What is the Shifter Interlock Solenoid all about?
Solenoids are cylindrical coils of metal wire that carry electric currents. The shifter 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 shifter 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 gear, 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 shifter interlock solenoid is not the only probable culprit.
- If a light on your dashboard tells you that the brake lights aren’t working, your shifter interlock may not work either.
How it's done:
- The vehicle battery is disconnected
- The defective shifter interlock solenoid is removed
- The new shifter interlock solenoid is installed
- The battery is reconnected
- The vehicle is tested and shifter operation is checked
The shifter 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 shifter interlock solenoid if required.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Shifter 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 shifter interlock solenoid is repaired. Getting your faulty interlock solenoid replaced is essential for normal car operation.