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How to Fix Shift to Park Message: Ultimate Solutions

To fix the “shift to park” message, you need to check the gearshift position sensor and replace it if necessary. If your car displays “shift to park” even when the vehicle is in park, there may be an issue with the gearshift position sensor.

This is a common problem in newer cars with electronic shifters. The sensor may fail to detect the shifter’s position, causing the message to appear on the dashboard. To fix this issue, you should inspect the gearshift position sensor and replace it if needed.

In this article, we will explain how to troubleshoot the problem and how to fix it without taking your car to the dealer.

How to Fix Shift to Park Message: Ultimate Solutions

Credit: gmauthority.com

Step-By-Step Guide To Fixing Shift To Park Message

How To Fix Shift To Park Message: Ultimate Solutions

If you own a car with an automatic transmission, you may have experienced the shift to park message. This issue can be frustrating, particularly if it prevents your vehicle from starting. Fortunately, there are several solutions to this problem. In this post, we’ll take you through each step of the process to fix the shift to park message on your car.

Step 1: Check For Any Obstructions

One potential cause of the shift to park message is obstructions in the area surrounding the shifter. Thus, the first step is to check for any objects in the way. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Look for any debris or foreign objects surrounding the shifter. Small items like coins can cause significant problems by getting lodged in the mechanism.
  • Check to ensure that there are no items in the way of the pedals. Floor mats, bags, or other items may interfere with your ability to push the brake pedal or move the shifter.
  • Examine the area around the vehicle’s gear selector to ensure there are no tears or damage to any of the components.

Step 2: Inspect The Shift Linkage

Another potential cause of the shift to park message is a problem with the shift linkage. This mechanism is what connects the gear shifter to the transmission, and it can wear down over time. Follow these points when inspecting shift linkage:

  • Look for visible signs of wear or damage to the shift linkage, including bent or corroded components.
  • Examine the bushings on the shift linkage to ensure they are not worn or cracked, impeding gear shift.
  • If possible, remove the shift linkage and inspect it further for areas where it may be sticking or causing a problem.

Step 3: Check The Brake Light Switch

The brake light switch is another critical component that can cause problems with the shift to park message. This switch is responsible for signaling to the vehicle’s computer that you are pressing the brakes. Here are some tips for checking the brake light switch:

  • Ensure that the brake light switch is in the right position and making proper contact with the brake pedal arm.
  • Check for any visible signs of damage to the brake light switch, like cracks, wear or corrosion.
  • Use a multimeter or continuity tester to verify that the brake light switch is working correctly and signals when the brake pedal is depressed.

Step 4: Inspect The Shifter Assembly

The shifter assembly is the mechanical device responsible for moving the gear selector into place. Here’s how to properly inspect it:

  • Examine the area around the shifter assembly to ensure that it is free of debris, damage or wear and tear.
  • Inspect the shifter assembly linkage to ensure it is properly aligned with the transmission and that nothing is obstructing its movement.
  • Check to see that all the bolts and screws holding the shifter assembly in place are tight and not rusted or broken.

Step 5: Check The Wiring

Electrical problems with the car may cause the shift to park message. Wiring issues or damage may prevent the gear selector from receiving the signals necessary to work correctly. Follow these tips when checking wires:

  • Look for any visible damage to wires around the shifter and make sure everything is wired correctly.
  • Check the fuses that are responsible for powering the transmission.
  • Use a multimeter to ensure that all circuits to the shifter assembly are functioning correctly.

Step 6: Look For Any Manufacturer Recalls

Finally, it’s always a good idea to check for any manufacturer recalls, which may provide a quick and easy solution to your problem. Here’s what to keep in mind while exploring recalls:

  • Visit the manufacturer website and search for recalls with your vehicle’s make, model, and year.
  • If there is a recall, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to fix the issue.
  • Take your vehicle in for inspection at a dealership or qualified mechanic capable of fixing recall-related problems.

By taking the time to go through all these steps, you should be able to fix the shift to park message and get back to driving your car safely and comfortably.

Additional Solutions

Solution 1: Replace The Brake Light Switch

If your shift to park message keeps appearing, it may be a sign that your brake light switch is faulty. Here are some key points to consider:

  • The brake light switch is a small component that activates the brake lights when you step on the brake pedal.
  • A faulty brake light switch can cause the shift interlock solenoid to malfunction, triggering the shift to park message.
  • To replace the brake light switch, you will need to consult your vehicle’s manual and follow the instructions carefully.

