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Chrysler Repair/2008 PT Cruiser stuck in drive


QUESTION: I have a 2008 automatic PT Cruiser that a week ago the shift cable was loose at the actual shifter (if that makes sense, not at trans). When I would drive it I would have to push the piece to make sure I could shift from drive to reverse to park etc.  Well last night something snapped and now the car is stuck in drive, but the actual shifter movers freely.  What could this possibly be?

ANSWER: Hi Dara,
It may be that the cable has broken or come loose at one end or the other. Open the hood and look at the vertical rod on the transmission, on the side that faces the front of the car, to see whether when a helper tries the shifter you see and sign of rotation of the lever located on the top of that rod. If not, then you would need to look into the other end of the cable at the shifter in the cabin. If you want to be able to start the car, then with the parking brake firmly on, rotate that shift lever one 'click' counterclockwise, which will but you in Neutral and the starter should work. Then have a helper put their foot on the brake pedal and he can start the engine.  Then rotate the lever back one click in the clockwise direction to get into Drive. If the parking brake will then hold it in place until you are ready to drive it, you can get in the drivers seat and drive to a shop after you release the parking brake. But if the parking brake is not effective then I would want to go with two people for safety reasons. I can send you the pages that show how to change out the shift cable if you want to have those. Just tell me your email address but don't use the @ symbol, instead us 'at', otherwise the address will be erased,
PS Please 'rate' my address (see PS below).

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My email address is Dara.Wilfong at  I finally got it into drive and got it to the shop.  It slipped out of Drive while I was driving and had to pull over and do it again.  Any idea on repair cost for this?  Thank you so much for your answer before, and I rated you all 10's!

Hi Dara,
I am pleased to learn of your progress and that you got it to the shop. Replacing the cable should not be a problem. Is the shop fmailiar with the PT Cruisef shifting mechanism?
I will look for the best informaition in the several manuals that I have. Would you call the shop and ask them if they need the repair manual pages that describe how to replace the cable and adjust it? I notice that there are about 20+ pages that I would need to copy so if you would ask them if they need them that might save me a good bit of copying time if they already have the manual. Then let me know, and whether the cable replacement is the job they appear to need to do.  They should be able to estimate the time involved and the cost of the part that is broken once they see the repair manual pages.
Thanks so much for the rating and the nomination. You can do it again for this answer (including another nomination) if you choose to do that.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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