Q: truck wont go into gear and you can move shift selector without depressing brakes

asked by on January 09, 2018

I have been working to resurrect this suburban. I've got the engine running but when I went to shift there is no rise in RPMs and the truck does not go into gear. I have checked the linkage from the selector to the transmission and inside the transmission (the Chevy parts dept gave me a print out of the transmission and all the parts) and everything looks like it is there. When I use the brake pedal the brake lights do work. I did clean the electrical connections on the transmission side and checked all the fuses in the fuse panel.

When I put the key in and turn it to the on position, with or without the batteries connected, you can move the selector without using the brake pedal. I believe it may be a shift interlock issue but I don't know if it could be the solenoid or the transmission valves or where to start looking from there. Hoping for a direction to start looking or if the transmission can be fixed at all.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Ryan. Thanks for sending us your question today. It really depends on the condition of the transmission as to what might be causing your problems If you are restoring a 1988 Suburban and have not rebuilt the trans, or had it rebuilt for you, then I would suspect that there is either debris stuck inside the hydraulic lines or a blown inner seal. When a transmission sits without being used for any longer than a year, the inner seals and gaskets can dry up quickly, crack and cause leaking once started again. I would suspect that this is the root source of your problem.

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


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

I have a Chevy Malibu 2013 with 75757iles on it jeering forward while idling and pushing on gas but not after I accelerate and eng

What you are describing sounds like a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve monitors the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and...

How quickly should I take my car to the shop? It says service ecm. How much does this usually cost?

Hello, thank you for writing in. While there is typically not a designated warning light for the ECM (electronic control module), there may be a check engine light pertaining to it. If you pulled a code for the ECM, further...

My tahoe is making a clicking sound in my front left Tire. I changed my wheel bearings an it still making that clicking sound.

Is your Tahoe 4 Wheel Drive? If so, there are front drive axles that have rubber boots that will often wear and the grease will leak out as you drive. Once the grease is gone, the joints are no longer...

How to change battery cable connectors

Your Battery Saver Light comes on because your car is seeing a lower than expected battery voltage. When you see the light, your car will turn off certain electrical loads in order to save the battery from being unable to...

Starting problem, engine revs at low RPM in drive - 1999 Chevrolet C3500

It sounds like the Idle Air Control valve is gunked up. It may be possible to clean it, or it might have to be replaced. A YourMechanic professional can help to diagnose the stalling issue and replace the idle air...

sputtering, jumping loss of power

The first thing to check for in any drivability problem is air leaks. Any air that gets into the engine without being measured will lean out the system and cause problems. Look at all the rubber hoses and boots under...

No headlights and high beam indicator light on

Hello. There is not enough information to definitively say what the issue is. Do the headlights not work when they are on normally, or on high beams? If this is the case, the issue is likely pertaining to the power...

leaking fluid all over driver rear tire

There are only three sources of fluid at that wheel position: the shock, the brake tubing, and the differential/axle. An inspection would reveal which one is at issue. If the differential were the source of the fluid leak, a huge...

Automatic transmission does not shift into 2nd gear.

This issue may be caused by a couple of different things. A gasket near the transmission filter where it mounts to the valve body could be leaking causing the hydraulics within the transmission not to engage second gear properly. On...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy That Can Be Towed Behind an RV
Summer Summer is a great time for a road trip, but often travelers like bringing all the conveniences of home along, in the form of an RV. Then they tow their car behind it – sometimes this practice is called...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're Towing a Boat
If If you’re towing a boat, the vehicle that you buy is largely going to depend on the size and weight of your boat plus trailer. Most cars, realistically, aren’t cut out for the job. We recommend a pickup truck...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze
Until Until just the past few years, the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic were the kings of the compact car class, and domestic manufacturers had almost nothing in the way of competition for these models. With the 2012 Chevrolet...