How to Replace Steering Column Shift Mechanism

How to Replace Steering Column Shift Mechanism [10 Secret Things]

Tired of seeing step-by-step fluff guides about replacing the steering column shift? Don’t worry; we have your back!

Any driver would know the particular essence of a column shift mechanism. Now, the true horror begins when it goes bad, which indicates a change in the whole system. How to do it? Can you do it all by yourself without the help of a professional? So many questions!

Hold your horses! We will get into all the details. All your misconceptions, doubts, and guides will be clear by the end of this article. So, if you’re eager to know how to replace steering column shift mechanism, keep on reading!

What Does Steering Column Shift Mechanism Do?

What Does Steering Column Shift Mechanism Do

So, how to replace steering column shift mechanism, you ask? To know that, we must first look into what a steering column shift mechanism actually does.

Column shift mechanisms effectively revive adequate operation and allow drivers to shift out and into their wanted gears. Now that we know its essential operation, let’s understand how you can replace it, shall we?

10 Secret Things You Didn’t Know About How to Replace Steering Column Shift Mechanism

Who would’ve thought that there are more profound insights into how to replace steering column shift mechanisms? I believe not you, but there’s a lot more to know!

In the following section, we will get familiar with multiple steering wheels issues, in-depth know-how about shifting mechanisms, and other facts people never tell you. So let’s get into it!

1. How to Remove and Replace Steering Column Shift Mechanism

How to remove and replace steering column shift mechanism

Eager to learn all the secrets on how to replace steering column shift mechanism correctly? We’re as keen to tell you all about it!

In the following sections, we will illustrate all the steps and how to DIY so you can bid your car’s steering wheels issues goodbye forever!

First, let’s look at the steps to remove and replace the steering column shift.

  1. Take your steering wheel and drop it down to the lowest possible point. Take off the shift linkage arm by unhinging the three bolts beneath.
  2. You’ll need a T30 for the next steps and pop out the linkages. Take your T30 and unscrew the bits.
  3. Remove the clip that’s attached to the ignition key to remove it.
  4. Take your brand new steering column shift, align them, and click it in place. Stick it in place with a screw.
  5. Next, take a blue loctite thread sealant, put a few drops of lubricant, and place it back. This step is needed if there’s an issue with the grease and easiness of attachment.
  6. Tighten all the screws well back in their places.
  7. Lastly, get the handy T30 to fix it properly, and don’t overdo it. Snap the clips in place.
  8. Place the steering lever back in its position and screw them back in. Engage them using a drill, so it doesn’t budge.

2. How to Change Steering Column Shift Mechanism

How to Change Steering Column Shift Mechanism

To be honest, changing the steering column shift mechanism is no different from replacing it. But we want you to accomplish it all. So, here’s our take on how to replace steering column shift mechanism or even change it.

First off, get your driver and set it in place beneath the lever. Take your roll pin and smack it lightly a few times to take out the pin. Remove the shift lever slowly and gently so that the spring doesn’t go flying. Once that’s done, simply place the new lever gently and arrange it in place. Place your car keys in the ignition to check one last time.

And you’re done!

3. How to Works Steering Column Shifter

How to Works Steering Column Shifter

A rod runs within the column shifter that starts from the handle and travels along its length. The lever is attached to the other end nearby the braking pedal arm.

Column shift’s cables run through these firewalls and attach themselves safely to the transmission gear shift linkage. When the handle moves, it can pull or push the cable. This will result in the cable to move the transmission linkage in return.

4. Shift Lever Steering Column Shift Mechanism and Problem

To know how to replace steering column shift mechanism, you must first identify the issues. It doesn’t always have to be a car power steering pump problem, but the underlying root causes may be even more severe. So, what are they? Let’s have a look.

The first sign of many is when you experience whirring, thumping, or bumping sounds in your car. These can be the most vital signs which can tell you that something is wrong.

Now, it’s wiser to check the fluid’s state first as these signs could lead to low transmission fluid or that the fluid needs to be changed entirely. Change it immediately if you notice that the liquid is too old, greasy, and gunky.

Furthermore, if you’re still facing irregular shifts or the car resists driving or reversing, there could be numerous reasons. Other than checking the condition of the fluid for this problem as well, you will notice a key slot inside the shifter. You can take your key, insert it in that hole and see if it works.

Next, and the most obvious problem, is that your car won’t start. You might think it’s the fuel or steering wheels issues. But, you may have simply left your car in gear that will prohibit you from driving, and the engine won’t start.

Lastly, if you notice that your vehicle is experiencing late engagement with starting or moving, it might eventually lead to steering column shift issues. Overall, there are numerous components connected, and within steering column shifts, so it’s intelligent to understand their function before jumping to conclusions.

5. Dorman/Steering Column Gear Shift Mechanism

steering Column Gear Shift Mechanism;

One of the most popular steering column shifts has to be the Dorman model. It comes with a direct replacement mechanism that can restore your car’s overall functionality in a glimpse.

Moreover, top-tier durable construction and perfect fit remind users that even if you don’t know how to replace steering column shift mechanisms, there’s still hope!

6. Steering Column Gear Selector

The gear selector’s purpose is to enable the vehicles to be accessible towards various gears within a mutual transmission. Gear selectors are standard terms when an automatic transmission is in the scenario. Users can locate these vital tools between the front two seats of the vehicle in their manual transmissions.

