2002 Saturn L200 Automatic Shifter Problems

Please bear with me. Im not experienced with cars so if im confusing you im terribly sorry. Anyway, I can turn the car on fine. I can push the brake and move the shifter fine. But no matter what gear im in park, reverse, neutral, drive, 3, 2, 1 the car still rolls. Also the indicator lights to the left of the shifter are messed up too. When im in park position, the indicator lights shows im in reverse. When in reverse it says neutral etc. I really have no idea what the problem is. If i could move the shifter fine why wont it change gears? and how can i fix the indicator lights? Thanks everyone for your help. I really appreciate it.

The problem might be with the transmission range switch.

This switch informs the computer what gear the transmission is in and operates the solenoids inside the transmission.

The switch is located below the linkage where the transmission shift cable is attached.



Sounds like the shifter linkage is messed up. This should be extremely affordable to get fixed by a shop that does trannys.

@Tester‌ thanks for the info. Is this something i could do myself? and should i replace the solenoid valve also?

@Tester‌ oh and do you know of anything else that could cause this?

@"the same mountainbike"‌ would i have to replace the shifter linkage bushing or both the bushing and the cable. And could i do this myself?

Maybe. It’s impossible to tell without pulling the console and looking.

If you want to do this yourself, allow me to suggest that you stop by a Chevy dealer’s parts department and request an “exploded view drawing” of both the console installation and the shifter installation.

There are also Saturn specific forums on the internet with descriptions complete with photos of the shifter installation. Apparently shifter problems are not uncommon in these cars. I found one, but I was unable to attach it… I’m technologically challenged. A quick Google of the subject should get you all the info you need.

@"the same mountainbike
will the exploded view drawing cost me anything?

I found some forums that will help me out, if i do it myself. Doesn’t seem to bad, but it never fails for me to run into a huge obstacle. that’s fine if you couldn’t get it attached. we all are challenged in some way. exactly thats why we have google.

The exploded view drawing should not cost you anything. Ask the parts guy nicely and he should be happy to print one.

The absolute worst that could possibly happen is that you find yourself in over your head and have to have it towed to a shop. That’s isn’t such a huge risk if you think about it.

@"the same mountainbike"‌
okay cool.

ya. as long as i do my research before hand i should be fine i hope.

Open the hood and look on the side of the transmission for the shift lever/range switch.

While watching the shift lever have someone move the shifter thru it’s range to see if the lever moves. This will indicate if there’s a problem with the cable or the transmission range switch.


Looked under the hood and saw the nut that connects the cable to the shift lever/range switch was loose. Tightened it up and now everything works fine.

Problem solved.

Ain’t it great when a fix costs nothing?


Its awesome, but I felt pretty dumb that all it took was simply tightening a nut though. I wish i was a lot more experienced with this.

Don’t feel dumb.

I’ve never seen that nut come loose for the transmission shift lever on it’s own.

You just showed everyone on this board that weird things can happen to a vehicle without rhyme or reason.


Don’t feel dumb… you outshone ME!!
Seriously, I’m glad the problem is fixed. Congratulations.

@Tester is amazing. What an asset to this site. Two thumbs up

Its hard not too when its such a simple fix.

Hopefully this will help out lots of others cause it is quite frustrating when you are not experienced.
Thanks to you, I found out the nut was loose I really appreciate your help.

@"the same mountainbike"
Thanks. You gave me valuable info that could help me in the future.