I recently and clumsily spilled soda onto my gearshift. It went down in the cracks and has (I believe) solidified into a syrupy mess. I want to clean it out (because the shifter is sticking) but I don’t know what to use that wouldn’t further damage the shifting mechanism. I also am completely unaware of how to get past the plastic casing to get near the mess (I don’t see any screws).
Make model year and transmission (auto or manual). No one can offer much advice without more information. However you can go to the Library and read a repair manual for your car or for not much more the auto parts store will sell you copy.
I have an automatic 2004 Chevy Cavalier. Is there any other info that would be useful?
I don’t know that this applies to your car, but on most Chevy floor-shift transmission levers, the following applies.
On the back of the shift knob, there should be a little slot. Inside of that slot, there’s a circlip. Push down/in on the shift lever button (may have to put the ignition switch in the On position), and use a small flat-bladed screw driver to reach in to that slot and pull out the clip. After that, you have to pull straight up on the shifter handle, and it should pop off. After that, take a small, thin piece of material, either a screw driver or a piece of plastic or something, and use it to pry up the plastic trim that goes around the shifter. Be gentle, go slowly, and the clips will pop. After that, use a warm, damp cloth to wash off the sticky soda. And then quit drinking soda in the car.