My 2002 Saab 9-5 started getting stuck in park sometimes (but not always) when I start it and try to put it in drive. So far I can override it and there's no further problems. I thought it might be the brake light switch but the lights work fine even when I'm stuck in park. I also don't think it's a broken transmission shift cable because I imagine that would cause the shifter to get stuck every time it's put into park and in my case, it only gets stuck some of the time.

Does this mean it's the shift interlock solenoid? Is this easy to repair/clean/disable? Is there anything wrong with just overriding it? Am I making something worse by doing that?

I talked to some mechanics but I live somewhere very remote and secluded and none of the local mechanics will touch a Saab, so any advice would be appreciated.

  • 1
    You’d have to get a wiring diagram to know how the shift interlock interacts with the brake switch it could be a separate terminal or it could be a splice off the signal circuit.
    – Ben
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


Could be the solenoid is going bad, but there is also a microswitch that closes in P, in series with the brake switch, to energize the solenoid. Might just be misalignment of that, or failure of the switch itself. If you want to tackle it yourself you'll need the WIS, which has all the descriptions and wiring diagrams (http://findingsaabparts.com/#wis, requires Windows), and most parts are readily available; this thing is at https://www.esaabparts.com/viewparts.php?searchpart=1&section=343912941 Item 35 in there is the solenoid.

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