Question about 2008 Dodge Avenger

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I started the car and it I can't get it out of park. The parking brake is not on. I pressed the brake obviously before trying to put it into gear. Everything else seems fine. Suggestions??

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Yes, stick with a manual transmission. But often with newer automatics there is a release button under a little cover on the side of the console. When you get stuck in Park you get the car towed to a Dodge dealer, they open the little cover, push the button, send you on your way, and send Dodge a warranty bill for $50.00. You are only out the tow fee, some time and of course some aggravation that they would not tell you that over the phone.

Posted on Oct 01, 2010

  • dmunson85 Oct 01, 2010

    Thanks. I actually found out about that little button in the manual. Still didn't work. Called to have it towed to dealership. Called the dealership and GUESS WHAT????? There was a recall put out by Dodge recently for this exact problem.........

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My rodeo wont come out of park when the ignition is on but as soon as you turn the ignition off you can shift from park to any gear


Cars have a locking solenoid that prevents the vehicle from being shifted out of Park when the engine is running if the brake pedal is not pressed. This is to prevent accidental shifting into gear by children left in running cars, or people leaning over the shifter to get to the glove box, etc. Sounds like the solenoid is not being deactivated when the brake pedal is pressed. There is usually a manual release button in case this feature fails, but the button may be inconvenient to access. You could try putting the car in Neutral before trying to start it, since most cars will start in either the Park or Neutral position. This will allow you to use the vehicle until you can diagnose and make repairs.

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Can't shift out of park because I've parked on a slight hill and my car has backed up slightly jaming the parking pawl in the automatic transmission after I have shifted into park but before I have set the parking brake. This is a complaint that Ford owners have had for years. Try this proceedure to see if this solves you problem and best of all it's Free. 1st when you park develop the habit of; while still having the foot brake down apply the park brake firmly first and then shift into park and then release the foot brake. Remember it is important to apply park brake with enough force to prevent the vehicle from rolling. What happens is in the rear of an automatic transmission there is a coarse gear that has a lever that engages this larger gear and when you shift into park range this lever goes into one of the spaces in the larger gear and stops the car from rolling. If the car starts to roll it can Jam the lever against the gear and make it difficult to shift out of park. By using the procedure I've outlined it prevents the lever OR Pawl from being jambed into the larger park gear. Try to make this a habit and you shouldn't have anymore problems.

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There's a lockout that will only let you put it in gear when you press the brake pedal.

Start the car, step on the brake (hard) without touching the shifter, then try to put it in gear. If it still won't let you out of park, then the brake sensor switch is broken. It's a simple switch, available at any basic auto parts store (PepBoys/Checker/Autozone) but it's a pain in the neck to replace.


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This is a common safety feature on most newer vehicles(90 and above). There are some older Toyota cars you can hear the safety lock click at the shifter when you press the brake.

Its there for obvious reasons, but the best is so that a child cannot put a a parked vehicle in gear by accident...and weve all seen people leave the car running before..and leave a kid in there.

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To get the car out of park you have to put the shifter right in between neutral and drive and as soon as the car starts put it in drive. Keep your foot on the brake obviously. You can go to Reversve once you get the car started and in DRive.

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There is a modified Park pawl kit that can help fix this. also try pull on the park brake before putting the car in park then releasing foot brake

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Chances are you're parked on a hill. You need someone to push on the car to take the pressure off the parking pin in the transmission. The other possible problem is there is a solenoid the won't release the gear shifter until the brake pedal is depressed. If you are pushing the brake pedal before trying the gear shift there is a malfunction in this system. This is not as easy to fix. If you aren't mechanically inclined I recomend taking that to a mechanic. If you are so inclined let me know and I can help guide you thru the steps.

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