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2003 Automatic CRV stuck in 2nd

Hello all, I’ve got a 2003 CR-V LX AWD Automatic. The other day I was out shopping and when I started the car back up I accidentally shifted past drive into 2nd gear (2 as displayed on the selector), and I’m now physically unable to move the shifter back up into drive, or neutral or park etc. I can move the shifter between 1 and 2 with no problem. I’ve shifted into 2 before without this happening. I drove home just in second, checked for codes and there aren’t any. I checked the transmission fluid and it’s at the right level, nice and clean full synthetic. Brake lights are working fine, I’ve had to leave the keys in the ignition and lock the car with my second pair since I can’t put it in park. I tried the shift lock release but this doesn’t help, still physically can’t shift into drive and I don’t want to damage anything by using excessive force. Could something internal on the shifter have broken, or is it more likely to be the transmission itself? Based on what I’ve read, the shift solenoid or ECU could be at fault. I replaced the starter two months ago, had to remove the intake manifold and throttle body to access it but everything went back on correctly and until now it’s been running fine every day. Any suggestions on what to check next would be much appreciated, ideally I’d like to fix this myself but if it would be best left to a mechanic so be it. Cheers.

Try lubing the shift cable at the transmission.

If that doesn’t work, disconnect the cable at the transmission.

If the shifter can moved to drive, neutral, or park, the problem is in the transmission.

If the shifter still can’t be moved into drive, neutral or park, the problem is with the shifter.


This worked perfectly, thanks a lot I appreciate it! Didn’t realize it could be as simple as a gunked up linkage.

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