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JFN1, ASE Certified Technician
Category: GMC
Satisfied Customers: 4591
Experience:  GM Master Technician
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2003 gmc envoy shifter cable broke......Ok, i will do my

Customer Question

2003 gmc envoy shifter cable broke......Ok, i will do my best to give you all the info i have about the problem i am having with my 2003 GMC Envoy. Drove it to work and parked it as usual. After putting it in park and removing the key the car rolled backward
and i had to use the emergency brake to stop it from rolling. Put the key back in and started the car and tried to pull it back up into the parking space and it wouldnt shift out of park and noticed that the display said it was in neutral. Looked up online
what the problem might be and saw a lot of generic answers about it being the shift cable bushing. Crawled under and the shift cable was off and that the cable didn't line up with the pin it goes on so i moved the lever forward and clipped the cable back on
(also noticed that the bushing was cracked, guessing that is why it popped off). Got in the car and put the key in and turned it to acc took off the e brake to see if it would roll and it didn't. Pressed the brake and tried to take it out of park and the button
on the shifter still wouldn't depress, tried to turn it off and now the key wont turn all the way to off and the key wont come out. I got the bushing and simply changed it out but i am not sure what is going on and would appreciate all the help i can get,
this is my only vehicle and need it running to get back and forth to work. Also if it matters in this case the transmission i full and i have had no shifting problems at all with this car. Please Help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: GMC
Expert:  JFN1 replied 2 years ago.

So the cable issue is solved, yes?

If so, then what you now have is an electrical issue. The brake transmission shift interlock (BTSI) is the circuit that keeps the shifter in park unless you step on the brake pedal first. I'd be looking at this circuit to make sure it has power, and the same applies for your inability to remove the key/turn to lock position. There is a similar circuit that allows the key to turn back to lock, which requires electrical power.

First thing you should do is take a test light, with the key on, and touch both sides of each fuse. Look under the hood and under the back seat, make sure you hit all of the fuses, and replace any that light up only on one side (open fuse).

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the key came out before i pushed the transmission lever forward and put the cable back on, also i have checked fuses and they all seem fine
Expert:  JFN1 replied 2 years ago.

If the transmission is not in PARK, the key won't release. The computer that controls this uses input from the park/neutral switch to determine whether it's in park or not, and this switch happens to be adjacent to where the cable attaches to the crank arm at the transmission. Check those connections to make sure it's not unplugged or the wiring is damaged.

This will come down to electrical diagnosis, if you have a test light and the ability to troubleshoot circuits, I can walk you down the diagnostic path.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
is it likely that multiple things broke at the exact same time? the key only comes out in park or neutral right? the key came out when the problem with the cable first occurred and it seemed like the transmission was in neutral. cane you give me the steps to putting the cable back on to make sure i didnt miss anything?
Expert:  JFN1 replied 2 years ago.

The cable simply snaps onto the crank arm, it's virtually foolproof. I'm not sure what bushing you replaced, perhaps the shift cable has come apart and that's the bushing you're talking about... in which case, it's possible that the transmission isn't all the way in park.

Try this: crawl under the truck, pull the shift cable off the crank arm, and then push the crank arm as far forward as it will go, then see if the key will remove or do anything differently.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i will check that and get back to you
Expert:  JFN1 replied 2 years ago.

OK, let me know.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I am at the truck, I have pulled the cable off and pushed the crank all the way forward, reconnected the battery and there is no change, the key will not turn off and the shift lever will not move, the button will not go in, when I press the brakes I can hear the brake Lock engaging in the console next to the shifter
Expert:  JFN1 replied 2 years ago.

If you can hear the solenoid working, that tells me that electrically everything is working, therefore the problem has to be a mechanical issue which is likely at the shifter itself. The switches are part of the shifter, if the shifter is not moving fully forward for some reason, the key won't release.

I'd be pulling the bezel up from the shifter plate and seeing what can be seen at the shifter. Did you adjust the length of the cable or anything like that, anything that might have caused the shifter to no longer be adjusted correctly?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No adjustments, just replaced the little plastic grommet that goes in the end of the cable at the transmission, it fell apart and the cable came off when I got to work and shifted from drive to park, the shift handle went to park and the cable fell off of the trans in neutral
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The key did come out to begin with, when the problem was first detected before anything was done, only after the trans crank was moved forward and the key was put back in did it get stuck
Expert:  JFN1 replied 2 years ago.

The way the circuit is wired, it simply won't work unless the park neutral switch is in park, so electrically, your car has to be fine.

The only variable here is this shift cable, the plastic grommet should not come out, and if it does come out, it's going to come out again, meaning that you need a new shift cable. The only thing I can imagine is that the shift cable got stretched out of adjustment or something like that when it disconnected, which is possible.

Let's look at trying to adjust the shift cable. I'll attach the procedure here, see if you can get through this and make the adjustment.

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