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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
156,824 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. took to a shop and they fixed the problem (1 reports)
1996 Chevrolet Cavalier transmission problems

transmission problem

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1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #4

May 202009

Cavalier /LS 2.2L 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 250,256 miles


For the record, back in May '09, at about 256K miles, i attempted to shift from 2nd to 3rd gear, and the shifter disengaged from something. It just freely moved around even when the clutch pedal was not engaged. Meanwhile, the car continued on in 2nd gear.

The first time this happened, i had the car towed to the mechanic (it had other problems too, so the tow was justified...) After fixing the other problems, he beckoned to me with his index finger to follow him to the car. He directed me to the passenger side while he took the driver side as if he was going to jump in and drive.

He did jump in, but had a ratchet in his hand when he landed in the driver's seat. He ratcheted the bolts found in the shifting console... lifted up the console exposing the metal shifter support mount, and the two shifter cables underneath. Both cables were connected.

"There's your problem with the shifter moving about w/out you touching the clutch pedal." He pointed to the end of the shifter shaft under the shifter support mount. He wobbled the shifter stick with the clutch pedal engaged, going through all 5 gears including reverse. From there i could see the two shifter cables moving in response to his shifting.

He continued: "What happens is the shifter shaft goes into a position where it causes the shifting cable to disconnect, seemingly at weird times... it's time for those shifter cables to be replaced... Oh and they come in a pair... a good $200 at least for parts and labor...)"

i thanked him for showing me where the problem was. And he reassembled the shifting console.. ratched back the bolts, and grinned: "get used to it."

To this day of "complaining" about this, the shifter disconnects a few times every day now... where it's not worth putting the bolts back...

- , Huntersville, NC, US

problem #3

May 062009

Cavalier Z24

  • Manual transmission
  • 117,000 miles

I'm experiencing the same exact problem except mine is stuck in second gear. The gear shifter feels like it's in neutral. I can move it around like it isn't in gear. I'm trying to figure out what the problem is so I can determine whether or not I can repair it myself.

- , Aurora, CO, USA

problem #2

Sep 112008

Cavalier Z24 2.4L V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,041 miles

So I'm driving home from work, the car's been mine a few months now, bought from parents who treated it well. Shifting into second has been a little sticky, but when I go to shift into second today, it just doesn't. So I skip and go to third, it shifts in, but not out.

The shifter moves freely back and fourth, with or without use of the clutch but it doesn't shift out of third. Stick doesn't move side to side, clutch still disengages.

Made it home yet to take it to a mechanic.

- , Saskatoon, SK, Canada

problem #1

Nov 272005

(reported on)


  • 160,000 miles

Well lets just say that while driving home the car got stuck in 3rd gear and I still had about a 15 minute drive ahead of me. It was really horrible for the car and very scary since there were many times where it seemed as though I wouldn't make it home. I'm not sure if there are many people who know what it's like to start off in 3rd but if you've ever made the mistake of starting in 2nd it's almost impossible to actually start in 3rd. Lets hope this never happens again.

- , London, ON, Canada

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