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Hard shifting and no start fixed

 
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Old 19 Apr 2011, 04:19 pm
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Default Hard shifting and no start fixed

This is a 2001 automatic PT Cruiser. This past month the starter wouldn't engage unless the battery was charged overnight until this week when it wouldn't engage at all, not even a click. For six months the shifter became more difficult to move until last week when the starting problem got worse. The console and shifter knob were lifted off and the shift indicator plate was unscrewed so it could be rotated. A paper towel was placed over the end of the shifter cable while a lot of WD40 was sprayed into the shift cable using the long spray tube. Moving the shifter back and forth freed it up and also fixed the no start problem, the shifter wasn't moving forward enough to engage the neutral start switch even though it was in Park. Trying to start the car in Neutral was difficult because the tight shifter would overshoot the place where the switch closed making it appear that the starter was bad. If your shifter becomes hard to move then try spraying the cable with lubricant before it breaks or the car doesn't start. Also see the other part of this problem further down on this post.

Last edited by fastone; 02 May 2011 at 09:49 am.
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Old 19 Apr 2011, 04:49 pm
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Default Re: Hard shifting and no start fixed

Nice catch Fastone!
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Old 19 Apr 2011, 07:20 pm
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Default Re: Hard shifting and no start fixed

Fastone, great tip for those manual tranny's.
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Old 19 Apr 2011, 08:24 pm
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Default Re: Hard shifting and no start fixed

Not sure if this is the right place for it, maybe we should have Crewzin move it and/or sticky it....
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Old 19 Apr 2011, 08:57 pm
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Default Re: Hard shifting and no start fixed

Didn't the OP say it was an automatic?
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Old 20 Apr 2011, 08:02 am
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Default Re: Hard shifting and no start fixed

It is an automatic as stated.
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Old 27 Apr 2011, 07:51 pm
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Default Re: Hard shifting and no start fixed

Well after a week of driving in the rain the problem came back, this time the shifter was so tight that the cable popped out of the shifter but it didn't break. I removed the air filter assembly and battery then moved the battery tray out of the way, this revealed the other end of the shift cable which is connected to the end of the shift arm and mounting bracket. The steel shift arm and shift shaft were all rust and the shaft was binding where it goes into the aluminum transmission case. The three mounting bolts were removed that held on the mounting bracket so the shift shaft could be moved regardless of the shifter placement. It was almost impossible to rotate the shift arm/ shaft even with a tool for leverage. Since the shift shaft is mounted pointed up from the case, water can get in there and cause rust which binds the assembly. I sprayed the assembly with penetrating oil and heated up the housing a little to free it up some then used a long wrench to move the arm back and forth. The whole shift arm and shift shaft are now covered in grease to keep any water out and the shifter now moves freely because the grease has gotten between the metal parts. I hope this fixes it for good.
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Old 05 Jun 2011, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Hard shifting and no start fixed

My shifter has felt stiff lately and today it didn't start until I pushed up on the shifter also. I'm going to try oiling it up also, thanks for the tip.
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