Your gear selector is connected to the transmission through a cable. Automatic transmissions usually have one cable, whereas manual versions generally have two. Shifter cables on either type of car produce the same result. They engage the transmission in the proper gear as indicated by the driver. Manual transmission vehicles come with two shift selector cables because the shifter can be moved vertically or horizontally. The ends mount with a swivel-style connector at either end. If the gearshift selector cable binds or seizes, it is difficult to engage the gear. If the cable breaks, the transmission will not be able to shift at all from its current position.
Facts to Note:
Manual transmissions are more likely to have shift selector cable problems due to higher usage than automatic ones.
How to Fix:
The vehicle battery is disconnected and vehicle lifted and put on jack stands
The faulty shift selector cable is detached
The new shift selector cable is fixed
The battery is reconnected and the vehicle removed from the jack stands
The vehicle is tested and shifter operation is checked
Mechanical shift selector cables can be greased during any transmission or clutch upkeep. If your gearshift is hard to move, or if the gearshift will not engage any gear, have one of your expert mechanics diagnose and change the shift selector cables if vital.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Shift Selector Cable:
Transmission doesn’t engage gear when you shift
Shifter needs to be shimmied in order for it to engage the gear
Gear indicator needle no longer lines up with the selected gear
Importance of this service:
Gearshift selector cables can cause great annoyance if they are not working well, and if broken, your vehicle is rendered useless until fixed. If you notice signs of a shift cable problem, have one of your professional mechanics examine it as soon as you can.