The Dos and Don'ts of Buying a Shifter Bushing
Perhaps, one of the most important parts in your vehicle is the gear shifter. Without it, you won't be able to shift gears, and it'll be difficult to operate the vehicle. However, no matter how durable your vehicle's shifter is, some of its components will still cause problems because of wear and tear. One such component is the gear shifter bushing. Located at the base of the shifter lever, this bushing makes the shifter slack once it's worn out. If you want a responsive shifter, then you need to replace that worn bushing immediately. To help you choose the best replacement, here's a list of the dos and don'ts that you need to consider when buying a shifter bushing.
- Choose the material wisely. Nowadays, manufacturers of car parts make shifter bushings out of two materials: polyurethane and metal. Those made from polyurethane are favored by car owners who want a firm yet stiff shifting feel. On the other hand, metal shifter bushings are bought by drivers who want gears that change instantly whenever they're shifted. However, no matter which type of bushing you're going to choose, make sure that you'll lubricate it for optimum performance.
- Buy replacement shifter bushings from trusted manufacturers only. One way to recognize trustworthy brands is by visiting their websites. Usually, good brands do not list dubious information on their websites. They have complete contact information, and they discuss the processes that their products go through.
- Purchase a direct fit bushing. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, then buying direct fit bushings is the perfect choice for you. This is because you don't need extra tools and expert advice to make your replacement bushing fit your vehicle's shifter.
- Don't disregard the product's warranty because it is very important. In fact, if the shifter bushing isn't covered by a warranty plan, you can't return it if you noticed defects on its workmanship. Moreover, having a warranty-supported bushing means that you'll save a lot of money in the future because you don't have to make frequent trips to your mechanic or local parts store.
- Don't buy an OE replacement if you don't know the OE number of your car's damaged bushing. Doing so will only give you a headache because the replacement bushing won't fit your shifter. If you want to know the OE number of a certain part, all you have to do is select your vehicle's make, model, and model year on the drop down menus of an online car parts store. Then, the database of this store will give you the most suitable OE replacement bushing for your vehicle.
Shifter Bushing: Quick and Simple Installation
If you're gear shifter feels loose, then you should check the shifter bushing for damages. Though oftentimes overlooked, this bushing is very important because it helps hold the shifter arm in place. Once it's busted, the arm will make rattling noises, and it will be difficult for you to change gears. To avoid these problems, a worn shifter bushing should be replaced immediately. Luckily, installing a replacement shifter bushing is as easy as 1-2-3. This guide will show you the quick and simple steps on how you can do this repair by yourself at home.
Difficulty level: Easy
What you'll need:
- Replacement shifter bushing
- 1/4-inch drive metric socket set
- Phillips head screwdriver set
- 1/4-inch drive ratchet
Step 1: Using the Phillips screwdriver, 1/4-inch drive socket set, and ratchet, loosen the nuts and bolts that are holding the center console in place. Doing this will give you easy access to the shifter rubber boot.
Step 2: Remove the carpet surrounding the boot carefully so you can detach it from the shifter later.
Step 3: Uninstall the gear shifter knob by turning it counterclockwise. Once it is removed, drag the boot over the shifter lever. Place the boot somewhere safe so you won't lose it.
Step 4: With the metric socket and ratchet, remove the bolts found at the end of the shifter lever.
Step 5: Once the bolts are removed, detach the retaining ring of the gear shifter with your pliers. Doing so will make it possible for you to pull the shifter lever off.
Step 6: After removing the lever, you'll see the damaged shifter bushing. Pry this off carefully using the pliers.
Step 7: Attach the replacement bushing at the pivotal ball end of the lever. Then, twist the bushing in place with your hand.
Step 8: Put the retaining ring and shifter lever back in place. Don't forget to tighten the bolts using the metric socket and ratchet.
Step 9: Reinstall the rubber boot and center console. Afterwards, test drive your vehicle for a few miles to make sure that the shifter is working properly.
Post-installation tip: To prolong the life of your car's shifter bushing, avoid shifting gears aggressively.