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I have a Nissan Altima 2017.

I just noticed that when I brake when parked, the clicking is present. I placed my hand on the shifter when parked, and it throbs when I brake.

It doesn't do this when I drive, am on neutral, or reverse. I tested it out while having the parking brake on.

I released the parking brake, but the car still makes a clicking noise when parked and the shifter throbs.

What's the cause?

  • Does it only do it when in park? – Terry Gould Nov 19 '18 at 13:33
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If it's only doing this in Park (which is what I think you're describing) then the most likely explanation is the shift lock solenoid actuating - this is what prevents you changing the shifter out of Park without pressing the brake.

Normally this shouldn't be a particularly loud sound, however it can be somewhat temperature dependent (I've heard of it being noticeably louder in colder temperatures) so it doesn't necessarily indicate that there is a problem per se

The "click" should occur once when you press the brake pedal and once when you release it (as it releases and then re-engages the shift lock). If it's recurring while you are maintaining pressure on the brake pedal this wouldn't be normal and may indicate that the solenoid is faulty/failing. Although if that's the case I'd expect you to experience problems intermittent problems shifting out of park (as some of the time you'll likely be trying to shift when the lock is engaged if it's cycling).

  • Also I definitely notice it more on my older cars than on some new ones. Usually not loud, per se, but audible. – Cullub Nov 20 '18 at 3:21
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This is the brake switch (stop light switch) located near the brake.

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