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Q: The shifter is stuck in the neutral position and I can't turn off the car.

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I was backing out of a parking spot and tried to shift to "drive" but the shifter got stuck in neutral. I pushed the car back in the space and applied the parking break. I can turn the car off, but I can't take the key out. I don't have the shift release key either. I took the waterfall console off to have a clear view of everything and need further assistance.

My car has 209943 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your shifter has three main components. The shift lever itself, the shift cable and the transmission lever that is part of the transmission. Any of these three components could be jammed. The best course of action is to separate them from each other one at a time to isolate the one that has bound up. I would begin with where the cable attaches to the transmission. This way, if the transmission isn’t the problem, you will be able to put the car into park.

After disconnecting the cable from the transmission, I would attempt to move the shifter. I would assume they will still be hard to move unless the transmission lever on the transmission was the problem. Next, disconnect the cable from the shift lever. One of these will likely be hard to move.

If this is sounds like to much for you, have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, diagnose your shifting issue firsthand for an accurate repair.

Good luck!

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