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2001 Jag XJ8, Having problems engaging shifter

This problem started about a year ago, was occasional. but over the past few months has rapidly worsened.

Before I can shift out of park I must depress the brake which is suppose to unlock the shifter and engage the brake light, for some reason this doesn’t happen sometimes, and it may take up to 20 brake pump actions in order to get it to release the shifter.

Does anyone know what the problem is?

are your brake lights lights coming on? did you check the fuses? it might be the shift lock solenoid? check your owners manual to see if this kitty has a bypass for the shift lock.

Thanks for your response, the brake lights do not come on when I press the brake and unable to unlock the shifter, however it does come on when I press the brake and the shifter is unlocked … but that might be 10 pump brakes after the first attempt.

I do have a bypass, or at least what I believe is the bypass, it’s a funny looking key hole thingy that I once had to use when I had the car towed. I forgot what was used to do the bypass, perhaps a screw driver, ???.

So it might be a solenoid ? is that something that dies a slow death? how do I find and test it?

If your brake lights on the rear of the car do not come on when you press the brake pedal, and this also coincides with the shifter not releasing, chances are you have a faulty brake light switch. Whatever the case, you need to have this repaired, because driving without functioning brake lights is an invitation for a collision.

oddly enough though, after the shifter lock eventually releases the brake light works fine, I tested it.

that begs another question: would a broken brake light switch prevent the shift lock from unlocking; and does that switch die a slow death or just one day break, like most things?

Went to auto zone they wont $90 for the brake light switch. … where in the world do they come up with these numbers?

I suspect your brake light switch is a complex part and you better see if you can handle replacing it before you buy a new one…

you are sure rootin-tootin right about that, – and if it complex why didn’t it tell me that it was feeling ill and wants to retire? … a $100 buck for a light switch sheeezz

Auto Zone only sells parts, they figure if you’re asking them for a part, you already know what to do with it.

There’s a lot of switches out there that make a 100 bucks sound like pocket change. High end cars or the high tech world is the cause of a lot of this.

A long, long time ago a dealer I worked for took a Lincoln in trade and the headlamps did not come on automatically with the sensor. The problem was determined to be a faulty main headlamp switch and he just about had a coronary when he called the local Lincoln dealer and priced one out. Even with a 10% dealer to dealer discount that switch was 850 dollars. Ouch, ow, and darn.

bscar2 I was referring to the light switch, when I said ‘if the part is so complex it should be able to tell me that it’s dying’.

ok4450 - $850 for a headlamp switch w/sensor, yes that’s even worse, at that rate if mines blows I will gladly flip the light on manually.

Come to think of it, I wish all of the automatic features had manual back-ups.

When I look at the top end lux cars with total led dash I shudder to think of how much that would cost to fix and how trapped the owner will feel when it doesn’t work and MUST fix it immediately.