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Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 3404
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/ Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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2010 Sebring, 24,250 miles on. Always garaged. Returning

Customer Question

2010 Sebring, 24,250 miles on. Always garaged.
Returning from shopping, I stopped the car to open the garage door. Put in part, engine left running. This took about a minute. Got back into the car to drive into the garage and put the shifter into 'drive', but the car started backward. The driveway is level. I thought I might not have hit it quite right, so put the shifter back to 'park' again and retried with the same result, the car moved back. Then I tried other lower gears, same thing.
I shut the engine off to see if that would change things. The engine would not start. All dash light come on. Quick check of battery power had very bright headlights.
Tried disconnecting the negative post to see if it would reset something in the computer somewhere. No change. It must be a faulty fuse, but it seems like two different issues.
Thanks, Bill
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Goood morning, Bill and welcome to JustAnswer!. This is Ed.

I think the simplest explanation would be that your transmission shifter cable has come loose from its mooring at one end or the other. Having the car want to drive in reverse when you've selected something forward suggests the transmission manual valve isn't being positioned where it should be. The lack of engine starting that began at the same time would probably be a neutral safety effect -- the trans isn't in a shift position that will allow starter operation. Having both symptoms show up at the same time almost clinches that your shifter has issues.

But where? There will be a connection below the floor shift console, forward of the shifter handle. It would be my first choice because it's an adjustable connection, using a push-pin type mechanism to capture the serrated-tooth cable in the mounting. If it's come loose, your shifter cable will float mostly-free, with very little actual opportunity to physically change gears.

OR it might be under the hood, at the point where the main cable housing secures to its mounting bracket.

A sheared or snapped inner cable might also explain what's happened, but isn't something that happens often. Cable breaks usually happen if you've been fighting a shifter that's been very, very hard to operate for a long time as the inner cable frays and drags in the housing. Over time, you'd lose more and more of the fine steel cable filaments that wrap together to make the main unit until it finally gives up and snaps. If this sounds familiar, you almost certainly need a new cable.


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