The shift lever is not actuating the shift linkage. The shift lever can be freely shifted up and down, from park to first gear, without the linkage moving.
There is a cable that connects the actual linkage on the transmission to the shifter in the car. If the cable somehow breaks or becomes dislodged it will feel similar to what you are describing. This is a common issues with some vehicles. If this happens the cable itself will need to be replaced. I suggest asking a mechanic to help, such as one from YourMechanic. Shift selector cable replacement often requires disassembly of shifter and console assemblies. Some of the clips may require special tools to remove them without breaking. A mechanic should be able to do this without damaging them, install the cable and get you back on the road!
Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.
Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%