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Old 07-30-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
greazer
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Default Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

On my 2002 L200, I'm experiencing the problem where when you press the brake pedal after starting the car, I cannot push the button in on the shift lever to go from park to drive. Well, at least sometimes that's the case. Sometimes it works.

I've done some investigation and found that if I turn off the car and put the key in the ACC position (as the manual indicates) then this problem NEVER happens, the button can always be depressed.

My initial reaction was that I needed to replace the BSTI solenoid, but since it always seems to work with the ACC workaround, I'm wary as to whether this is truly the problem.

I have swapped the switch that gets depressed and released by the brake pedal with the one that's right next to it (probably for brake lights?), but it didn't make any difference. So I don't think the problem is in that switch.

Thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-30-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

As near as I can recall, we can always move the shift lever with the engine OFF, confirming what you found. This doesn't need or use the BTSI/solenoid since the engine is OFF. You can thank the bozo's from yesteryear that didn't know the difference between the gas pedal and brake pedal in the Audi 5000 which then begat the engine running/shift lock safety feature as we know it today. When the engine isn't running you can move the shift lever but once the engine is running the brake pedal must be depressed to release the shift interlock solenoid. Your suspicions are correct; pull the shift cover out and look for the white plastic locking tab and push/pull it to release the shift lever otherwise replace the solenoid in the area. You can always pull the connector off and see if it won't interfere with the shifter when the engine's running.

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Old 07-31-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

Thanks for the prompt response and info! I think replacing the solenoid is likely at least the first step. However, since the solenoid always fires correctly when the engine is off, I'm really skeptical that there's a problem with it.

That being said, does anybody know what part I need? I mean if I call an auto-parts store, what would I ask for? When I called my local Schucks, they suggested Neutral Start Switch. I doubt that's what i'm looking for, since I believe that keeps the engine from starting, not shifting from park.

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Old 07-31-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greazer View Post
...... since the solenoid always fires correctly when the engine is off, I'm really skeptical that there's a problem with it....
Uhh, no its the other way around. If I'm not mistaken, try imagining this solenoid powered up when the ignition is turned OFF. The battery will drop dead overnight from this constantly powered solenoid. Some common sense would tell me that the safety interlock is only energized, to block the shifter from movement, when the engine is running and a conscious effort is required to disable the interlock by pressing the brake pedal down. So with the engine running the interlock solenoid is energized/powered up blocking the shifter untill you press the brake pedal down, disabling the solenoid power; powering it OFF allows a spring to pull the interlock tab/cam/whatchmacallit out of the way to release the shifter for free movement.

Perhaps the tab is worn and sticking or the brake pedal switch is worn/misadjusted from wear and not sending the disable signal to the body control module (BCM) that actually powers this solenoid to shut off power. The spring for the solenoid may be loose and need tightening. The only way to see this is to remove the cover to see the solenoid and plastic lever that blocks the shifter from movement when the engine's running.

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Old 08-01-2009, 02:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

Ah, thanks for the explanation. I didn't have high hopes for a reply and you've been great!

To clarify, what I did was find that *every time* I simply switch the key to the ACC position (from off), the solenoid correctly releases the shifter button. To me that implies the solenoid is working.

It's just that about 1 every 4 or 5 times I press the brake pedal after the car has been started, the shifter button won't unlock. As I mentioned I did swap the two switches that are activated by the brake pedal (one of them going directly to the solenoid) and nothing changed.

So, is it possible that the solenoid could only be flakey when the car is running and activated via the brake pedal? If so, I'll just replace it. If not, could there be any other explanation?

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BTSI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

So I took my L200 to the dealer to do the diagnosis. They came up with the need to replace my BMC module. Apparently, it's a computer module (Base Computer Module? Brake Computer Module?) that's going bad. Does that sound about right? They said it would cost me about $460 to replace, which seems steep for the problem it's fixing.

So, could I get this part and repalce it myself without too much hassle? Would it save me all that much?

Thanks!

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BTSI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

Would the BMC happen to correspond to "MODULE ASM-PWRT CONT - 2.2 liter" in a parts catalog. In English on a saturn parts website it's referred to as "Electrical, Ignition system, Control module".

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

Body Control Module (BCM), Saturn ONLY as far as programming, removal, and replacing a new bcm. Liability issues, as far as I know, prevent anyone from casually removing and replacing a new pre-programmed bcm due to the cost of one and whether or not something would damage it during installation; incorrect connections, physical, electrical, and electrostatic damage that occurs silently to destroy mishandled electronics. No one has yet bought a programmed bcm from Saturn and installed it. In my opinion, all warranties are null and void the moment this expensive bcm exchanges hands from trained and authorized Saturn technicians to less than trained/certified persons, no matter what their background. If you were to have one and installed it yourself and it doesn't work, aren't you going to demand a reason for the failure? Unless you're completely familiar with electrostatic discharge and the damage it causes to unprotected circuit boards, you risk damaging a bcm by simply handling it. You will never know if you caused the damage and the liability issue pops up immediately. To stop any questions of liability issues, Saturn simply refuses to sell any new programmed bcm's for installation by anyone other than Saturn technicians. When they make the mistake they eat the mistake, not you, and how many mistakes does anyone think Saturn can make before something is done to halt expensive mistakes?

$460 is very reasonable as earlier costs were higher by a few hundred dollars. And there will be a warranty.

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Old 08-06-2009, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

That answered my question quite well, thanks! I'll just let Saturn handle it even though I have put together my share of computers and know how to deal with (or prevent) static discharge.

Hopefully this will also fix my ability to remove the key from the ignition without putting the car in park too. The service guy said it would, but didn't seem too confident. erg.

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Old 08-10-2009, 07:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do I have a bad BSTI (Brake To Shift Interlock) solenoid?

Did the BCM replacement solve your problem? I've posted about a shifter stuck in neutral, and our cases seem somewhat similar. I can use the acc to shift into D,3,2,and 1, but not P or R. S'weird.

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