Car won’t shift out of Park

My car won't shift out of Park.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
One of the more common reasons I have come across as to why your Chevy will not shift out of park is the brake light switch failing. It is natural to ask why the brake light would prevent your Chevy from shifting into gear. This is actually a safety feature that is pre-built into most vehicles. In order to shift your Chevy out of park, the car needs to identify that there is control. This is done via brake pedal depression, allowing the vehicle to safely change gears.

The brake light switch will go bad sometimes due to frequent use. One way to verify this is by enlisting the help of a friend and having them stand behind your Chevy while you step on the brake pedal. If the brake lights do not come on, then indeed a faulty brake light switch is causing your concern. However if you do see your Chevy’s brake lights come on, then the issue with the gear being unable to shift out of park, will be found elsewhere. If you are having trouble, I would recommend having a certified technician come and diagnose your car’s gear shifting issue.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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If you`ve noticed that it`s taking a bit more effort to shift your automatic transmission out of park, it could signify an issue with the shift interlock feature. The shift interlock feature requires you to step on the brake pedal to prevent unintentionally shifting out of Park.
It sounds like you most likely have a broken shift cable, or a failed shifter assembly. A failure of either part would allow you to move the shifter handle to park, while the transmission actually remains in drive.
When the temperature drops, transmission fluids with poor cold-flow properties can thicken and cause elongated and hard shifts until the fluid has warmed up enough to flow properly. Switching to a high-quality synthetic transmission fluid will help.
The “shift to park” message is a warning to the driver that there is a problem with the transmission and the car may not be in the gear that it appears to be in.
If your vehicle will not shift out of first gear, the problem is not the fuses. The problem could be a shift solenoid, but more than likely, you have an internal transmission issue that will require rebuilding or replacing the unit. The 1-2 shift valve may be the problem.
Worn Out or Broken Clutch

Since you have to engage the clutch in order to put your car in gear, a broken or worn down clutch will result in an inability to shift your car into gear, and you`ll need a new clutch before you can start driving again. Replacing a clutch at home is a serious task.

The “shift to park” message is a warning to the driver that there is a problem with the transmission and the car may not be in the gear that it appears to be in.
The “shift to park” message is a warning to the driver that there is a problem with the transmission and the car may not be in the gear that it appears to be in.
If your vehicle will not shift out of first gear, the problem is not the fuses. The problem could be a shift solenoid, but more than likely, you have an internal transmission issue that will require rebuilding or replacing the unit. The 1-2 shift valve may be the problem.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Car begins to roll when the shift lever is in park had only starts in the neutral position, just rebuilt the transmission
ANSWER : The neutral start safety switch could be misaligned or a fault in the linkage and./or cable could be contributing to the problem because "Park" is not actually reached when you move the shifter. The whole mechanism from the manual lever on the transmission up to shifter will have to be inspected. The manual lever should be inspected separately inasmuch as you indicate abnormal resistance in certain gear selections. In addition, it sounds like the shift interlock may not be functioning. The recommended service to obtain a diagnosis of all of these issues is a shift linkage/interlock inspection. If you request that service, the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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My car barely shifts gears, so hard to shift , now won’t go into park!!
ANSWER : Hi there. Your car has a safety switch on the transmission that will only allow the vehicle to start in park gear with an automatic transmission. If you’re having problems with the shifter, it’s quite possible that either the shifting lever is dirty, or clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned or there is a bracket under the shifter that is damaged. In either case, having a professional mobile mechanic come to your location and complete a car is hard to shift inspection is the best way to resolve this problem.

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Gear shift is broken off. The car is stuck in park and cannot be moved – 2002 Ford Explorer
ANSWER : Hello. If your vehicle’s shifter was broken, then it will need to be replaced before the vehicle can be driven again. Once the shifter is replaced, I would also recommend taking care of the issue that is requiring you to use the key in order to shift the vehicle. It sounds like your vehicle’s shifter interlock solenoid may be bad, as the vehicle should not have trouble shifting out of park under normal circumstances.

Similar issues can also be caused by wiring problems or an issue with the stoplight switch. I would recommend having a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to diagnose the cause of the stuck shifter.

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I pulled into a parking spot and put my car into park, when I lifted my foot from the brake the car continues forward.
ANSWER : The vehicle transmission did not get back to the park position due to the shift cable came off of the transmission shift linkage. You will need to have a mechanic like one from YourMechanic come to you and check the shift cable connection at the transmission to see if the shift cable bushing broke and let the cable end disengage from the shift linkage. The shift cable may need replaced if the cable end bushing is not available. I recommend a mechanic check the shift cable and replace cable or repair cable end as parts allow.

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My windows won’t go down, my instruments don’t work, my car won’t go in park without shift release
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. In most cases, the problems you’re describing are caused by damage to the electrical system either at the fuse box or through relays that send electrical signals to each component that isn’t working; such as your power windows, instrument panel and others. If the vehicle was exposed to lots of water, this may have damaged the electrical system or the vehicle’s on board computer as well. The best way to reduce the stress, time and money on trying to find the exact source of your problems is to have one of our local mechanics inspect your Honda Accord for electrical problems at your home or office.

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When shifting into 1st gear and attempting to take off, car shakes and then stalls. Car also won’t let me shift into reverse.
ANSWER : Hi there. Either the shifter rail is damaged inside the transmission keeping the gears from going into reverse and the first gear from connecting all the way, or the transmission first and reverse gears are damaged causing the transmission to have a hesitation on the forward 1st gear and no reverse. I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you diagnose your transmission shifting issue.

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Replaced both CV axles car still won’t move can shift the gears put in park made grinding noise automatic transmission
ANSWER : Hi there. In most cases, when a CV axle breaks while the vehicle is in motion, additional damage will be done to transmission components or gear system components as well. The only way we can really help is to have a professional mechanic come to your location and complete a car will not move forward inspection, to see if they can inspect the vehicle at your location and determine what is causing this problem.

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My 2002 Yukon will not shift into park but will shift into all the other gears. Whats wrong?
ANSWER : Hello,
Generally, when a vehicle does not shift into park as you describe, this indicates that a shift linkage has been broken or some other blockage such in the mechanism has caused it to not properly allow the shift linkage to move the transmission into park. Other things that may also cause this are things like a worn out ignition key tumbler which causes the transmission interlock to inadvertently activate when the vehicle is not in neutral. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle to properly diagnose.

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