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How to tighten a loose gear box

Updated July 20, 2017

Once a gear box becomes loose, the lower gear bushing will have to be replaced to repair the problem. The gear stick is connected to the transmission linkage underneath the gear stick console. Generally, most all gear boxes will become loose due to aggressive gear changing over time. Aggressive gear changing can cause damage to the bushing on the bottom of the gear stick. Once the bushing is damaged, it will cause slack in the gear box. Always move the gear stick without slamming it into gear.

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  1. Remove the bolts and nuts that secure the centre console around the gear stick with the drive ratchet, a socket set and a Phillips head screwdriver. This will expose the rubber boot. Pull back any carpet as needed to make room for the rubber boot to be pulled over the gear stick.

  2. Turn the gear stick knob counterclockwise to remove it from the top of the gear stick lever. Pull the rubber boot over the stick and place it on the floor.

  3. Loosen and remove the retaining bolts at the base of the gear stick with the ratchet and the socket set.

  4. Remove the stick retaining ring with the pliers. Once the retaining ring is removed, you will now be able to pull the gear stick lever straight up through the console hole. Inspect the bushing on the pivoted area at the bottom of the gear stick lever. Remove all of the damaged bushing with the pliers.

  5. Place the new bushing over the pivotal ball end of the gear stick lever. Hold the gear lever with one hand and twist the bushing onto the ball end with your other hand until the bushing locks in place.

  6. Reverse the same steps as outlined above to reinstall the gear assembly and the centre console assembly. Make sure that all of the retaining nuts and bolts are tight.

  7. Tip

    Replacement bushing can be found at most car part/motor factors shops.


    Fix a loose gear box as soon as possible to prevent the gear stick lever from breaking in half.

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Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head screwdriver set
  • 0.75 cm drive ratchet
  • 0.75 cm drive socket set
  • Pliers
  • New gear stick bushing

About the Author

Kevin Mclain has more than 20 years of automotive, home improvement and landscaping experience. He has been writing for various online publications since 2002. Mclain has U.S. Army certification in automotive maintenance and repair, among more than 15 additional certifications related to the automotive field.

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