PT Cruiser Shift Knob Removal

by William Zane

Changing a PT Cruiser’s shift knob to an aftermarket one is a popular upgrade to this retro-styled Chrysler. Removing and replacing the shift knob on PT Cruisers is an easy task, although the shift knobs are fastened in two different ways, depending on whether the car has an automatic or manual transmission.

Manual-Equipped Vehicles

Remove the shift knob on manual-gearbox PT Cruisers by pulling up on the shift knob with both hands while rocking the shift knob back and forth. The knob should pop off. If the knob is stuck on the shift lever, use a rag, crescent wrench and hammer to remove it. Wrap the rag around the shift lever (not the shift knob). Place the crescent wrench loosely around the shift lever and over the rag to protect the finish of the shift lever. Make sure that the flat side of the crescent wrench makes solid contact with the bottom edge of the shift knob, and also make sure that the rag protects the shift knob from scratching. Tap the bottom of the crescent wrench with the hammer facing straight up so that the crescent wrench pushes against the bottom of the shift lever. This should force the knob off. Be careful not to hurt yourself or damage the shift lever if using this method.

Automatic-Equipped Vehicles

Remove PT Cruiser automatic shift knobs by unscrewing the small set screw at the base of the shift handle. Once you have removed the set screw, the shift handle should slide up and off of the shift lever. Make sure that you don’t lose the set screw, as it is quite small.

Installing a New Knob

On manual-equipped cars the new knob may pop on, depending on the brand. However, many aftermarket shift knobs are held on with a series of set screws that run around the bottom edge of the knob. These screws will be tightened with a tool that comes with the shift knob. Automatic shift knobs are installed in the same manner as the stock knob.


When attempting to remove the shift knob on a manual PT Cruiser, it is best to attempt it on a warm day so the plastic is warmer and potentially softer, easing removal. Over time, manual PT Cruiser shift knobs can become quite difficult to remove.

About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images