Question about 1996 Suzuki Esteem

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I cannot get my gear shift (automatic) on my 1996 suzuki esteem glx to shift from park to neutral... it won't leave park.I am trying to tow it behind another vehicle but for some reason my gear shift won't leave park now. It never had this problem before... I consulted a mechanic who explained there should be some sort of a reset button. I can't locate the button and I don't have an owner's manual, and am unable to find a copy of it online either.

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  • meganparrish Oct 01, 2009

    Good evening. Thank you for your reply on my gear shifting problem for my 1996 Suzuki Esteem (automatic). I did locate an oval plastic piece, although it is located on the side of the wall to the center console just below the gear shifter. I can't, however, seem to find the darn button... If you could help me some more, that would be wonderful.
    Thanks again!

  • meganparrish Oct 01, 2009

    Okay... well I just tried to shift it again, since i still haven't located any button near the gear shifter and surprisingly it shifted! I don't know if it resolved itself, or if having a few new parts put on the car helped it... such as a starter, battery and battery cables. I greatly appreciated the advice.
    Thanks anyway!!

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There should be a piece of plastic right near the shifter, you might have to get a little pick or something to pop it out, generaly it is oval shaped. Under that there is a little button you can push to release it. If that doesn"t work feel free to let me know and i will be happy to research it for you in the morning once at my shop. swiftautorepairs.com

Posted on Oct 01, 2009

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1 Answer

I have a Suzuki Jimmy manual 4x4 year 2002 can I flat tow it on a Aframe behind a motorhome


welcome to USA forum
the country with not ONE< JIMNY,
but i can answer
there are 4 ways to tow this is but 1.
backwards towing is best way or drop rear drive shaft (ask)
flat tow 101:
the Jimny is SJ413 here,called Samurai.
the transfer case sets this rule (most rear device)
that rules is dont flat tow it, more that 200 miles
the rear bearing has no lube actions towed
here is the near same transmissions.

and rules (of xfr case)
ill quote my 2001 Vitara, (same setup.)

Follow these steps:
1. Set the parking brake.
2. Shift your automatic transmission into PARK (P), or
your manual transmission to SECOND (2).
3. With the ignition key in the ON position, move the
transfer case to NEUTRAL and make sure the 4WD
light on the instrument panel cluster is off. See
"Four-Wheel Drive" in the Index.
4. Turn the ignition key to ACC to unlock the
steering wheel.
5. Release the parking brake
If you tow your four-wheel-drive vehicle from
the front, make sure to move the transfer case
into NEUTRAL or your vehicle could be badly
damaged and the damage would not be covered
by your warranty.
Stop towing every 200 miles (300 km) and start the
engine. Leave the transfer case shift lever in
NEUTRAL. Shift your automatic transmission to
DRIVE (D); leave a manual transmission in
SECOND (2) with the clutch engaged. Run the engine at
medium speed for one minute to circulate oil in the
transfer case. Turn the ignition key to ACC. Now, you
can continue towing your vehicle.
The front wheels transmit shocks during towing.
The steering column may not be strong enough to
withstand the shocks. Always unlock the steering
wheel before towing.
Make sure that the towing speed does not
exceed 50 mph (80 km/h), or your vehicle could
be badly damaged
end direct quote operators guide .....
got that?

not how the 5speed box is in 2nd.
this is to keep it from spinning, and its rear bearing damaged.
there are 2 bearings to worry the rear 5sp and rear transfer case.

on ours, we use an electric oil'er pump added to transfer case.
unlimited tow. (wires power feed from RV via coupler.)
or the drives shaft decoupling device, (not cheap)
or we drop the rear, of prop shaft, and tie up the rear up high
so it cant drop nor let it fall of rear of transfer cases
we use bunji cords, for up,
and then pull the front,
if the prop shaft falls out, you will lose GL4 gear lube out rear
of the transfer case. it falls out so very easy, off that spine.
there are all ways flat,
done them all.,

Mar 04, 2017 | Suzuki Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

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If the Pathfinder is a manual trans. Your clutch safety switch needs to be adjusted. if it is automatic, then neutral safety switch is the problem. Try shifting from Park to Neutral position on the gear selector and try starting. Check for low voltage at the starter solenoid (small Black Wire with White stripe ) You have to unbolt the right motor mount and jack the engine up to remove the starter. test so that starter is last resort. Hit me up at joestanton80@yahoo.com and I can tell you how to test the starter.

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1 Answer

Can i tow a suzuki vitara xl7 behind an rv?


Your truck can be flat towed. By placing your transfer case in neutral you completely sever the link between the engine/ transmission and the driveshafts to the axles. The transmission could be left in gear (manual) or in the case of an automatic, park and it wouldn't make a difference. Please be advised to place the transfer case into 2wd or 4wd BEFORE unhooking towed vehicle as the vehicle will start to roll if on an incline. I would apply the emergency brake as well but I wouldn't use it as a first thing to do just in case it's out of adjustment and won't hold vehicle in transfer case neutral.

As far as things still moving would be the following, rear axle and driveshaft and front axle and half shafts. Before towing if towing for long distances maybe have the trucks bearings, U joints and seals checked.

Be safe!

