The shift interlock solenoid is a safety mechanism that keeps the driver from shifting out of park when the brake pedal is not pressed down. In addition to the brake pedal being pressed down, the ignition must be in the on position. The shift interlock solenoid is on all modern vehicles, and works in conjunction with the brake light switch and neutral safety switch. Over time, the solenoid is subject to damage because of wear and tear. If you suspect the shift interlock solenoid is failing, watch for the following symptom:
Vehicle will not shift out of park
If the shift interlock solenoid has gone bad, the vehicle will not shift out of park, even with your foot on the brake pedal. This is a big problem because you will not be able to drive your vehicle anywhere. If this occurs, most vehicles have a shifter release. If the shifter release button is depressed and the shifter is able to be moved, the shifter interlock solenoid is most likely the cause. If this happens, contact a professional mechanic to have your shift interlock solenoid replaced.
Battery is dead
If your vehicle is not shifting out of park, another reason it may not be working is the battery is dead. This is a simple thing you can check before you call the mechanics. If your vehicle will not start at all, no lights come on, and none of the electrical parts in your vehicle are working, chances are it’s a dead battery problem and not the shift interlock solenoid. This is important to note because it can save you a lot of time and hassle. All you have to do is jump your battery, which a mechanic can help you with. If the vehicle does not shift from park to drive after the battery has been jumped, then it is time to look at the shift interlock solenoid.
The shift interlock solenoid is an important safety feature on your vehicle. It keeps you from shifting out of park unless the vehicle is in the on position and the brake pedal is depressed. If the vehicle will not shift out of park, chances are the shift interlock solenoid has gone bad. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your shift interlock solenoid easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Shift Interlock Solenoid and was authored by Spencer Clayton.