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What Is Shift Lock Release And How To Use It?

As we know the fact about transmission, there are two kinds – manual and automatic. Those cars which run on manual transmission also have a clutch which the driver needs to push each time to shift the gear. The number of gears depends on the size of the engine. A manual transmission car, however, doesn’t have the shift lock release mechanism.

Automatic transmission has it. It is, nevertheless, quite different from manual transmission. This is why people who are used to either kind of transmission find it difficult to drive a car with another transmission.

What Is Shift Lock Release?

Process of shift lock release
Mechanism of shift lock release (photo source: Nissan Owner Channel @ Youtube)

This mechanism of shift lock and its release is present in cars with automatic transmission because the functionality of both is pretty much different. Here, there is no need to shift the gears manually. They do have a gear shift though. This gear shift, however, is used for switching among options like reverse, parking, neutral, etc. to shift between these options, you have the shift lock release options.

You can usually locate it on the lever itself. It is actually a button. It allows you to switch to an option, say parking, and then lets you lock it till you switch into another one. Then, unless you release the shift lock, you will not be able to do shift lock override.

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How to Use Shift Lock Release?

As it is a button, a shift lock release button specifically, all you need to do is press it. When you press the button, it will cause the lock to release, thus allowing you to shift the lever to the desired option. As you release the lock, the lever will move as you desire. Now all you need to do is choose the option that you need to put the transmission in, and then press the button again. Pressing the button again will let you lock the lever on that setting.

Also, it is a safety function that helps you move your car when the gear shift won’t move from one setting to another. Follow these simple steps to use shift lock release when the gear selector isn’t working:

  • The very first thing – put on the parking brake.
  • Now, pull the key out of the ignition.
  • Take a flat-head screwdriver or something that can do the similar job. Try to bring the cap off of the gear shift lock cover. It will be to the upper right of the gear selector.
  • One you have removed the cover, insert the key into this slot.
  • Now push the key down gently. Simultaneously, pull on the button situated at the front of the gearshift. This will let you move out of the parking.
  • Pull the key out.
  • Replace the cover like it was before.
  • Insert the key back into ignition and press the brake pedal.
  • Now, simply crank the engine.
Steps for shift lock release
Exact way to use shift lock release (photo source:

The exact way to use shift lock release is always mentioned in your owner’s manual of your car. For those who are not acquainted with automatic transmission, this mechanism may seem superfluous at first, but those who know how to drive an automatic car know that it is very much important from safety point of view. In manual transmission, since driver has all the control in their hands, a mechanism like this is never a necessity. However, in a vehicle where the control is in the vehicles hands, shift lock release is indeed a necessity.

  1. B.Bukosi says

    I bought a car from Japan. I got a user’s manual written in Japanese language which I don’t understand. Do we have manuals written in English? Can I get one?

    1. Stephen Dabideen says

      My vehicle is a toyota harrier 2015 model ,my manual is in japanese,my service manual is also in japanese . how can i get both in english .i would like to get this ,cause my dealer just refuse to assist in helping me .i know this is important ,cause helps one to understand the vehicle more . thank you, stephen .

  2. Graceous Muzira says

    I have loved the new models of Automatic Vehicles.

  3. Wycliffe Mwaki Ayiga says

    Good one, am so educated.

  4. Honest Hamilimo says

    How and when should we change transmission oil for automatic gearbox and what tapy of oil is saposed to be used

  5. Vincent says

    In need of a manual for Toyota Probox, have a japanese one which I dont understand.

  6. N. Karis says

    Good and very informative. Most cars come with an button labelled ‘eco’. When pressed, a green light comes on in the dashboard. What the function of this and when is it used

    1. Jethro says

      The ECO button makes the engine use less fuel by (usually) making the gearbox change gears at lower engine revs.
      This saves fuel as it gets the engine to rev less, earlier, when accelerating.
      The opposite of ECO will be POWER, when the engine will reach higher revs before the gearbox changes up to the next gear. The car will feel more powerful, but use more fuel.

  7. Maxwell Ochieng says

    My car model is Nissan wing roadY11 and its showing ABS light throught in the dashboard what could be the problem??

    1. Emmanuel says

      My car has same lihtvon but j found out its because the cable leasing yo the ABS ‘sensor’ at one front wheel got Brocken/cut. Just Check it may be a similar reason.

