You have to get to the bottom of the shifter, remove floor console...on the passanger side of the shifter at the bottom there is a white plastic piece move it towards the shifter, foot on brake try to move the shifter... if it works you need to change the switch....
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Most vehicles have a locking solenoid on the shifter that prevents you from moving the shifter unless the brake pedal is pressed. If the vehicle will start, but the shifter won't release when you press the brake pedal, then either the switch that activates the solenoid on the brake pedal is bad, or the solenoid itself is bad. Most vehicles also have an emergency release mechanism for the shifter that can bypass this restriction. There is usually a slot or recess that has a release button that you can insert something thin and release the shifter manually. Check your users manual for details as the method can vary from year to year and model to model.
What make vehicle ? Most all vehicles have a safety system .Don't try an force anything you'll break it ! Electronic Park Lock (EPL)/Ignition Lock Cylinder Control Actuator: If the vehicle is equipped with automatic transmission and a floor mounted console gear shift, it has an ignition lock cylinder control actuator system in the steering column. The ignition lock cylinder control actuator purpose is to prevent the ignition key from being turned to the OFF position when the transmission is in any position other than PARK and the vehicle may still be moving. The column ignition lock system consists of an ignition lock cylinder control actuator, and a park position switch that is located in the automatic transmission shift lock control switch. The ignition lock cylinder control actuator contains a pin that is spring loaded to mechanically prevent the ignition key cylinder from being turned to the lock position when the vehicle transmission is not in the PARK position. If vehicle power is lost, and/or the transmission is not in the PARK position the operator will not be able to turn the ignition key to the lock position and will not be able to remove the ignition key from the column. They also have this on column mounted shifters !
Chris: According to MyAutomaticTransmission.com: "Shifter Lever
Recognizing that you might one day find yourself in such a predicament, vehicle manufacturers incorporated a quick and easy method for manually releasing a shifter stuck in Park. Follow these 4 simple steps.
1.Set the emergency brake.
2.Locate the shifter lock override slot located on the shifter console near the shifter lever. Normally, the slot is plugged with a small plastic cap.
3.Remove the plastic cap covering the override slot and insert a key, nail file or similarly shaped object into the slot and push down.
4.While pushing down, depress the brake pedal, grab the shifter and push in the shifter lock button located on the shifter as you normally do and then move the shifter to the Neutral position. With the brake pedal still depressed, start the engine with the shifter in the Neutral position.
NOTE:If the shifter lever will still not move, repeat the process making sure to press down firmly on the locking mechanism and the brake pedal simultaneously as you attempt to move the shifter lever.
NOTE: Continuing to drive your vehicle in this condition will not cause any additional damage. You will just have to use this procedure to release the shifter each time you attempt to move the shifter out of the Park position." I hope this helps you!
-on a hill without parking brake engaged, causing vehicle to jam into park. This can be fixed by pushing the car rearward while having an assistant shift out of park-with engine off. Be careful, and be prepared to hit the brakes soon as park is disengaged.
-shifter assembly locked in park. Look in owner's manual for park release button. Chances are the shifter assy needs replacing.
-linkage disconnected or shifter cable binding or broken.
these have a safety system so the shifter won`t go into any gear unless the brake is pushed(indicating someone sitting in the drivers seat),if the brake lights aren`t working this indicates that the fuse that operates the shift lock solenoid and brake lights is not working and needs replacing.check the fuses and replace the fuse and things will probably return to normal.
It has a brake-transaxle shift interlock. You should just push the brake in to shift, but if you have done that, and it still won't shift, with foot on the brake, push the shifter all the way into park. Sometimes they don't always go into park all the way. Also if you park on a hill, it puts pressure on the btsi, so you cant shift it. Have someone push the vehicle back, just enough to take the pressure off and it should shift. I had this happen to me with my Grand Am.
Auto Recall Date:AUG 06, 1998
Vehicle Component: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:PARK/NEUTRAL START SWITCH
Estimated Vehicles Affected:685000
1998 Plymouth Breeze Defect Summary:VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS. THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE CABLE CONNECTING THE CONSOLE SHIFTER MECHANISM TO THE IGNITION KEY CAN CAUSE A TRAPPED KEY CONDITION WHICH CAN RESULT IN A LOW FORCE REQUIRED TO DEPRESS THE SHIFT BUTTON. A COMBINATION OF APPLYING A MIS-ADJUSTED RELEASE BUTTON WITH A LOW FORCE ATTEMPT TO SHIFT OUT OF PARK WITH THE KEY IN THE LOCKED POSITION, CAN BREAK THE Sounds Sounds like a recall to me: BTW Have you checked for any recalls? You have alot on this vehicle.CONNECTING PIN IN THE SHIFTER.Defect Consequence:IF THIS HAPPENS, THE "IGNITION-PARK" INTERLOCK SYSTEM WILL BE NONFUNCTIONAL.
Remedy:DEALERS WILL INSPECT FOR PROPER OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM. ANY VEHICLES THAT ARE NOT FUNCTIONAL AFTER THE INSPECTION WILL HAVE THE SHIFT MECHANISM AND CABLE REPLACED WITH A "SELF-ADJUSTING" DESIGN.