CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Shifter hard to move out of Park

97 Honda Civic. Shifter hard to move in and out of park only. Removed all interior items and cleaned but no help. Can anyone help?



Linkage appears to go directly into trans with no lubrication opportunities.



thanks!

There is an override mechanism that will allow you to move the shift lever fairly easily. It is a small slot on the center console into which you can push either your ignition key or a screwdriver blade. In some cars, it is covered with a removeable plastic plug.

Push the appropriate object into the slot while simultaneously moving the shift lever. Details are in your Owner’s Manual.

However, if you are having this problem it is not a lubrication problem, and the reason likely is the shift interlock solenoid that is activated by pressing on the brake pedal. If your brake lights are not working, this is a pretty firm indication of where the problem lies.