What to know about the Shift Indicator (Automatic Transmission):
The shift indicator, or gearshift indicator, is a readout that indicates which gear your transmission is engaged in. Every vehicle with an automatic transmission has a shift indicator, whether it’s a digital or mechanical readout on your instrument panel or a lit or mechanical indicator by your console-mounted gearshift lever.
The shift indicator is attached to a shift indicator cable. The shift indicator cable moves the shift indicator’s position to accurately reflect the gear your transmission is engaged in. Many mechanical-style shift indicators are a needle that moves along a rudimentary track on the “PRNDL” display, which shows whether your transmission is in Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, or Low gear. If the needle breaks, the track wears, or the needle becomes separated from the shift indicator cable, the shift indicator won’t display the proper gear.
Facts to Note:
The shift indicator simply reflects what gear your transmission is presently in.
If the indicator is not operating correctly, your transmission will still function as it should though you will need to be aware of your shifter position before starting to drive.
If your shift indicator is digital and stops working, you may need a wiring repair or a transmission sensor replacement to correct the condition.
The shift indicator is typically part of a larger part. If your shift indicator is mounted on the center console by the shifter, you may need to have the whole gearshift assembly changed. If the shift indicator is on your instrument cluster, you may need to have the whole instrument cluster changed as an assembly.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Shift Indicator (Automatic Transmission):
Readout doesn’t change when shifter is moved.
Gearshift doesn’t reflect the actual gear your transmission is in.
Importance of this service:
The shift indicator is an essential device to ensure you run your vehicle safely. Without a correctly operating shift indicator, you can accidentally engage the wrong gear and potentially injure your car’s occupants or the people around you. Have your broken shift indicator fixed or changed as soon as you can.