shift lock release button not working

Shift Lock Release Button Not Working – Troubleshooting Guide

In this article, we will be talking about the shift lock release button. Many people are complaining about their ‘shift lock release button not working.’ There are a few ideas we can give you to fix this problem. Usually, we recommend you check your shift interlock solenoid or your power source. If you can’t seem to find anything wrong with them, you could look for a blown fuse.

We will cover what the shift look button is, why it is not working, whether you could fix the release button, how to fix and how much it costs. Keep reading to clear your doubts and confusion.

What is the Shift Lock Release Button?

The shift lock release is a type of button you get to see in vehicles when shifting the gears. It is a button we use for releasing the shift lock when we want to change or shift gears from one lever to another.

The lock release has been coming in both automatic and manual transmissions since 2010. we are using the button for locking the gear in a certain position.

For example, think you left your car on the parking option when you’re parking the car. If you want to change the lever to drive, you have to release the lock button.

Only then can you move your vehicle’s lever? You could see this lock release button either on the side or at the top of the lever. And all you have to do is just press the button, and the lever will be released.

Why is the Shift Lock Release Button Not Working?

We could give you some possible reasons why your car shift lock release button may not be working. Don’t worry; we got you covered on this.

The interlock solenoid or release button sometimes fails when your vehicle battery is draining or when it is dead and not working at all. The reason it’s not working is due to the power not flowing to the solenoid.

When the solenoid is damaged or malfunctioning, the shift lock won’t allow us to shift the gears because this part of the lock is very important for the shift lock to function. Another situation is when it breaks, you pretty much stuck and can’t get the vehicle out of the parking position.

The brake switch of our vehicle is responsible for signaling the shift interlock as we pedal the brakes. And suppose the switch breaks; you simply won’t be able to shift gears from the parking lever to drive.

Another pretty common reason why it wouldn’t work is because of the fuse. In case the fuse is broken, damaged, or failing. There wouldn’t be any power traveling to the release button. We are calling this a blown fuse. The shift lock won’t work with this blown-out fuse.

Another very overlocked issue is not pushing the lock completely in. When this happens, the lever will be stuck in one position, which is quite bad news.

Can you Fix the Shift Lock Release Button Yourself?

Yes, only if you know what you’re doing. We could fix the shift lock release button with a quick DIY. The first step to fixing it is finding the shift lock button. You could see it on your shifter console. We only fix a stuck shift lock release button with the DIY; the other issues require help from an expert. Follow these steps to give it a DIY fix.

  • As the first step, set the vehicle to emergency brake and put the key into the ignition.
  • Now turn on the ignition switch to ‘run’ or ‘on.’ But you don’t have to start the engine. Now find the shift lock release button, which is located at the console (shifter) by the lever. And remove the plastic cap covering the slot.
  • Now place a small screwdriver, a key, a nail file, or any such item into that slot. Push it down ad holds it while depressing the brake pedal.
  • Now hold on to the shifter and move the lever to whatever gear position you want to by pushing the release button. Now try moving the shifter to neutral and start the engine.

Can you Fix the Shift Lock Release Button Yourself

How to Fix Shift Lock Release Button Not Working?

As we have mentioned earlier, the shifter release button doesn’t work for many reasons. How to fix it depends on what exactly is wrong with the shift lock release button. Here we will discuss some changes we can make to fix when the button is beyond stuck.

  • If it is a fault in the shift lock release button, you could use a digital multimeter to check what is wrong. If you happen to identify that an open circuit is a problem, it’s time you replace the shifter’s interlock solenoid. It will cost you around $200 to replace. Or it can be a circuit replacement which will be costing you around $100 or more.
  • Sometimes, a fuse in the brake lights or any fault or damage in the brake light switch could be the cause for a stuck interlock release button. This is because it’s the brake light switch sending the signal for the interlock to release. And when it fails, the interlock is stuck. You need to replace the blown fuse or the damaged brake light switch to release the button. It will cost around $100.
  • When your car’s ignition switch is worn-out or damaged badly, the shift lock release will be stuck in the console. The reason is that the faulty ignition fails to send the signals to release and unlock the shifter. If you’re planning to fix this by replacing the ignition switch, you will be charged $200.

 How to Prevent Future Issues with the Shift Lock Release Button?

If you want to prevent issues from happening in the future, you should have the proper knowledge of how it works. Don’t spill any liquids or beverages on the shifter console, and eat anything that could get stuck inside, causing damage. You should have regular maintenance on the shifter lever and release button, including the brake light. By doing so, you could find any wear and tear much early as possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Shift Lock Release Button?

The cost depends on the reason for the fixing. Sometimes we have to pay extra for replacing parts like the fuse, the dead batter, etc. typically, we spend around $200 to $250 for the fix.

In case you happen to have a shift lock release button fixing or replacement, go to an expert for help.

It is always better than us fixing something we don’t know much about. The fixing cost can change depending on the type of vehicle and the severity of the damage, including the availability of parts.

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