How to Troubleshoot Transmission Linkage

Updated February 21, 2017

A transmission linkage system connects the shift lever with the transmission shift forks. The linkage turns the gears or shifts them into position, such as park, drive, first, second, third, neutral, and overdrive, depending on the type of vehicle. Every transmission has a linkage system and whether the gears are shifted from the column or floor, it has the same basic function. Due to normal wear and tear, problems can occur in the transmission linkage system. Problems can very from worn out linkage to a stretched linkage cable.

Notice if your vehicle will not shift into gear or change gears. This could indicate a broken transmission linkage. After continued use, a linkage could break and will not change gears. This happens due to transmission bands coming loose or the transmission running too hot and wearing down internal gears. The linkage will need to be replaced to remedy the problem.

Pay attention if you have difficulty shifting the gears. The transmission linkage is attached to a gear cable that runs from the gear lever to the linkage. The cable can stretch from normal wear and tear. If it is stretched too much, the vehicle may not shift into gear at all. The cable needs to be replaced when this happens.

Look for difficulty shifting. If the transmission linkage is not aligned properly with the transmission, the vehicle will not properly change gears. When this occurs, the linkage must be adjusted to align properly with the correlating gear. The linkage can loosen from regular gear shifting and driving. A qualified mechanic must correctly align the linkage.


If your vehicle is experiencing any of the above problems, have it inspected by a qualified mechanic.

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