Originally Posted by LakevilleSSEi
Mine is dead right now, but I way to much other stuff, and other important stuff with the car to take car of first before I start worrying about lil stuff like that. Not a rare problem though.
Can we just clarify here whether you're talking about the backlighting that lights up the gear positions, or the single-point bulb that lights the red dot to indicate which gear you're in?
For '93 and similar years, there are two bulbs involved. The ashtray light is supposed to do double duty and also edge-light the shift quadrant gear positions. It'* somewhat notorious for failing to do so. (There was a retrofit kit with a socket extension that'* supposed to fix this problem by bringing the bulb housing a little closer to the clear plastic "wick" on the gear indicator that picks up the distributed lighting, but I don't know how well that works.)
For lighting the actual gear that you're in, a second bulb in a separate housing at the base of the gearshift illuminates the red dot in the selected gear position.
Fixing either requires that you partially dismantle the console; not a big task, but there are several steps to wade through, and the ashtray light doesn't require as much disassembly as the shift-position light. So which bulb are we talking about in this case?
I've never had a problem with knowing what gear I'm in, I've just been good at counting the clicks.
Right, and also the interlock is staggered, to let you pull the lever only so far without the button push, and to stop you before you bonk into the wrong gear. So once you've released it from Park, you can release the pushbutton, and just drag the shift lever back without counting clicks; it won't let you get past Drive (Lockup/Overdrive, actually) without making you push the release button again.
Similarly, when in Drive or lower, you can't shove it forwards past Neutral without pushing the release button, so Reverse is safe from any shifting accidents, too.