A shift selector cable is used to connect the gear shifter to the steering column in a vehicle with automatic transmission. If the cable breaks or its ends detach, you might not be able to operate your vehicle and would need a shift selection cable replacement service.
What is a Shift Selector Cable and What does it do?
The shift selector cable is made of steel and is encased in a plastic outer=sheath for protection. The shift cable ends have a rubber or nylon bushing that helps the cable move and vibrate.
The shift selector cable connects the gear shifter to the transmission. If this cable is broken, detached or stretched, the gears will not shift, making it impossible for you to drive the car. In some cases, the cable just needs to be adjusted if it stretches while being used. Other times, however, you will need shift selector cable replacement.
Why is Shift Selector Cable Replacement Necessary?
A broken, detached or stretched shift selector cable will result in you not being able to shift the car. In many cases, this renders the car undrivable. However, if the shift selector cable is stretched, you might be able to temporarily drive the car until the cable the adjusted. If you are unable to put the car in Park mode, it’s not safe to drive the car. You should apply the emergency brakes, block the wheels and leave the car at its place until the cable is repaired.
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When do you need Shift Selector Cable Replacement?
You might need to adjust or replace the shift selector cable and bushing or replace the entire cable assembly if one of the following problems occur.
- You are not able to shift gears. This means either the cable ends have detached or the cable is broken. Have an expert mechanic look into this matter to determine the next course of action
- The car isn’t shifting into the gear you are selecting. If the shift indicator doesn’t match the gear, it means that the shift selector cable is stretched and needs either adjusting or replacement.
- You are unable to remove the key from the ignition. A broken cable or detached shift selector cable ends might lead to an inability to place the car in Park mode. This makes removing the key from the ignition impossible.
How is Shift Selector Cable Replaced?
If you face any of the above issues, you should immediately contact a professional mechanic. They will first examine the cable and determine if it’s a broken cable or a lost bushing. Sometimes, it is also possible that the cable end has cracked. In such cases, the mechanic will only replace the bushing and test the system.
However, if the problem is a broken or stretched shift selector cable, they will need to replace the shift selector cable. This is done in the following manner.
- Raise the vehicle on jack stands
- Detach the cable from both ends, the transmission as well as the shifter end and remove it
- Route the new cable and press in new bushings. For a mechanically, connected system, the mechanic will have to tighten the nut and bolt and connect the cable to the shift lever on the transmission.
- Remove the car from the jack stands
- Test the vehicle for proper adjustment and operation
It’s not safe to drive your car if it can’t shift to Park mode. If the shift selector cable is broken, corroded, detached or stretched, it is important to get it immediately checked. If the cable is adjustable, it might not be necessary to replace it. However, if that’s not the case, you will need shift selector cable replacement. Post a request on Swezo to connect with qualified mechanics.