Transmission linkage

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racehoss

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We recently stopped our 2015 MKC and it would not go into park. All sorts of bells dinged and flashed like something had really gone bad with the computer. After looking under the hood we found the cable linkage to the short arm on the transmission was not connected. There was a nylon bushing that had worn out and wouldn't keep it connected. Only 100,000 miles. Dealerships don't even carry a simple "fix" like you can find at the local parts store. Ford/Lincoln want to sell you the entire cable for $80 and then 1.4 hours shop time to install it. I bought a kit of bushings for $15 and took less than a minute to stick it together! But this IS after I had removed the short air hose that goes to the turbo. This linkage is directly below that which allows some room to manipulate. It's no big deal but when it happens and you don't know what's wrong, it sure scares you inside the car. But don't fall for the shop fix. You can do it yourself.
 

Corsart

Well-known member
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We recently stopped our 2015 MKC and it would not go into park. All sorts of bells dinged and flashed like something had really gone bad with the computer. After looking under the hood we found the cable linkage to the short arm on the transmission was not connected. There was a nylon bushing that had worn out and wouldn't keep it connected. Only 100,000 miles. Dealerships don't even carry a simple "fix" like you can find at the local parts store. Ford/Lincoln want to sell you the entire cable for $80 and then 1.4 hours shop time to install it. I bought a kit of bushings for $15 and took less than a minute to stick it together! But this IS after I had removed the short air hose that goes to the turbo. This linkage is directly below that which allows some room to manipulate. It's no big deal but when it happens and you don't know what's wrong, it sure scares you inside the car. But don't fall for the shop fix. You can do it yourself.
It's unclear what the point of this thread is, perhaps some self congratulations? There are many simple fixes and then there are many fixes that work only temporarily. Only time will tell which one yours is. But, if it were me my primary concern here would be resolution of the problem, permanently, regardless of cost. Especially with something that can be potentially catastrophic, like the trans not going into park when you need it to. Do you understand mechanics generally and the role of this entire cable assembly enough to determine that just the bushing was at fault?

Even if the labor rate is $150/hr, the total cost for the dealer to replace the entire cable..exposed to the same conditions and over the same time period that resulted in your problem... would have been somewhere around $325.00. That's more than the $15 you spent, but unless you know enough about that entire assembly then perhaps it would have been better to let them take care of it and replace the entire thing. I know I would have slept a lot better.

As I like to say, your mileage may vary, no Google links required.
 

racehoss

New member
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It's unclear what the point of this thread is, perhaps some self congratulations? There are many simple fixes and then there are many fixes that work only temporarily. Only time will tell which one yours is. But, if it were me my primary concern here would be resolution of the problem, permanently, regardless of cost. Especially with something that can be potentially catastrophic, like the trans not going into park when you need it to. Do you understand mechanics generally and the role of this entire cable assembly enough to determine that just the bushing was at fault?

Even if the labor rate is $150/hr, the total cost for the dealer to replace the entire cable..exposed to the same conditions and over the same time period that resulted in your problem... would have been somewhere around $325.00. That's more than the $15 you spent, but unless you know enough about that entire assembly then perhaps it would have been better to let them take care of it and replace the entire thing. I know I would have slept a lot better.

As I like to say, your mileage may vary, no Google links required.
Not sure what the point of YOUR response! I'm just trying to help. How do I know this bushing was the only problem? Because the end of the cable was lying on top of the transmission, disconnected from the arm. It was very obvious what the problem was. Ford had a recall of Fusions that had a similar problem in the past. I assume you must be a dealer or Lincoln representative that really doesn't want folks to understand the simple things that can help out (which is very rare on new vehicles). You are the kind of person that will go buy a new tire when you have a flat instead of having a tire shop fix a small hole. But go ahead, spend you money as you wish. Forums are an attempt to help people out.
 

Corsart

Well-known member
457
253
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Not sure what the point of YOUR response! I'm just trying to help. How do I know this bushing was the only problem? Because the end of the cable was lying on top of the transmission, disconnected from the arm. It was very obvious what the problem was. Ford had a recall of Fusions that had a similar problem in the past. I assume you must be a dealer or Lincoln representative that really doesn't want folks to understand the simple things that can help out (which is very rare on new vehicles). You are the kind of person that will go buy a new tire when you have a flat instead of having a tire shop fix a small hole. But go ahead, spend you money as you wish. Forums are an attempt to help people out.
You're assuming you are offering "Help" and it still is unclear that your 'Fix" is permanent. My point is that unless an owner has ample knowledge of the issue and the part in question, it's most often best to leave it to someone who does. In much the same way that you use your internet availability to post your opinion, so do I.

And I actually would buy that new tire if the puncture is on or near the side wall, details matter, even in hypotheticals intended to take down an alternate opinion.
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bbf2530

Junior Member
1,863
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Not sure what the point of YOUR response! I'm just trying to help. How do I know this bushing was the only problem? Because the end of the cable was lying on top of the transmission, disconnected from the arm. It was very obvious what the problem was. Ford had a recall of Fusions that had a similar problem in the past. I assume you must be a dealer or Lincoln representative that really doesn't want folks to understand the simple things that can help out (which is very rare on new vehicles). You are the kind of person that will go buy a new tire when you have a flat instead of having a tire shop fix a small hole. But go ahead, spend you money as you wish. Forums are an attempt to help people out.

