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Stuck In Park


ls40093
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I have a 1993 LS400 with 94K miles. Recently, I have had a sporadic problem with transmission refusing to come out of 'park'. The button on the shifter won't fully depress. Eventually, it does and I can get the ar in gear, but yesterday I was stranded. Luckily, when I called the dealer they let me know about the release switch under the cover next to the shifter which let me get the car in gear.

I know the car won't go into gear without the brake being depressed so I suspect maybe that switch is bad. Any idea where that switch is or any other ideas what may cause this?

Thanks!

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Alright, finally a post I can answer.

Check it out. Underneath the wood grain panel of your shifter there in lies your shifter mechanism right. Well right underneath that button you press to release the shifter when it is stuck, there is a white plastic piece the buttin hits to release your shifter. That little white plastic piece is connected electronically to your brake line so that when you press your brake it sends a signal to release the shifter button to get out of park. In my car, my little sister dropped some Pepsi out of the cup holder and all over the shifter. What happened after was that is soaked through and got that little plastic piece all sticky and the same thing started happening to my car. I couldnt get it out of park without a a battle with both the shifter button and the little rectangulat black shift release button.

What to do to avoid a hefty bill to clean the whole thing is to remove the wooden panel and expose the white platic doohicky and first off, wipe it off with a damp to moist cloth the simply spray a little dura lube of w/d 40 in and around the plastic piece. That is exactly what I did and I solved my problem over three months ago. Granted, it took a little do it yourself work to finally get to the little plastic piece. First you must remove the wood grain board. Then the plastic piece that surrounds the actual shifter comes up and you have to hold it up. Underneath that you will find it...

Hope this helps

~Ray~

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This seems to be a fairly common problem and is often (usually?) caused by a defective switch which I think is near the brake pedal lever. This switch is what makes you have to have your foot on the brake in order to move the gear selector out of Park. This same thing happened several years ago on my 90 LS and I think the replacement switch was fairly inexpensive.

Good luck.

Jim

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Thanks for all the replies...this forum is great. First, the red marks on the shifter seem to be lining up OK with the appropriate boxes, so hopefully the linkage is OK. Next I am using the little white switch under the cap to free up the shifter when it gets stuck. Tonight, I'll look for the switch near the break pedal lever and see if I can checkk it out. If this works, I'll post what it took.

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I was able to find the switch on the brake pedal that controls the ability to shift out of park only when the brake is on. The same switch controls the brake lights. I plan to wait until this happens again and see if the brake lights also don't work which I think will mean either the switch is bad ($85 at dealer) or to check the fuse connection. I'll repost when I figure it out.

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  • 16 years later...

Omg!  Thank you to Ray!  This totally worked for me.  I am literally broke, during Covid-19 and I came out this a.m. and couldn’t get the car into drive to go to work!  I didn’t have all of the tools to get the piece as clean as I’d like but got my hand in there as best I could, and it worked!  Yay!  Thank you!

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