2008 Sebring 3.5L - amber "malfunction" light came on yesterday while my daughter was driving. She drove home, parked the car, and got in it today and the gear shift would not budge. Checked the top, it's fine. Fluids are good. What else should I check.
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The first thing to check is whether you are parked on a steep hill or partially up a curb. Sometimes, if the weight of the car is getting pushed hard enough against the parking mechanism, it will be almost impossible to get out of park.
If this might be the problem, see if you can get someone to rock the car forward and backward while you try to get it out of park.
Had this happen to me yesterday. Remove the liner in the cup holder. There is a hole that you can stick your finger in to push the gear release lever forward. If that does not work, pull up the chrome bezel around the gear shift. there is a pink piece of plastic attached to a spring, push that down and towards the rear of the car and you should be able to shift freely until you put it in park again. Make sure the car is running and your foot is on the brake while trying either solution.
All lights are supposed to turn off when a subaru key is off right? No! There is a switch on top of the steering wheel column that will turn on lights for warning when parked. You somehow have hit that switch.
Fortunately, park is not a function of the real internal transmission workings. (like clutches, gears, bands etc) Likely your shift cable or linkage needs adjustment, or the cable may have stretched and needs replacement. Even if the problem is inside the transmission, most parking mechanisms can be serviced by just removing the pan, not the entire unit.
I assume that you have to press the brake pedal in order to shift from park (ie:safety switch) you might first check to see if you have brake lights as they should be on the same circut and operated by the same switch. If the lights dont work, check the fuses could be a simple fix. Hope this helps