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Mazda Tribute Gear Selector

jizzygjizzyg Posts: 1
My gear selector on my 01 Mazda tribute won't respond at all. I came home one day, parked it in the driveway, and went out the next morning and the car would start but not shift out of park into any other gear. The gear selector would move down to another gear, but never engage. It was very loose and I don't have a clue what it could be. I thought maybe a loose cable or something inside the steering column but have not ben able to come up with anything. Any advice?
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Comments

  • Don't know if you've got your answer yet, but my boss just had this problem with his wife's '03. There's a plastic link that connects the shift lever cable to the lever that sticks out of the transmission and actually shifts the transmission. That link broke. $85 for the part and a ridiculous amount to replace it. If you're handy at all you can do it yourself. He did and we're both computer geeks.
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  • It happen on my 01 Mazda tribute as well it won't respond at all. My wife parked it in the driveway, and went out few hours later and the car would start but not shift out of park into any other gear. The gear selector shows that's in neutral but it won't move at all. Any advice? do you think it could be the same problem that the previous person had?
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  • Blaishon is right. There is a small ring attached to the shift cable that connects over a small rod on the transmission in order to shift. I have an 02, and the first time this ring came off the rod I thought I totally broke the gear shift - it just laid there limp and went up and down freely.

    If you would like a temporary fix, open your hood and look on the drivers side of the engine. Behind the air filter box, and way way down, there is a small silver rod sticking out of the engine. There is ring dangling next to it with a cable attached. This cable runs up the right side of the engine compartment in into the engine wall (to the shift lever).

    Slip this ring back over the rod, and you're good to go for a while. For me thats two days to two months depending on luck. If it happens while in gear, it will be quite nerve-racking. Find a friend to hold down the brake pedal, or test your faith in your parking brake.

    Hope this helps.

    image
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  • This same issue is happening to my gf's Tribute. Does anyone know a part Number or a way to fix this problem (more than a temporary fix) ?
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  • jma11jma11 Posts: 3
    Here is how I was able to fix this:

    A:
    - Cut a piece of 1/4 in ID Vinyl tubing the length of the shift arm shaft plus 1/2 in.
    - Push tubing all the way on to the shaft (its sort of a tight fit).

    B:
    - Push cable end over tubing.
    - Mine fit fairly snug and would probably stay in place a long time but to be sure I ...
    - Heated end of tubing
    - Pushed/threaded in a 3/8 in set screw inside open end of tubing till it bottomed out at end of shaft.
    - Installed a tiny hose clamp to lock set screw inside tubing.

    I will be sure to keep an eye on this but the enlarged end of the tubing will keep the cable end on the shaft, hopefully for a long time. Thanks to Texasmoon for the base sketch.

    image
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  • Hello,

    Is it possible to adjust the gearbox shift cables of a manual gearbox? My gearlever can move about 2 cm before shifting, which is a little anoying.
    Saw no adjusment option under the gearlever cover; is it on the other end of the cables on the gearbox (noticed som complex plastic devices), or do they need to be renewed?

    Bert
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  • jban99jban99 Posts: 1
    Yesterday I parked my Tribute 2002 with 115000 miles, just for a few minutes and when I returned to the car I had the same problem, the gear shift engaged in parking but was flying loose trough the other positions! THANKS TO YOU GUYS AND THIS FORUM, I was able to fix it this morning after I found the loose cable, couldn't see it but I felt it and was able to hook back on the shaft. Now I will just put a clip on the end of the shaft to prevent it from flying out again.
    Thanks again,

    John
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  • I am fixing the gear shift cable (popped off) on our 2003 Tribute LX-V6. I have removed the shift lever/pin assembly and drilled a hole in the pin for a cotter key to keep the cable on. I want to bring the cable end up to check the bushing. Does anyone know how to undo the cable grip that is located just above the shift lever?
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  • I am having an aweful time finding this rod and and ring. can you give me any other clues as to what is next or near this rod? Thanks
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  • jasketsjaskets Posts: 1
    Thanks!!!!!!

    You are a life saver. After an initial freakout when my 02 Tribute wouldn't shift into gear, I found this message board and was able to quickly fix the problem, at least temporarily, so that I could drive to the repair shop around the corner. Just say a little prayer that they don't charge me an arm and a leg.
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  • eng6eng6 Posts: 1
    Good to hear! Please let us know how it goes (whether they wanted to replace the shift cable, price, etc).

    I was also able to temporarily fix the issue. However, I did notice that my selector lever (the bar we grab to shift gear) had increased "play" in some of the gears (mainly drive). This makes me think that there is a possibility that the selector lever had enough "play" to cause the shift cable to wiggle free of the transmission shift lever (the metal pin on the transmission that the shift cable ring links to).

