1997 pontiac sunfire - locked in drive but wont move. No shift.
I was driving my car and parking into a parking space, and I could put the car into park. I threw on the emergency brake and turned off the car. When I went to turn the car back on, I removed the emergency break and even though the shifter said the car was in drive, it did not move. The car comes on, the dash lights, the radio comes on but the car doesnt start or move. The shifter can be moved easily and it doesnt change the gears at all. Any ideas on what this could be? I have to have it towed to the house but I have no money to fix it, is this even fixable.
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Could be a problem with the key lock, or something inside the transmission. You could disconnect the cable from the trans and try to manually shift it into park to find out. Make sure the wheels are blocked if you do.
Sounds like transmission is low on fluid and gears are banging together when they shift. Probably should check the level and add to fill and hope that no damage has been done. I hope that helps you figure out your problem.
The linear shift cable (Also called Park Lock Cable) is sticking. This happens a lot due to beverages getting spilled in the center console. Removing the center console and cleaning and lubricating the shift mechanism and the end of the cable usually fixes the problem. In other cases, the cable must be replaced.
You will have to have the ignition cylinder replaced in the car. The only thing that keeps that ignition from turning is a little tang on the sdie of it. The only way that tang moves is by the tumblers inside the cylinder moving it. They will have a hard time replacing it too as they can't remove the cylinder from the bore until it is in the "run" position. Obviously there are ways to get them out but it usually involves using half the tools of a good tech's toolbox. if it is towed the towtruck driver will have to use dolly wheels or remove the shifter cable at the transmission to get it to move as it will be stuck in park- unless is a standard shift.
I am sorry for the bad news. Get a second opinion from somebody that can put their hands on it , but it sounds like you have a tried all or most of the tricks.
I do not know what you are looking at in the manual, but you probably heard a horrible noise when you put it into park, as the parking pawl tries to hold the car in place. Thist usually does not harm the transaxle. If the engine won't start then something else happened, perhaps the neutral safety switch was damaged or knocked out of adjustment. You might try to move the shifter back and forth and then back into park and then try to restart. If that doesn't work try to put the car in neutral to start. If you must have the car towed somewhere the repair should not be expensive, just have them reset the neutral safety switch.