Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What should I do if I can’t shift out of park?

asked by on

What should I do if I can’t shift out of park?

A: Like most other modern vehicles, yours is e...

Like most other modern vehicles, yours is equipped with a safety system designed to prevent you from driving if the Brake Lights aren’t working. However, there are times that this system may malfunction. If your car won’t shift out of park, you can use the brake shift interlock release to shift gears. First, make sure that the Brake Light switch hasn’t failed, that your Brake Light bulbs are working, and that there’s not a blown fuse. If none of those is the problem, here’s how to use the brake shift interlock:

  1. Engage the parking brake.
  2. Turn the ignition off.
  3. Take out the key.
  4. Locate the shift interlock cover (it’s on the gearshift face, at the top right).
  5. Pry the cover off using a small flathead screwdriver.
  6. Push the tip of the screwdriver into the hole and press down.
  7. While pushing down, move the gearshift to neutral.
  8. Replace the cap.
  9. Crank the engine.
  10. Take the parking brake off.

Tip

If the problem happens again, have your car inspected.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What does the low fuel Warning Light mean in a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox?

The low fuel Warning Light is located on your instrument panel, next to your fuel gauge. When your vehicle is nearly out of fuel, the low fuel Warning Light will illuminate, and be accompanied by a chime. The light will...

Q: Diagnostic code read o2 sensor bad, replaced o2 sensor, cleared code but engine light came back on, is it caused by bad air filter

Hello there. Typically jump starting a vehicle doesn't trigger an OBD-II error code. However, one of the most common misdiagnosis issues with the P-2270 is replacing the O2 sensor before diagnosing if there are any exhaust leaks. Obviously, you'll want...

Q: Gearshift comes out of Park when engine off

Hello. I am so sorry this happened to you. It is likely that the thief did irreversible damage to the shifter, immobilizer system, and the ignition system when trying to force the vehicle to start. I suggest that the vehicle...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...