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98 Honda cannot move out of park

Hi all,

I am desperate for help. I have a 1998 Honda Accord EX 4 cylinder sedan. The car was parked in the driveway with all the windows down and, unbeknownst to me, the car alarm system was on. I opened the door and all hell broke loose. Finally found the key (16 year old daughter;s car) and shut the alarm off.Since this happened, I can start the car up, but cannot move the shift lever out of Park. Help !!

I don’t think that the inadvertant setting off of the alarm has any connection with the inability to take the transmission out of “Park”. Most likely just a coincidence.

The good news is that there is a manual override that will allow you to move the shift lever. Look for a small opening in the console (sized to fit a screwdriver blade or perhaps the tip of a key) near the shift lever. Insert a screwdriver blade into the opening and it will allow you to move the shift lever.

If you can’t find the aperture that I am talking about, as a last resort, you could always look in the Owner’s Manual, which actually has a graphic showing what I am talking about

Most likely there is a problem with the shift interlock, which is controlled by application of the brake pedal. If you don’t want to tackle this repair job on your own, this can be fixed very easily by any competent mechanic.

You need to put a charger on the battery, or run the engine long enough to charge the battery to full. Low voltage can keep the interlock from releasing.
Next to the shift lever may be a small cover. Pry that off, put the ignition key into that, put the shift lever in N, and start the car. [ another key, or a screwdriver, may not fit].

Thank you for your reply. I removed the plastic cover around the area where the gear selectors are listed -P-D, etc. I do not see anything around it, only a couple of red wires running from the bottom up to the underside of this. The shift lever itself has 2 phillips screws holding the shifter stalk with the lever handle where you place your hand upon. I actually called AAA last week (this happened the night before we were leaving for vacation). My wife told me that the responder told her the same thing, except that 1998 models do not have this opening. Am open to any other suggestions to get this thing moving.

OK-success !! Found the slot(working in semi-darkness)put screwdriver in-voila -can now move shifter out of park. Thanks. I turned off the ignition twice , restarted, and I have to insert the screwdriver every time in order to move the shifter. Is there a reset for the entire mechanism ? If not, will a general repair shop be able to fix this problem permanently ?

Yes, an independent repair shop can replace the switches.