      1. Emmanuel says

        My car has same light on but I found out its because the cable leading to the ABS ‘sensor’ at one front wheel got Broken/cut. Just Check it may be a similar reason

  8. moses ngambi says

    Iam interested in your website and it so education

  9. charles Odoo says

    Very impressed. Keep it up

  10. Samuel says

    Always educative.

    How can I get a panasonic boot-up software for my radio? it a panasonic strada cn mw250D

  11. Fletcher says

    My car is a Toyota Sienta. Got a manual in Japanese which I don’t understand. The seats cant bend although the handle is turning but the seats can’t bend. Can you assist me?

  12. David Mukuna says

    I need thèse instructions in Franche please

  13. Michael macharia says

    Hi my car is Toyota is issued plantana model 2009 it have a manual which is written in Japanese, kindly assist with English manuals

  14. Michael macharia says

    My car is Toyota isis model 2009 its manual is written in Japanese. Kindly can you assist me with English manuals.

  15. Ddaiddo says

    Hi. I have a Mitsubishi Pajero 4D56 having issues with it’s cylinder head engine. A certain mechanic is convincing me that it’s compatible with Mitsubishi RVR. How truth is this?
    Kindly help me.

  16. Benjamin says

    Between a manuel car and automatic car which is better ?

  17. Chifundo Maloya says

    I bought a Toyota Corolla Runx car from Japan. The user manual is in Japanese which I don’t undersand. Help me with an English user mannual.

  18. Justin chivende says

    I have a mitsubishi colt saloon but an check engine poped up from nowhere on the dashboard I have tried all possible ways to remove it but the results are negative. Please your urgent help will be highly appreciated.

    1. Jethro says

      A “check engine” light on the dashboard indicates something is wrong with the engine.
      The car’s computer will have detected something wrong and it will hold an error code.
      They will sometimes clear themselves if the fault has gone away and the car’s computer detects a number of successful starts without the error. You can sometimes clear temporary errors by disconnecting the battery for about 30 minutes. If it returns, time to do something.
      There are two easy ways to read the error code, depending on your expertise.
      You can link two pins in the diagnostic connector (usually under the steering column) and the check engine light will flash the error code. But you need to know which pins to link, and what the error codes mean.
      Or, take the car to a reputable mechanic or better, the Mitsubishi dealer. They will plug a diagnostic screen into the connector (under the steering column) and read out the error code. The will be able to show you what the error means and what is wrong with the engine.
      This is by far the quickest and cheapest way. (As long as they are honest – you can go to more than one mechanic etc to verify the diagnosis).

  19. […] Shift Lock Release […]

  20. Will J says

    Will shift lock release prevent a car from starting? (namely Toyota Camry/solora)

  21. Denise Moore says

    My car is a a Toyota Noah automatic. The gear lever is mounted on the steering stem. At one time I want to shift into the neutral position without switching on the engine. This model has no gear shift button. What can I do to effect this gear shift?

  22. […] خودروی اتوماتیک دارید، احتمالا دکمه shift lock release را در کنار دسته دنده دیده‌اید. اما اگر نمی‌دانید که […]

  23. Ben says

    I’m replacing my torque converter on a 2003 cl Acura noise coming from bottom side like a whining when I apply brake with peddling gas it engages too shifter I hope it’s just the torque converter and not the transmission wish me luck and knowledge and further inspection!

  24. Ben says

    Thanks Eric for the educational experience

  25. Jared says

    How can I import a car?

  26. Felix says

    Thanks for the education.

  27. Alex says

    My Nissan Lafesta keeps on loosing power sometimes it refuses to go beyond 60Km/h it sticks below. What could be the issue since no sign on the dashboard

  28. stanley says

    my nissan xtrail 2008 is consuming alot of fuel 18.5 litres per 100km
    what could be the problem?

  29. stanley says

    my nissan xtrail 2008 is consuming alot of fuel 18.5 litres per 100km and i also noticed it experiencing changing gears. its automatiic

    what could be the problem?

  30. PAOK says

    Bolches y tibios yarboclos

  31. Justus Keesi says

    My car a Harrier 2300 4WD is delaying in picking drive gear but the Reverse gear engages very fast. What could be the problem?

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