Gears

Tiny
DEMON_DEACON
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
  • AUTOMATIC
This morning my 98' automatic Volkswagen Beetle stopped going into gear. I reversed in my driveway and when I went to put it into drive it would not go. The gear handel is just sliding back and forth. Now, it will not even go into reverse. It was running great yesterday. What could it be? Thanks!
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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 AT 1:41 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sounds like the shifter cable just became disconnected or possibly broken. You may be able to drive it to a repair shop if someone reaches under the hood to shift it into drive by hand while you hold your foot on the brake. You won't be able to back up or restart the engine once you turn it off, and be sure to park on level ground so the car doesn't coast away.
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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 AT 5:36 PM
Tiny
DEMON_DEACON
  • MEMBER
Thanks! I have been calling around and everyone told me that it was a cable. Do you know if that is a costly thing to fix? Thanks again.
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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 AT 6:30 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Can't find a listing for the cable so I can only offer the following: I had a '78 Chrysler that had the "magic" wear out that held the shifter linkage together. The fix was a 50 cent nylon bushing and 20 minutes to pop it in while laying on the floor. A typical shifter cable from the Chrysler dealer, (of which I only replaced one in ten years at the dealership), cost around $22.00 and took about half an hour to install. Volkswagen is more proud of their parts and prices them accordingly, so as a guess, I would suggest around $100.00 for parts and labor. First you have to be sure it's actually broken. The shifter typically works very hard for a few weeks before it breaks. That's because the frayed strands are getting caught inside the outer casing. If yours was working fine, then all of a sudden quit, there's a real good chance it's just disconnected on one end, the anchor for one end of the outer casing is loose and sliding back and forth, or the lever on the transmission came loose. Any of those would be quicker and less expensive fixes that you could do yourself.
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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 AT 8:20 PM

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