Stuck in park

toyota
transmissions

#1

I went to drive my 97 Toyota Avalon this afternoon and it would not shift out of park. I understand it has a safety system so that the brake has to be on and the engine running to shift out of park. I’ve never had any problem before and the transmission was still operating smoothly yesterday when I brought the vehicle back from having it detailed. They had cleaned the engine compartment. It looks great. Could they have gotten water into something that led to today’s problem or is it just the age of the car and time for something like a solenoid to go haywire?


#2

These problems can often be traced to a faulty brake switch. The manufacturers want you to have your foot on the brake when you shift from P. If the switch is acting up you won’t be able to move the shifter. So here’s my guess - replace the brake switch, an inexpensive part. You may be able to do this yourself. Let us know the result.


#3

Thanks. It will be several days before I can get to it, but I’ll give that a try. I’m glad the glitch occurred in front of my house and I have alternate transportation.


#4

open the hood. check the brake fluid level. sometimes if the fluid level is too low, it wont let you get enough pressure on the brake pedal. the pressure (or lack therof) on the brake pedal is what releases (or doesn’t release) the gearshift.