How to Fix Manual Mode Buttons Not Shifting on Chevrolet Silverado

by parker
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In this article, we will discuss how to fix the manual mode on the transmission of your Chevrolet Silverado. Many Silverado owners have experienced issues where the manual mode buttons do not shift properly, causing frustration and inconvenience. However, this is not a problem with the Chevrolet brand or a quality control issue. It is often a result of self-inflicted damage due to improper cleaning or maintenance. We will guide you through the steps to address this problem and get your manual mode working smoothly again.

Identifying the Problem

When using manual mode, you may encounter a situation where the truck does not respond to your button shifts or shifts in the wrong direction. The number on the dashboard may not change, and the buttons may appear unresponsive. This can be alarming, but the good news is that it is usually an electrical problem in the context of the plus and minus buttons, as well as the tow button on the shifter.

Troubleshooting and Fixing the Issue

  1. Disassembling the Cover: To access the shifter and determine the cause of the problem, you will need to remove the cover. When doing so, you may notice rust coming from the hole where the cable goes. This rust can affect the electrical connections.

  2. Using a Rust Eater: To fix this issue, you will need a product called a rust eater. This can be easily found at an auto parts store, such as AutoZone. The rust eater is an electric multi-purpose rust dissolver that will help remove the rust and restore the electrical connections.

  3. Applying the Rust Eater: First, pour the rust eater into a container. Then, insert one end of a plastic tube into the container, and place the other end into the hole of the shifter. Turn off the truck before proceeding. By slightly squeezing and narrowing the tube, you can securely insert it into the shifter. The goal is to ensure that the rust eater reaches the affected areas. It is normal for some solution to drip onto the truck’s floor, but it will not interfere with your electronics.

  4. Allowing Overnight Soaking: Once the rust eater is inside the shifter, leave it overnight. This will allow the rust eater to dissolve the rust and put it into suspension. Continuing this process overnight will ensure thorough cleaning.

  5. Flushing Out the Rust: The next morning, press the tube again to flush out any remaining rust and oxides from the shifter. This step is necessary to remove all the debris that has been loosened by the rust eater. Ensure that these deposits are completely cleared out.

  6. Testing the Manual Mode: After completing the cleaning process, test the manual mode buttons to see if they are now functioning properly. You should observe smooth and accurate shifts without any issues. With these steps, you can effectively fix the manual mode buttons on your Chevrolet Silverado.

Prevention Tips

To prevent similar problems in the future, it is essential to be mindful of how you clean your vehicle’s controls. Avoid using excessive amounts of liquid, especially when cleaning the shifter and steering wheel. If you prefer to use disinfectant wipes, make sure they are not overly saturated, as the excess liquid can seep into the electrical contacts and cause corrosion. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations and use products specifically designed for automotive use.


By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully fix the issue of manual mode buttons not shifting on your Chevrolet Silverado. It is important to remember that this problem is not a result of Chevrolet’s quality control or a manufacturing defect. Instead, it is often caused by self-inflicted damage through improper cleaning and maintenance. By understanding the root cause of the issue and taking appropriate steps to resolve it, you can enjoy a fully functional manual mode on your Silverado transmission. Remember to take preventive measures to avoid similar problems in the future, and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance.

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