My 2003 VW Jetta GLI VR6 6 speed manual is "stuck" in gear. ATM stuck in 2nd gear as i was about to back into my driveway and as i went to shift into reverse it wouldn't shift and basically is stuck in 2nd gear. clutch engages and disengages fine. The stick will only move forwards and backwards but with no resistance, like just flops to and fro. Would like to know possible cauces and fixes please.

1 Answer 1


I'm betting that the cable responsible for front-back shifting has either come loose at a mounting point (transmission or shift lever) or has broken completely.

You may be able to have someone operate the lever while you observe the heavy cables on the top of the transmission bell housing. It's also possible that a bracket that holds one of the two cables is broken or loose.

Here is a diagram that shows the key parts at the shift lever.

So it's not really stuck in gear, it's just that you can't change it with busted linkage. Hopefully an easy and reasonably inexpensive fix. If forks inside the transmission are broken, this will be very serious and expensive. But I sincerely doubt the latter is the case.

  • The diagram you linked is to a 5 speed would there be a difference since the one in question is a 6 speed. I'm pretty sure there isn't but wanted to make sure.
    – Rob
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 23:57
  • @SteveRacer ... this was exactly my thinking as well. I'm sure the cable (or rod or whatever it is) has lost itself at the linkage somewhere. Either popped off or just plain worn out one of the nylon bushings. Just have to figure out which one it is and there you go. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 0:26
  • 2
    @Rob - it's what dealer part system yields... Notice part of title "shift cable 5+6 speed manual transmission". Reference is only a general idea, not a repair guide. Honestly, it would take longer to find a repair guide than just diagnose it fix, shadetree style. Once you see what's loose/broken, it will be incredibly obvious. Only decision - can it be repaired, or need replacement parts. Occasionally those cables can be tedious to replace, as there may be "stuff" blocking one bracket bolt. I would strongly consider replacing both cables and shifter mounts and bushings at the same time
    – SteveRacer
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 14:32

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