Mechanics

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION SAFETY

1995 Saturn SL1 • 4 cylinder 2WD Automatic • 138,000 miles

My daughters 1995 Saturn SL1 automatic shifter will move to any gear, without the use of the button on the side of the shift handle, regardless of your foot being on the brake pedal or not, regardless if the key is in or out of the ignition. When pressing the button I can feel there is no tenstion at all. Until I get this fixed, if she is traveling down the road, and if a passenger were to bump the car into reverse or park, will it engage that gear or will the transmission not shift at speed into a gear that would cause damage?
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Kevzb
January 9, 2011.



If it get's shifted into park while it's driving down the road it will destroy the parking pawl inside the transmission and can destroy other part's inside the transmission. If it get's shifted into reverse while driving down the road it's supposed to have a lock out to not engage reverse while moving forward. But I wouldn't want to test that feature. As far as the problem goes my best guess is the shift assembly you shift with is all gummed up and not releasing from the button being depressed position.I have seen that happen before from soda coffee etc being spilled and gumming it up. Your starting point is to remove the center console and have a look and see what's going on. If you can't free it up you will have to replace it with a new or used shifter assembly. Let me know what you find.

Saturntech9
Jan 9, 2011.
To give a little back story, the car was not shifting out of park, with any scenerio (Key in, brake pressed, ect). It finally shifted out of park but the key was stuck in the ignition. I bought a new key and cylinder, and it would stick also. When replacing it I realized the pin, that enters the key cylinder from the bottom, was bent. I removed that module (with the cable pulled out)and the key works fine now. Thinking I was done I was checking the shifter operation and realized it moved into any postion at anytime. Come to find out my kids way to get it unstuck last was to kick it. What/or how does the locking mechanism from the button work? I plan on taking the console apart tomorrow to see what it looks like.

Tiny
Kevzb
Jan 9, 2011.
That cable did you remove it completely?That cable actually has a spring on it that move's the shifter assembly back into place so the brake interlock solenoid will lock it into the park position until you press on the brake pedal. So removing that cable was part of the problem for the shifter issue you have now. You will have to get another cable and put it in. After you replace the cable you can see how the shifter operates and you will have the console out to see everything work. Another issue that probably started the not being able to turn the key off and that pin to get bent was that cable was out of adjustment. Really common for that car I have adjusted a lot of those cable's for the key not turning off.

Saturntech9
Jan 9, 2011.