Q: Shifter cable broke in heavy traffic on highway

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I tried to downshift while driving at highway speeds of about 55-60 mph. The traffic was such that I needed to downshift, but there was no response from the manual gear shift lever. It was totally limp and even seemed disconnected from the shifting system. I maneuvered the car through the traffic and onto the off ramp, then safely into a parking spot. The car had to be towed to the nearest dealership where they reported to me that the shifter cable had broken. Later I researched and found that this is a common problem with other drivers with cars like mine. It is definitely a safety issue since the lack of shifting ability in any kind of traffic presents a hazardous situation. The mileage on my car is 65,000 miles. In my reading I learned that cars of any mileage have had this problem and many of them reported that their shifter cable had repeatedly broken. When I get this replaced, what can be done to prevent this from happening again to my car?

There are a lot of inquiries regarding a similar issue with vehicles of your year and model. The linkage connection is made of plastic and will eventually break. A metal safety clip or an extra tie may be used to hold the connection steady, but this will cause friction as the connection is designed to pivot. The best option without the availability of an upgraded part is to replace the worn unit with a factory one. If you need help with this, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to scope out the shifting problem and help you follow through with correct repairs.

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