Gear Selector Cable Manufacturers & Replacement Services

Cable Engineering Services is a leading provider of high-quality control cables for automotive, marine, and heavy machinery applications. With a wide range of cables suitable for various uses, such as motor vehicle throttle and gear selector cables, as well as steering cables for boats or jet skis, we are dedicated to meeting your cable needs.

We understand the frustration of needing the right cable when you need it the most. That's why our experienced staff can manufacture any cable for any vehicle or machine on the same day, ensuring you get back on track quickly.

What is a Gear Selector Cable and How Does it Work?

The gear selector cable is a steel cable that connects the gear shifter, which is typically located on the steering column or on a floor-mounted console, to the automatic transmission. It is encased in a plastic outer sheath to protect it from the elements, with rubber or nylon bushings at each end allowing for cable movement and vibration. In some cases, the cable is adjustable to account for stretching during use.

When to Consider Replacing the Gear Selector Cable:

  1. No Response to Gear Shift Movement:

    If the cable breaks or the cable ends detach, you won't be able to shift gears at all. In some cases, it may be possible to replace only the cable end bushing, but other times, the entire cable assembly may need to be replaced.

  2. Shift Indicator Doesn't Match the Gear:

    A stretched shifter cable can result in the vehicle being in a different gear than what you have selected. If the cable is adjustable, it may be possible to resolve this issue without replacing the entire cable.

  3. Unable to Remove Key from Ignition:

    If the cable is broken or a cable end has detached, you may not be able to shift the vehicle into park. In such cases, the key is usually not removable from the ignition.

How Do Mechanics Replace the Gear Selector Cable?

  1. Cable End Examination:

    Mechanics first examine the cable ends to determine if the issue is a broken or lost bushing. If only the bushing needs replacement, a new one is pressed in, and the cable is reattached for testing.

  2. Cable Replacement:

    If the cable is broken or stretched beyond adjustment, the vehicle is raised and supported on steel jack stands. The old shift cable is detached at each end - at the transmission and at the base of the shifter.

  3. New Cable Installation:

    The new cable is routed, and bushings are pressed on. In mechanically-connected systems, a nut and bolt are tightened to connect the cable to the shift lever on the transmission.

  4. Testing and Adjustment:

    The vehicle is lowered, and the shift cable is tested for proper adjustment and operation to ensure smooth gear shifting.

Is it Safe to Drive with a Gear Selector Cable Problem?

No, it is not safe to operate the vehicle if the gear selector cable is broken, stretched, or detached, as it may be difficult or impossible to shift gears. In the case of a stretched cable where you can still select Park and Drive, it may be safe to temporarily drive the vehicle until repairs can be made. However, if Park cannot be selected, the vehicle should not be driven, and appropriate precautions such as applying the emergency brake and blocking the wheels should be taken while scheduling a repair.

Considerations When Replacing the Gear Selector Cable:

  1. Cable Reuse Attempt: In some cases, a mechanic may attempt to reuse the existing cable if only the cable ends need replacement or if the cable is adjustable. However, if the steel strands of the cable show significant corrosion or if the cable is sticking or binding in its plastic sheath, a cable replacement will be necessary.

  2. Emergency Situation: In emergency situations where a vehicle with an automatic transmission needs to be moved urgently, a mechanic can directly access and manually move the manual lever on the transmission to put the vehicle in Drive or another gear, allowing you to drive the car to your destination while awaiting a repair.

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