Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Gear won't shift of out of park when I start the car

asked by on

I can push the button on the shift, but the gear won't shift out of Park, even if I press hard on pedal and there are no warning lights. It happens when the RPMs start up around 2000, which my friend told me is too high when in Park. When I put my foot on the brake, the rpm will slowly come down some, but take several minutes. Then when they come down - then I can shift into gear. Since it only occasionally happens, I can't get it to occur for the dealership. What is the problem?!!

A: The idle speed is way too high at 2000 RPM....

The idle speed is way too high at 2000 RPM. The first thing to correct is the shifting issue, followed by the engine speed. The throttle could be gummed up and the throttle plate could be sticking open, causing the the engine to idle high. Another thing to look at is the idle air control valve. It could be gummed up and sluggish. If it is sticking open, then the idle speed would be affected. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the tools and expertise to diagnose and inspect why your engine idle speed is high.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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

Q: I felt a jolt while driving - could it be a transmission issue?

Hi. This is a good indication that the transmission has overheated and damaged a lot of the internal parts of the transmission. This could have been caused by low transmission fluid or extremely dirty transmission fluid causing a cloth in...

Q: Metallic sound at low speeds

A front stabilizer link or upper strut mount could be a couple of possible causes of a metallic noise over light bumps while driving without the brakes applied. An inspection of the tight front steering and suspension components and maybe...

Q: Car not going into second gear

This could be a linkage issue, such as a shifter cable. The problem could also be the synchronizers inside the gearbox keeping the gear from engaging. If so, the gearbox will need rebuilt or replaced. I would have a qualified...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...