2006 PT Cruiser Automatic Will Not Shift

Recently my PT Cruiser was having trouble shifting into park so the car could not be started or the key could not be removed. I had to force it into park a few times and then something popped and broke. The car thinks it’s in drive so it will no longer crank. I took a look under the hood and the shifter cable looks to be fine and connected properly but what I found under the center console seems to be the problem. The entire cable and plastic mechanism move freely. To me it seems as if the plastic piece holding the cable aligned is quite stuck. The metal rod looks like it’s supposed to move inside the casing? Here are some photos to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Always in Drive

It just digs into the floor.

I looked up how the shifter works on your vehicle.

And that cable should be attached to that large white plastic piece.

From the images I can’t tell if it popped off or broke off that plastic piece.


Yes, this is true but even if I hold it (the cable) it will not shift. It’s as if the rod is completely stuck. I held it in the proper place and it still will not move!

Also I recently discovered coffee with extremely sweet creamer was spilled over the shifter. Could that just be gumming up the movement? Perhaps some WD40?

Thanks again!

The cable is binding and the shifter housing broke when you forced it. Replace the gear shift cable and shifter assembly.

I would try laying rags under the whole assembly and wash everything down with brake parts cleaner. Then see if the rod moves.

If the rod moves, and the cable broke off, then I would try to JB weld the broken piece back into position.


Thanks guys, a tremendous help!