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How To Release An Automatic Gear Shift Stuck In Park

The shifting does not move out of the ‘park’ mode in most modern vehicles. Unless you apply the brakes, the car won’t shift out of park. It is a standard safety feature. But, it is a problem when the automatic gear shift stuck in park despite applying the brakes. The car does not shift after starting the engine and moving the shifting into the ‘drive’ mode. You may start worrying about the repair bills but don’t be scared. You can release the shifter yourself without going to a mechanic with trusty maintenance tips.

How To Release An Automatic Gear Shift Stuck In Park

What would be your first reaction when you find the automatic gear shift stuck in park? Some people try to force the shifter into gear, which is a big mistake. It will do more harm than good.

Here are some causes and solutions to this particular problem.

1. Be Careful When Parking On An Incline

Parking on a hill or an incline may create this problem. It happens if you cannot park the vehicle properly. It may roll when you release the brakes after shifting into the park mode. As a result, the entire weight of the car goes onto the parking gear and the pawl prevents the gear from retracting.

car wont shift out of park
Be careful when parking on an incline.


To avoid being stuck in such a situation in the future, don’t take the foot off the brake before applying the parking brake. Then, take off the foot and move the shift into park. In this way, the car will not roll and the parking brake will hold its weight, not the gear and pawl.

How do you release the shifter when it does not move from the park position? Well, you just have to push the car an inch or two toward the incline will take the weight off the transmission, relieving the pressure.

2. Check The Brake Light

Another reason the automatic gear shift stuck in park could be a problem with the brake switch. If the brake light is not on when you push on the brake, the switch might be the source of trouble. Make sure that it is plugged in and functioning. There is a connection between the switch and the shift interlock mechanism. The car is unlikely to shift out of park if the switch is not working.

3. Shifter Interlock Failure

The brake-shift interlock prevents the shifting of a vehicle so that you cannot accidentally run it into reverse or drive. The absence of this function in old cars caused many injuries and property damage. You will need to apply the brakes for the shifter interlock to release the lock and allow the vehicle to move out of the park position.

automatic gear shift stuck in park
The brake-shift interlock failure may cause this problem.

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However, a failed interlock will make the automatic gear shift stuck in park even after using the brakes. You can override the system to release the shifter if it is an emergency. The owner’s manual should have the whole process described and explained.

1 Comment
  1. masoud says

    hi i have a citroen c3 with eat6 gearbox (eat6) , sometimes i cant turn park position to R – D or N position
    look like its locked , can you help me what to do

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