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Transmission not dropping into 1st, 3rd, or 5th
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Thread: Transmission not dropping into 1st, 3rd, or 5th

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    Transmission not dropping into 1st, 3rd, or 5th

    Yesterday, while my gf was driving the car, it stopped engaging in 1st, 3rd, and 5th gear. 2nd, 4th, and Reverse are still fully usable. When trying to engage any of the upper gears, the lever feels spongy and doesnít ďdropĒ in like normal. Going into the bottom gears feels a little spongy, but drops in as it should. I was able to hold the lever towards 1st and get the car moving with no grinding, but if I let off the lever, it slides back and grinds, without popping fully into neutral. My fear is that itís a shot synchro or fork, but looking through the service manual, Iím wondering if itís not something screwed up in the gear selector mounted on top of the transaxle. Iím wondering if anyone else has had this issue and if transmission parts are available somewhere. Iím trying to avoid replacing the entire gearbox, but itís looking like that may be the only option. Iíd appreciate any help with this. 2013 Fiat 500 Pop, manual transmission.

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    First, you'll want to stop driving the car until repaired. (You don't want to damage the tranny.)

    The shift lever to tranny connection is via cables. As a first step, I would start by looking at the ends of those cables to see if a bushing has broken. There are aftermarket bushing replacement kits which are cheaper and easier to install than replacing the cables. Pop the battery tray off and you should have a good view. Factory bushings are your typical flexible plastic, suitable for a Bic pen cap. If so, bushingfix.com.

    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...hlight=bushing

    It could be the other end, but that doesn't break as often. While you have it apart, you might consider lubing that shifter pivot. The lube can "wear out" which will cause the shifter to not return to center.

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    Pressure plate.... issues with 2012-2016 500. There was a Fiat recall campaign on that fix. Call your Fiat studio. Give them you vin number. See if you Car was updated.

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    My bet is the shifter cable, where the cable attaches to the transmission shift lever, or the plastic ball that acts as a shifter shaft ball and socket.

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    Senior Member smark's Avatar
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    Ditto, There was issues with the shift cables too, if my memory suits me well, the last 8 years. Of ownership.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle11 View Post
    Yesterday, while my gf was driving the car, it stopped engaging in 1st, 3rd, and 5th gear. 2nd, 4th, and Reverse are still fully usable. When trying to engage any of the upper gears, the lever feels spongy and doesnít ďdropĒ in like normal. Going into the bottom gears feels a little spongy, but drops in as it should. I was able to hold the lever towards 1st and get the car moving with no grinding, but if I let off the lever, it slides back and grinds, without popping fully into neutral. My fear is that itís a shot synchro or fork, but looking through the service manual, Iím wondering if itís not something screwed up in the gear selector mounted on top of the transaxle. Iím wondering if anyone else has had this issue and if transmission parts are available somewhere. Iím trying to avoid replacing the entire gearbox, but itís looking like that may be the only option. Iíd appreciate any help with this. 2013 Fiat 500 Pop, manual transmission.
    Definitely shifter cable...been there before. The shifter cable was also updated a few years back.
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    Thanks for the replies. After a little deeper troubleshooting, it is definitely the shift cable. My current question is: Does the selector cable end (interior side) just pop off, or does the release have something to do with the overly engineered, plastic, spring-loaded, abomination that’s just below the rod end? Also, what’s a good source for replacement cables?

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    Update: Got the cable set fully removed. You might be able to do it without removing the battery tray, but it improves access by 100%. The service manual says to lift the car to undo the plastic clips at the base of the firewall, but I (5í11Ē, average build) was able to reach and unclip them blind from top. The four cable retainer clips were probably the worst part, just extremely difficult to remove, even with decent access- a tiny lady slipper pry bar was the answer. Now waiting for the new cables to get here.

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