Question about 1999 Saturn SL

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The shifter/transmission on my manual 5 spd 1999 Saturn SL1

The shifter on my manual 5 spd 1999 Saturn SL1 just all of the sudden went loose. I was in first gear, then went into reverse and then first again to park. Thats when the shifter went loose. I cannot put the car into any gear. Is this a transmission problem or a problem with the shifter and cable operation?

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This just happen to me a few weeks ago. If you take out the center piece in the car you should be able to see that the actual shifter is no longer connected to the rod which goes into the transmission. It is an easy problem to fix, however it is not cheap. I was told that you have to buy a complete new kit($250.00) for the shifter, however my dad gave me a different solution. He took some wire, and made a spider web type thing to keep it connected. On my car it was a small round plastic piece that broke, but I cannot remember what it was actually called. This little piece is not available through Saturn by itself, only through a complete kit. Please ask questions if this is not clear enough. Thanks :)

Posted on Sep 28, 2009

  • MommyJH Sep 28, 2009

    more info...I found this info from someone else with the same problem:



    "There is a plastic piece that connects the shift linkage to the shifter. When it breaks, your shifter just goes floppy in your hand. I discovered this because I was out in the boondocks when mine broke, and it was rig it up or not get home. I took it apart, and literally tied the shifter to the linkage with nylon string, and managed to limp it home. Anybody have the floppy shifter problem and get that fixed? saturn wants to make you replace the entire shift linkage for a $.50 plastic grommet, which is all that breaks. Oh hell no! I drilled the ball off the bottom of the shifter, got 2 big rubber grommets and a bolt from Ace hardware for less than $5, and bolted the shifter back to the linkage. 1 hour and $5 later, I was shifting better than I ever had on their cheap plastic ****. What was saturn going to do it for? $400, replace the ENTIRE shift linkage, because the plastic piece was connected to it."



    Maybe this will explain it better. :)

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The shifter linkage on my 1999 Saturn S broke and I took 17 gauge wire and wrapped it around the two pieces in a figure 8. It worked perfectly and the car shifts better than it did before it broke. Cost was about six dollars at Lowe's.

Posted on May 01, 2012

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