Drivetrain Transmission, LSD, Clutch, Driveline, Axles...

Stick won't move out of reverse!

Old 01-11-2016, 11:37 AM
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Stick won't move out of reverse!

So I've a bit of a problem on my hands. My '09ss won't release from reverse. Story begins: Arrived home in the wee hours Sunday morning, backed into my yard (I'm on a slope) and left her in gear (reverse) when I turned it off. Went outside this morning to let it warm up before work, started fine but the shifter would only go up from reverse (not into 5th and not back to true neutral). If I let it rest "up" it's disengaged from reverse but I can't pull it over into any gear. The temperature over night hit -2°F and was in the single digits this morning.
Now on to possible problems. I've had no issues shifting or with the transmission/clutch prior. Leading me to believe the cables could have somehow gotten froze in place? If anyone has any idea at all what it could be our how to fix it is be extremely grateful.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:55 PM
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I had the exact same thing happen this Sunday afternoon after the car drove just fine Saturday night. My car was stuck in 1st gear. Your shift control cable has been compromised and will seize up in cold weather (lower than 20 degrees) until replaced.

Part Number: 25798498
Part Name: SHIFT CONTROL CABLE
Price: $90.09

SHIFT CONTROL CABLE | Genuine GM | 25798498
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:59 PM
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Yup. You shifter cables probably got water in them. I ruined a set that way.

I would park my car in neutral and engine heat would thaw them out.

Now I just ran de icer down the cable that popped the cap, greased the end and it's been fine since.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cluelessk View Post
Yup. You shifter cables probably got water in them. I ruined a set that way.

I would park my car in neutral and engine heat would thaw them out.

Now I just ran de icer down the cable that popped the cap, greased the end and it's been fine since.
How would I go about getting access to the cable? Do I need to get it up on a lift?
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:37 PM
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You can get to them through the interior to pour stuff into the cables I suppose.
I have the service manual if you want to know how to replace them (which does require getting under the car).

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Old 01-18-2016, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cluelessk View Post
Yup. You shifter cables probably got water in them. I ruined a set that way.

I would park my car in neutral and engine heat would thaw them out.

Now I just ran de icer down the cable that popped the cap, greased the end and it's been fine since.
I would be interested to know how you went about pouring the de-icer and applying the grease as well.
How long has it been since you did this?
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:04 PM
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Thanks for the highlighted diagram. This definitely seems like something I'll want to do when I can get it into a heated garage, as of now I suppose I'll just have to keep the cover on her and drive my old rusted subi around town.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Psyt View Post
Thanks for the highlighted diagram. This definitely seems like something I'll want to do when I can get it into a heated garage, as of now I suppose I'll just have to keep the cover on her and drive my old rusted subi around town.
No problem. I am not looking forward to doing this in my garage with no heat...
Where are you at in Indiana? PM me if you want the service procedure basics.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:36 PM
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I did it a few weeks ago. And it's been really cold lately. Hitting -40 with the windchill and it's been fine.

I pulled the ECU and fuse box. Which is pretty easy just a pain lining everything up when putting it together.

I'm assuming moisture froze the end piece of the cable to the shaft and it pulled itself off when I shifted.

Ran a bunch of de icer into the line. (Probably should of ran air through from the other end). Greased the the shaft end of the cable.

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Old 01-18-2016, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TurboFour View Post
No problem. I am not looking forward to doing this in my garage with no heat...
Where are you at in Indiana? PM me if you want the service procedure basics.
I'm up in shi-tastic Elkhart, can't wait to move to Hawaii...
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:45 PM
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It's probably a good investment to just replace the cables.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by firehawk618 View Post
It's probably a good investment to just replace the cables.
If I remember correctly they're over $200 CDN and installation isn't fun with a proper work area. As long as the cable doesn't stretch/ start letting go there is no reason to replace them over some moisture.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cluelessk View Post
If I remember correctly they're over $200 CDN and installation isn't fun with a proper work area. As long as the cable doesn't stretch/ start letting go there is no reason to replace them over some moisture.
I go it for $123 US shipped.
Say you are at work and the cables happen to freeze up again. Tow bill is $50-100 minimum.
I am doing it just because it is cheap insurance and they are obviously failed.

I got the console out in about 1.5 hours going really slow to make sure I didn't scratch anything and have the car on jack stands. It looks like it is going to suck getting the cables off though. GM says you can do it from underneath but I don't see how.

Did you just pull on the plastic cable connector until it came off the ball on the transmission linkage?
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TurboFour View Post
I go it for $123 US shipped.
Say you are at work and the cables happen to freeze up again. Tow bill is $50-100 minimum.
I am doing it just because it is cheap insurance and they are obviously failed.

I got the console out in about 1.5 hours going really slow to make sure I didn't scratch anything and have the car on jack stands. It looks like it is going to suck getting the cables off though. GM says you can do it from underneath but I don't see how.

Did you just pull on the plastic cable connector until it came off the ball on the transmission linkage?

Pry up on the plastic things that lock onto the shift levers at the transmission.

I do believe the exhaust heat shield is blocking your view of where the cables enter the car.

I stand by my opinion on this. Replace them and get it over with. Take it for what it's worth.

Bonus points: I would imagine your cables are full of gunky sludgy build up due to them being compromised which stiffens the whole feel up. I bet you once you install new ones you will think *WOW THIS SHIFTS AWESOME NOW!*
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by firehawk618 View Post
Pry up on the plastic things that lock onto the shift levers at the transmission.

I do believe the exhaust heat shield is blocking your view of where the cables enter the car.

I stand by my opinion on this. Replace them and get it over with. Take it for what it's worth.

Bonus points: I would imagine your cables are full of gunky sludgy build up due to them being compromised which stiffens the whole feel up. I bet you once you install new ones you will think *WOW THIS SHIFTS AWESOME NOW!*
Bingo, Sir. I had the new shift control cables installed by my local Chevy dealer (Bradley Chevrolet in Franklin, IN) and it shifts great. I would have had them replace it just to get the shifter feel it has now.

I took all the interior panels off and the center console and they did the rest for $180.
I would say it is well worth that.

Issue

Shifter is hard to move or sticks in cold weather. The shift control cables can malfunction, allowing debris and moisture to enter the shift control cables.
See the figure below for the location of the shift control cable highlighted in yellow (14).





Resolution

Replace the shift control cables.

Service Instructions

Required Tools:
Metric 3/8 in Socket Set

How to remove the center console:

Step 1: Remove all the center console panels shown in the figure below.



Step 2: Remove all the screws shown in the figure below.



Required Parts
SHIFT CONTROL CABLE | Genuine GM | 25798498
NOTE: There are two cables but both come in part number 25798498. Also, if you order this part keep in mind that it is special order and will take 8+ days to arrive.
Part Price: $90.09
Shipping: $33.00

Labor
I removed the console on my own before taking it to GM:
GM Labor: $180
My Labor: 1.5 hours

Total Cost: $303.09
Total Time: 1.5 hours

If you do not remove the console on your own and order the part from GM it will be more.
GM Labor: $200+?
GM Parts: $140+

Can someone sticky this common issue? How do you get the moderators to make something a sticky?

Last edited by TurboFour; 01-30-2016 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Picture addedx2 More detail
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:05 PM
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Fwiw mine has be 100% fine since my fix. Temps have been mild and cold even with the thaw freeze cycles it's perfect. It should work as long as you didn't damage the cables by trying to force them while frozen.
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:54 PM
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Thanks everyone
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