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  1. #1

    Join Date
    10 Feb 2015
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    2
    Saab(s)
    2002 9-3 SE Automatic
    Thumbs Up:   0

    Help! 9-3 auto shifter is suddenly loose and won't go into gear

    Looking for any help or advice!! The shift lever (automatic transmission) is suddenly completely loose and ineffective.

    I drove my car home from work tonight without any problems. I went back out 30 minutes later to go to the store, started it up and shifted into drive, thought the shifter felt loose as I did so. I hit the gas and the engine just spun up but it didn't move -- like it was in neutral. I shifted back to park, gave it some gas and it started to move backward, but sounded like reverse wasn't completely engaged. I moved the shifter back toward drive and it just flopped all the was down to 1. It's now completely loose with no resistance whatsoever and no effect on the transmission. It's stuck partway in reverse. I can't start the car, but I can push it and hear something clicking, perhaps a partially engaged transmission. The shift lock mechanism of the brake pedal still works. If it's in the park position you have to press the brake before you can squeeze the lever and move the shift knob. But other than that it's just completely limp.

    Some info on the car: It's got 175k, though I believe the tranny was replaced around 80k. The front motor / tranny mounts are shot (I have new ones but haven't gotten around to replacing them).

    I've read that it could possibly be a linkage, though I'm not even sure where to look or begin with that. Could it be the transmission mount? Any thoughts?? It's dead in the street until I can get something figured out!

    Thank you!

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    12 Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    2
    Saab(s)
    2003 93ss
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Probably the shift cable. Very common issue. Where are you in Florida ?

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    10 Feb 2015
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    2
    Saab(s)
    2002 9-3 SE Automatic
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Actually I *just* fixed it a few minutes ago! You're right, it was the bushing at the end of the shift cable that had completely rotted out. I was able to get a new bushing that fit in perfectly from here -- Saab 9-3 Shift Cable Repair Kit

    I removed the battery, the battery tray and then just got my hands down and around the part of the battery tray that's permanently mounted and used a pair of channel locks to push the new bushing in. Then I popped it back onto the shift lever. Works like a charm.

    I'm in Orlando, BTW. Thanks for the reply!

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  4. #4

    Join Date
    12 Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    2
    Saab(s)
    2003 93ss
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Outstanding! And thanks for the link for that bushing kit . I'm going to keep acouple of those kits in stock as we are usually doing a shift cable every other month. Cheers !

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