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Shift Selector Cable Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your shift selector cable replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your shift selector cable replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a shift selector cable?

The average total replacement cost for a shift selector cable is about $130 to $160+. There’s usually no service cost for mechanic labor. The exact price will depend on your make and model.
How long does it take to replace a shift selector cable? In most cases, you will have to wait about 1 hour for a certified mechanic to complete this task. It’s likely that the mechanic will start with an initial inspection, to confirm that your shift selector cable is actually faulty. Then, the replacement will take place.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my shift selector cable replacement and how much do those parts cost?

If you need specific parts details, refer to your owner's manual or consult a trusted mechanic. However, here's a general overview to give you an idea of the key parts:
  1. Shift selector cable: This is the main cable that connects the gear shifter to the transmission, enabling gear selection. The cost of a shift selector cable can vary widely depending on the vehicle make and model, ranging from $50 to $200 or more.
  2. Cable
    bushings
    or clips: These are small plastic or metal components that secure the shift selector cable to the shifter assembly and the transmission. They help maintain proper cable alignment and prevent excessive play or movement. The cost for replacement bushings or clips can range from $10 to $30.
  3. Retaining clips or fasteners: These are used to secure the cable and bushings in place, ensuring they stay properly attached to the shifter assembly and transmission. The price of retaining clips or fasteners is generally low, often around $5 to $15.
  4. Grommets or seals: These may be needed to provide a seal and prevent dirt, moisture, or debris from entering the shift selector cable housing. The cost for grommets or seals is typically minimal, ranging from $5 to $20.
We recommend purchasing parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. We also recommend trusted brands such as Dorman, ACDelco, and ATP Automotive for shift selector cable components, ensuring reliable gear shifting and proper transmission operation for your vehicle. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
For a shift selector cable replacement, it is generally recommended to opt for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. While aftermarket parts from a supplier like Amazon may be cheaper, OEM parts offer better compatibility and reliability, ensuring a proper fit and long-term performance.
Authorized dealerships, reputable auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts and NAPA Auto Parts, and reliable online retailers, like Amazon or Rockauto, offer a wide range of shift selector cable parts to meet your needs. Check your owner’s manual for a list of specs and part numbers.

Where can I get my shift selector cable replaced?

Looking for a trustworthy place to replace your shift selector cable? Jerry's
GarageGuard™
has you covered. 
With Jerry's GarageGuard™, you can compare costs from over 2,500 reputable repair shops in the US, get fair price estimates, consider diagnostic fees, and read real reviews. 
Here are some of our vetted shops—and get the app if you want to compare quotes in your zip code.
140 Reviews
Lucey's Service Station
address
889 Main St, Salem, MA
Shift Selector Cable Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$170
(Parts - $145, Labor - $25)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$106
154 Reviews
61 Auto Center
address
1226 Centre Ave, Reading, PA
Shift Selector Cable Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$158
(Parts - $145, Labor - $13)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$70
152 Reviews
Olympos Auto Service
address
400 Jericho Turnpike, Mount Vernon, NY
Shift Selector Cable Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$177
(Parts - $145, Labor - $32)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$135
139 Reviews
AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care - Jersey City
address
1742 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ
Shift Selector Cable Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$177
(Parts - $145, Labor - $32)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$69.95
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my shift selector cable?

