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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Why do gear control cables fail? - First Line offers its expertise ahead of winter

Date: Tuesday 20 October 2020

First Line is a highly regarded supplier of premium quality aftermarket components. The company is also one of the UK market leaders for replacement control cables, with its range encompassing brake, clutch, accelerator and speedometer, as well as an extensive offering of gear control cables.

Similar to a traditional gear linkage, the gear control cable selects and engages the different gears within the transmission system. To ensure a smooth gear selection, it needs to be in good condition and replaced with a premium quality product when it becomes worn.

Why Do They Fail?
Cold weather can have a particularly adverse effect, as freezing conditions can cause the gearbox system, including the gear cable, to seize up and excessive force can inadvertently be applied by the driver. As a result, the inner wire can break when they attempt to change gear.

Cables five years or older are the most likely to fail, as the lubricant inside the outer sleeve loses its performance as its viscosity increases, which causes the inner wire to bind and therefore, not move properly.

A secondary reason is that there is an issue with the function of the gearbox, a gear failure for example, which can also result in excess force being applied to the gear cable, causing the inner cable to break.

Similarly, a problem with the gear arm lever or mechanism, which can cause the cable to operate at the wrong working angles, can also result in the failure of the cable at its connection points.

Finally, if the vehicle is operating in extremely hostile conditions, such as off road and in mud or dust, debris can get inside the gear cable and block or restrict the movement of the inner wire, meaning the gear cable cannot correctly control the gear selection.

For a product that will be durable and reliable in these conditions, choose First Line. First Line offers a comprehensive range of gear control cables containing more than 250 references that cover all popular right hand and left hand drive passenger car and light commercial vehicle applications, all of which can be found in Webcat, First Line’s market leading online catalogue –  

For more information about the premium quality products available from First Line Ltd, please call the sales team on: 01869 248484 or visit: