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Old 11-01-2007, 02:46 PM   #1
greensat1
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Default 96 Saturn SL2 Stuck in 1st gear--Manual

I have a 1996 Saturn SL2 with a manual transmission. The clutch is working fine, but I can only drive in 1st gear. I can move the stick to 2nd gear, and nothing happens--I think that it is a broken bushing on that cable. The car will also not go into neutral.

The weird thing is that when I try to shift to 3rd 4th or 5th, it won't let me. It is like it is stuck just moving from 1st to 2nd. If I push it to go in towards the right (Where 3rd 4th, and 5th gears are) it simply won't let me.

I'm wondering what is wrong exactly, and how much it will cost to fix--I know that I can order the bushing separately from the cables. Is it a big job to fix it, because if it is, I'm just going to scrap the car.

Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: 96 Saturn SL2 Stuck in 1st gear--Manual

Ah dont scap the car! IMO its your cables. You might want someone to sit and try to move the stick into the different gears as you look under the hood at the back side of the tranny and see if the two cables are moving the levers. That might help you evaluate what the problem might be. Someone here might also know exactly what is wrong tho. But that would be my first step
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: 96 Saturn SL2 Stuck in 1st gear--Manual

Actually, it is working in 1st and 2nd gear (I can drive just fine in either gear), but when I try to push the shifter to the right where the rest of the gears are, it simply won't move to the right. It is like there is blocking it from moving right, but it moves up and down just fine. So I don't think that a bushing broke.
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: 96 Saturn SL2 Stuck in 1st gear--Manual

id pull the shifter cover off and take a look underneath. see if anything is out of place or something
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: 96 Saturn SL2 Stuck in 1st gear--Manual

TWO cables control the shifting. One carries fore-aft movement and the other carries left-right movement. The COMMON failure is the bushing on the fore-aft cable, where it attaches to the shifter, taking a dump. But you have GOOD fore-aft movement, and NO left-right movement. THAT'S the cable you want to check.

As said, remove the console and explore visually. Move the shifter fore-aft and left-right to see how the cables work.

Also look under the hood as an assistant moves the shifter fore-aft and left-right. This will familiarize you with which cable is which. Under the hood, there are two things to look for. There's a little clip on the end of the cable "core" (the actual moving part of the cable), that clips it to the link on the tranny. There's also a big metal clip that holds the cable "housing" (the part of the cable that DOESN'T move) onto the CASE of the tranny. If you see that "housing" move, then that clip has probably come off or broken, and indeed the "core" won't move the link on the tranny.
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