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Old 09-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #1
PlasticCarsRock
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1995 SL2
Default Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

This is a '95 SL2 automatic. This morning, the shift interlock stuck locked. (This is the device that prevents shifting without first depressing the brake, via a solenoid controlled by the brake switch.)

A few seconds of fiddling with it got it unstuck, and it worked fine at least 10 times, subsequently (so far this has only happened once).

AllData does not seem to match my '97 FSM, so I'm assuming that the '97 FSM does not apply to my '95. Aside from that, alldata does not offer much help (it does not even provide the solenoid location, although it does have vague instructions to replace the cable and a connector diagram, if I happen to find the connector...).

Does anyone have any info on where the solenoid is, and how one would test/replace it? (I realize it could also be the brake switch, but I know how to replace that.)

Is there any easy way to manually release the lock, if it fails to release again? (I know shifting to neutral in the ACC position will work, if it's the brake switch, but that won't help if it's the solenoid.)

Any ideas on how to determine if it's the brake switch or the solenoid, given that I cannot duplicate the problem, at the moment?

If there's no easy manual bypass, I think I'll replace the solenoid with a junkyard one (I assume new is not available or prohibitively expensive), because I cannot afford get stuck somewhere in park. If it does turn out to be the brake switch, that's easy to bypass, so I'm not too worried about that...

...
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Last edited by PlasticCarsRock; 09-28-2012 at 12:37 PM..

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Old 09-29-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

Anyone?

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Old 09-29-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

Check that the solenoid gets power when the engine is running and the Brake is depressed as it could be either an intermittent brake light switch section or a sticking solenoid. Congealed coffee and/or soda glues them right up. It is grounded on the right front body ground.

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Old 09-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

Mine did this all the time when I got it (same car). Remove the cup holders and any other necessary trim to get to the underside of the shifter assembly. Forcefully break where the solenoid attaches to the linkage. Problem solved forever.

I think these brake and ignition shift locks are stupid and pointless, as in a manual car there are none. What's the point of only some cars not being able to shift?

...
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

Also, I did a search for you.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=142053

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Old 09-29-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, checking power/ground won't be useful, now, as the problem is not occurring (it just happened once, and has been fine for numerous trips, since). If it reoccurs, that will be the first thing I check.

I do not want to disable the mechanism. I agree that it really isn't necessary, but if someone I love were to drive the car, and have any sort of related accident, it would be my fault, so no matter how unlikely that is, I'd rather fix this right (once I find the problem, it should be a relatively cheap, easy fix).

If it turns out to be the brake switch, I definitely want to know about it, because that's kinda important...


I think a visual inspection of the solenoid (to check for being "gummed up) is the first step: Is the solenoid mounted near/on the shift mechanism or somewhere else? (I know on newer models, it's on the shift mechanism, but AllData implies that it's remotely mounted, with a cable going to the shift mechanism...) I can pull the trim off and see for myself, but I'd rather avoid that step if it's located somewhere else.

...
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

I believe it is still on the shift mechanism. The cable contraption is what hangs onto the key until you are in Park.

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Old 09-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
PlasticCarsRock
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
I believe it is still on the shift mechanism. The cable contraption is what hangs onto the key until you are in Park.
Ah. Thanks. I'll take a look at it and see what I see.

...
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:48 AM   #9
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

In case anyone else with the same issue finds this thread by searching:

It turns out it was the brake switch. Oddly enough, the shift interlock continued to work fine after the one hiccup. This weekend, I used the cruise control and noted that it would not cancel when the brake was applied. Checking brake light operation confirmed that the switch had failed. And finally, on the same trip, the ABS light came on with a code 93, indicating an ABS activation with no brake switch input (set immediately after braking on a rough road).

Had I checked the brake lights sooner, I probably would have caught this right away, before driving countless miles with no brake lights (but I assumed the switch was working, if the interlock was working correctly). Apparently the switch has multiple separate contacts, so parts of it may still work when others don't.

I installed a new switch and everything works fine.

...
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Intermittent shift interlock stuck (can't shift out of park)

It is a multiple pair switch. Any single section may fail and leave all others operable.

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