Q: Why is my key getting stuck in the ignition when turning off my car and being difficult to shift out of park?

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For the past two weeks, whenever I start my car it is taking longer and longer to get from shift to any gear. It seems that on colder days it is more difficult to shift. Additionally, when I go to turn my key to shut off the car, it takes a bit of time and getting longer.

My car has 168000 miles.

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. The vehicle unable to shift out of park is the shifter lock solenoid. The solenoid has a short within in it or it has failed. Remove the shifter housing from the vehicle and turn it over and you will see the shifter solenoid. Remove the solenoid and replace it. Then put the shifter housing back on. This will help with the issue for the hard shifting issue and the key not coming out. The ignition switch is tied into the shifter solenoid circuit and if the solenoid is not working properly, then the ignition switch will not unlock the tumbler making the key stay engaged. If you need further assistance troubleshooting your vehicle, then seek out a technician, such as one from YourMechanic, that can assist you with the hard shifting and key not releasing from the steering column.

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