Newer styleOk, as promised, a pictoral guide to a simple, under 5 minute check to see if your shifter needs adjustment.
So, here we have our shifter. If your shifter does not look like this, then your job is incredibly simple: Go worry about something else on your car as this is not the issue you are looking for. If this is your shifter, or what your shifter looked like when it was stock, then you can continue with the guide.
The first step is to pull the shifter boot up from its base. This is simple to do. simply grab ahold of the fabric on the rearward side (closest to parking brake lever) and give it a tug upwards. It should pop right up.
Now we turn our attention to the white piece around the shifter. This is the reverse lockout, as well as the cable alignment fixture for lack of a better word. Looking at the front of it, there is a tab covered up by a metal clip.
Remove that metal clip and you're left with a tab.
Now pinch these tabs together while lifting vertically on the white piece. It should become rather free floating around the shifter shaft.
Once the white piece is floating, rotate it 180 degrees around the shifter and, when in neutral, get it so the tabs on the piece can insert into the holes on the left side of the shifter base.
Congratulations! Your shifter is now in cable allignment position. :banana:
Now, pop the hood. Looking at the driver's side of the engine bay, alongside the engine, you'll see something that looks like this:
As you can see, there's a hole there. That arm behind that tab is your shift lever. There is a corresponding hole in the shift lever that, when your shifter is locked in the alignment position, should line up perfectly with this hole. If you're looking at the alignment instructions posted elsewhere in this thread, this is where the 5mm pin/drillbit goes. When I aligned mine, I picked up a 2 pack of 5mm machine screws from Lowe's for $0.90.
If the holes aren't lined up (and if your car is shifting poorly, they're likely way off. Mine was almost an inch) then you either pull the center console apart as directed in the tutorial in this thread, or you take it to the dealer. If the holes are lined up, then you can put your shifter back together. Simply pull the white alignment thing out of its holes, spin it back around, clip it into position and put the metal tab back on and you're done.
Hopefully this helped diagnose at least a few people's shift issues. If this isn't the problem, then who knows what it is.
NOTE: If you're doing the cable alignment, the "Cable adjusters" that are mentioned in the tutorial here can be seen in the picture I posted of the metal piece on the tab (3rd picture). Yellow things way down in there.
Just wanted to note the difference to the cable adjustment in MY13. It doesn't have the little metal tab, which is replaced by including it in the plastic assembly. You pry out on it a bit and then push the button and the lockout comes up. Also under the hood you can't see the hole and it looks like there is an adjuster on the car now, with a position "in" and one "out."
Reverse lockout tab, already flipped 180 degrees:
As promised, here is a scan of the bulletin. The xerox from the dealer must have been low on toner so I penned in the parts that were hardly legible.
If you can't read my handwriting......... sorry about your luck.
This adjustment looks SUPER EASY. It's basically a cable reset in the 1st/2nd shift gate.
In a nutshell:
Open shifter console, pull up on cable lock tabs to unlock them.
Under the hood, position the shift lever as shown in diagram and lock it in place with a 5mm drill bit or allen key.
Unlock the reverse lockout on the shifter and rotate it 180 deg and set it in the two holes, this will align the shifter in the center of the 1st/2nd shift gate.
Now push down the tabs on the cable lock to secure the adjustment.
Spin the reverse lockout back to it's original position and lock it in.
DO NOT FORGET to remove the pin locking the shifter lever on the tranny.
I may take a look at it when I have free time. All but 4>5 is normal just sitting in the car off and clutch pressed. When driving, my issues were geting into gear all the way for 2>3 for the 1st 20 mins or so of driving and into 1st for slowing down for stopsigns anytime.You guys might not be affected by it. I think it was 1st year Sonics that were afflicted, specifically the M32s, although there was a member that found his 1.8's 5sp to be out of spec.
That said I see no reason the procedures to check and align the cables would be any difrent, so it could be a nice little DIY check for anyone having odd shifting behavior.
When I installed my short shifter I must have pushed this in without realizing and for my 2014 manual lt, I couldn’t get into reverse 5th and 6th. I thought I did something wrong but this was the problem and a very quick fix. Thank you would’ve never found it on my own
I literally just said this to someone in the facebook group maybe a week ago.When I installed my short shifter I must have pushed this in without realizing and for my 2014 manual lt, I couldn’t get into reverse 5th and 6th. I thought I did something wrong but this was the problem and a very quick fix. Thank you would’ve never found it on my own