    Do you notice any increased play on your selector lever?
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  • Go to Auto Zone or any Auto Parts store and they have gear shift plastic inserts that will snap into place which are the same as the original parts. They cost $5.99 for an assorted pack and will work on both the transmission end of the cable and also in the steering columb. The Dealership wants $85.00 for these two plastic fittings.
    Bob
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  • sarjo01sarjo01 Posts: 1
    Thanks to all for the very useful info. Saved me from getting towed out of my own driveway today.
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  • cantrincantrin Posts: 1
    This is a great website with great members ! I am so happy to find the solution to my problem on this website.
    I own a 2002 Mazda Tribute LX-V6 and yesterday I left the vehicle parked in reverse in my garage. On returning to the vehicle a few hours later, I could not move the gear shifter back to the "Park" position even though I had my foot on the brake pedal. I was therefore unable to start the vehicle.
    I checked my Mazda user manual and the only troubleshooting tips on solving a problem with the gear shifter stuck in one position were as follows:
    1. Check brake lights to see if both are working. If they are not, check the switch under the brake pedal to make sure that it's working.
    2. Check fuses in fuse box to make sure all are working.
    3. If all above are okay, then open up the small plastic cover just behind the steering wheel to get access to the override switch. Then press down the switch and move the gear lever to "Park" and then start the vehicle. Use override switch to move the lever to "Drive" if necessary.
    Well, I checked the brake lights and they were working, so that meant that the brake pedal switch was fine. Then I checked all the fuses with a multimeter with a continuity buzzer and that revealed that all the fuses were good.
    I then used the override switch to move the gear lever which moved freely up and down while I had my finger pressing down on the override switch. However, although the gear lever could move, the dial on the dashboard display stayed on the "R" position and the vehicle still could not start. In other words, the override switch was of no use to me.
    I then searched on the internet for more information on this problem as I was told in the past that if I have any problem with any vehicle, then it is more than likely that at least 5000 people in North America have already had the problem and somebody would have posted the problem and the solution on-line..... Thank God for the Internet !!!
    During my search, I did find the solution on Edmunds.com ! A user named "TexasMoon" posted the solution in September 2008 !
    Thanks to TexasMoon, the sketch he drew was exactly what I saw with my flash-light. The ring attached to a rod that is connected to the gear lever had slipped out from the selector arm shaft sticking out from the engine. Within the metal ring was a smaller diameter broken deteriorated black plastic ring with a lip. This piece of plastic withstood the wear and tear of the metal ring moving over it for 12 years of driving..... Not bad.
    To slip the metal ring back over the arm shaft, I had my wife go into the car while I was under the hood and place her finger on the override switch while she moved the gear lever up and down which also moved the ring up and down.
    Once the ring slipped onto the shaft, I had to find a way to prevent the metal ring from slipping out while the car is being driven.
    I found that the best temporary solution was to use a tiny plastic zap strap. The smallest plastic strap I could find was approximately 2mm wide or 1/16 inch wide and 4 inches long. Anything wider will not work.
    I made a small loop with the zap strap (about 1/2 inch diameter) and placed it around the end of the arm shaft while I pushed in the metal ring as much as possible. It worked great...the strap was thin enough to get around and fit into the groove between the outside edge of the metal ring and the rounded end of the arm shaft. I was also able to pull the strap taut with my fingers to secure the strap properly to prevent it from slipping out.
    Don't worry, there is enough room next to the air-filter box to push your hand down and do this job.
    I would recommend using the black plastic straps instead of the white ones as the black plastic is weather resistant which means that they are stronger and less likely to crack and burst than the white straps.
    Also, do not trim off the long tail (about 3 inches) after you pull the strap and it locks into place as the tail will help keep the metal ring in place.
    Note also that the task of fitting the tiny strap into the groove next to the outer edge of the metal ring is easier if the selector arm shaft is up rather than down. .... So while you are under the hood looking at the shaft with the ring attached, have someone inside the vehicle move the gear lever to pull the shaft upwards.
    After I did the above, I was able to drive the vehicle as normal and check out auto parts stores for replacement of the plastic ring that broke. Unfortunately, all the after-market stores didn't have this tiny plastic ring and recommended that I go the Mazda dealership for it. Knowing that the Mazda Tribute and the Ford Escape are identical below the hood, I intend to check out the price of the part at both Mazda and at Ford dealerships.
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Mazda Tribute Gear Selector - Car Forums at Edmunds.com