Question about 1992 Honda Civic

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Gear shifter lock and car wont start

Car locking in park only can unlock it when i put key in by the gear shifter

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  • Anonymous Apr 04, 2009

    I have/had the same problem with my 1998

  • Anonymous Apr 04, 2009

    I have/had the same problem with my 1998 Civic EX sedan. Either one of the solenoids/switches located in the circuit are bad, or - worst case scenario - your computer has got problem$. There are 3 potential electical parts that could have gone bad. After starting the engine, in order to get the car out of park, 1)The ignition key must be in the Run position [you'll hear this solenoid click in the steering column when you turn the key and are about ready to start the engine]; 2) Your foot must be on the brake pedal [you should be able to hear a solenoid click by the gear selector]; and 3)The button for the gear selector on the left side of the handle must be depressed. The brake pedal switch (#2 above) is a snap. If your brake lights come on when you depress the brake pedal, then it's likely not the brake pedal switch [but you can use a voltmeter/ohm-meter to make sure your brake switch is good]. Remove the plastic casing around the gear shifter. If both the brake switch and the ignition solenoid switch are good, then you should be able to see the solenoid engage on the left (driver) side of the gear shifter when you put your foot on the brake AND turn the ignition key to the RUN position. If there is no movement from this solenoid, you can depress the plastic plastic piece that the car key would touch when inserted in the Manual Override slot on top of the gear selector console case and you'll then be able to see the plastic mechanics in action - it basically reinacts the same action of the solenoid next to the shifter, acting as an override. If the solenoid works (engages outward) when energized, then it's simply not getting electricity like it should and it is likely the solenoid on the steering column. If that's the case, then remove the solenoid from the steering column and test it. It should fail. I have listed all of these steps in BOTH the easiest-to-test order, and order of least expense to replace. This repair with a new part will cost you an afternoon and less than $75. If everything tests good, then it's probably going to be a problem with your computer - which might be the case if the car IS HAVING problems starting. Good Luck!

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  • Master
  • 1,586 Answers

Try removing the trim around the selector and see what is jamming it - there's usually a brake interlock that keeps the car in Park until the brake pedal is held down (this activates a switch on the brake pedal arm, which disengages the lock). The way I see it, you either have a faulty brake pedal switch, or the lock itself is jammed. Look in there and see if it's something that shouldn't be there - if the shifter is being held in place by a device that is part of the car, chances are the brake pedal interlock switch failed. If you have a pretzel or something in there, well, there's your solution:)

Posted on Aug 29, 2008

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What causes my gear shift to lock in park


Manufacturers have designed the shifters to lock in the Park position. This is to prevent children from accidentally moving the shifter out of Park if they are playing behind the wheel (as they should not be of course). The ignition must be in the ON position, with the brake pedal pressed, to release the shifter from PARK. If there is a malfunction, most cars have a bypass release button hidden near the shifter. Check your owners manual for details if needed.

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