C5 C6 Corvette: How to Disable Skip Shift (CAGS)

The CAGS system was put in place to increase the Corvette's rated fuel economy, but it can be a real downer, requiring you to shift from 1st to 4th gear around town. Time to get rid of that issue with help from this article.

By Jacob Stumph - February 27, 2015

This article applies to the C5 and C6 Corvette (1997-2013).

Installed from the factory, the Computer Aided Gear Selection (CAGS) is a system in all Corvettes with a manual transmission. What this system does is lock out 2nd and 3rd gear between 15-20mph at low throttle applications when leaving 1st gear. This requires you to shift directly into 4th instead of selecting a lower gear. CAGS does this through the use of electrically controlled solenoids that "block" the shifter from engaging these gears. The purpose of this is to lower emissions and theoretically increase around town fuel economy, as dictated by the EPA city MPG rating. This helps the car beat the EPA "Gas guzzler tax" of $1,300. That is great on paper, but in the real world, it's annoying not having the option to choose your gears. Isn't the whole point of a manual transmission to have manual control over the actions of the transmission and engine speeds? Let's defeat the CAGS.

Step 1 – Jack up the rear end of the car

Chock the front wheels and jack up the rear end of your car. You will be underneath the vehicle, so secure it on jack stands.

Figure 1. Rear secured on jack stands.

(Related Article: How to Jack Up Your Vette - CorvetteForum.com)

Step 2 – Locate the CAGS solenoid and remove it

The CAGS connector is near the exhaust, on the left side of the trans-axle, and is marked as "CAGS." Unclip it from the wiring harness. The harness and connector are made of plastic, so unclip it gently and do not yank or tug too hard on it.

Figure 2. Use caution when removing the solenoid.

Step 3 – Clip your CAGS Eliminator harness into the system

This should consist of a connector for either side, one for the transmission side, which is just a cap to prevent corrosion, and then the other side, which contains a resistor to not throw error codes. Zip-tie the harness to the side of the transmission so that it does not move freely.

Figure 3. Zip-tied harness.

Step 4 – Test for trouble codes

Cycle the key through the ignition, just to make sure that no error codes are present. Once you've confirmed that everything looks good, lower the car and go for a test drive to ensure that CAGS has been defeated and gear engagement works as it should.

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