How To Fix Broken Gear Shifter? [A Simple Guide]

Like every other component in your car, your gear shifter will eventually wear out and lead to troubles. And when they fail, it will make the gear shift hard or left you immobile. Corroded shifter cables are more likely to get stuck in the housing and catch on parts of your gearbox, leaving you with wonky shifting.

In this article, you can learn how to fix broken gear shifter and the main reasons behind them. Let us dive into it.

How To Fix Broken Gear Shifter? What Are The Causes?

There can be many reasons for a stuck gear leaver. It can be due to an open circuit in the electrical system that can cause the shifter to become stuck or a worn-out gear cable. Here are the main reasons and their solutions-

1. Worn Out Gear Cables

These days cars with automatic and manual transmission car are equipped with two cables. These cables can be break or become stretched, depending on the mechanism. Speed shifting and slamming gears can result in early damage. A stretched cable can cause difficulty in switching gears. It will also cause the key to be stuck in the ignition place, as it has a locking mechanism.

How To Replace Gear Cables?

Replacing the worn-out gear cable is very easy. The cable is attached at two points, one at the shifter and one at the gearbox. You have to undo the mounts and replace the cable with a new one. Before reaching the shifter cable, you will have to remove a lot of plastic trims covering it. Transmission cables are not that expensive.

2. Issues With the Transmission Parking Pawl

The transmission stopping pawl is a security instrument, intended to prevent the wheels from pivoting when the gearshift is set in a park. If you exclusively rely upon the pawl and the transmission’s Park position to hold your vehicle back from rolling, then,  you hazard harming the pawl and breaking it. A broken parking pin will cause the gear lever to stuck in its place. 

Solutions For Stuck Parking Pin

This problem can be resolved if you release the pressure from the parking pawl.  Moving your car in both the direction will take the weight off the pawl and help release the shifter. Make sure that you immediately puy the e-brake on before the car returns to its original position, as it can again cause the pin to be stuck. Make sure you use ebrake in the future to hold the vehicle. 

3. Damaged Safety Mechanism

Each vehicle has a securing mechanism that keeps it from moving out of park until the driver’s foot is on the brake pedal. This instrument is known as a shift interlock solenoid. If you are learning how to fix broken gear shifter, then you should not miss this. 

At the point when you press the brake pedal, a signal is sent to the solenoid and this makes the mechanical unlock the shifter. A bad shift interlock solenoid will not respond to the brake pedal sign, and you will incapable to shift from the park. 

Ways To Fix Park Solenoid

The problem can be a failed electric connection of the solenoid. In that case, you should also check the grounds of the car. If the solenoid is itself stuck, then you can gently tap it with a hammer to unstuck it. A burnt or a failed solenoid should be replaced. Never attempt to repair it.

4. Brake Light Switch Failure

In the event that your brake lights quit working, this can influence the shift interlock component. These lights utilizing a switch, and if this switch breaks, your shifter will not work. A brake light switch activates when the brake pedal is pressed. It further tells the transmission ECU to release the shifter solenoid in order to release the mechanism. A failed switch will not send any signal.

How To Fix Brake Light Issue?

Most commonly, they fall from their bracket, and as a result, the switch will not get activated when you press the pedal. Put the switch back in its place in order to resume functioning. If the switch is itself bad, then get it replaced. There can also be faulty wiring causing the issue, get the connection checked. Also, keep in mind the ground connections.

5. Limp Mode Is Activated

Limp mode happens when the transmission control unit in your vehicle gets incapable to function as a result of a failed sensors. These sensors assist your vehicle with deciding when to change gears. If something is wrong, then it will consequently trigger a limp mode. While finding solutions for how to fix broken gear shifter, this can be your answer.

This component was intended to monitor the transmission until the driver arrives at an auto mechanics shop where the issue is normally analyzed. 

Solutions For Transmissions Code

Driving the vehicle in limp mode is considered unsafe. It is prescribed to tow the vehicle and get it scanned to get the trouble codes. The codes will tell exactly where the problem is. Sometimes, the problem is with some sensor, or bad transmission fluid, or a simple loose connection. If the transmission has faced serious damage, then you have to get your transmission rebuild by a specialist.

How Much Will It Cost To Fix A Stuck Gear Shifter?

The price range to fix the stuck gear shifter is very wide. If the problem is a simple loose connection, then it can be repaired in less than 50$. A brake switch replacement can cost around the same. Getting the transmission cable replaced will set back you around 200$. If a major component of transmission has failed, then rebuilding it can go up to 1000$.


While learning about how to fix broken gear shifter, it is obvious that most of the problems are caused due to a lack of maintenance habits. If you follow a general maintenance schedule, then you can avoid most of the problems. 

Sometimes, a tiny brake light switch can also leave you standard. If you still have any doubts, then comment down below.

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