What to know about the Shift Interlock Solenoid:
Solenoids are cylindrical coils of metal wire that carry electric currents. The shift interlock solenoid makes sure you can’t shift from Park to Drive without first pressing down the brake. The solenoid inside the interlock system is what allows you to move the shifter. When the brake pedal is pressed, the solenoid takes a signal that releases a mechanical lock on the shifter and permits it to be moved. The shift interlock solenoid also permits the shifter to be moved from Neutral to Reverse and, from Reverse to Park. If the solenoid does not obtain the brake pedal signal, the shifter will not be released from its present position. You may not be able to shift out of Park, or if you are in Drive, you may not be able to shift past Neutral back into Reverse or Park.
Facts to Note:
If you can’t get out of Park, a dysfunctional shift interlock solenoid is not the only possible culprit.
If a light on your dashboard shows that the brake lights aren’t working, your shift interlock may not work either.
How to Fix:
The vehicle battery is disconnected
The faulty shift interlock solenoid is detached
The new shift interlock solenoid is fixed
The battery is reconnected
The vehicle is tested and shifter operation is checked
The shift interlock solenoid does not require repairing. It is meant to last the lifetime of your car. If your shifter will not come out of Park, or is stuck in gear, have one of your expert mechanics diagnose the system and change the shift interlock solenoid if required.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Shift Interlock Solenoid:
Shifter will not move out of Park
Key will not come out of the ignition
Importance of this service:
Though it does not present a safety concern, your vehicle is unusable in many cases until the shift interlock solenoid is mended. Getting your faulty interlock solenoid changed is essential for normal car operation.