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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?


  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.

  • 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) ?
  • jma11jma11 Posts: 3
    Here is how I was able to fix this:

    - 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).

    - 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.

  • 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?

  • 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,

  • 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?
  • 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
  • jasketsjaskets Posts: 1

    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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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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