Run a Tight Shift!: Fixing a Loose Gear Shift
Normally, your gear shifter wouldn't become loose. Still, there are lots of situations that go a bit beyond normal like the aftermath of a collision, an improperly reinstalled shift lever (if previously removed in doing other repairs), or really aggressive gear shifting when driving. A loose gear shifter is a problem that can't be ignored for it could lead to your gear shift lever breaking in half. Fixing this problem usually involves replacing your lower gear shifter bushing. This is a simple project for an experienced DIYer.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Here's what you'll need:
- Phillips head screwdriver set (metric)
- 1/4-inch drive ratchet and socket set
- Gear shift repair kit
Step 1: Use your 1/4-inch drive ratchet, a metric socket, and your Phillips head screwdriver to remove the bolts and nuts holding the center console around your gear shifter. The rubber boot should now be exposed. Peel back any carpet as necessary to make room for the rubber boot to be pulled over your gear shifter.
Step 2: Remove the gear shifter knob from the top of your gear shifter by turning the knob counterclockwise.
Step 3: Pull the rubber boot over your gear shifter and set it aside.
Step 4: Use your ratchet and a metric socket to loosen and remove the retaining bolts at the base of your gear shifter.
Step 5: Use your pliers to remove the gear shifter ring.
Step 6: Extract your gear shifter lever from the console hole. You will find the bushing on the pivoted area at the bottom of your gear shifter lever. Inspect it for damage. If it seems to be in pristine condition, something else could be the problem. In either case, use your pliers to remove the bushing.
Step 7: Take a new bushing from your gear shift repair kit and place it over the pivotal ball end of your gear shifter lever. You can just push and twist the bushing against onto the ball end until it locks in place.
Step 8: Put everything back together by reversing the previous steps. Make certain that you properly tighten all the retaining nuts and bolts.
Step 9: Give your gear shifter lever a shake to see if it's still loose. If the problem persists, you may need to replace a different transmission component. See if you can replace the faulty component with a new one from your gear shift repair kit.