The car transmission is a remarkable invention. Somehow, it can change the gears of the car, knowing how fast the driver wants to drive and how fast he wants to get to the desired location.
The gear shifter cables connect the shifter to the shift mechanism. These cables effectively absorb vibrations transmitted from the engine.
How much does the gear shift cable replacement cost?
The costs of the gear shift cable replacement will be affected by some factors such as the location of your mechanic and the make and model of your vehicle. In general, you should be prepared to spend around $350 for the parts and labor.
For some car models, you may need to pay less than $240, while the cost of the more expensive brands will be more than $650. In the table below you will find the average costs of a gear shift cable replacement for some of the most popular car models.
Please keep in mind that these are just some estimates and the price can change over time.
|BMW 3 Series
As you can see, the replacement cost of the gear shift cable is variable. Also, you should know that the costs will be lower for cars with a manual transmission.
Factors affecting the cost
Make and model of the car
The repair costs may be lower or higher depending on the make and model of your car. For example, certain luxury brands like BMW or Audi tend to have advanced systems and specialty parts that are more expensive to fix.
Manual or Automatic
Most manual transmission cars have two cables that connect the gear and transmission assembly, while modern automatic transmissions have only one cable. However, manual transmission cars are cheaper to repair than automatic ones.
Age of the car
You may have to replace other parts of your car’s transmission as well, depending on how old is it. In case you have an older model, it may be harder and more expensive to find the necessary pieces.
Extend of damage
In case the gear shift cable is only a little loose, the mechanic can tighten up the loose piece. On the other hand, if it is snapped or stretched, then you have to purchase a new cable.
In general, the gear shift cables are made of a mixture of steel and plastic. Expect to pay more for the cables made of high-durability materials.
Tune-Up vs Replacement
In some situations, the problems of your car’s transmission may not be caused by a disconnected or broken gear shit cable. Instead, there may be a problem with your gear linkage system.
Expect to spend around $120 or even less for a simple transmission tune-up. In general, you can repair a loose shifter linkage for around $60.
Gear shift cable overview
In the case of vehicles with automatic transmission, they have a cable or link that has the role of connecting the transmission to the gear shifter. Vehicles with manual transmission have two cables like this. When these cables fail or no longer work in optimal parameters, the car will have problems with the gear shift. Most often you will notice a difficulty when the car is in motion when the change is made between the first two speeds. Depending on the fault, this cable can be recalibrated or will require replacement.
Symptoms od a broken gear shift cable
The car no longer shifts gears
This is a symptom that you definitely cannot miss. When you try to change the gear, the car actually cannot be placed in the appropriate speed.
Clunking sounds when changing gears
Transmission problems will manifest differently in a car with an automatic gearbox than in a car with a manual gearbox. In the case of a manual gearbox, you may notice a creaking sound when you change gears.
In the case of an automatic box, you can feel this problem if your car makes a sudden jump when changing gears, instead of the change going unnoticed. In this case, you have to go to a mechanic.
The gear shift is too loose
You may notice that there is less pressure on the shifter and the gear shift is too loose. In this situation, the gear shift cable lost most of its tension and is damaged.
The car will not turn off
You might not be able to correctly put your car in park if the cable is stretched too much. In this case you will not be able to turn off your vehicle and remove the key from the ignition.
Is it safe to drive a car with gear shift cable problems?
Obviously, it is not recommended to drive a car that has any kind of problem, not just the gear shift cable. But especially those related to the transmission can make your car an unreliable asset. The best option would be to fix the problems before they cause even greater damage.
Try to pay attention to the symptoms in time and call a mechanic at the first signs your car shows in order to have the safest possible trips and a car you can rely on.
How often should I replace my gear shift cable?
This depends on how often you shift gears and the type of cable. It is recommended to change it once every two years in case of moderate use. Though, a cable can last up to 5 years or even more.
Is it cheaper to repair an automatic or manual gear shift cable?
In general, it would be cheaper to repair a manual transmission than an automatic transmission. This is because automatic transmissions are more complex and have more parts. On the contrast, manual transmissions are simpler.
Can I replace the gear shift cable myself?
It is pretty simple to replace a gear shift cable and you can replace it on your own. You will only need a tool to access the shifter box in the transmission and a nut wrench. However, if you don’t have any experience with cars, you should go to a mechanic. The gears will move incorrectly if the cable is too short or too long.
One of the important parts of the car transmission system is the gear shift cable. This is one of the cheapest car parts and one of the easiest to repair. It is also very important as you will not be able to control your car correctly without a gear shift cable.
So, it is recommended to repair a damaged gear shift cable as soon as possible. Also, in order to get the best possible price, ask for quotes from multiple mechanics.