Q: WHY WON'T MY 2000 SUBURU FORESTER L START, AND WHY IS THE GEAR SHIFTER LOCKED IN PARK?

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I and others have gone over the manual and watched many YOUTUBE videos to try and get my car started, but no luck. I may be forced to have it towed to a shop. I dont want to be cheated for a MINOR issue. I was on a slight incline at White Castle when I put the car in park and took my foot off the break. It continued to roll forward a bit. Then I put my foot on the break to make sure it was in PARK securely, and then it started rolling slowly backwards. I then put on the emergency brake. Afterwards, I was not able to start my car nor get it out of gear. I have full power, but it won't start. I tried doing an over-ride like the manual stated,. I even did the screwdriver method to push the button in the shifter console to get it out of park. My grandson just tried it, and the shifter will now move, but we still can't figure how to get it started. Look, I am a 62 year old GOOD-LOOKIN 'G-MA'..but with no $. PLEASE help me avoid being ripped-off...BLESS YOU!

My car has 175866 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

As you have discovered, your car has an interlock to keep the shifter in park until the ignition is on and the brake pedal is depressed. In most cars that car is activated by the same switch that operates the brake lights, so any issues there can prevent you from shifting out of park. Additionally, there is a safety switch that prevents you from starting the car unless it is in park or neutral. Now that your grandson has got the shifter moving, try putting the car in neutral, if there is a problem in the safety switch, you may be able to start it that way. If this isn’t any help, Contact Your Mechanic to have a technician come to your home or office to check out your shifter/starter problem and let you know what it will take to fix it.

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