Oct 07, 2015 | Suzuki Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

I own a1998 Suzuki esteem. I placed the car in park but the car continued rolling while gear was in park. Turned car off. Now car will not engage and gear won't move out of park


I would make sure your shifter cable is intact and the transmission is actually in park. The safety switch is located on the transmission and if the shift cable is not moving the shift linkage all of the way into park the car will still roll, and will not start in gear.

Aug 22, 2015 | Suzuki Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My 1993 subaru loyale just won't start sometimes. usually happens when parked on flat surface. automatic gears won't shift. wheel seems to lock then unlock. when i push the gear release...shift lever will...


Age of vehicle would suggest excess play in the selector shaft. Adjust to remove "slop"
Wear in the Safety override Ignition start solenoid for Park/Neutral.
Chafed wiring to the Start circuit from the above.
Faulty Brake light switch.
Best of luck.
Regards, DT

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1 Answer

I keep getting conflicting answers. We're getting ready to buy a 2007 or 2008 Jeep Compass. Can both the 2WD and 4WD be towed behind an RV, with 4 wheels on the ground?


  • You can tow any front wheel drive manual transmission vehicle as far as you want and as long as you want. As an added precaution, you might want to consider a lube pump or axle lock to ensure that no transmission damage will occur.
  • Most 4WD vehicles with a manual transmission, manual transfer case and manual lock out hubs can be towed on all four wheels safely with no problems.
  • If your 4WD has no manual lockout hubs and/or no manual transfer case, then you will need a coupling device on the rear drive shaft to tow it safely
  • Before moving the towed vehicle, check the following: transmission fluid level is full, release the parking brake, start the engine, shift the transmission from Park to Drive, shift from Drive to Neutral, turn off the engine, leave the key in the Accessory (I) position, make sure the radio and all accessories are turned off.

    The steering system can be damaged if the steering wheel is locked. Always leave the key in the Accessory (I) Position to prevent damage to the steering system when towing behind another vehicle.

    Some recommend starting the engine and shifting the automatic transmission (if so equipped) through the gears approximately every 500 miles and shifting from Drive to Neutral before shutting off the engine.

    Safe towing of a vehicle with four wheels on the ground behind a motorhome can only be done with a supplemental braking system including a break-away feature.

    SEVERE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION DAMAGE WILL OCCUR IF THE CAR IS SHIFTED FROM REVERSE TO NEUTRAL AND THEN TOWED WITH THE DRIVE WHEELS ON THE GROUND.

    You can avoid certain kinds of handling problems by making sure that your vehicle is towed with the tow bar as close to horizontal (parallel to the ground) as possible. This prevents your vehicle from "riding up" or "running under" the back of your coach during hard stops. It also avoids excessive stress on both the hitch receiver and your vehicle's mounting brackets.

    Most newer vehicles will not add miles to the odometer while they are being towed. Such vehicles have an electronic odometer which will work only if the key is in the "on" position. If your vehicle is an older model and does not have an electronic odometer, you will need to have a Speedometer Disconnect to keep miles from adding up on your towed vehicle.

    Never ever back up with a vehicle attached to your coach with a tow bar. Backing up is the most common way of damaging your tow bar or towed vehicle.

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1 Answer

Can I flat-tow a new 2010 Suzuki Sierra Jimny 4WD ( i.e.on an A-Bar behind a motor home). Will flat-towing effect my new-car warranty? How do I set up the gears and transfer case for flat-towing? Thanks...


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3 Answers

I CAN NOT SHIFT THR TRANS INTO NUTRAL SO I CAN TOW IT BEHIND MY MOTOR HOME. IT WILL SHIFT INTO 2H, 4H, 4L


Shifting to NEUTRAL
To shift the transfer case to NEUTRAL, first make sure
the vehicle is parked so that it will not roll:
1. Set the parking brake.
2. Start the vehicle.
3. Connect the vehicle to the towing vehicle.
4. Put the transmission in NEUTRAL (N) or have
the clutch pedal pressed for vehicles with
manual transmission.
5. Shift the transfer case to 2HI.
6. Simultaneously press and hold the 2HI and
4LO buttons for 10 seconds. The red NEUTRAL
light will come on when the transfer case shift to
NEUTRAL is complete.
7. Shift the transmission to REVERSE (R) for one
second, then shift the transmission to DRIVE (D)
for one second or FIRST (1) for vehicles with
manual transmission.
8. Turn the ignition to OFF.
9. Place the transmission shift lever in PARK (P) or
FIRST (1) for vehicles with manual transmission.
10. Release the parking brake prior to towing.

************************

Shifting Out of NEUTRAL
To shift out of NEUTRAL:
1. Set the parking brake and apply the regular
brake pedal.
2. Start the vehicle with the transmission in PARK (P)
or FIRST (1) for vehicles with manual transmission.
3. Press the button for the desired transfer case position
(2HI, 4HI, AUTO 4WD or 4LO).
4. Put the transmission in NEUTRAL (N) or press the
clutch pedal for vehicles with manual transmission.
5. Shift the transmission lever to the desired position.
After the transfer case has shifted out of NEUTRAL,
the red light will go out.
6. A re-engagement sound is normal when shifting out
of NEUTRAL.

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1 Answer

1996 ford aspire. replaced battery and car is locked in park.


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3 Answers

Automatic transmission problem


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