Garrett is as Garrett does

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'Garrett is as Garrett does'

Fixing the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser: shifter cable bushings edition

May 22nd, 2015
by garrett

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I have a 2002 PT Cruiser that I bought new in late 2002. Aside from it not being a Rav 4, the main issue for the wife is that it has a manual transmission. Five-on-the-floor in all it’s Neon-esque glory. I kid, but not too much. I recently lost the ability to reliably shift into 5th or reverse gear just as a four-legged family member passed away.

Time passed and after the bulk of my grieving was done, I went on the hunt for someplace to fix my car. Naturally, most places are happy to do high-margin, high burn rate things like tires, brakes, suspensions, etc. The moment you mention a shifter or the transmission you can see their eyes glaze over and they do their level best to shoo you away – without physically leading you out the door. From the feel of the shifter, I knew the transmission itself was working fine – I could feel the shifter come loose and then reengage with something in the console. A little google-ing and it sounds like the bushing on my shifter cables are shot. Two $20 parts kits and a little elbow grease could save me $500 in repairs?! Okay, I’m in. A little more research and it’s off to NAPA.

The Youtube video by MotorCity Mechanic was immensely helpful for a tool savvy, amateur car mechanic:


The NAPA part kit NOE 620-1410 referenced has a total of three bushings: one for the interior crossover cable with adjustment screw, one small one that fits either the exterior crossover or the other interior cable, and one large one the fits the other exterior cable end. If you need to replace both ends of the shifter cable, you’ll need to buy two kits. In addition to some basic tools, flathead and philips screwdriver and some metric sockets, you’ll probably need to get 4 or more either the preferred 7/32″ e-clips or small hatch pins ( ~3/4″ long ).

The engine compartment’s two shifter cable bushings are pretty easy once you know what you need to remove. To get to the second, smaller bushing requires the use of a metric socket to move the bracket covering it. The bracket and controller assembly don’t need to be completely removed or unwired at all – just pushed to the back to give access to the shifter cable’s smaller bushing. To change both engine compartment bushings took me about 15 minutes, and most of that was marveling at how simple it was to do.

The interior console took about 2 hrs from start to finish cleaning up. As expected, removing the interior center floor console to access the two bushings at the stick end of the shifter cables is a bit more daunting:

2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Center Floor Console Diagram

2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Center Floor Console Diagram
Image used without permission from

A very good description of what you’ll need to do to remove the console is towards the end of the article where this image is located. That in turn gives you access to the two bushings under, attached to the shifter:

PT Cruiser Manual Transmission Shifter Unlinked and Missing Bushing

PT Cruiser manual transmission shifter is missing a bushing within the center console. This is how I found it. Notice anything strange? [Hint: This is why I lost reverse and 5th gear]

The shifter had just a bit of play:

Change them out, reassemble your interior, and Bob’s your uncle – you’re back on the road.

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