So old faithful (faithful to break at least) is having problems again (2009 Chevy Malibu).

The gear shift intermittently won't shift into Park. It will shift out and between any other gears with no problem.

Currently, I can leave the car in Neutral, turn the engine off, leave the emergency break on, and leave the key in the ignition. This is dumb, but the alternative is leaving it in neutral with the engine on, so I'll take it. The engine will turn on / off in neutral (so it's not the neutral safety switch / ignition).

Ideas on what to inspect / what to test? I'd like to leave swapping the transmission as a last resort.

  • Maybe it’s something related to the parking paw? To my knowledge that’s the only thing exclusive to park as opposed to other gears (i.e., park is just neutral + parking paw). In addition, it should be fine for you to use only the parking brake, at least in the meantime - those fail more often than the paw and you wouldn’t have a failsafe (though you could cut your wheels if on a hill), but that’s the situation with most manual transmission cars anyway :)
    – osuka_
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 17:00
  • 1
    May be a problem with the shift interlock or the cable. When it doesn’t go into park can you reach under the hood disconnect the cable and move the lever into park?
    – Ben
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 17:11
  • I'm thinking it's not the shift interlock. It shifts out of park no problem, just not back into park. I could be wrong tho. I'll look under the hood to see if I can move the lever into park. Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 17:36
  • Does pushing the car a few feet change anything? Does it matter if the car is running or not?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 18:39
  • Doesn't matter if the car is running. Haven't tried pushing it. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 14:12


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