Q: Car transmission stuck in Reverse, shifter stuck in Park, Car won't start.

asked by on September 08, 2016

Is it possible to make the transition between switching the car from Drive to Park and turning the car off too quickly, so that the transmission doesn't have time to make that transition before the engine shuts off, thereby locking the transmission in Reverse, and the shifter in Park? I can't start my car, the dash light indicates the gear is in Reverse, but I'm about 97% certain the shifter is in Park, I can't shift the shifter back to Reverse without the engine being on, and I can't start the engine without the vehicle indicating it's in Park. I've looked for a gear shift override to no avail. I've tried all combinations of starting the car and switching gears, tried rocking the vehicle, tried different ignition switch positions...I am able to insert and remove my key just fine...but car is dead. What do I do now?

My car has 225000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. You will need to look under the vehicle where the shifter cable hooks to the transmission and look at the cable connector end for a worn out bushing. You may be able to push the shift lever on transmission into park so you can get it started. Make sure you have the wheels blocked and parking brake on so the vehicle does not roll. If you need help having this diagnosed, a certified technician from YourMechanic, can come to your car’s location to inspect the start problem and diagnose the shifting issue.

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