My husband got up this morning and his 1996 Saturn 4 cylinder manual
transmission wouldn't go into reverse. He said the stick shift felt as if
it sat back to far. Shifting forward into 1st, 3rd or 5th didn't take the
shift lever as far forward, but shifting into 2nd, 4th or reverse was
impossible because the shift lever couldn't physically move that far back.
After fooling with it for a short time, he found that after turning off the
engine he was able to push forward on the shift lever while in 1st and
force it forward. This seemed to correct the position of the rest of the
gears. Any help would be appreciated.
take a look under the hood, on top of the transaxle(transmission) and see if the shifter cable came out of it's holder.
If you haven't discovered cause by now, it's possible that the upper and or lower motor mounts may have broken. Also transmission mount can break, allowing engine and transmission to shift position. Had this problem on 93 SL2 with auto trans. Also resulted in erratic shifting while driving. Turning engine off would allow engine to rotate back to original position(or close to it).