1999 Saturn SL from North America - Comments

1st Jul 2010, 23:34

Well, I'm joining the ranks of broken bushings. Fortunately, a friend of mine tore through to find the problem, and what was going to be 400 bones is now going to cost 20 bones. Thanks to everyone for posting your comments here, and to those who paid the $400 to the dealer for repairs, thanks to your comments, you saved one more person from falling for their antics.

15th Jul 2010, 17:03

This website is so helpful. I just bought a 1997 Saturn SL1 two days ago. Had a mechanic check it out before I bought it and he said this was a great car! It only has 82,000 miles on it. So today, I pull into a gas station and the shifter goes limp. My first thought is that I got screwed! But after reading all these posts, I know that I didn't and this is an easy fix! I called NAPA and I'm on my way to get the part. Should be going again shortly! Thanks!

18th Jul 2010, 13:58

Our shifter went limp yesterday in the parking lot next to a hardware store where we were a able to acquire a phillips screw driver and zip ties! We were able to get our 1999SL Saturn home and found this web site today. Thanks to all of you - we just got back from NAPPA!!

20th Jul 2010, 02:34

Thanks for the information. I bought the part at NAPA this afternoon and made the repair this evening. The cramped space made for some problems, but someone with small hands can easily make the repair in less than 30 minutes.

27th Jul 2010, 10:10

The same thing has just happened with our 1997 SL2, thank God I was backing out of the driveway!

Shame on GM for putting such a cheap, plastic part in a crucial place. This part costs them pennies to make, and is most likely made in a foreign country!

Thanks to you all for your helpful posts. GM has taken enough of my money for stupid overpriced and unnecessary repairs over the years. Chock one up for us everyday hardworking people! Thanks again for your advice.

8th Aug 2010, 22:57

One more affected Saturn owner here, glad to have found this message thread.

I had the same problem, and was a hundred miles from home when it happened. Someone at the office I was visiting had zip ties, miracle of miracles, which worked great to get me back to my neighborhood. Upon returning, I went straight to the local Government Motors - sorry, "GM" - who gave me the story about having to replace the shift assembly at $115 for the part - we never even got to the labor, because it was too late in the day for them to start the job - thank goodness!

I went home, planning to return to Gov't Motors in the morning, but I went online and found this message board, as well as all the related sites and threads.

Armed with new information, I unfortunately didn't have the unqualified successes of some of the other contributors here as far as the BK-620-1411 part goes; I found one in the area, and managed to break off one of the plastic teeth while attempting to connect the cable ring to it. I didn't realize that both sides of the cable ring are not quite the same - one side is clearly superior to the other - so that was one lesson.

As a result of the broken tooth (or so I surmised), the so-called "Locking Ring" that comes with the 620-1411 would not stay put; it worked itself free after a few minutes of ordinary shift movement.

I convinced myself that the broken tooth was the issue, and ponied up another twenty-something bucks for the other one in stock at the local Napa. This time, I hooked everything up properly, and guess what? The "Locking Ring" still slips off all by itself after just a little usage!

So now I've ordered the stainless steel version referred to elsewhere on the 'net, and I await it with baited breath. I can continue to drive without the "Locking Ring", since it doesn't seem mission-critical for basic performance, though I will be shifting very gingerly until I get my highly-anticipated stainless steel version!

I'm still way ahead of the game, having learned that there is no good reason to replace the shift assembly, and I am in everlasting gratitude to the interwebs for having provided this info through the good will of our esteemed members here - but I sure wish that the 620-1411 wasn't so dang flimsy!

Thanks again, all!

21st Aug 2010, 09:20

Hey... Rob from Long Island NY here... Same problem on my 1996 SL2 with 208k miles.. Shifter popped last night going from 1 to 2nd gear. Towed the car home as we were less than 1 mile from home..

Been browsing the web all morning, thinking I needed a new shifter assembly, and I'm quite excited that I may just need to replace this cheesy part.

I just checked under the hood, and can see that the shifter cable is well connected to the tranny, so I really think it's just the connector. I'm getting ready to disassemble the center console and verify.

I'll report back if it's the "common" part problem.

21st Aug 2010, 23:30

My 1995 Saturn has 190000 miles on it. Went to leave work. Shifter became loose. Glad this did not happen on the main highway. Shouldn't there be some sort of class action suit against GM for this very faulty crucial part being made of very cheap plastic? I wonder how many innocent people have been killed over this.

I have fixed my Saturn with a $20 bushing I got off Ebay. Works really good. Did not have to replace the shifter assembly like I was told by dealer, but I will not buy another GM product because of this scam they have going on.

I was quoted $400 to fix this problem piece I had to pay $20 for. It did not even cost whoever made it 5 cents to make. It makes me so angry at Saturn and GM for this. I don't have money to throw away. Hasn't the government given them enough money, without taking my money, and endangering the lives of my wife and kids? I am so mad right now, it isn't even funny.

23rd Aug 2010, 07:52

Update - $20 part from NAPa Auto fixed my problem. It took less than 1 hour to complete the job, with most of it spent removing the center console then putting it back.

12th Feb 2011, 09:44

Well, it happened to me last night. Backed out of my parking spot and the shifter popped. I got the center console off and held the joint together until I got home. This morning, I picked up the bushing at NAPA and installed it in my driveway. This is February in Cleveland Ohio, and the temperature is about 15 degrees out. Even though I was very careful, I broke some of the plastic fingers when I tried to attach the cheap plastic part. I'm about to order the Ebay part. That NAPA part is too brittle. If you're planning to use this part and it's cold out, I'd advise you to make sure the plastic part is very warm as well as the metal parts you're attaching it to.

27th Mar 2011, 11:30

You guys are all LIFESAVERS!!! The bushing just broke this morning (a Sunday)... AutoZone can get the part by Tuesday, but thanks to all your comments, I see I can fix it temporarily with some washers & wire or a cotter pin (I'll figure something out.)

Thanks to inflation, the part is now $24.95 --- it still beats hundreds of $$$ at a dealership.

Many thanks again for everyone's help!!!

14th Nov 2011, 15:47

Same happened here. Spent the 26 dollars for the knock-off part… It looks cheap, so I also added a tie wrap just in case it decides to pop off again. My daughter says that it shifts much smoother now. Great thread, thanks!

16th Nov 2011, 14:56

I'm surprised to see how many people really think it is necessary to replace the shifter cable clip. I have a '97 SL2 with a 5-speed, and the clip broke on mine as well. I took a wire coat hanger and looped it through the cable end, and back through the shifter linkage. Been driving it for 6 months like that with zero problems.

23rd Jan 2012, 21:09

Dorman 14043 - Dorman Transmission Shifter Cable Bushings. Can be found at Summit Racing, Federated Auto Parts, and Advanced Auto Parts.

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