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wont shift out of park

- Chevrolet-1500 PickupPage 1Page 2Page 3

This forum post has messages dated from 01/27/09 through 06/20/13, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

Forum Post
01/27/09 21:45

wont shift out of park

I have a 1995 GMC Sierra 1500. Automatic 4x4..

I am unable to shift out of park unless i lift the back wheels clear the ground. I have unhooked the linkage from the shifting lever... i have tried to to shift with the key ahead but motor not started. Once i does shift i can go though all the gears with ease. Can it be something internal that would stop it from working. I have also unhooked the linkage to the brake safety switch on the colunm. That was unhooked for about 2 months now so i know its not that. This has been an ongoing problem that has gotten worse. The only thing that works consitanly is to jack the back wheels clear.

02/18/09 13:43

Hey I have a 1994 Chevrolet Pickup 1500. I had a similar problem. When in Park I couldn't get it out of park. No matter hom much force i would use to change into reverse , N, D or whatever...

My problem was i was not using the parking brake when parking on an incline, it doesn't matter how high the incline if the truck sits in park the weight of the truck is resting on the transmission gear, so you cant change gears unless you you remove the pressure of the trucks weight...

Therefore engaging the parking brake before you release the brake when parking the truck. This won't allow the truck to roll back and put any pressure on the transmission.

Another issue is what if you are not parking on an incline, I had the same problem also well if you are parking on a level ground put you are resting both front wheels on the curb of the parking spot and when you put the truck in park and release the brake the weight of the truck tries to push off the crub then it puts backwards pressure on the tranny causing the same issue as if you were parked on an incline...

Hope the fix to your problem is this simple... it worked for me and have never had the problem unless i forget to use my parking brake!!

Good Luck..

04/17/09 22:57
Mark Passmore

I have a 2006 v-6 4x4 chevy 4 door. I pulled up in a parking place to far, and couldn't get my pick up to go into reverse.On the gear indicator the line does not match up with what gear the pick up is in. What can I do?
04/25/09 16:23

I have a 1995 chevy astro van and the transmission seams not to shift or go into second gear or if you floor it does not drop into passing gear.
05/14/09 05:00

I am having the same problem right now... I'm not understanding it. I go out one morning jump in pull her in reverse and away I go... if it warms up outside or the engine warms up real fast when I put it in park turn her off go inside and come out and start it up... it will not come out of park! Sometimes I can trick it by turning the power off to the CD player and turning off any a/c or heat that is going... but I don't know what it is. I have to do a long drive 16 hrs in a few days moving for work and all... I am just wondering if this is something that I can avoid for now if there's a trick! It runs great except that one thing! Any ideas or help?
05/16/09 22:02

I'm having problem shifting out of park, In the end of this winter it started getting stuck so i had to wait for it it warm up realy good, Then I could shift out of park now it won't shift at all what do I need to do replace the shifter cable any solutions would realy help thank you.
06/30/09 16:58

I had to replace my brake sensor on side of pedal, and now my truck won't reconize the brake is depressed to release safety on sifter to allow me to shift out of park. Any ideas on what to check or at least how to bypass so I can get truck to mechanic?
07/07/09 16:23

I recently had the same problem. I own a 98 Chevy 1500 and had been having trouble every now and then with shifting from park. It didnt happen to often so I really wasnt too concerned with it. I ended up having to replace the brake booster and after putting the truck back together including the brake pedal and switch, I found that I could no longer shift from park at all! I did some research and found that the brake light switch has alot to do with being able to shift from park since the sensor sends a signal telling the system that the brake pedal is being pressed and to allow you to shift from park. The sensor ended up costing $7.99 and now the truck shifts almost effortlessly! I decided to start with the cheapest possible fix first and if that didnt work I would have moved on to more expensive parts or a shop! Who wants to bet that a shop would have probably wanted to sell me a whole new transmission! Just saying that it pays to do alittle research and always start from the easiest smallest possible fix first! Hope this might be able to help someone!
07/31/09 23:27

Rudy - Reply #7 You are right on about the brake light (stop light) switch! I had just replaced mine because the brake lights were not coming on all of the time. After driving it a few days I could not get the truck out of Park! Your advice led me to take another look at my new switch. Found that it had slipped off the bolt that it attatches to and to the rod that passes thru the firewall and connects to the booster. Wow! I put two big tywraps on that joker so it will not happen again! Thanks for the tip. Jeff
08/07/09 20:34

I'm having the shift issue also. I'm planning to change the

switch but for now when it acts up I will turn the key forward

1 click then shift to netural, & then start the truck.

09/02/09 23:16

I have a Chevrolet K1500 and just recently it started making a sucking noise when i depress the brake pedal from inside the cab like maybe it is loosing vacuum through the diaphram not sure how the system works as i am a heavy truck tech and do not work on hyd brakes very much thinking maybe the booster is bad but it also costs 125 bucks and dont want to replace it for nothing any help would be appreciated are their any servicable parts inside the booster that would let the vacuum leak off while pressing the pedal
12/28/09 08:24

We have a 2002 Chev TrackeR automatic transmission with 4 Wheel Drive.

