Shift Selector Cable Replacement at your home or office.

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Shift Selector Cable Replacement Service

What is a shift selector cable and how does it work?

The shift selector cable connects the gear shifter, located on the steering column or on a floor mounted console, to the automatic transmission. The cable is typically steel and is protected from the elements by a plastic outer sheath. At each end of the shift cable, often rubber or nylon bushings allow for cable movement and vibration. In some applications, the cable is adjustable, in case the cable stretches while in use.

When to consider replacing the shift selector cable:

  • No response to gear shift movement. Should the cable break, or the cable ends detach, you will not be able to shift at all. Sometimes it is a matter of replacing the cable end bushing. Other times, the entire cable assembly must be replaced.
  • Shift Indicator doesn't match the gear. A stretched shifter cable may result in the car being in a different gear than the one you believe you have selected. If the cable is adjustable, this might be resolvable without buying a new cable.
  • Unable to remove key from ignition. If the cable has broken, or a cable end has detached, you may not be able to place the vehicle in park. In that event, the key will usually not be removable from the ignition.

How do mechanics replace the shift selector cable?

  • The cable ends are first examined to determine if the issue is a broken or lost bushing. Occasionally, the nylon bushing at the transmission end of the cable will crack. If that is the only issue, the mechanic will press in a new bushing, re-attach the cable and test the system.
  • Should the cable be broken, or stretched such that adjusting it will not work, the vehicle is raised and supported on steel jack stands.
  • The shift cable is detached at each end — at the transmission and at the base of the shifter.
  • The new cable is routed and the bushings are pressed on, or in the case of a mechanically-connected system, a nut and bolt are tightened to connect the cable to the shift lever on the transmission.
  • The car is lowered and the shift cable is tested for proper adjustment and operation.

Is it safe to drive with a shift selector cable problem?

No. Usually, it will be difficult to operate the vehicle if the shift cable has broken, stretched, or detached — so the car may not be drivable. In the case of a stretched cable, so long as you can select Park and Drive, it is safe to temporarily use the car until repairs can be made. If Park can NOT be selected it is unsafe to operate the car and the car should be left where it is with the emergency brake applied and the wheels blocked while you schedule a repair.

When replacing the shift selector cable keep in mind:

  • A mechanic will attempt to re-use your existing cable if only cable ends are needed or if the cable can be adjusted. However, if the steel strands of the cable show significant corrosion, or the cable is clearly sticking or binding in its plastic sheath, a cable replacement will be performed.
  • In an emergency, and to move a vehicle with an automatic transmission, a mechanic can directly access and move the manual lever on the transmission to put the vehicle in Drive so you can drive the car to your home while awaiting a repair.

Recent Shift Selector Cable Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(212)

Rating Summary
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Jesus

12 years of experience
12 reviews
Jesus
12 years of experience
Lincoln Mark LT V8-5.4L - Shift Selector Cable - Columbia, South Carolina
Great Mechanic. Positive attitude about the job and committed to doing the job right. Thanks for all your help.

Gustavo

17 years of experience
405 reviews
Gustavo
17 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-5.4L - Shift Selector Cable - Schertz, Texas
Gustavo explains everything that you want to know - ask him and he provides details of what may have caused failure / or repair itself. I have used / and requested Gustavo as it brings continuity on my car up keep. I will continue to use Gustavo - simply the best.

Chris

11 years of experience
66 reviews
Chris
11 years of experience
Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT L6-4.2L - Shift Selector Cable - Fishers, Indiana
Chris was a real pro and exceeded my expectations. He was very knowledgeable about repairing my car and conducted himself in a professional manner. This is the first time for me using a mobile mechanic service but I will definitely be a returning customer. Great experience and the price was much less than a traditional repair shop.

Jesse

17 years of experience
65 reviews
Jesse
17 years of experience
Chrysler PT Cruiser L4-2.4L - Shift Selector Cable - San Antonio, Texas
Good experience. Jessie was punctual and completed repair of shifter in acceptable amount of time. I haven' t driven car yet but I'm sure he did a good job. I appreciate his explanations.

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