How to Fix Your Automatic Transmission Shift Indicator 101
An Automatic Transmission Shift Indicator is a light beside the gearshift assembly down to your right that serves as a readout indicating what your transmission is doing when you move the shifter. It's usually available for console shifters. It's the one responsible for ensuring that the readout represents in an accurate fashion what your transmission has been instructed to do.
The cable is usually separate from the shift selector cable, but both cables work in tandem. Your shift indicator won't display the right gear if the indicator cable is broken or stretched, necessitating replacement. Ditto when it comes to a burned-out bulb.Consult with a mechanic on which part has been busted before proceeding.
Difficulty Level: Easy
What You'll Need
- Screwdriver (optional)
- Replacement indicator bulb or cable
Step 1:What you're supposed to install depends on what's busted. It could be the shift indicator light or the shift indicator cable. If the light goes up when your headlights are on, then your indicator is working fine. If it doesn't, your bulb is burned out. It should all light up no matter your vehicle's options.
Step 2:Unscrew the shifter knob then take off the console that contains the pen tray and cup holder (the console upper rear panel sub-assembly, to be more specific). There are six tabs that keep it in place, one at every corner and one on each side.
Step 3:Clean up the console's accumulated grim and dirt after removal. Remove the upper position indicator housing, which is the piece that's around the shifter with a shift pattern. It has four u-shaped tabs that are keeping it in place.
Step 4:From there, you'll see the exposed bulb and its rubber bulb cover. The plastic piece around the shifter—also known as the slide cover—simply needs lifting off and cleanup. From there, you'll need to remove the bulb and its cover and/or the cable it's connected on for replacement.
Step 5:Twist the bulb or the indicator lamp wire sub-assembly a quarter turn then pull it out. Watch it from the top to see how far you need to twist it (it has clearly visible notches).
Step 6:Sometimes the orange rubber cover might be melted into the bulb while other times it's more of a cable or wiring problem. An indicator with a cover fused into its glass isn't reusable. Taking off the cable requires a bit more carefulness.
Step 7:If it's a bulb problem, you'll need to install a separate rubber cap unto your new bulb. The rubber is quite thin, so watch out. Otherwise, you'll have to pull the cable out and put a new cable in instead. You might even have to invest in a cable bracket.
Step 8:Put the new bulb with its cover into the socket, twist clockwise to tighten in up, and then put the console and the other parts back into their proper place. In other words, install everything in reverse order of how you uninstalled them. It's a five-minute job at most.
Fixing your automatic transmission shift indicator that's right next to your auto shifter is quite easy to do in a step-by-step manner. It will cost you a few dollars at most (including replacement parts, like the bulb and/or the cable).There are no tools required; you might scratch the plastic otherwise. However, a screwdriver is an optional tool that can make things easier for you.