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

Stuck gear shift

my 1995 Subaru Impreza sedan gear lever has a button that must be depressed fully before the lever can be moved into gear and in the mornings the button will not depress fully does anyone have a fix for this problem?

First check the switch that is activated by pushing down on the brake pedal (you’ll need to crawl under the dash & get a good look at the pedal - there’s a switch there somewhere that gets pushed).

Then you can also look for a fuse - it might actually be the brake light fuse as the switch that allows you to shift & the brake light switch are often the same.

But…the most likely problem is that there is probably a solenoid down near the shifter that is sticking because of the cold. You may need to pull the shift console apart and see if you can clean the connections and/or the solenoid.

There is also often a manual override - look for a little hole in the shift console near the shifter (it might have a small trim plug over it that you need to pop out). If you find it, stick something long & skinny down into the hole and this should manually free up the button.