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I got into my car this morning and couldn't move it from park after I started it. I can't change the gear at all. I can move the wheel, though. I've tried to wiggle it but haven't forced it because I don't wanna cause any damage.

What can I do to fix this problem?

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What car is it? –  Timo Geusch Mar 1 '13 at 16:36
Chrysler 300M 1999 –  Tanner Mar 1 '13 at 16:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

My wife had a similar problem with her Outback at one point. There is a shift lock preventing the level from moving out of park when you press the brake.

First, check to see if you can just unlock the shift lock mechanism. There's an excellent set of illustrations here:


Try pushing this button to get out of park.

Note, that site also recommends a replacement part for the problem. It apparently works wonders for some people. Your mileage may vary.

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There's a solenoid that needs to be activated to allow you to shift from park. Generally this solenoid is only energized when you depress the brake pedal (there may be other requirements as well).

When you step on the brake pedal, do the brake lights go on? If not, you've likely got a faulty brake switch.

If the brake lights work, then it could be the shift lock solenoid itself that has gone bad, or is stuck.

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