Is there a way I can manually switch my car into neutral so I can roll it back and take it in somewhere?

Tiny
JAKEBALTIMORE
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 195 MILES
I recently lost the ability to go into reverse so as a quick fix I would just put it into neutral and roll my car backwards in order to get it into reverse. But just the other day I went to switch it into neutral and it seems to still be in park. So I can't move my car backwards and it is in a position where it is not able to drive forwards. What do you think the problem is? And is there anyway that I could switch it into neutral manually and then take it in somewhere?
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 7:14 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sounds like your shifter cable is loose on its mount under the hood. Watch it while a helper moves the shift lever. I suspect you'll see the outer casing move back and forth. If you do, it needs to be adjusted to the correct position, then tightened.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 7:18 PM
Tiny
JAKEBALTIMORE
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I did have my brother look at it while I was switching gears however all we noticed was that the lever did seem that it was shifting. But I dont know what you mean by if the outer casting was moving back and forth?
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 7:31 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The cable goes through the outer casing. It's that casing that has to be anchored on both ends. One end is normally adjustable, either the casing or the cable itself. Regardless if the casing is adjustable or not, if it comes loose, it will slide in its bracket instead of pushing and pulling on the cable.

If the lever on the transmission is clicking into different positions but the car is staying stuck in park, that suggests something is broken inside the transmission. As far as transmission repairs go, that would be a very inexpensive fix unless whatever is broken is hard to get to.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 8:27 PM
Tiny
JAKEBALTIMORE
  • MEMBER
Ok I understand. But is there anyway that I would be able to get my car to go backwards far enough that I could then drive forward to get it looked at? Or would I have to tow it out? Another questions is if I have someone try to pull it backwards with that rip my gears or would it be ok?
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 8:47 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Pulling it in park will rarely hurt anything in the transmission but the tires will skid. One might even turn backward if the other one has more traction. This is actually something the sorry owners of some newer Volkswagens have to contend with if they simply disconnect the battery or let it run dead. Thanks to all the silly computer controls and the intentional money-sucking design, it won't come out of park, engine speed won't increase, and some engines won't even start after the battery is reconnected. The cars have to be dragged skidding onto a flatbed truck and hauled to the dealer to have numerous computers unlocked and that is not cheap. GM is one of the other four manufacturers with the same extremely customer-unfriendly business practices but they hadn't reached that stage of greed yet with your 2000 model.

If your car is on blacktop or cement, and you know someone with a floor jack with rollers, you can jack up one front wheel by the lower control arm, then push the car back by hand. The tire on the ground will roll freely and the jacked-up one will spin in the opposite direction you're pushing the car.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 10:10 PM

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