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I have a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback. The shift lock solenoid went bad and I ciuldnt get out if park, but it seemed to be related to the tail lights going out first. We had it replaced and then it broke again. Mechanic said it must have been faulty. It's been working for about 2 weeks now but now my tail lights are out again. There must be something else going on that is related to the lights going out first, then the shift lock solenoid blowing. Any ideas? Thanks

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  • 358 Answers

The shift lock is powered through the brake switch, which is located on the brake pedal under the dash near the firewall. In order to shift out of Park, the brake pedal must be depressed, closing the circuit to the shift solenoid AND the brake lights through the brake relay. I'd suggest replacing the brake switch.

Posted on Oct 12, 2013

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  • Christina Carter Oct 12, 2013

    That part has already been replaced twice. The brakes lights are still on right now, but the tail lights are out. I'm just bringing it up to see if anyone has had these 2 problems related in the past.

  • Stephen Bulger Oct 12, 2013

    By any chance, does your Outback have a trailer hitch/receiver and trailer wiring harness? If so, is it factory-installed or aftermarket? If you do have one, check the trailer wiring harness for chafed or exposed wires. Also, check your Tail & Illumination

  • Stephen Bulger Oct 12, 2013

    Whoops - fat fingers. ...Tail & Illumination Relay located behind a panel under and to the left of your steering wheel. There should be 4 or 5 relays stacked above one another there. The Tail Relay should be the third one counting from the top. Try switching that one with the second, and see if your brake lights go out and tail lights come on. Wish I had more to offer, but without being there, it's very difficult. Good luck.

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SOURCE: 96 subaru will not shift out of park

you probably have a fuse or circuit burned. If not the relay that commands the unlock mode when you press the brakes is gone. This is obviously a security device. You shoud get it fixed. If you still want to move your car, you can override this security by removing the plastic cap that is around the transmission shifter inside the car. It looks like a cover. It's press fit. By applying a small pressure sideways you should be able to remove it. You'll see then the base of the shifter. On the right side there should be a mechanical box with a hole. Insert a stick like a robertson screwdriver there, press down while shifting out of park. You'll be able to drive to the garage.

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