Shifter cable, clutch, manual 5 speed

I have a saturn coupe 5 speed 1997, 189,000 miles, original clutch. about a year ago, the shifting cable broke, had no stick shift, just moved freely moved in a circle, had it towed and the auto guy put a new cable and I had shifting once more. a week later it broke again, had me stranded about 2 hours away, towed again.

the shifting has never been the same. it was hard to get into 1st gear before the cable broke and there after. 2nd time the cable broke took to another auto guy, he fixed it and welded something, to keep the cable from binding up and to keep it in line better. after that it shifted okay for a few months and now its at the auto guy again for the following.

now it seems as if when we put it in reverse and back out, then try to put it in 1st, it’s like hitting a wall, would not go into first, then would put in 2nd to get going engage the clutch and the car would do nothing, put in 3rd to 5th, nothing. would go in gear but the care would not go, put it in neutral sit for a min. then the clutch would engage and you could go. when putting in second or 5th gear, it was mushy. i started not even going into 1st gear, started out in 2nd and seemed to be fine. I have had clutches many times and this does not seem to be the clutch, even though it has 189000 miles on it. this does not happen 100% of the time. the auto guy had it happen once, now it’s fine, but I do not want to break down, so he’s keeping it driving it but, he is puzzled and really does not know what is happening. it all started with the shifting cable breaking. I’m not sure how to explain what the car is doing, I thought it might be where the cable goes into the transmission, but the auto guy does not want me spending a lot of money for him to figure out whats causing the problem and not fix it. He has never had a car do this. first gear is like hitting a wall, sometimes it goes in first too easy, but then going into 2nd gear is hard when it’s too easy going into 1st. 5th gear is like mush, like the shift is pulling a rubber band and now reverse, seems to be causing the car not to drive even though it goes into gear, letting out on the clutch to go and it will not go. have you ever heard of this. my cell# is 770-843-3171 on from 8a.m. to 5p.m. otherwise I have no reception where I live.

I can probably do better talking to someone than typeing like this. maybe you can call. I would like to solve this, this shifting issue has caused me to tow the car 3 times.

I have a 95 SL-1 Saturn and my shifter cables broke at about the same mileage. I had them replaced by a guy from the MechanXfiles. I supplied the cables, which were aftermarket, not OEM, as the Saturn dealer cables were about $150, vs. $52 for the ones I got at Advance Auto. The mechanic said he wasn’t aware there were aftermarket cables available, but put them in, as he was familiar with the manufacturer (Dorman?) who he said was reputable. Anyhow, shifting was not always smooth, but I thought the cables had to “run in.” But now, about 10k miles later, the problems seem to be getting worse, not better. I almost always have difficulty getting it into reverse, and often into 2nd, sometimes 4th. But it is erratic and sometimes seems to work pretty well. Before I take it back to the mechanic, I’m trying to figure out if the problem is the aftermarket cables or something else.