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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning!

Last night I picked up a 2006 Cobalt LS with low miles but in rough shape for $1K. When driving it home I noticed it was very hard and almost impossible to get into 1st and second. Made no difference if engine was on or off, clutch feels good. I assume it's the shift mechanism on the trans or at the shifter or the cables. How do you adjust the shifter in a Cobalt? Is there any lock pins to install and make the adjustments?

Also, I suspect the fluid may be low in the trans (F23) as it is sweating from underneath. (unless it's the rear main... sigh...)

Thanks in advance!
 

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Levee
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First off welcome! Now to help with your issue here.

Does it grind while trying to get it into gear or does it kind of feel like a gear lock out (where it just doesn't want to slide into the gear at all). And you said the clutch feels good, but where is the disengage/engagement point on it? Is the disengagement point close to the floor or at the top of the pedal? Also, there is a fill/drain plug on the side of the transmission that will allow you to take the bolt of and feel/see if the fluid is full or not. when you take the bolt out it should leak out of there slightly.
 

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I believe that's the auto. The only two holes on mine where to fill and completely drain it when I replaced the fluid (I used Royal Purple max ATF, yes ATF is supposed to go in most modern manual transmissions).

If you pop out the cup holder, simply pull at the part towards the front of the car, you'll be able to see the shifter cables. To access them you'll take off the panel that surrounds the ebrake (simply pull up) and one that surrounds the shifter. Then I put it in fourth disconnect the lines (pull up on the top clip) and adjust accordingly.
 

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I don't know if it's relevant, but we had an old Sunfire in our school garage with a similar problem. It wouldn't allow you to shift while the car was running, however you'd be able to when the car was off. Opened up the tranny and it was bone dry. Easy fix.

---------- Post added at 12:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:40 PM ----------

I believe that's the auto. The only two holes on mine where to fill and completely drain it when I replaced the fluid
I've got the same F23. Mine has three plugs, drain, check and fill. I replaced my fluid with Dexron VI.
 

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Levee
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Could also be a bad shift fork in the trans as you said it makes no difference with the engine on or off.
 

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Maybe I'm just forgetting the check plug then.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys! thanks for the info!

I fixed the problem. It was the select cable. I assume it might of stretched or fell out of adjustment. I removed the cup holder and observed the cable as I shifted and tried to access the 1-2 gate. The select cable was maxing out. I put the car in 4th gear and unclipped the select cable adjuster. I then applied a slight force towards the left (1-2 gate) and then clipped the cable adjuster. It goes into all gears perfectly now.

I'm familiar with this trans, just not the shift mechanism in the cobalt. I have a 60 degree F23 in my Fiero. (from a 2002 2.2 Cav)

Thanks again guys! Now to solve all the other little gremlins with this new toy.

Cheers!
 

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Yay I feel accomplished that I actually helped.
 
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