stuck in park


Old 05-24-06, 02:21 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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stuck in park

I have a 96 Jetta I just picked up for a gas saver and have been driving it for 4 days now.
I got in the car in the morning and tried shifting the car out of park and it would not budge.
I shut the car off and restarted and it shifted out so I drove it, I stopped at a store and when I got back once again it was stuck in park I just keep hitting the brake until I can shift it out of park. At work I had no problem when I went to lunch but when I came out of the restaurant the same problem.
When I stop the car I check to see if it goes in and out of park and there is no problem just if you shut it off and restart, is there a sensor that works the shifter since you need to press the brake to get it out of park?

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Old 05-24-06, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
switch going out

I do believe your start netural saftey switch is going out. This is the switch they put in automatic transmission cars to keep little kids from shifting into drive with engine running when stupid parents leave the little ones in the car with it running.
If it gets stuck again just turn the key like you are going to start but just short of it shift into netural and start it then you can go to drive from netural.
Old 05-24-06, 05:29 PM
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Actually, the neutral safety switch performs a different function. It only allows the car to start in park or neutral so that by rotating the car engine, the car does not try to go forwards or backwards with the engagement of the starter.

What you are thinking of, michael, is some form of lockout switch that keeps the shifter locked until you perform some other function in front of it, or at the same time.

I can't say if that Jetta has that or what the deal is. I know that if a car is on a steep incline, and you don't depress the parking brake before setting the shift lever to park...then trying to get the vehicle out of park can practically bend the linkage.
Old 05-26-06, 10:01 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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tried the netural ideal
cant get the car into netral with key turned
and cant get key out with left in netural
If I keep my foot pressed on the brake for a while it allows me to shift out of park
Old 05-26-06, 02:55 PM
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You say that you keep hitting the brake until you get it out of park.
Either the switch at the brake pedal or the solenoid which unlocks the shift lever are faulty.
Old 05-31-06, 09:28 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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I changed the brake light switch and that is located behind the brake pedal. Had no problem and then the problem came back....
I went to the bank and left the car in neutral and it now got stuck in that so I sat there with my foot on the brake and eventually it allowed me to shift out of neutral.
it is now starting to drive me nuts now
Old 05-31-06, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
shift interlock solenoid is probably bad or going bad it is what disengages the shifter when it senses brake pedal is depressed it is a safety feature that keeps the car from being shifted into gear unless the brake pedal is depressed suggest you see a shop to check out the shift interlock.
Old 05-31-06, 01:32 PM
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is this something that I can check my self?
can it be bypassed? this car is only a gas saver for me!
would anybody know were would it be found?
Old 05-31-06, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538

they can usually be bypassed or disconnected unsure of the location on your car if the shifter is at the center console it is probably close by.
Old 06-01-06, 08:45 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1
Smile check connector

A friend of mine had the same problem. Replaced the brake switch and had the same problem. It was a bad connector to the brake switch. He wiggled the connector while pressing the brake and you can here the shift lock solenoid kicking in and out.
Old 06-01-06, 07:57 PM
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check the linkage?

assuming you have a console shifter, did you check the linkage under the vehicle to see if it's loose? I had a GMC jimmy where the bolts that held the linkage against the bottom of the truck came out, and you couldn't start the thing or shift it at ALL after that fell off. I reached under it and pulled on the cable to get it into park, started it, then shifted it with the cable (while my wife held the brake pedal, YIKES) into drive, and drove it home where I replaced the bolts.

Worth a shot and some greasy hands...

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