gear shift lever feels "loose" could the shift cable be the problem? this is first time it has happened
started up my car and found that transmission will not engage on 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis
i had the same problem. it turned out to be the end of the shifter cable has an eye on the end that bolts on to the trans. had rusted into at end of cable. i wrapped the 2 ends together with heavy ga. sheetmetal and put a bolt at each end to form coupler clamp.
could be cable or shift tube and handle issues