Mechanics

WHY IS MY SHIFTER SO HARD TO PUT INTO GEAR?

1999 Saturn SL2 • 260,000 miles

My transmission runs fine. No slippage or hesitation BUT actually putting it into gear with the shifter has become increasingly difficult. I almost feel like I'm going to break it sometimes trying to put it into first and second gear. Theres also a lot of play in the shifter. For example, when its in first gear it can wiggle as far as third gear. It doesnt go into third gear but I hope you understand what I mean. Please help.
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Edweezy21
June 28, 2012.



Could be the pilot bearing or synchronizer/s

Rasmataz
Jun 28, 2012.
I didn't even bother to think about the synchronizers. Completely forgot about those. Does that have to do with the play in the shifter as well?

Tiny
Edweezy21
Jun 28, 2012.
Just to add to this one that car doesnt have a pilot bearing. As far as the syncros that wont make excesive play in the shifter.I would fix the excessive play first and see how it shifts then. Play the console out and look at the shifter assembly it could be broken or just worn out. Before you do that make sure the cables are properly attached to this transmission.

Saturntech9
Jun 29, 2012.
Ok, so before I could respond to the replies. My car broke down. Not really broke down but the car won't shift into any gear now. The shifter kinda just droops around everywhere even without touching. For example, the shifter on a normal car in neutral stands straight up and mine doesn't. It either falls backwards or forwards. I can't "feel" any gears to even try to put the shifter into a gear. I had to get the car towed. PLEASE HELP. Thanks.

Tiny
Edweezy21
Jun 30, 2012.
Sounds like the cable end broke where it attaches to the inside shifter really common issue on those cars they sell a repair kit to fix the cable end.I wouldnt use the dorman repair end they never stay on. The plastic one piece is the best repair. They sell them on ebay. First make sure one of the cables didnt come loose from where it attaches to the transmission?If it didnt the look and see if it came at the inside shifter?Let me know what you find.

Saturntech9
Jun 30, 2012.
The shift linkage that comes from the transmission slightly behind the back-up light switch looks still intact. Although I'm a mechanic, I just became one by graduating school so I'm still fairly new at this and don't know how to fix certain things yet so I brought it to another mechanic and hes gonna take a look at it. I'll keep you updated. Thanks for your help.

Tiny
Edweezy21
Jul 1, 2012.
Why didnt you pull the console like I told you to see if the cable end broke?If that cable end broke they sell a repair kit for it instead of replacing the cables. These cars are my speciality iam a factory trained saturn tech Have been for many years. The S model saturns are super easy to work on and very prediable when they brake.

Saturntech9
Jul 1, 2012.
If its a broken cable end its a 20 min fix I have even just loosened the console to fix it. The repair kit on ebay even comes with complete instructions and how to repair it. Also on the ebay listing it tells you how to temp fix untill the part comes.

Saturntech9
Jul 1, 2012.
Ihad already brought the car to him before I saw your reply. And hes willing to fix it for free since I bought the car from him. Do you whats the name of the part/parts we need so we can order it?

Tiny
Edweezy21
Jul 2, 2012.
Heres the the link to repair the cable end that attaches to the inside shifter if thats what happened.Let me know how you make out when its all done.

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=180730225715&index=0&nav=SEARCH&nid=36173252489

Saturntech9
Jul 2, 2012.
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