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Car Stuck in Park

Check Stop lights--if they are not working vehicle will not shift out of "park" check fuse Here are opinions and answers from FAQ Farmers:

  • Check under the shifting mechanism for loose change or other small items that might have gotten stuck between the gears and baseplate. Fixing this only costs time.
  • You may have a safety switch where you have to press the brake it may have gone bad or your ignition switch also has a safety interlock that could have gone bad.
  • Have you ever wondered why you had so much trouble shifting out of PARK on a steep grade? An automatic transmission, when in PARK position, locks the driving wheels. On a steep grade you'll need more than normal pressure to move the shift lever. This is because the transmission's parking pawl resists the vehicle's tendency to roll.
  • The last answer was cut from Parts America.com and I have to add I am looking for more than this answer since until the transmission rebuild two months ago this van has never had a problem on the slight slope of my driveway. I had to push her up the drive way a bit to get the parking paul off the lock. The pawl wears and I have to ask my tranny guy if he replaced those pawls or not. How many thousands of miles does the tranny have - mine has 120,000.
  • Your pawl probably got a groove cut into it because if you don't use your parking brake, hence the name, when parking on ANY incline you put pressure on it and bit by bit wear down the metal.
  • The reason your car would be stuck in park is because you did not use the parking brake. The purpose of a parking brake is to hold the vehicle, many use the transmission to hold the vehicle but then it will evntually result in spending 2,000 dollars on a new transmission. A transmission is made to shift gears, not to hold a vehicle. That's why they call the parking brake, the PARKING brake. Park or P on the gearshift selector means just plain park it is to show that's where you put it when you stop your vehicle and turn it off. If it were to hold the vehicle I would imagine it would say park brake. The way I apply the parking brake is I stop then before putting it in park I FIRMLY apply the parking brake, then put it in park. You need to push it down hard or else it is pointless to use it.
  • Don't forget to let off the foot brake before putting the transmission into park. My steps: 1) Stop vehicle; 2) Firmly set Parking Brake; 3) Put transmission in Neutral; 4) Let off foot brakes (slowly, to make sure Parking Brake is holding); and 5) Put transmission into park. This puts literally no strain on the transmission.
  • My car recently stuck in park, and it turned out all that was wrong was the top of the shifter where you press the button was a little loose. All i had to do to fix it was take off the top of the shifter with the button, and re-fit it on tighter and better, then it worked perfectly fine. (it was an automatic, i don't think you'll have this problem with a stick shift)
  • Here is a site that will help clear things up: http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/h18.pdf (You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the inforomation.) It is roughly page three that covers the "shift lock release button" and the shift solenoid. If your vehicle is equipped with a "release" or "overide" button then it is almost certain the problem is with the shift lock solenoid. A failing solenoid can be affected by temperature variations. I hope this will help all that reads; it helped me.
  • My car (Ford Taurus 2000) recently got stuck in parking position (not on a steep hill). I called a technician to give me a tip to take it out. He told me to put the keys in the ignition, turn it HALF WAY so that the lights are not on, motor not running, THEN put the shift to neutral and THEN start the car. It worked and saved my day. I will have the car checked but you can try this in case of emergency I guess.
  • The shift's not getting out of park position may be related to the brake signal. If you have such a problem check if your brake light is working too. It might also be out of order.

I simply needed to replace a fuse. I drive a Ford Explorer and had to change fuse listed as "Reverse Park Aid/Shift Change Interlock/IVD Switch".

* This happened to me (1995 Tbrd) last night (24 oct 2008), in an empty parking lot. I was "lucky" to have some tools on board so I took off the shifter handle, took apart the console and found where a cable attaches to a locking mechanism that prevents the shifter from moving. The cable would not travel so I disconnected it. Problem resolved (temporairily). I guess that cable goes to the brake and/or ignition switch.

To do this you need some screw drivers, small socket (didn't notice the size, about 5/16) and needle nose pliers.

I'd never done this before so it took me about an hour to figure out, but at least I got home. I wonder if a 5 minute fuse change would have fixed it???

- The same thing happened to my current car, 99 Volkswagen golf..if this is the same model you have, contact Volkswagen. I was told that it was a recall on a safety switch located in the vehicle and to bring it into any dealership and they will fix the problem for free.

if you didn't start the car

if you didn't apply the brake pedal

Or, the shifter assembly has failed.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-13 17:53:01
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Q: What would cause a car to remain stuck in park?
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