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Will Not Shift


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Trulyoldnavy

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Posted September 13, 2008 at 02:03 pm

I have a 2002 PT Cruiser with 5 speed manual transmission. Today the wife went to drive it and the transmission will not shift into gear with the engine running. With the engine off I can shift into all gears easily but with the engine running, clutch in or out, it will not go into any gear or, if put into gear before starting the engine, come out of gear. The clutch appears to be working fine since I can drive around in first and the transmission will engage and disengage with the pedal. Does any one have an ideas on things I can check myself before paying an outrageous amount of money to have a garage fix it?

Thank you in advance,

#2 Cudapete

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Posted September 13, 2008 at 07:58 pm

Sounds like a problem with the synchros. Can you get reverse? It's not synchronized. You can also try double clutching.

Edited by Cudapete, September 13, 2008 at 07:59 pm.


#3 EWTech

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Posted September 13, 2008 at 11:09 pm

This car, like the Neon, has a cable operated shifter. I'd look for the cable ends on the other side of the firewall and see if one of the cables broke loose. There are likely to be two, one for each axis. One axis works up-down and the other works cross-wise. I once had a 1973 Maverick that had bent "fingers" on the other side of the firewall that shifted the three-speed manual transmission. When the fingers were bent they would interfere with each other and the car would only go in 3rd or reverse gear. Your car seems to have something like this going on.

Edited by EWTech, September 13, 2008 at 11:10 pm.


#4 Cudapete

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Posted September 13, 2008 at 11:28 pm

He says he can shift into any gear with the engine off. If the cable was the problem it wouldn't matter if the engine was on or off. I had the cable bushing fail on my 01 but I was still able to shift without any problem. Replaced it with a Booger bushing.

#5 ImperialCrown

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Posted September 14, 2008 at 07:00 am

It could still be the clutch. It may disengage enough not to move the car, but be dragging enough to not allow gear selection. If you are at a stop in gear with the engine running and the clutch pedal pushed to the floor, do you feel a 'pop' when moving the shifter to neutral? Try bleeding/flushing the clutch hydraulics with clutch/brake fluid.

#6 Trulyoldnavy

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Posted September 14, 2008 at 08:05 am

I had to replace my shift cable bushings about 6 months ago. I also used bugger bushings (the only ones I could find actually). Guess I should have mentioned that in the original post. Since replacing the bushings this is the first shift related problem I have had. Currently with the engine running I can't shift out of gear. With the engine running I can't get into reverse either. I will try bleeding the clutch.

Thanks greatly for the assistance.


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