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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Canít shift out of Park

í01 Suburban 2WD 49,000 miles

Wife called me in the woods this weekend and said she couldnít get the gear shifter out of park. She said she tried everything to get it out and couldnít. The truck was luckily parked in the garage which is level. I came home yesterday and it wouldnít budge. I bumped the gear shifter a few times up and pulled it to me and pushed it back with a little force a few times and all of a sudden it worked fine. I drove it to work today just to make sure and so far everything is fine. I was thinking maybe some sort of switch, like having to hit the brake to be able to shift. Has anyone run into this or have any ideas? I would hate for this to happen in a parking lot and leave her stranded. One other thing, I now notice that the steering wheel doesnít lock. I didnít pay attention to this before. What would cause the steering wheel to not lock? Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 03:43 PM
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Re: Can’t shift out of Park

well on most modern vehicle you do hve to push the brake to engage the shifter. its sa child safety deal. they are often too tiny to do both at te same time so theycant drive the vehicle awayaccidentally.
i elive the wheel lock mechanismis basically a small pin that locks the radial movement of the whell. anything small enough to be i nthe steering column is prolly small enough to break.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 06:23 PM
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Re: Canít shift out of Park

check the linkage. something might not be kosher.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 07:39 PM
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Re: Canít shift out of Park

Also, is she setting the parking brake and letting it "catch" the weight of the burb before putting it in park? This might help. Some trucks get "stuck" in park because the parking pawl in the tranny has the weight of the whole vehicle on it, mainly happened on hills. The old way to get it unstuck was to get someone to push the truck about an inch or two up hill. Also, i dont' knwo if it would be related, but remember how sometimes the ignition switch on older trucks wouldn't turn if the wheel was locked at a strange angle? like, where you turn teh wheel a little bit and it would let you turn the key? Wonder if that is related to the "must be on the brake to shift out of park" deal.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Canít shift out of Park

Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure it would be the linkage. Before it happened it never acted like it might be in a bind and now it's working again, it doesn't seem hard or trying to hang up. Something to keep an eye on though.

As far as the parking brake, the truck was sitting in the garage which is level and when it finally shifted out of park it came out of park easy with no jump or binding.

I'm starting to lean towards the brake-shift interlock(?). I've been reading up on it and it seems to be some sort of switch or selenoid. I guess it could be going bad. Not sure. I did find out that if you turn the key forward one notch you can shift out of park without pressing the brake. If it happens again I'll try this. If it works, I guess that will mean the interlock switch is bad, if not, I might need to check the linkage.

Thanks for the ideas.
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