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shift lever stuck in park- causes?

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Old 12-04-08, 05:24 PM   #1
QCPete
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Default shift lever stuck in park- causes?

2002 Rx300. 133,000 miles. No problems until now.
I parked in a mall parking lot and upon getting ready to leave, the transmission selection lever was frozen in the "park" position. I did follow the manual and was able to drive the car, but it has done this a 3rd time. Someone said that it may be a safety fuse. I did change the stop light fuse- but it looked ok, so that isn't it.
(The lever stuck once more after the fuse change)

Car seems fine in all other respects.

Does anyone have any knowledge about what else may cause this issue?
Am I looking at "big bucks?" Thanks for any help.
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Old 12-04-08, 06:42 PM   #2
carguy07
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There is a solenoid that releases the lever. It could be going bad, but before looking at that make sure that your brake light switch is working. See if the lights are coming on or if they don't come on when you have the problem.
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Old 12-04-08, 10:03 PM   #3
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Looking for additional clues:

How about the gear select display in the dash?

Salim
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Old 12-05-08, 01:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carguy07 View Post
There is a solenoid that releases the lever. It could be going bad, but before looking at that make sure that your brake light switch is working. See if the lights are coming on or if they don't come on when you have the problem.
Good advice- and I would be surprised if you didn't find the problem in one of those 2 areas.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:28 AM   #5
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Brake light switch failure. Do they brake lights work now? My guess is no.
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Old 12-14-08, 06:48 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the tips! It was the brake switch... Funny thing is, when we first took the RX in due to the intermittent problem, the diagnostic tests found nothing. 2 days later, ABS light went on and the car stuck in park every time I stopped. The break lights were out.
Had to wait for the part to be Fed Ex'd overnight, but the actual
repair took only a short time. Switch was $79 but labor $195.
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Old 12-14-08, 08:57 PM   #7
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I would check if the brake lights (switch) is operating, press the brake and have someone tell you if the lights are working. Do you hear a small click when you depress the brake pedal about halfway, look for the noise near the shifter.
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Old 01-12-09, 07:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. I was afraid I may need a new transmission because they've been known to have problems at a higher mileage...but it was a nice surprise to find the brake light switch was the problem.
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Old 01-03-12, 10:23 PM   #9
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sorry to bump this really old thread, but this same thing just happened to my girlfriends car. The shifter was stuck in park and when i step on the brakes, the lights dont turn on. I tried messing with it for a few minutes and and even checked around the brake pedals to see if anything was loose but everything looked normal. I tried it again and stepped on the brakes, lights turned on, then i was able to move the shifter. i went to move her car and noticed the brakes weren't turning on. i was able to park fine but after putting it back in park, the same problame happened again. Would this also be a brake switch problem? please let me know.
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Old 01-04-12, 02:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mikep415 View Post
sorry to bump this really old thread, but this same thing just happened to my girlfriends car. The shifter was stuck in park and when i step on the brakes, the lights dont turn on. I tried messing with it for a few minutes and and even checked around the brake pedals to see if anything was loose but everything looked normal. I tried it again and stepped on the brakes, lights turned on, then i was able to move the shifter. i went to move her car and noticed the brakes weren't turning on. i was able to park fine but after putting it back in park, the same problame happened again. Would this also be a brake switch problem? please let me know.
Yep, switch probably shot. Maybe double check that it's not loose and the connector is snapped together, but most likely just needs a new switch.
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Old 01-04-12, 12:55 PM   #11
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Yep, switch probably shot. Maybe double check that it's not loose and the connector is snapped together, but most likely just needs a new switch.
thanks bro!
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Old 01-26-12, 08:12 AM   #12
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WHOOOA! Check Owner's Manual. Note a small rectangular plastic insert in the upper left hand corner of your shifter area, to left and up from where the shift lever is. This is access to the lockout reset button. Carefully prise this little tab out without scratching the plastic, and press the button hidden beneath it. This may solve your problem.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtom73G View Post
WHOOOA! Check Owner's Manual. Note a small rectangular plastic insert in the upper left hand corner of your shifter area, to left and up from where the shift lever is. This is access to the lockout reset button. Carefully prise this little tab out without scratching the plastic, and press the button hidden beneath it. This may solve your problem.
Thats a work around . Solution would be to fix/replace the brake switch.

Salim
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Old 01-29-12, 06:31 PM   #14
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I found out about the lockout switch by accident, literally. My wife wrecked her ES 300, "by accident" LOL.
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Old 02-14-12, 11:25 AM   #15
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Hi I think I'm having the same problem. I have rx300 2003 with 125,000. Is replacing the brake light switch easy or is it hard. Are there any information on how to do it?
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