After traveling in 4WD L postion in the snow, my wife pulled it in the garge, put it in park, and shut off the car in the garage. (4WD-L position is good for less than 35mph speeds)

We now cannot get it out of park.

Started it and warmed up the engine and it is stuck in P for park.

We can shift it out of 4WD but until it travels back in reverse a few feet it does not disengage.

But we can't shift it out of PARK at all.

Any ideas we need help.

She has to have her car for work and cannot afford another one.

12/28/09 08:26

Sorry we forgot our email address.

We have a 2002 Chev Tracker, with automatic transmission and with 4 Wheel Drive you can shift into with separate shifter.

After traveling in 4WD L postion in the snow, my wife pulled it in the garge, put it in park, and shut off the car in the garage. (4WD-L position is good for less than 35mph speeds)

We now cannot get it out of park.

Started it and warmed up the engine and it is stuck in P for park.

We can shift it out of 4WD but until it travels back in reverse a few feet it does not disengage.

But we can't shift it out of PARK at all.

Any ideas we need help.

She has to have her car for work and cannot afford another one.

01/26/10 19:40

I have a 2003 Trailblazer and I can get it to start but can not get it to come out of park any ideas I could us the HELP
03/13/10 08:38

There is a small cable attached to the ignition switch that unblocks the gear shift. When this cable gets loose or broken it does not unblock the gear shift, causing it to get stuck.
03/15/10 16:23

I bought a sed 1998 cHEVY sILverado 1500 4x4 Z-71, and it worked fine, but now it doesnt change gears until I try it for a very long time, what should i do.
04/04/10 23:31

Hey there I have the EXACT same problem with my 98 GMC not being able to get out of park. Ive racked my brain over what could have happened in these past fews days to make that happen because Ive done alot of new things to it , because it is my husbands truck and he is away in Iraq right now to surprise him with when he comes home this month. But needles to say I googled this problem and found the solution. I myself just replaced my break light switch. Now I knew exactly where the problem was. I had it fixed again and now have NO problems. Just want to say thank you RUDY and JEFF.
04/08/10 15:45

I have a 1995 Chevrolet 1500 Silverado, want shift out of park the shifter will release and go all the way down but it still shows to be in park. I can change gear with the level on the transmission itself.
04/13/10 22:39

How do I get to the linkage where the brake booster connects to the brake pedal.
04/18/10 16:06
J.R. Green

1993 Chevy 1500 pick-up: Have just installed a 350 engine with 350 Turbo. When I re-installed the shift linkage, Park was reverse, Reverse is O'Drive, Neutral is Neutral, and it will not go into D-2-1. I have re-adjusted it several times to no avail. What in the cat-hair is going on?
05/23/10 13:11

I have a 1999 silverado that wont shift out of park...the shifter will move and go all the way down and i can see the cable moving under the driver side carpet...any tips?
06/03/10 10:44

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac and I was having problems with the brake lights staying when stepping on the brake pedal. I figure out that it was the brake pedal switch so I replaced it now the brake lights come on right away but it won't shift into gear. If I reach down and move the switch a little while pulling on the gear shifter it will release. Is there an adjustment for this switch or did I do something wrong when putting the new one in.
06/20/10 12:32

i have a 98 chevy 1500 that was stickin in park it would take a little force everytime but it finely broke something in the linkage i don't know this piece is call its on the side of the steering column any info on what its called or where i could find this part would be greatly appreciated
07/14/10 02:30


Had the same problem on my 96 GMC Suburban. I tried to muscle the gear shift and broke the “Steering column linear shift bracket”

Mine had a casting number which a dealer can convert into a part number. Try finding the number on the broken piece and calling a dealer. Mine cost $46.

I still can’t shift out of Park. I replaced the brake stop switch on the top of the brake pedal.

I also jacked the rear end up to get the wheels off the ground since my trucks facing up on an incline driveway. It worked at first but when I lowered it back down I couldn’t get it out of Park. I tried again and again…the whole process…nothing.

Did you fix your problem?....I’m still looking for ideas.

07/21/10 18:26

# 16 Crystal, glad you were able to fix the problem on the 98 GMC! Hope your husband made it home safe from Iraq!!! HOOAH!!!! As for my 98 Chevy, it's been a year and it's still shifting effortlessly! #18 Michael, it wasn't easy to get to that linkage at all! I destroyed that retainer clip while removing it, but i'd buy some new ones anyway. I actually had to get my 18 year old to pretty much work upside down under there! Wasn't easy! Hope my advice continues helping you GM fans out there!
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    Chevrolet 1500 Pickup 'wont shift out of park'