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Look at the top of your brake pedal lever. You can verify a problem by looking at your brake lights when you press them. Most likely they will not light up. It is this signal which releases the shift interlock solenoid.
Often a foot will dislocate or break the switch on the brake pedal lever.
You kind of answered your own Question. If the shifter is a floor shifter and not on the column I would check the linkage there. Do you have reverse lights? And after it starts does it go into gear or is it a dead stick? I would also check to see if the shift cable on the trans is moving with someone moving the shifter. It might be the cable or module on the brake pedal. Give more info after trying these and let me know.
The shift interlock solenoid works off of the brake lamp circuit. Check your brake lights to see if they are working. If the brake lights are not working, the most likely cause would be the brake lamp switch.
Usually the brake light switch is located right there under the dash where the brake pedal is located. When you move the brake pedal (apply brakes), the lever that the brake pedal is on will contact a switch, signaling the brake light to come on. Best way to access this switch is by laying on the driver floorboard and looking up: look at the brake pedal, and when you move the brake pedal, watch for it to contact a switch a little higher up the brake pedal arm. Ever notice how when you start your car you can't shift gears until you put your foot on the brake? This same switch is also used in this case. Most of these switches are adjustable so sensitivity can be set properly. If it came loose and the brake pedal does not contact this switch or does not compress the switch's "plunger" sufficiently, the brake light switch will not be operable, hence, no brake lights, or inability to switch gears (when starting up). In other cases, the switch may be defective and will need to be replaced to remedy this situation.
t's called the shift interlock feature. It's triggered by the brake
switch so make sure the brake lights are coming on when this happens.
If the brake lights are working, then you'll have to get to the
solenoid in the console. Disassemble as much as you have to to access
the solenoid near the shifting mechanism. Us a 12v testlight to test
for power arriving at the solenoid when the brake is applied. If
power is arriving and the solenoid is not triggering, the solenoid is