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Discussion Starter #1
So I’m working on replacing my shifter assembly and noticed the shifter cables were cracked, one at the joint and one in a spiral of some sort. Checked the ones on the trans side and both of those are cracked at the joint. No visible damage is done to the actual metal cables but how bad is this really? I’d be spending another 600 on the cables so I’m more wondering how long these would last like this under daily use?
 

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It's not actually bad at all with a little care. What you see is the outer non-structural plastic coating over the important bits cracking. The only purpose of the plastic sheath is to protect the cable from moisture and dirt intrusion. If you look inside the split plastic you see the twisted wire sheath that actually does the work of the stationary part of the cable.

I would recommend wrapping some waterproofing around the exposed bit of wire sheath in the engine compartment. There are a lot of different choices, but an easy one to find and use is temflex waterproof rubber electrical tape available at your local friendly home improvement store. The part in the shifter assy is probably fine without any care at all unless it frequently rains in your car.
 

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Mine have been like that for many years. I now have 265,000 km on the car. Some people have reported the cables coming loose and detaching but luckily that has not happened to me. When I consulted the dealer they said that your situation seems to happen on most Elises. What they told me was to make a mark on the metal part and see if over time it starts to pull free. I did that and checked it for a year or so but have not looked at it lately. I guess I should have another look.
 

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Do you have the stock cables? If so and you're already replacing the shifter I'd consider the cables too. I don't think what you are seeing is an issue but you're already into the hard part of replacing the cables, though it is another expense you can likely push off for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate all the insight. It is certainly an expense I would’ve been better off not paying for but I figured since I’m already replacing the shifter — eh screw it just replace it all. Currently awaiting my new cables anxiously 😁
 
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