Buick Regal won't shift out of Park

I've read a few things on this group and others about similiar problems, but I thought I'd see if anyone has any ideas about my specific situation before having my car towed to a dealer.
Thanks in advance for any information.
The Car: 1998 Buick Regal LS with about 89000 miles on it.
The Big Problem: Starts up ok, but won't shift out of park. The shift lever physically moves to all positions (1,2,3,D,N,R,P) but no matter what position I move the shift lever to the shift indicator on the dash stays in Park and there is no other indication (bump,jolt,knock,grind,etc) that the car is even trying to shift. My car is now permanently parked outside my condo and I'm pretty much stuck since it's hard to get to the hood or check under it with the other cars around.
Possibly unrelated problem: Has an intermittant problem with the Check Engine Soon light turning on that usually goes away with a few hours after parking the car for awhile. While the light is on the car hesitates a lot in the lower gears, but seems to drive ok at higher speeds. Reading the codes at Autozone revealed "Torque Converter Circuit Stuck On". My local Buick Dealer charged me about $100.00 to tell me they didn't know what was wrong because the light wasn't on when I drove it to them. I figure the Torque Converter Solenoid probably needs to be replaced, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
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Afesta,
Sounds to me like either the floor shift mechanism has failed OR (and more likely) the shift cable from the shifter to the transaxle has either become disconnected at either end or the cable has broken. The key piece of info is that the dash shift indicator stays in Park - that indicator is driven by the transmission range switch, which is attached to the shaft in the transaxle that moves the manual shift valve.
You'll need to look under the hood and see if the cable end is attached to the shift lever AND if the shift lever on the transaxle moves when the shifter is moved. If the cable end is attached but the lever does not move, either the floor shifter end is disconnected or the cable is broken.
Regards, Bill Bowen Sacramento, CA
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It turns out the shift cable is broken. AAMCO told me it would cost about $500.00 to put in a new one. Does anyone have an opinion on whether that's a good price or not?
Thanks,
-Andy F.
William H. Bowen wrote:

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Andy,
Sounds a bit excessive to me, as I mentioned in my email to you. Flat rate book quotes 1.8 hours; don't have pricing for the cable available but even if it cost $200, unless AAMCO is talking $150/hr for labor that total seems a bit excessive.
You might want to check with a local GM dealer - Chevy, Buick and Pontiac use the same cable setup in their "W" body cars (Lumina, Impala, Grand Prix, Buick).
Regards, Bill Bowen

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I do have an opinion, and it's not printable. (there's a little coffee leaking from my nose right now due to reading your post.) How much is the cable from the dealer?
nate
afesta wrote:

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