Q: Car won't shift from Park

asked by on February 13, 2016

My car cranks fine, but it won't shift from Park. A towing service stuck a pen in the gear console and got it out of Park. Once it was in Drive, it would shift back and forth from Reverse, Neutral and Drive, but once it is put back in Park, it's stuck again.

Hi. Many automatic vehicles are equipped with a park lock that prevents movement of the shifter if the brake pedal is not applied. This lock can experience a failure on its own, or the lock may not release because of a fault in the brake pedal switch. The circuit must see activation of the brake pedal switch before releasing the lock as a safety measure. Both must be in working order. Have an experienced technician inspect for bad electrical components and inspect the shifting issue you are experiencing.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

I have replaced fuel pump 4 times in 3 years

The OEM pump, that is AC DelCo, might give longer service life. Pump life would be degraded if there is a poor ground connection or a voltage drop on the electric supply line to the pump and/or pump output restrictions...

Smell gas inside my car

If you are smelling fuel fumes inside the car then you should not drive the vehicle until the fuel leak is identified and fixed. If you smell the fumes there is a risk of a fire which makes it unsafe...

Glow Plug

Hello. The starting issue you are having could very well be caused by the glow plug circuit. It may not be the glow plugs themselves (although it could be), but rather the wires and other parts of the circuit involved....

Related articles

5 Signs Your Car Isn't Shifting Correctly
Improper shifting is a sign of car transmission problems. The solution might be simple or complex, but get it inspected to avoid expensive repairs.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Clutch Slave Cylinder
If your manual car has abnormal pedal feel, low or contaminated brake fluid, or any visible leaks, you may need to replace the clutch slave cylinder.
3 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Gear Shifter
The The gear shifter allows the vehicle to be put into different gears on a manual transmission. In an automatic transmission, the gear shifter is known as a gear selector. The gear shifter is normally located between the two front...