Shift Selector Cable Replacement Service
Cable Engineering Services designs, manufactures and repairs high quality Shift Selector Cables for automotive, marine and heavy machinery use.
Our wide range of shift selector cables & cables can be used for multiple applications, from motor vehicle throttle and gear selector cables to steering cables for boats or jet skis.
What is a shift selector cable and how does it work?
The shift cable connects the shifter, located on the steering column or in a floor-mounted console, to the automatic transmission. The cable is usually made of steel and is protected from the weather by an outer plastic jacket. At each end of the shifter cable, rubber or nylon bushings often allow for cable movement and vibration. In some applications the cable is adjustable in case it stretches during use.
When to consider replacing the shift selector cable:
- No reaction to switching movement. If the cable breaks or the cable ends separate, you won't be able to shift at all. Sometimes it comes down to replacing the cable end cap. In other cases, the entire cable assembly must be replaced.
- Shift indicator mismatch with gear.A stretched shift cable can cause the car to be in a different gear than you think you selected. If the cable is adjustable, this could be fixed without buying a new cable.
- Ignition key cannot be removed. If the cable is broken or one end of the cable has come loose, you may not be able to park the vehicle. In this case, the key usually cannot be removed from the ignition switch.
How do mechanics replace the shift selector cable?
- First, the cable ends are examined to determine if the problem is a broken or missing socket. Occasionally the nylon bushing on the drive end of the cable will snap. If that's the only problem, the mechanic will press in a new hub, reconnect the cable, and test the system.
- In the event that the cable breaks or stretches to the point where adjustment does not work, the vehicle is raised and supported on steel stands.
- The shift cable is disconnected at both ends, at the transmission and at the base of the shifter.The new cable is routed and the bushings are pressed or in the case of a mechanically linked system a nut and bolt is tightened to connect the cable to the shifter in the gearbox.
- The car is lowered and the shift cable is tested to see if it is properly adjusted and working.
Is it safe to drive with a shift selector cable problem?
No, In general it is difficult to operate the vehicle when the shift cable is snapped, stretched, or dislodged, making the car undrivable. In the event of a stretched cable, it's safe to use the car temporarily as long as you can select Park and Drive until repairs can be made. If Parking CANNOT be selected, the car is not safe to drive and the car should be left where it is with the emergency brake on and the wheels locked while you arrange a repair.
When replacing the shift selector cable keep in mind:
- A mechanic will attempt to reuse your existing cable if only the ends of the cable are needed or if the cable can be adjusted. However, if the cable's steel strands show significant corrosion, or if the cable is clearly stuck or stuck in its plastic sheath, a cable replacement will be performed.
- In an emergency and to move an automatic transmission vehicle, a mechanic can walk right in and move the manual lever on the transmission to put the vehicle into drive mode so you can drive the car home while you await repairs .
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