Why is your car stuck in park gear?

A car that is stuck in park mode can be frustrating to deal with. In most cases, the car will start, the parking brake will release but the shifter won’t change from park to drive. There are several causes of this problem. These causes range from easy to fix problems to serious transmission-related issues.


1. Failed brake light switch or fuse

The switch that turns your brake lights on and off is often tied to your car’s shift interlock mechanism. This switch is controlled by a fuse. In the event that either the switch or fuse fails, your vehicle can become stuck in park.

This problem is fairly easy to diagnose. All you have to do is get someone to check that the brake lights turn on when the brake pedal is pressed. If they don’t the brake switch should be further examined.


2. Damaged shift interlock solenoid

The shift interlock solenoid is a common safety feature on automatic vehicles. It prevents the car from shifting out of park unless the brakes are being applied.

If the solenoid or its wiring becomes damaged, it may not be able to detect the brakes being applied, causing the vehicle to become stuck in park.


3. Parking pawl problems

The parking pawl is another safety measure in automatic vehicles. It prevents the vehicle from rolling if the parking brake is applied. It is less reliable than the parking brake and can cause problems if too much weight is applied.

When the whole weight of the vehicle is put on the parking pawl, it can become stuck. This can cause the vehicle to remain stuck in park until the pawl is released. Usually, a slight push uphill is enough to release the parking gear and allow the vehicle to shift into drive.


4. Broken transmission cable

There is a cable that links your car’s gear shifter to the rest of the transmission system. This cable can become stretched over time and eventually break. When the cable breaks, you will not be able to move your car out of its current gear. This is due to your gear shifter having no contact with the rest of the transmission system.

The transmission cable can display some symptoms when it begins to stretch. These include:

  • Difficulty switching gears
  • Key becoming stuck in ignition
  • Shifter gear doesn’t match the car’s gear


5. Broken gear shifter

The gear shifter is the interface you use to change gears. In some cases, this can break, causing transmission problems. If you feel little or no resistance when changing gears, this could be the problem.


Automatic Transmission Adjustment & Diagnostics in Hamilton

At Grimmer Motors, we can provide reliable servicing and adjustment for your car’s automatic transmission system.

Our team of experienced mechanics can quickly diagnose automatic transmission related problems, providing excellent advice on replacement services to help you get your car back on the road.

For the highest quality mechanics in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


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