Hi racehoss. Thanks for taking the time and offering to help others, through your own experience. Other Lincoln forum members certainly appreciate it, and may find it useful in the future.

Good luck.
 
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syl

Member
83
52
18
You're assuming you are offering "Help" and it still is unclear that your 'Fix" is permanent.
Based on the original description of the problem, I'd say the fix is good. I've had a similar problem with a manual transmission vehicle from another manufacturer. I would describe the fix similarly, and it held for the remainder of the lifetime of the vehicle (I had that car 16 years). If being unable to put an automatic transmission into park seems scary (and it does), imagine driving down the street and finding that you are no longer able to shift gears at all.

What strikes me as odd with that "event" is that I knew immediately what was going on (not that I'd had it happen prior), and was able to calmly find a place to park so I could get the car operable again. I knew that my "quick fix" wasn't going to hold, but it got me home. A new bushing was all it took to fix correctly.

I also encountered the same problem occurring in a stranger's vehicle (yet another manufacturer altogether) a few years later. An automatic in this case. Stranger was backing out of a parking spot then unable to put the car into drive (it got stuck in neutral as I recall). I had a look, found the problem immediately, but as I had no parts or tools with me, so I couldn't actually fix the problem. I switched the transmission into drive for him, from under the hood, so he could move the car out of the middle of the parking lot, and I assume he got it fixed. Again, though, all it really needed was a new bushing at the end of the linkage cable.

Not all do-it-yourself repairs are hacks, and not all folks who repair their own cars are incompetent. Sometimes the original parts are just plain faulty (and often it takes time and/or repeated use for that to be apparent), and it doesn't require any oem specific parts or tools to repair correctly.
 

Corsart

Well-known member
457
253
63
Dealerships don't even carry a simple "fix" like you can find at the local parts store. Ford/Lincoln want to sell you the entire cable for $80 and then 1.4 hours shop time to install it. I But don't fall for the shop fix.
Based on the original description of the problem, I'd say the fix is good. I've had a similar problem with a manual transmission vehicle from another manufacturer. I would describe the fix similarly, and it held for the remainder of the lifetime of the vehicle (I had that car 16 years). If being unable to put an automatic transmission into park seems scary (and it does), imagine driving down the street and finding that you are no longer able to shift gears at all.

What strikes me as odd with that "event" is that I knew immediately what was going on (not that I'd had it happen prior), and was able to calmly find a place to park so I could get the car operable again. I knew that my "quick fix" wasn't going to hold, but it got me home. A new bushing was all it took to fix correctly.

I also encountered the same problem occurring in a stranger's vehicle (yet another manufacturer altogether) a few years later. An automatic in this case. Stranger was backing out of a parking spot then unable to put the car into drive (it got stuck in neutral as I recall). I had a look, found the problem immediately, but as I had no parts or tools with me, so I couldn't actually fix the problem. I switched the transmission into drive for him, from under the hood, so he could move the car out of the middle of the parking lot, and I assume he got it fixed. Again, though, all it really needed was a new bushing at the end of the linkage cable.

Not all do-it-yourself repairs are hacks, and not all folks who repair their own cars are incompetent. Sometimes the original parts are just plain faulty (and often it takes time and/or repeated use for that to be apparent), and it doesn't require any oem specific parts or tools to repair correctly.
Syl, you are correct that not all DYI's are hacks, but then again, not all dealer recommendations are bogus and deceitful, either. It takes a fair bit of mechanical know how to accurately diagnose and fix an issue, and although one should be justifiably proud of that ability (and accomplishment) it doesn't require degradation of the alternatives. Having the dealer replace the entire assembly with a Lincoln part is not "Falling" for anything, and likewise, getting the cable to work with some universal "Bushing" purchased at a parts store is not necessarily a permanent fix.
 
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syl

Member
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Syl, you are correct that not all DYI's are hacks, but then again, not all dealer recommendations are bogus and deceitful, either.
Fair enough, yes.
It takes a fair bit of mechanical know how to accurately diagnose and fix an issue, and although one should be justifiably proud of that ability (and accomplishment) it doesn't require degradation of the alternatives.
Also fair, yes.
Having the dealer replace the entire assembly with a Lincoln part is not "Falling" for anything, ...
Agreed, 100%.
... and likewise, getting the cable to work with some universal "Bushing" purchased at a parts store is not necessarily a permanent fix.
... and here, in *this* case, I don't agree. If the bushing is the only part of the linkage that failed, replace the bushing, not the entire linkage. Not only less expensive, but faster to do as well.
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Corsart

Well-known member
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Fair enough, yes.

Also fair, yes.

Agreed, 100%.

... and here, in *this* case, I don't agree. If the bushing is the only part of the linkage that failed, replace the bushing, not the entire linkage. Not only less expensive, but faster to do as well.

Right, agreed back at you on all points (and then some), if the repair totally resolves the issue as we would reasonably expect a factory trained tech to do using a Ford product.
 
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