Automatic Selector Cable Replacement from $414

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Average rating for Automatic selector cable replacement


4.4 • based on 14 reviews of 11 businesses

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Average rating for Automatic selector cable replacement


4.4 • based on 14 reviews of 11 businesses

Automatic Selector Cable Replacement

What does an automatic selector cable do?

Have you ever wondered how operating the automatic transmission gear lever in your vehicle transmits the message to change gears?

There is no weird telepathy going on.

It’s all done with cables, just like a well-orchestrated puppet show.

A cable is attached to the gear lever, and that cable runs through to a linkage on the transmission.

Typically, it is the plastic bushing within the cable linkage that breaks, and these can usually be repaired.

However, if the whole cable needs to be replaced, this could cost you anywhere from $100 to $375, depending on your vehicle, and you should allow the technician around an hour to do the job.


What is an automatic selector cable?

The automatic selector cable is just that - a cable.

It transfers motion from inside the cabin to the transmission lever, on the side of the transmission.

Movement through the linkage tells the transmission what gear was manually selected by the driver of the vehicle.

The cable is generally made of steel and wrapped in a plastic covering.

There are connectors at each end of the cable which connect at both ends to the selector and transmission levers.

Symptoms that you need to replace the automatic selector cable

  • Selector moves but it doesn’t change gears
  • The gear shown on the selector does not match the gear vehicle is in
  • You can’t get the car into park
  • Selector cable is showing signs of corrosion
  • Selector cable is broken
Automatic Selector Cable Replacement

How do you replace the automatic selector cable?

To replace the cable, a technician will need to remove the steering column and footwell covers if it is a column shift, or the centre console for a floor shift.

This will allow access to the selector lever.

They will disconnect the cable linkage from the selector lever and then remove the other end of the cable from the transmission lever.

The old cable is removed and the new cable is positioned and connected to the transmission and selector levers.

These are either pressed or bolted on.

The cable is tested for correct operation and adjusted if required.

Tips to remember

  • If the cable bushes are worn or broken, the technician may only replace the bushes at the end of the cable and not the cable itself
  • Do not drive the vehicle if you cannot change gears or put the vehicle in park
  • If you can’t get the vehicle into park, make sure to use the park brake and chock the wheels, so it doesn’t roll away.

How important is it to replace the automatic selector cable?

Very important. If the cable is broken or damaged, then it needs to be replaced.

It’s not one of those things you can leave - you’re going to have difficulty driving, if you can drive at all.

You won’t be able to confidently select gears and you may not be able to safely park the car.

Book it in with an AutoGuru mechanic as soon as possible to have the automatic select cable replaced.