2017 Subaru Legacy - key won’t come out

Have the car in P, but key will not come out. Can not turn car off. Have to turn car on and jam it into park to get the key out.

The shift linkage is probably out of adjustment. Normally when you put the car in Park it tells the ignition it’s okay to let you shut it off and remove the key. Yours isn’t doing that because the linkage isn’t letting the car go fully into Park.

Thank you Dave. Do you know if this is a simple adjustment or does it involve a full replacement of the shifter? That is what one Subaru dealer told me.

There are many different designs for shift linkage BUT most of them today are electronic, there is no linkage as we know it. There is a bump on the bottom of the stick that presses a corresponding switch for each position of the stick. Or some configuration like that.

The switches send power to various solenoids in the transmission and in park, it also sends power to a solenoid in the steering column that allows the key to be removed. Assuming that the Subaru uses a set up like this, it could be that the park switch is either loose, misadjusted or defective. It could be the solenoid in the steering column too that is causing the issue.

Instead of jamming the stick into park, try moving the stick around in the park position while turning or pulling on the key to see if it finds a position that releases the key. If that doesn’t work, try gently putting the lever in park several time to see if the key releases. If the former works, that is the switch. If the latter works, it could be either.

EDIT: One more thing, look in your owners manual for this procedure and details, but next to the stick is a small cover, about the size of a postage stamp or a little smaller. You pop this off and there should be a slot. You can stick any key or object the size of a key that you have that will fit into the slot and push down. This should release the key to turn to off. It is a manual link to provide electric power to the key solenoid.

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First, I’d get a second opinion. Assuming @keith is correct, it should be possible to replace the bad switch without swapping out the whole assembly. Second, if you bought your Subaru new it had a 3yr./36k bumper-to-bumper warranty that might still be in effect.

Thank you, it gives me some questions to ask when I go in for repairs

Thank you, I really don’t like jamming it into park.

I had the same problem with my 2016 Legacy. They replaced the switch. it was just out of warranty so I was charged - $100. A technician told me he had seen a couple of other cars with the same problem. So I contacted Subaru of America and told them that I wanted a refund because this is a known problem. Surprised they haven’t fixed the design yet and you have it on the 2017.

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BTW - I was issued a refund.