found that there were thousands that were recalled due to the cable defect, but GM said that my make/model was not within that recall. They told me to have a GM dealer diagnosis it to see if they would take care of the fee. Before I do that, could you please give me your professional advice on what is causing this?

Hi there, this sounds like a frustrating problem. The linkage between the shifter handle and transmission assembly is a likely cause and is actually a very common problem on these Astras. The plastic bushing wears badly and can even break disconnecting the link. You may want to raise this issue higher with the manufacturer to see if this will get them to take action. Alternatively, if you would like to have this looked at by an independent source, a certified professional from YourMechanic can inspect the the shifting issue and battery problems in order to have this correctly diagnosed. From there, they can recommend and perform the right repairs to have this fixed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: no signigicant power in take off

Hello, thank you for writing in. The automatic transmission starts in first gear always. Considering the age of the vehicle, there are a large number of components that can be contributing to your symptoms. Start with the simplest fixes. When...

Q: brake light stays on

Yes, you should have it checked out immediately as the light is an important signal for road safety. The red brake light may just be something as simple as a faulty brake fluid level sensor, but it could be an...

Q: Electrical disconnect

The unfortunate part of electrical scenarios like this is, vehicle electronics and their sensitivity to voltage surges. Even something seemingly innocent like static discharge. If you were for example, holding the car's ecu in your hand and a static discharge...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.