Weird question: would someone mess with gear shifter when trying to steal a car?

This is odd, but I don’t know who to ask! I have a minivan that my children have very slowly ripped to shreds. They are small, furless, feral animals that I love. But they are animals.

The other day, I noticed my gear shifter felt loose. A closer look revealed that the metal pole was slightly bent. Because my children are animals, and I was a mess before them, my brain is now completely gone so I thought, “maybe it was always loose. Maybe it was always bent.” The next day, the whole damn handle came off in my hand. Sigh.

Thing is, my kids are very little. Too little to bend even a utensil made of metal. But they have done some other damage so…The other thing is I have an automatic starter. The car can’t switch gears until the key is in the ignition. Is it possible someone tried to steal it? Do they do that? I wouldn’t be able to tell if someone jimmied the door since, well, it doesn’t close right after a certain incident.

Thank you in advance!!

do not blame the kids, someone with a little mechanical aptitude will solve your problem, now as you seem to be a cosmic person, you know who that person is, once you let yourself free enough to ask for help.

Is it possible someone tried to steal it?

I’d say only if the thief planned to tow or push it away.

Sounds like getting it stolen wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing…


Some mysteries in this life are never resolved. You just have to learn to live with the great mysteries.

insightful: Kind of like the recent post concerning Saab 900 won’t start. I had to bite my fingers to keep from typing “Sometimes you just get lucky”!

Mechanical things tend to get loose on their own. See a good independent mechanic to sort this out.

The bend may have been there all along.
This one needs a hands-on assessment.

My guess, the shifting rod (pole) was made that way, bent. And the handle coming off isn’t an unusual event for older cars. Sometimes it can just be screwed back on. No harm, no foul.

Another explanation, who was that magician who used to bend spoons for a living? Uri Geller? Maybe he’s involved … lol …

There’s lots of mysteries in life I guess. One time the brake pedal on my truck came completely loose from the push rod. Fortunately I was going slow in stop and go traffic & able to shift to low, & use the emergency brake to coast to a stop to the side of the road. For the pedal to come loose like that, that’s impossible, b/c there’s a holding pin that goes clean through the shaft that prevents it from coming loose. But it did come loose, and the pin was laying on the floor of the truck beneath the brake pedal. Undamaged. Like I say, life’s a mystery.

I get what you’re saying yes your car got broken into because I had the same thing the thief or person that broke into my car also bent my shifter knob it’s automatic so I’m guessing the best thing that makes sense is that they tried to put it on neutral and probably tow it away usually when they do this it sounds like they want to steal the car for parts