I just bought a 1998 Hilux Surf. It has an automatic gearbox. When pressing the brake the drive selection should be unlocked, but it does not. I need to use the "red button" to unlock the drive selection. In other forums I did find some points to check: - brake lights are working - fuses are ok - there is no clicking sound while pressing the brake with the engine running.

The speedometer and odometer are also dead. Besides that the car drives great :-) I would like to know how to diagnose the issues and if there could be any relation between the drive selection not unlocking and the speedo/odometer.

  • 1
    A malfunctioning brake switch can explain why the gear doesn't want to shift out of "P". This is the switch responsible for activating a solenoid in the gear shifter mechanism to release the parking lock.
    – Zaid
    Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 3:29
  • Thanks Zaid, is this switch not used for the brake lights? Those are working fine. Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 3:42
  • No, this brake switch is something else.
    – Zaid
    Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 7:57
  • If found the brake switch. No obvious signs that it is broken. It is hard to reach, is there an easy way to check if it is broken, without taking it out? Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 12:53
  • Where is the brake switch located?
    – Clint Kurt
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Zaid has covered the mechanism of the gearlever and its switch and relay. The speedo is made up of a driving wheel on the transmission output, which is an interferance fit, which can go bad, and not do any driving of the speedo transducer. The speedo driving wheel drives the transducer, which gives out a sequence of pulses to the ECU to give a 'speedo reading'. The odometer 'counts' the number of pulses to dislay a reading of mileage done. A scan on the transmission will tell where the fault lies.

  • Thanks Allan, I am also researching on other forums and I understand there is no relation between the two issues. I did find instructions on diagnosing the speedometer. I am going to start with the unlock issue first. Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 13:05

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