Question about 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier

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My car will not go into gear. I think it may be the linkage or the transmision. The tires are locked and I cant even put it in neutral to move it. What is the average cost of repair? I have a 2001 Chevy Cavalier 24.

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The shift cable has probably come off of the shift lever on the transmission. To rebuild $2200.00 in the ball park.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009

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First does the shifter move? If it does the shift cable is most likely broken. To move the car it will take two people, one in the car to hold the brake down and one to go under the hood to move shift lever from park to drive. If this works replace shift cable and your done. Not sure of price of the cable. If you dont want to try this yourself most garages do this ype of repair you don't have to use a transmission shop.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009

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One way to test this is to disconnect the linkage and manually move the lever on the transmision making sure that it can be set into park. Also try moving the lever counting each click from park to low gear to make sure it is clicking into each gear. If this works then the linkage is probably out of adjustment.
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Gear stick will not move from park !


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* Floor shift automatic, the push pin lever (located inside your shifter/gear stick) may be malfunctioning. You have to pop the grip off and inspect the white plastic pin inside the shaft to see if it is damaged, also check inside the grip while you press the safety release (shift lock button) to ensure the internal slide mechanics are propperly working). Also check for anything obstructing the levers movement inside the floor housing.

** Column Shift. Make sure your pull pin lock is working properly (disengages the shift lock when you pull back the gear shift before you select a gear) if its broke theres two possible behaviors you'll experiance -1. You cant pull the gear shift back at all or -2. No effort or less than normal effot is required to pull back the gear shift. If all that checks out then you have to inspect the steering column linkage bar (you may have to remove some of the steering column housing to view it. Make sure the bar isn't bent or that its movement isnt obstructed.

***Automatic Transmission Linkage Check - Look under the kick panel located above the gas and brake pedals.........Once linkage is located under the dash (kick panel) disconnect it and try the gear shift. If the cable moves under the dash then reconnect it and move on to the next step.
Now block the wheels and climb under the car and disconnect the linkage from the transmission and have someone work the gear shift while you see if the cable is operating propperly, if the linkage moves (as it should) then try shifting the transmission back and fourth by hand while the linkage is disconnected., If the shift bracket feels stiff or is dirty clean it off with non corosive chemicals so you dont damage any seals. If the bracket operates smoother go ahead and reconnect the linkage and try shifting with the column again. Be sure to move the shift bracket back to the park position and make sure your shifter column is in park as well before you reconnect the linkage, if you dont you are sure to run into more issues.

Hope this helps you out! If all the mentioned area's above are in working order then your problem is with the car's transmission and you should take it to a speciallist.

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If the car is not setting on a hill or incline, you should be able to move the shift levers by hand when you've loosened the linkage and move it until it is in neutral. Put on jack stands and chock the wheels that are on the ground.

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2 Answers

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I recommend procuring a Haynes or Chilton manual for your car. It will not only help you locate the source of your current misery but serve you well in the future too. They are available at about any auto parts store for ~$20 US 

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