What is the Shift Interlock Solenoid all about?
Solenoids are cylindrical coils of metal wire that carry electric currents. The shift interlock solenoid ensures you can’t shift from Park to Drive without first applying the brake. The solenoid inside the interlock system is what allows you to move the shifter. When the brake pedal is pressed, the solenoid receives a signal that releases a mechanical lock on the shifter and allows it to be moved. The shift interlock solenoid also enables the shifter to be moved from Neutral to Reverse and, from Reverse to Park. If the solenoid does not receive the brake pedal signal, the shifter will not be released from its current position. You may not be able to shift out of Park, or if you are in Drive, you may not be able to shift past Neutral back into Reverse or Park.
Keep in mind:
- If you can’t get out of Park, a dysfunctional shift interlock solenoid is not the only possible culprit.
- If a light on your dashboard indicates that the brake lights aren’t working, your shift interlock may not work either.
How it's done:
- The vehicle battery is disconnected
- The defective shift interlock solenoid is removed
- The new shift interlock solenoid is installed
- The battery is reconnected
- The vehicle is tested and shifter operation is checked
The shift interlock solenoid does not require servicing. It is meant to last the lifetime of your car. If your shifter will not come out of Park, or is stuck in gear, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose the system and replace the shift interlock solenoid if required.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Shift Interlock Solenoid?
- Shifter will not move out of Park
- Key will not come out of the ignition
How important is this service?
Though it does not present a safety concern, your vehicle is unusable in many cases until the shift interlock solenoid is repaired. Getting your faulty interlock solenoid replaced is essential for normal car operation.