Question about 2004 Volkswagen Jetta

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Cannot shift the car into park neutral or reverse.

Cannot get car into park and key will not come out

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  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith May 11, 2010

    you won't be able to get the key out until it is in park. does there appear to be anything preventing you from putting it in park ?.... perhaps try putting your foot on the brake before you put it in park (if you haven't already)

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  • Volkswagen Master
  • 420 Answers

I had a car do this once and the problem was simple, the gear shift rod had loosened and shifted position. Check the rod at the transmission and on the shifter.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Could be the shift lock solenoid, or the brake switch.
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The key lock doesn't lock it in whatever gear it happens to be in - it only locks it in Park. If it's in Reverse now, you should be able to shift it to any other gear, including Park. THEN it'll lock. If you shift it to Neutral now, it'll start there.

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With a partner and engine off but key in on (not start) position: Have them shift from Park to Low one gear at a time, while you watch the shift linkage located on top of the transmission. Sounds like the shift cable is loose. IF SO: Place Shift Lever in Park. Loosen the the cable adjustment screw. Move the shift rod (going into the transmission) towards the front of the vehicle until in Park. Tighten the cable adjustment screw to 100 in-lbs. Check Park/Neutral starting only.

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Is there any warning lights or malfunction besides this?? There are three main parts that may cause this: Park/Neutral safety switch(located on the transmission), Brake pedal switch(located at the brake pedal), Shift lock solenoid(located below the shifter). P/N safety switch prevents the shifter from shifting out of (P) or shifting into (R/P) while vehicle is in motion. Brake pedal switch sends a signal to release the shifter lock to shift out of park. Shift lock, locks the shifter as describe above and is located at the shifter base. I recommend inspection/replacement of the shift lock solenoid and P/N safety switch as its an intermitted problem. Hopefully this helps

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it sounds like your gearshift cable is broken..if you can jack up vehicle and support it safely,get someone to move shifter and look on driver's side of transmission and see if linkage is moving on trans..linkage is up near top of trans..i have seen this problem before

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shift linkage needs adjusting,,could be bent, easy fix, located along firewall to fram beneath the column, ask your son wut he ran over and didnt tell u about... hope i could help...:)

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