Honda won't shift out of park

My daughter’s 2004 Honda Accord would not shift out of park. After reading the manual, we got the shift overlock to release and she was able to drive to the dealer who suggested a new solenoid was the cure.

After installing the solenoid, the problem persisted. The dealer offered to apply the cost of the solenoid against the second diagnosis, an $800 throttle body. Can this be right???

If I had an 04 Accord I would also have the factory wiring diagrams for it & could tell you for sure, but typically the brake light switch is wired to the brake lights and to the shift lock solenoid.

Step on the brake and voltage to the solenoid releases the shift lock.

Are the brake lights working?

Replace the throttle body to solve this problem???

I’d love to hear the dealers reasoning for this.

Is there a GOOD independant repair shop in your area? Thats where i’d take it.

can I see the bill please,because you have something wrong ,or missing in this little word twist.


most likely a brake shift interlock switch mount at /on the brake light switch. Also there is a real good chance you have misinterpreted some info. A throttle body for this? No way.

Start with the least expensive things. Check the transmission fluid level. Adjust or replace the brake interlock switch, which is under the dashboard, and contacts the brake pedal.

Based on the age of the car, I’ll bet the brake interlock switch is the culprit. It’s probably a $20 fix.

Throttle body? No way!

Thanks for all the help. I spoke with the service manager today and found out that the first thing they did was try the brake light switch, which was not the culprit. They ordered the solenoid which took a week to get and this was, in fact, NOT the solution. The service manager now says that his most experienced tech, with 25 years on the job, suggests a new throttle body, which is very unusual. The car is a 2003, not a 2004, with 56k on it, and the service manager says it’s strange for a throttle body to go bad with such little mileage. The part is $900. I asked for him to involve the zone rep, and we’ll see if Honda will participate in the cost of this repair.

The throttle body may need to be replaced, but I fail to see a connection between that situation and the inability to shift out of “Park”.

There is still either a mis-communication between the OP and the service manager, or the service manager is truly interested in lightening the OP’s wallet. I also question whether a Honda dealer would need a week to obtain a genuine Honda solenoid. Something, or perhaps several things, are not right here.

I am the original poster, and it’s certainly possible that there is a communication problem between the dealer and me, but hopefully we’ll find out by Tuesday what the zone rep has to say. I will post the resolution on this thread. Thanks to all for their comments.

I am the original poster and I just heard from the dealer. The zone rep has agreed to replace the throttle body at no charge for the part. Labor should be about 1 hour, which my daughter will pay for. All in all, I think not a bad deal.

There is a service bulletin on this. The PCM needs to relearn the relative throttle position. Has there been any work done to it where the battery had been disconnected??


The throttle body may be defective; but, there is NO connection with the gear shift moving from reverse.This isn’t apples and oranges; it’s apples and potatoes.

The battery had been replaced months earlier. Other than this, I am not aware of any battery disconnects.

As with almost all vehicles it is necessary to disconnect the battery when doing any maintenance on your vehicle so as to not cause damsgr to the vehicle computer, brain or harm to yourself.

First of all, this is a 10 year old thread you resurrected…second of all, I don’t disconnect the battery unless I either A) need more room to get my hands somewhere or B) I’m changing the battery or C) I’m cleaning my battery terminals (which is only usually once a year if that). Granted I haven’t had to do any work on wiring or anything like that lately.


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Disconnecting a battery causes the memory for engine settings to be lost and need to be relearned again which in some cases can be very bad. I don’t disconnect a battery except for extreme situations working on the electrical. If I do need to pull the battery I use a memory saver.

At any rate if they haven’t fixed the interlock yet, I would simply be inclined to disconnect the thing. Who needs to have to step on the brake to start or shift the car anyway. It’s an automatic thing. Of course the first thing I did on my lawn mower is disconnect the seat switch and the reverse switch so I can mow in reverse and the engine doesn’t kill every time I lift up on the seat. I suppose I could be arrested by some agency. Not sure which one.

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