Subaru no crank no start after shift lock bypass

2011, Subaru Legacy, 2.5, 120xxx
Random day the car wouldn’t shift out of park, but WOULD start. I pressed the shift lock bypass next to/under the shifter. It did not release and still wouldn’t/won’t shift out of park. Now it also won’t start at all either. There is no clicking, cranking, nothing. I replaced the brake light switch which seemingly did nothing. The battery is fully charged. I desperately need help.

Is the vehicle on a slope/hill??
With the key off, will the shifter move using the shift lock bypass???

You may have two different problems. The no-crank might be caused by a faulty/miscalibrated neutral safety switch; the reason it won’t shift out of park could be a problem the brake interlock system . That’s supposed to prevent shifting out of park unless brake pedal is pressed. You are pressing the brake pedal, right? The brake light switch is part of that system, but probably not the only part. When you press on the brake pedal, do the brake lights turn on?

Think he covered the shift lock part…

If on a hill, could be to much pressure on the parking paw and while trying to move the shifter may have it out of the Neutral safety switch range… Since it started before but once he messed with the shift lock now it will not start either…

The car is not on a slope, but it is jacked up so I can get under the car. Would that cause a problem? It’s been up on jacks for awhile and hasn’t had a problem starting. It would not move out of park using the shift bypass. The shift bypass, seemingly, did nothing but somehow disable the engine.

I am pressing the brakes when trying to start. The dash lights come on like normal but the engine doesn’t crank click or start. The brake lights do come on when pressing the pedal. What I did notice is when I jumped in the car the day I found the shifter stuck, the brake pedal was very firm and had no give at all. Even after starting the car the brake pressure didn’t seem to normalize
I can check the continuity for the neutral safety switch. It visually appears normal and indicates it’s in park. Is there a safety lockout that disables the engine if the neutral safety switch is not working properly but you try to use the shift lock bypass?

Probably a dead battery


No experience w/your specific car, but the neutral safety switch function objective is to prevent the engine from cranking with the key in “start” unless shifter is in P or N — i.e. you don’t hear that rrr rrrr rrrr sound like you normally would. I doubt it would prevent the engine from running normally, if you could somehow get it started without needing any cranking. Not sure if the shift-lock bypass is intertwined with the neutral safety switch function, may vary car to car, but doesn’t seem like there’s much reason for the car’s designers to link the two functions.

My preferred initial test for a fails-to -crank is to measure the voltages at the two starter motor input connectors with the key in “start”. Probe between the connector and the starter case. Both should measure at least 10.5 volts. I suspect on yours, the “B” (thicker wire) will pass, but the “s” (thinner wire) won’t.

hmmm … so it was cranking and starting ok, no problem to shift out of P, when the car was on jackstands for some time, then for no apparent reason this problem began? Here’s a couple of guesses, presuming the battery tests good

  • Grounding problem. The engine isn’t making a good ground connection to the battery ground.

  • Computer damaged or corrupted by electrical glitch when fiddling with the wiring harness, or by jump-starting. You could try resetting the computer by disconnecting the battery and leaving it that way for several hours, then re-connecting. Be aware disconnecting the battery can cause other unwanted problems.