2003 Dakota Shifter won't go into park

Just bought a nice fairly rust free quad cab Dakota for a decent price. Everything mostly checks out besides sloppy shifter. When the shifter is all the way up it is only in reverse. Then I have to slowly move it to catch the gears. If I want to go back down I have go all the way to OD1 then push the lever all the way up to go into reverse which basically skips through everything else. I’m thinking this a shifter linkage issue. Which is where I would like to start. Other thoughts would be the shift lever is sloppy. Could this be a shift solenoid or valve body issue? Anybody here have any similar issues or give any incite on possible causes and fixes would be amazing thank you.

Start with the obvious… shifter linkage is out of adjustment or a bracket is bent or a support bracket rusted off.

Report back if that isn’t the problem

1 Like

The shift cable may need replacing.



Not necessarily related but there was a YouTube by a guy with a dead battery. I think it was Toyota but can’t recall. He was not in park and could not shift it into park without battery power. It was a catch 22. Finally had to jump out and hold the car back from rolling while he got a jump pack on it.

1 Like

No working parking brake? Or was this you tuber just an idiot like most of the others?


it was an electric parking brake. Wouldn’t engage with no power. and I think it was a Subaru

I guess that’s 1 argument against electric parking brakes.