2008 Chrysler Sebring Transmission Fix





Introduction: 2008 Chrysler Sebring Transmission Fix

So I’m at work all day and 5pm comes around, I grab my stuff and head out to the car.  I get in, start it up and go to shift it out of park, but the shifter won’t move.  I check the obvious, break is fully depressed and the brake lights come on, but no shifting.  So I pull out the owner’s manual, and try the ‘manual override’ instructions for the transaxle.  This consists of removing the rubber insert from the cup holder and reaching through a little hole to push a lever.  No joy. 

Step 1: Initial Troubleshooting


I pull the chrome trim piece from around the shift lever and look inside through the gap.  I notice that the plastic part that I pushed for the ‘manual override’ is pink.  There is another pink plastic piece on the other (left) side of the shifter that moves when I try to shift.  I grab a screwdriver and pull this toward the rear while shifting.  Whew, got it. That let me drive home, but I don’t want to shift with a screwdriver, so I’ll need to fix this.

Step 2: Disassembly

After I get home, I pull the center console out to get a better look at the problem.  First I need to pull the a/c control bezel out so I can get to the screws behind it.  The bottom of the panel pulls out, and then you need to pull the unit down to pull the top side out.  Remove the cable connectors.  Remove six 10mm screws.  Two are behind the a/c bezel, and four are in the center console armrest compartment. 

Step 3: Diagnosis

 With the console out of the way, I notice that the plastic part on the left side of the shifter is attached to a cable, which pulls it forward when the key isn’t in the ‘on’ position.  It goes slack when the key is ‘on’ but there is no spring to pull the plastic piece back out of the way.  I find a place where something has broken off, but I don’t find a spring or the broken piece.  This is when I decide to improve their system so this doesn’t happen again. 

Step 4: Repair

 I had to get a replacement spring, so I went to the parts store and bought the smallest throttle return spring I could find.  It was a bit too long, so I cut it down to one inch total length.  Then I drilled a hole in the pink plastic part and hooked the spring between it and the spring hold down hook on the shifter housing.  After testing that it worked as needed, I put the console back together.  Total repair cost, $3.00 and one hour of work for a solution that is better than new.  The price for a replacement shift housing at the dealership, $142.00 plus installation, probably at least $300.00 all together.

Step 5: Factory Recall Notice...

Late update to this instructable...

I received a recall notice for my car from Chrysler today, outlining exactly the issue I created this instructable for.  I won't be taking my car in since it's already fixed, but if you have this problem and need to take it in, they'll probably fix it for free.  They stay that they'll install a "reinforcement clip" to keep your spring retainer hook from breaking. 

Good Luck,




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    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I was able to easily figure this out and get home safely. Along with calling the dealership and having them fix it for free. THANK YOU!!!

    1 reply

    Happy to be of assistance, and that the dealer fixed you up.

    Computer read out said my transmission module was bad changed that and car still want change gears. Car takes off fine but at 40 it drops back down to 20 and want idle any higher. What do I check now

    Thanks for the instructions. I was able to remove the A/C bezel with no problem, as well as the six 10mm screws. However, in no way will that console come off. No matter which way it is pulled, pushed, or twisted, it simply will not clear the parking brake handle. The parking brake is full on, but that handle would probably need to move another 30º towards vertical before the console will clear it. Maybe a hacksaw is needed? Can't find any useful information on this anywhere. HELP!

    2 replies

    Sorry to hear that you're having issues Cliff. It's been awhile, so I can't remember if I had any difficulties getting the console off from around the brake handle. Look around to see if anything is still connected, and try wiggling it. Hopefully it's just caught on something. If all else fails, push the broken pink retainer to the rear (picture 2), and drive it to the dealer. It's a recall issue, so they'll fix it for free.

    Dan: Thanks so much for your reply! I did finally succeed at the repair. The black plastic brace which attaches the front of the console to the dash with the 2 10mm screws had to also be detached from both sides of the console. A torx screw must be removed at each end, and the brace unclipped from the console sides. Also, one more set of wires must be unplugged. Removal of the brace allows the console sides to be splayed out to the sides of the hump as the front of the console is pushed down. Then Voila! The rear of the console will (barely) clear the parking brake handle. After that the repair was by-the-book, and everything went together fine. Found the old spring too, so my total cost was $0.00. BTW, Chrysler did confirm that the dealer would have taken care of the repair on the house. Would have been easier. THANKS AGAIN!!!

    I had the same issue on my 2007 Sebring 2 months ago. The issue is known by Chrysler, there is not a recall however there is as they refer to it a "campaign" which I had found googling the issue. when I brought my car to Chrysler they fixed it free of charge.

    The pictures and instructions in step two should guide you toward removing your console. The bolts are under the AC control bezel. Hope you find your card!



    maybe you set to shift lock accidentally and never been shift unlock beacause my car have the shift lock.

    They just issued a recall for this. It's about time! Awesome instructable though.

    Hi, I am a tech for Dodge Chrysler and Jeep and there is a recall on this shifter propblem, the recall number if K16. The Dealership will fix this problem for you for FREE, even if your warrenty is expired.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the info. Hopefully anyone who is about to have this problem will take their car in to the shop for the free fix. I posted my recall notice as a late entry to this instructable, it's on page 5.

    Thanks for the video. I was ready to take the car to the dealer. I tried this and it worked. Took me about one hour. I was lucky enough to find the spring. What a big relief. Thank you.

    I am trying to fix the shifter problem and need more specific directions for getting to the screwsunder the ac bezel can you please help me If you haven't guessed yes I am a woman but determined. Thanks Lil

    2 replies

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner. The AC bezel snaps in at the bottom. You just need to get your fingers under it and pull out. It has 2 small tabs at the top, so after you pull the bottom out you'll need to slide the whole thing downward to free it. Step 2 shows how to do it, but you may need to use a bit of force to pull the bottom out. There are wiring harness connectors behind it that need to come off next. Each one has an area that needs to be pressed to release the connector. Push the flat spot on the side of the connector while pulling it off.

    Dan, Where do I find step 2