Q: I have an automatic shifter that suddenly got loose. I no longer need to push in the button to shift from park to drive.

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The shifter simply slides up and down. Never connecting to any gear. This morning I put it in reverse backed out of my parking spot, then when I went to put it in drive it suddenly felt loose (shifter) and drive wouldn't work. It seems stuck on park after I played with the shifter trying to get it to go in gear. The shifter feels extremely loose.

My car has 159000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds as though you have probably had a shifter cable break, or a corresponding part of the shift linkage. Of course, it may have been the shifter has failed, but it is more than likely the shift cable, as this is the most common failure. It would be necessary to do a visual check of the cable where it mounts to the transmission. It would be best to have someone move the shifter through the gears while you watch to see if the linkage is moving. If this is something that you feel you could use a hand in diagnosing and/or repairing, contact a certified mechanic, like the mobile mechanics available at YourMechanic.com.

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