Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Parking Gear

I have a 2001 Mitsubishi Spyder Eclipse. I can’t get my car out of park. The release button on the gear shift won’t depress and I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the cold. I live in NE Maine and lately it has been really cold (- temps).

Yeah, it’s probaly the cold. Here it got down to -35 degrees last week. And when it gets that cold, there’s no telling what’s not going to work right in a vehicle.

Try idling the vehicle until the interior temperature heats up, then try shifting it out of park. If that works, either the interlock/brake switch at the brake pedal or the interlock solenoid at the shifter is being effected by the cold.


If you are depressing the brake pedal and the lever does come out of park then it’s the solenoid on the brake pedal or the brake light switch that mounts onto the solenoid.

In a pinch there is often a manual bypass for this (I don’t know about this car in particular). Look around on the console around the shifter for a little hole. It might have a little plastic insert that needs to be popped out, so look carefully. Then just take something reasonably long and skinny enough and stick it down in the hole - you will then basically be manually pushing the solenoid.

I used to like living there. I changed my mind. I will let the healthy people rule the area. Joe, the Suzuki 380 guy was right about the county being different than the Augusta area. Research done in 73 thru 75. The Summer is dry here too.

There is no need to search for the manual overrride for the shift lock. The manual override that cigroller is talking about is described in detail in the Owner’s Manual.

Once again, the Owner’s Manual can come to the rescue of the car owner who will make the effort to use this book that sits–unused and unread–in the glove compartment.