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Jdsmitty83 10-04-2019 06:18 PM

Cant shift out of park
So I have a 98 sl2 and I have been having issues with the ignition dinging after taking key out. So I cleaned it with wd40 jiggled key and the problem went away for awhile. The problem came back so I took the ignition lock cylinder out to thoroughly clean it. I had a lot of problems getting it back in. I finally did but now it wont shift out of park and still have the dinging after taking k
ey out. I'm thinking it has something to do with an interlock. I did notice a pin going into bottom of ignition that seems to be bent now and no longer actuates. Any suggestions?

focusofheart 10-04-2019 09:21 PM

Re: Cant shift out of park
I realize that you are having problems getting out of park yet may I suggest you try the simplest thing first, just as a process of elimination.

Because of the dinging sound, you might try cleaning/flushing out the ignition with CRC Electonical spray, then let it dry before trying your keys. You might have to do this twice, as was done to my ignition. Make sure your keys are also cleaned and allowed to dry.

I was told that WD40 could cause real problems because it can gum up the ignition lock according to the locksmith I recently went to for new ignition keys.

Just prior to having my new keys made and the ignition cleaned I had a small problem with getting my 98 SL2 into park, periodically, and the new keys solved that problem.

Jdsmitty83 10-07-2019 06:49 PM

Re: Cant shift out of park
Ok I tried cleaning it again, didn't realize wd40 would do that. Still cant get out of park though. Also took off center console and disconnected interlock solenoid, still no luck

focusofheart 10-07-2019 07:58 PM

Re: Cant shift out of park
I did a search, since I had no idea of the solution and found this informaton.

Go to this url and read the entire post. You may have to close out a popup to read all the text.

Please go to the posted link to read all text and see any diagrams as I only added some of the text below to the answer. I am hopeful this may help you.


[U]the question asked[/U]:
"I have a Saturn SL2 that is unable to shift out of park. I suspect the safety lock solenoid is the problem, but am not sure how to replace that. Any suggestions?"

[U]the answer[/U]:
If for some reason, brake application fails to release the shifter electronically, or if service or towing requires the car to be shifted out of park without running the engine, the system can by-passed. To by-pass the system:

Turn the ignition key to the ACC position.
Apply the regular brakes.
Shift to N (Neutral). The vehicle may now be operated normally


Disable the SIR System.
Remove console.
Disconnect connector from BTSI solenoid.
Using a screw driver, disconnect plastic retainers at solenoid base and at the park lock lever.
Remove solenoid from shifter assembly.


Install solenoid into shifter assembly. Connect plastic retainer at solenoid base and at the park lock lever.
Connect BTSI connector.
Verify operation. (Refer to "System Performance Test.").
Install console.
Enable the SIR System.

fdryer 10-07-2019 08:22 PM

Re: Cant shift out of park
[QUOTE=Jdsmitty83;2307759]Ok I tried cleaning it again, didn't realize wd40 would do that. Still cant get out of park though. Also took off center console and disconnected interlock solenoid, still no luck[/QUOTE]

Disconnecting the interlock solenoid is the same as if the ignition key wasn't in or its turned to the ON/RUN position. The solenoid isn't powered with ignition off so the default setting is to lock the shift lever.

When you turn the ignition switch to the ACC(essory) position, you can shift out of Park position without pressing the brake pedal. With ignition On and engine running, pressing the brake pedal tells the pcm it's safe to shift so the interlock is powered up and unlocks the shift lever.

If the solenoid is dead, you have to manually move the solenoid plunger to mechanically unlock the shift lever.

fetchitfido 10-08-2019 12:05 AM

Re: Cant shift out of park
Take the braided wire cable off the shifter, not just the electrical plug. Not the safest thing in the world (can shift no matter the key status) but safer than my aunts ex-landlord who thought it a good idea to take the shift cable off the shifter entirely so there was nothing but guesswork to know what gear the stupid truck was in (way unsafe because there was nothing to stop you from dropping it to L/1 or R or P while driving).

Jdsmitty83 10-13-2019 06:36 PM

Re: Cant shift out of park
Thanks for the feedback. I'm trying some of these suggestions

Jdsmitty83 10-13-2019 06:40 PM

Re: Cant shift out of park
Not sure how the braided wire comes off the shifter, any suggestions?

fetchitfido 10-13-2019 08:21 PM

Re: Cant shift out of park
No idea if it's a "destructive removal" or not but I always just pried it off.

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