While the specific steps for replacing a shift selector cable can vary depending on the vehicle make and model, here is a general overview of the process:
  1. Prepare the vehicle: Lift or support the vehicle safely on jack stands.
  2. Locate the shift selector cable: Identify the shift selector cable, typically attached to the transmission or shifter linkage (aka shift linkage) mechanism via connectors.
  3. Disconnect old cable: Remove retaining clips or fasteners to disconnect the old shift selector cable from the transmission and gear shifter assembly.
  4. Remove the old cable: Carefully detach the old shift selector cable, ensuring no damage to surrounding components.
  5. Position and connect the new cable: Attach the new shift selector cable to both the transmission and gear shifter assembly, ensuring proper alignment and attachment.
  6. Secure the cable: Reinstall retaining clips or fasteners to securely fasten the new shift selector cable in place.
  7. Check functionality: Test the new shift selector cable by shifting through all gears, ensuring smooth and accurate engagement.
  8. Make necessary adjustments: Adjust as needed to ensure proper shifting functionality.
  9. Complete the process: Lower the vehicle and conduct a final test drive to confirm successful replacement.
Your repair cost might be lower if you ask the mechanic to use aftermarket parts instead of OEM parts, but reliability will be lower, too. It might be worth asking for a transmission fluid flush.

What happens if I don’t replace my shift selector cable?

You may discover that you have difficulty shifting gears if you don’t replace your cable. Even a tiny malfunction with the shift selector cable could delay your speeding up or slowing down—which could put your life at risk on the road.
The good news: Shift selector cables rarely break outright. In most cases, it will wear down or stretch and you’ll experience delays rather than a total loss of the ability to change gears. 

What is a shift selector cable?

A shifter cable connects the gear shifter or gear shift lever to the transmission, ensuring the correct gear position. For manual transmissions (like
some Audis
), two cables respond to driver shifts, while automatic transmission vehicles have one cable.
For instance, the Ford F-150 pickup can use a single Dorman cable. The Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Chevy Silverado, and Toyota Camry all use a single cable, too.
Over time, stress can cause stretching and wear, necessitating cable replacement. Without it, your car may face mechanical and safety issues. That’s why it requires regular checking during car servicing and replacement every 5-8 years.

When should I replace the shift selector cable on my car?

You may need to replace this cable after five to eight years—or whenever you notice signs of trouble. Here are a few telltale signs that your shift selector cable is worn out 
  • Your gear shift movement doesn’t yield a response. That likely means there’s an issue connecting your gearbox to the transmission. More simply put, the shift selector cable isn’t doing its job properly. 
  • Your shift indicator doesn’t match the gear. This is usually an issue for manual transmission. But if your stick is in position for fourth gear, and your dashboard says you’re in fifth, there’s likely more than just a wiring problem. Typically, the cable is selecting the wrong gear. 
  • You’re unable to remove the key from the ignition. Most vehicles won’t allow you to remove the key without putting your car in Park first. But if you’ve already put your car into Park and the key won’t come out, there might be a bigger problem. It could be an issue with the fob itself, but there’s also a chance that your car isn’t entering Park mode properly. 

How often should a shift selector cable be replaced?

It should last between five and eight years or about 150,000 miles. But you should replace the selector cable at the first sign of trouble, such as difficulty changing between gears.
The consequences of not having a responsive car can be deadly, so don’t delay.

Can I replace my shift selector cable myself?

Replacing a shift selector cable can be a complex task involving knowledge of automotive systems. While DIY is technically possible, it is recommended that most drivers seek assistance from a qualified mechanic or professional to ensure proper installation and functionality of the new gear selector cable.

FAQs

Generally, the average cost can range from $200 to $500 or more, including parts and labor. The exact shift cable replacement cost will depend on your specific make and model.
Driving with a broken shift cable is unsafe and not recommended. A broken transmission shift cable can prevent the vehicle from shifting gears properly or may leave it stuck in a particular gear, compromising control and potentially leading to accidents. Seek immediate repairs from a qualified mechanic to ensure safe driving.
A broken gear shift cable may exhibit several signs. These include difficulty shifting gears or experiencing resistance when trying to shift. The gear indicator on the dashboard may not align with the actual gear position. The gear shifter might feel loose or have excessive play. 
Unintended gear engagement or the vehicle getting stuck in one gear can also occur. If any of these symptoms are present, it's crucial to have the shift cable inspected and repaired promptly by a qualified mechanic. Note that a repair is not always possible—you may need a complete shifter cable replacement.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.