7. Steering Column Shifter Broke

Steering Column Shifter Broke

Broken shifters are pretty common issues and occur when the bushings wear out. But, what can you do about it? Don’t fret. We’re here to, yet again, tell you how to replace steering column shift mechanism when it’s broken. Let’s get into it.

When you take off the steering column, you’ll notice that it is loose and split in half. So, pop off the cover and the dash piece.

Take off the four 13mm nuts. The steering column will come loose, and you’ll see where the breakage is. Take off the broken shift pieces using a ratchet wrench.

And simply screw back in the new piece. Take off the broken pieces in two pieces and replace them respectively. Replace the old pin with the new piece and adjust the plunger.

And finally, shift the new piece into the older section, and you’re good to go!

8. Steering Column Shift Tube and Plunger Assembly

Steering Column Shift Tube and Plunger Assembly

This one’s an intriguing DIY, but most give up halfway due to lacking knowledge. But, we’re here to save your day and tell you all the steps. Let’s dive in.

  • Power off for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the three head screws and take the column down.
  • Unscrew the tilt column lever and remove the lower column
  • Remove the 7mm screws too. Release the hooks and remove them.
  • Remove the 13mm screws to remove the u-brace column.
  • Once all the parts are taken off, remove the boot with a flat blade screwdriver to release the retainer.
  • Remove the spring collar next with a flat head screwdriver.
  • Tap the pin gently out of the gear selector and then the clip.

Now, all you need to do is reverse the steps and screws to reassemble the steering column. Pretty easy, isn’t it?

9. How to Fix a Loose Gear Shifter Automatic and Manual

How to Fix a Loose Gear Shifter

This is yet another extremely common issue with steering column shifts, but there’s also a fix for it. Yay!

Follow the brake pedal up until you get to the steering length. You’ll notice that it moves. You can notice two bolts with torques on their ends on the sides. Check to see if the gear lever moves. If it does, it’s because it got loose, which upsets the whole mechanism.

To fix it, take off the loose screws one at a time and apply the thread locker. Perform the same procedure for both the screws and place them in snugly. And your column shift should be as good as new.

10. How Much Does It Cost to Fix Shift Linkage?

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Shift Linkage;

Wondering why you have to know how to replace steering column shift mechanisms in the first place? Good, it’s good sense to try to find the root cause.

Now, if the problem is mere loose shifter linkage, you can tighten and fix it at no additional cost.

However, professional or repair shops might charge around $50 to $75. On the other hand, if the issues lie within the shifter cable, you can replace it at $35 to $80 by yourself or have a repair shop look into it for $125 to $250.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q1. How Do I Know if My Shift Linkage Is Bad?

A) The common signs are whirring, bumping, or thumping noises which indicate issues within shift linkage or fluid leaks.

Q2. How Do You Shift a Column Shifter?

A) Put your foot on the brake and pull the shifter towards you to whatever gear you want. And voila!

Q3. What Does It Mean When Your Shifter Is Loose? Why Is My Shift Lever Loose?

A) The lever loosens when the linkage is either broken or has accumulated rust.

Q4. What Is the Shifter on the Steering Column Called?

A) Without knowing its name, you can't possibly get away with knowing how to replace steering column shift mechanism! It's formally known as a transmission lever and gear stick, shifter, or gearshift.

Q5. What Are the Likely Problems if the Selector Linkage Is Not Correctly Adjusted?

A) If the linkage's alignment is off, it will cause issues such as the inability to start an engine or connect the drive.

Q6. How to Replace and Remove Column Shifter Lever? Are Shift Levers Universal?

A) You can find many universal shift fits. Simply slip the levers over the springs to install a new column shifter lever.

Q7. How to Fix Steering Column Shifter and Broken Gear Shifter?

A) Here's how you can do it.

  1. Flush out the old grease.
  2. Work the levers to move.
  3. The lever will move and catch after a few tries.
  4. Utilize compressed air through the lever holes. Spray some more lubricant into it.

Q8. How to Turn a Column Shifter into an Automatic Floor Shifter?

A) Follow these steps to turn the column shifter into an automatic shifter.

  1. Remove the center cap of the steering wheel with a screwdriver.
  2. Free the shaft clip using needle pliers.
  3. Extract carter pins from shifter linkage.
  4. Pierce a 1/2-inch hole above the linkage site.
  5. Insert and connect the new floor shifter.

Final Words

You can finally breathe out a sigh of relief, am I right? To be very fair, it might take you a few shots to get this job right to the bullseye.

But, what’s more favorable, getting to ditch thousands of dollars on professionals and repair shops or having the sheer luck of putting your limits to the test? Now, you know all about how to replace steering column shift mechanism and that too, like a professional!

Give yourself some credit for it, and amp it up when you accomplish these tasks successfully. It has been under the covers for a long time, but as you read through this article, you’ll understand that the steps of replacing column shifts aren’t the most challenging job on earth. Just follow the steps religiously, and you’ll see ends meet.

About The Author

Michael H. Smith

Michael H. Smith

Michael is the lead content creator for As a car enthusiast and based on his real life experiences he is sharing his opinion about various automotive vehicles and parts. So that our reader, can focus solely on buying best gadgets for their automobile and get the best products reviews and guide experience!

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