How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask sprinkles08 Your Own Question
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 21417
Experience:  ASE Master & Advanced level certified, Chrysler Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
Type Your Chrysler Question Here...
sprinkles08 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

have a PT cruiser it is a stick shift it wont go into reverse

This answer was rated:

have a PT cruiser it is a stick shift it wont go into reverse but all other gears are working great - what could it be?
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

How does the shifter feel? Does it feel sloppy at all, or does it feel normal?

What happens when you try to get reverse?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
it does not feel sloppy, it feels complety normal just wont go into reverse at all
Ok. Normally I would expect the shifter to be floppy if this was the case, but I would like to have a look at the shifter cable bushings anyway. If you look at the top of the trans you will see where the two cables attach to the arms on the trans. These round bushings will wear and you will have trouble shifting. They will wear slowly, so possibly you got used to the way the shifter was feeling. Hard to say. Have a helper move the shifter a little while you watch the bushings. Make sure they aren't sloppy. If they are you'll need to replace the shift cables.

If the cable ends are ok you have an internal trans problem, most likely with the reverse lockout. This is what keeps you from putting it into reverse from 5th gear. If you are having problems getting the car into any gear you may have a clutch problem, but if it's selective to reverse it will be an internal issue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
okay so the shifter does not seem to be sloppy but i dont really know what sloppy would be, it has a big round piece then nothing inside and then u see the piece that moves around when it is being put into gear.... so i dont know?

and when i try to put the gear in reverse it just wont go into the gear, like it just stops as if that gear is not even there.... when i put the car in neutural we are able to push the car back
You need to check the ends of the shifter cables where they attach to the trans, if it's something you are able to do. You'll have to remove the air filter box under the hood, at the least, to see the cable ends. have a helper move the shifter a little bit and look for play in the cable end bushings. If they are ok, then the trans will need to be opened up and see what has happened. It sounds like there may be a problem with the reverse block mechanism.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
okay so where is the reverse block mechanism and what is that?
The reverse block mechanism is in the back of the trans case where the reverse synchronizer is. It's purpose is to block the shift rails from letting it into reverse when you are trying to go from a forward gear directly into reverse by accident.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
oh so would that be part of the transmission - like will it have to be rebuilt?
Yes, it's internal in the trans. It won't necessarily need to be rebuilt, but if that's the problem the trans will have to come out and be taken apart. The only real wear parts on a manual trans are the blocker rings, they're probably ok. Any parts that are worn or damaged should be replaced, but really it shouldn't need anything else if you weren't having any other problems.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yeah so do u think that will be very expensive?

It's hard to say. The labor to do it will be about 6 hours, I wouldn't think you would have more than a couple hundred dollars in parts if that.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
so lets say it was the cable shifter thing how can u tell if there is something wrong with it? would there be like corrosion? i dont understand
There are bushings on the ends of the cables that wear out. They're made of a rubber type material and they wear out and get sloppy where they attach to the arms on the trans. This won't allow the arms to move all the way when you move the shifter so it can't go into gear correctly.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
there are no bushings on the cables, all we see is a round metal piece and nothing on the inside.... so do we have to get new cables or just buy the bushings?
The bushings are the round parts on the ends of the cables where they attach to the arms on the transmission. The bushings are the part that snaps down on the trans. They are part of the cable, if they are loose you have to replace the shift cables.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i dont understand not tring to be diffucult ill look up a picture of the shift cables and see if i can understand better......
Number 1 in this picture points to the bushings on the end of the cables.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
okay so the ring on the end of the shift cable should have a middle piece?
Yes, it should snap down tight on the trans. If there is any slop there when you move the shifter, any space there at all, the cable is bad. It should snap down tight, no play there.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
there is nothing to snap it down it just has the outer ring sitting on the thing that shifts the gears, so are those very hard to find? i mean the shifter cables?
If there is a gap there the cable is bad for sure. It should snap down tight, no gap. The cables aren't hard to find. Your dealer should be able to get you a set in a day or two if they didn't have them in stock. Many larger dealers will probably have them on the shelf. They fit a large range of years of Neons and PT's and aren't uncommon.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
so how much should i expect a dealer to charge for this repair?
It calls for 2.1 hours to replace them. The cables will run $1-150 roughly. I don't have access to a full catalog so I can't get an accurate price for you on that part of it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
okay cool, so is it very hard to replace them like my hubby who does not have experience with cars but has done simple tasks should i try my hubby or a mechanic?
Truthfully? They're a pain. You have to do part of the job from under the car. When I put the new ones in I'm underneath the car on the hoist, with a helper inside the car to get them into the right position to be able to bolt them to the floor. This is the worst part of it, other than that it's just basic disassembly. It may take closer to 3 or 4 hours for someone that hasn't done it before and working without a hoist, but if he's up for it he can probably do it.
sprinkles08 and other Chrysler Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
oh ok, well ill take it to a mechanic, it looks easy but what do i know? LOL
Thank you for your time and have a good night :O)
You're welcome, and good luck!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i just tried to make the payment and it is just saying i have 14.30 in my account balance... so how can i tell u got the payment? im so sorry to keep bugging u i just wanna make sure i do this right.....
You did accept and I got it so you did everything right. Thanks!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.