Can't get automatic transmission out of neutral.

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-01-14, 11:17 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Can't get automatic transmission out of neutral.

I have a 1995 Honda Civic EX. It has an automatic transmission. Last night I was working on the tail lights. I wanted to see if one of the backing lights was coming on when the selector was in reverse. I had no one there to look at it for me, so, with the engine running, I put it in reverse with the parking brake on and went behind the car to look. Then I got back in the driver's seat and put it back in park. I did that twice, and it seemed like nothing bad happened.

This morning, I needed to drive the car. I started the engine, and stepped on the brake, and tried to put the selector in reverse. It would not budge. There was a little slot in the top of the selector. I recalled being told that those slots are for shifting back into neutral from drive or reverse when the engine has stalled. I figured I might be able to get in into reverse by pushing the back end of a pair of tweezers down into the slot while I tried to shift into reverse. I tried that, and it did not work. The lever would not move. My brother and I tried pushing the car forward and backward with the engine off. After that, the lever still would not move. What is wrong here, and how can I fix it without calling a mobile mechanic?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-01-14, 11:25 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
With the engine off, have you tried to stick your key in the slot? Not sure if the tweezers were long enough to do the job of tripping the mechanism. Can you remove your keys from the ignition? Will the engine start?
 
  #3  
Old 06-01-14, 11:47 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,017
I'll bet if you check, your brake lights aren't working. The same switch and circuit that activates the brake lights activates the solenoid that allows the shifter to move.

And yeah, the tweezers probably weren't long enough. Even the key has to go most of the way on many cars.

Btw...thats not the purpose of the slot. Even with a stalled engine you can move between any of the gears once it's out of park.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...9212524AA7gYHw
 
  #4  
Old 06-01-14, 11:55 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Here is an update from the guy who started the thread.

I tried using the ignition key instead of a pair of tweezers. I pushed the key down into the slot, and behold, I was able to move the lever from park to neutral. I was then able to start the engine in neutral, and then I could shift to drive or reverse. I moved the car a foot or so each way, just to be sure it would move. Then I put it back in park and shut off the engine. I started the engine again, with the selector in park, and I was still unable to move the lever out of park with the engine running. This is certainly an improvement over the prior situation, but it still needs to have something done. It takes extra time to release the selector, and if something isn't quite right, I should fix it before it turns into something worse. So, what can do? I have some mechanical aptitude, so any suggestions on how to fix this myself would be appreciated.
 
  #5  
Old 06-01-14, 12:04 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,017
Did you check to see if your brake lights are working? Could be just a blown fuse.

I believe some cars may have 2 switches on the brake pedal arm, one for the actual stop lights, and one for the shift release solenoid.

You don't want to drive w/o brake lights.

Did you do anything under the dash or console in your work last night? Mess with any wires in the trunk?
 
  #6  
Old 06-01-14, 08:51 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Another update

I went out and drove the car around for a while. I stopped and shut it off and started it up several times. Part-way through all that, the gear selector began to work correctly. That's what I call an easy fix.
 
  #7  
Old 06-01-14, 10:08 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,017
Well, whatever....did you ever check to see if your brake lights were working? A minor adjustment might prevent you getting rear ended.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes