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Car Stuck In Park


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#1
FlossyX

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Today I ran several errands and had no problems, then tonight I ran into a store and right back out and I couldn't get my 93 626 to shift out of park! I had to shift lock to neutral ( I know that cant be good) then start my car to shift. What's going on with it?? I bought the car less than a month ago. It has less than 94k miles! You don't see a 93 with so few like ever! Plz help!

#2
djdevon3

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Probably the transxale range switch / neutral safety switch. Here are the diagnostic procedures to test it for the GF4A-EL (V6 Automatic). If you are uncomfortable working with electronics please take these pages with you to your mechanic. There are other causes for a car stuck in park such as the emergency brake or shift level cable breaking. You would have seen the brake light stay on and you wouldn't have been able to shift into neutral if that was the case for you. Most likely culprit is the transaxle range switch (also known as a park or neutral safety switch).

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#3
FlossyX

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Ok thank you! So is it ok for me to manually shift lock til I can get it fixed?

#4
djdevon3

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I honestly don't know since it's never happened to me. If you can start the car and it drives normally I don't see the harm in it. However when a vehicle begins operating abnormally there is always a safety risk involved for you and other drivers on the road. It's best to get it fixed asap to avoid accident and insurance issues.

#5
silverbane

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Are you still having problems? I ran into this issue with mine about 2 weeks ago. Found out that it was the shift lock levers on the gear select. This particular car has a lock for park that also engages a key lock. If the car is put in park but the lock is broke you will not be able to take your key out. For this reason doing a cheap repair is not possible. What happens is there is a small peice of plastic that pushes the lever forward locking not only the vehicle in park but also releasing the key. That peice of plastic has to be replaced and you cannot find them at a parts store. You either have to replace the entire lever linkage assembly ($700) or try to find the part at a junk yard. I have not had any luck myself just yet and do not want to spend that much money on it. For now I am simply pulling up the cover to the gear selection assembly and pulling the lever back with my hand as I pull back on the selector. Gets annoying but it will work until you can find the part.

#6
tjfitz

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I have yet another scenario with this problem. Mine (1997) gets stuck in park, too. I did it a lot when I first got the car over a year ago, but using a better cut key in the ignition fixed it. On the rare occasion that it got stuck, I could shut off, take the key out of the switch, flip it over and reinsert, and that would usually work.

Lately it's doing this again, and that trick isn't working. What does work is to get out of the car and push it backward as far as I can get it and yank up the hand brake. When I get back in I can crank up and shift out of park, then release the hand brake. What on earth is going on here, and how can I fix it? BTW, it stays locked in park even if I put the key in the shift lock release slot.

#7
snailman153624

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IIRC, there's a solenoid by the shifter that locks it in park unless the key is in, and your foot is on the brake. Check your brake switch, it might be defective/worn out.

#8
tjfitz

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IIRC, there's a solenoid by the shifter that locks it in park unless the key is in, and your foot is on the brake. Check your brake switch, it might be defective/worn out.

That is correct about the solenoid (at least according to the Haynes manual). The brake lights are working fine, so I assumed that the brake sensor switch wasn't the problem. Considering how the shift lock release doesn't work and I have to roll the car back (taking tension off of the transmission?), it seems like a mechanical rather than electric problem, as if there's something physically preventing the solenoid from disengaging.

#9
tjfitz

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I tore into it today. The actuator the moves that shift lock block out of the way wasn't working right, so I got out my Dremel and cut it off. Problem solved.




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