Shifter Moves But Doesn’t Change Gears? (Here is why)

The automatic shift in your car’s cabinet picks up your input to move the car into the gear the driver needs. When the driver shifts the gear from, say, “Park” to “Drive,” the movement of the moving switch is transmitted to the sensor using a flexible cable transmission.

Connections to both ends of the flexible cable may wear out and loosen over time, or the flexible cable may break or expand completely. It can result in a loose shift that does not change any gears regardless of the input.

Reasons Why Your Shifter Gets But Does not Change Gears: 

The actual cause of a faulty shifter varies type of vehicle. Still, a poorly customized cable or a loose connection of a flexible cable to the shifter and transmission connector is perhaps the most likely culprit.

Loose Shifter Wire at Transmitting:

The shifting cable connects the gearbox sensor to the shifter in the cabin (AKA transmission range sensor, AKA neutral safety switch).

The cable is secured at both ends with nuts and bolts, and there is provision for adjustment on both ends if the shifter cable needs to be replaced with different length.

Vibrations and daily wear and tear can cause the connectors on both ends to loosen.

The connection ends of the shifting cable may freely move in the adjusting slot rather than being set in a measured position because of this.

Irrespective of the inputs at the shifter end, the shifter will move around freely, not switch gears or convert into the wrong gear.

Broken Shifter Cable:

A flexible cable that connects shift and transmission tends to stretch, bend, wear, and tear over time. Stretching the cable can cause the switch to shift gears compared to the switching position.

For example, if a switch with an extended switch cable shifts from “Park” to “Drive,” the active gear reported on the dashboard could be “(N) Neutral” or “(L) Low Gear. Shifter cable can sometimes break completely and completely disconnect the shifter and transmission connection.

However, a complete cracking of the flexible cable is less likely to occur in most vehicles. Suppose the convertible cable is still intact and firmly attached to both the test’s transmission and terminal end. Then the problem may be the sensor of your vehicle’s transmission line or the transmission itself. However, this is uncommon.

Reduce Transmission Fluid:

Transmission fluid is essential for the proper functioning of your transmission, whether automatic or manual. The liquid lubricates the moving parts inside the transmission, keeping them from producing serious friction.

Over time, this liquid can become damaged and contaminated. If the dirty liquid stays in your transmission for a long time, it can make it very difficult to move. In addition, bad or expired fluids can damage your transmission, so it is best to have them tested and dealt with immediately.

Also Read: Toyota Corolla B Gear (All you wanted to know)

If you guys want a proper video explaining the mechanics and what can you do to fix your gear, check out this video,

Credits: Auto Repair Guys

Is it Safe to Drive a Car with a Damaged Replace Cable?

It is not safe to drive a car with a broken replacement cable. A car with a broken flexible cable will not change gears on any user input. If your car cable is damaged, it is advisable not to call a mechanic or call a mechanic to replace the flexible cable in your area or drag the car to a nearby workshop.

How much does it Cost to Repair a Car Shift? 

Replacing the Shifter cable is not a very difficult task. The complexity of the work varies from car to car, depending on how far the cable is accessible from the switch and the transmission end.

If a flexible cable connection has been loose in any area, it can strengthen with up to 30-50 USD labor costs. But if you suspect that your complete flexible cable is broken, bent, or stretched, new cables will cost about 80-120 USD, and working with cable replacement takes you back another 100-200 USD.


If you find yourself in a situation where your gear printer moves but does not change gears, it is a good idea to look for a mobile mechanic who can go to your place and install a flexible cable. You should not drive in this situation, even if you can get a car in Drive mode.

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