Solution 2: Replace The Shift Interlock Solenoid

Another reason why you may be getting a shift to park message is a failing shift interlock solenoid. Here’s what you should know:

  • The shift interlock solenoid is an electronic component that locks the gear shift in place until you press the brake pedal.
  • If the solenoid is failing, the gear shift may become stuck, leading to the shift to park message.
  • Replacing the shift interlock solenoid involves removing the center console and the gear shift assembly, which can be a bit challenging.

Solution 3: Install A Bypass System

If replacing the brake light switch or the shift interlock solenoid does not solve the problem, you may need to install a bypass system. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • A bypass system overrides the shift interlock solenoid and allows you to shift gears without pressing the brake pedal.
  • There are diy kits available in the market that can help you install a bypass system on your own.
  • However, installing a bypass system may not be legal in some states, and it could also void your vehicle’s warranty.

Solution 4: Reset The Vehicle’S Computer

If none of the above solutions has worked, you may try resetting the vehicle’s computer. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Resetting the vehicle’s computer will clear any error codes that may be triggering the shift to park message.
  • To reset the computer, you will need to disconnect the battery for a few minutes and reconnect it.
  • However, resetting the computer will also clear any personalized settings you may have set up in your vehicle.

Diy Vs. Professional Help

It can be frustrating when you receive the “shift to park” message on your vehicle’s dashboard, especially when you know that you’re already in park mode. Though this may appear like a minor issue, it can be a real headache: it prevents you from turning off your vehicle or locking the doors.

Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem. In this post, we’ll explore the ultimate solutions to the “shift to park” message and all the essential things you need to know to fix the issue.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Fixing The Issue Yourself

If you’re handy with car repairs, you may want to try resolving the “shift to park” message issue by yourself. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a diy approach:


  • You can save money on labor costs
  • You can easily research the solution online
  • You can learn more about your car’s inner workings


  • You may not have the right tools for the job
  • You may not possess the necessary expertise
  • You might not properly address the issue, leading to further complications

When To Seek Professional Help

If the diy approach doesn’t solve the problem, seeking professional help is the next best option. Here are the signs that indicate you should seek the assistance of a mechanic:

  • The “shift to park” message persists after using the diy fixes
  • You don’t feel comfortable performing the repairs yourself
  • You have multiple repairs to complete on your vehicle
  • Your vehicle is still under warranty

Tips For Choosing A Reputable Mechanic

Choosing a reputable mechanic is crucial to ensure that your vehicle repairs are long-lasting. Here are some essential tips for choosing one:

  • Look for local repair shops that have a good reputation
  • Ask for referrals from your family, friends, or colleagues
  • Check if the repair shop has a valid license and certifications
  • Inquire about the mechanic’s experience and training
  • Get a written estimate before agreeing to any repairs

By following these tips, you’ll get a professional and trustworthy mechanic to handle your repairs and fix the “shift to park” message issue.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Fix Shift To Park Message

How Do You Fix The Shift To Park Message?

To fix the shift to park message, check for any loose wiring or damaged shifter components. In case of any damage, replace the damaged parts. Additionally, lubricate the shifter linkage and switch to ensure smooth operation.

Why Does The Shift To Park Message Appear?

The shift to park message appears as a result of a malfunction in the shifter system. This could be due to damaged wiring or shifter components, worn-out switch, or any other issue that hinders the shifter’s proper operation.

Can I Drive My Car With The Shift To Park Message On?

No, you cannot drive your car when the shift to park message appears. Your car’s computer system is programmed to prevent you from shifting gears when the message is on. This is a safety feature designed to prevent accidents and to protect the transmission from damage.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix The Shift To Park Message?

The cost of fixing the shift to park message in your vehicle depends on several factors, including the extent of the damage, the make and model of your vehicle, and the cost of the replacement parts. On average, the cost of fixing the message ranges from $150 – $400.

How Long Does It Take To Fix The Shift To Park Message?

The time it takes to fix the shift to park message varies depending on the cause of the message and the extent of the damage. On average, it takes between 2-4 hours to diagnose and fix the problem. However, it can take longer if part replacements are required or if the issue is more complex.


In the world of automobiles, it’s important to take notice of small but crucial problems like the “shift to park” message. It may seem like a minor issue, but it can cause significant problems in the long run. Fortunately, fixing this problem is easy, and it doesn’t require you to be a professional mechanic.

The first step is to check whether your car is in the “park” mode or not. If it is not in the park mode, it can cause the “shift to park” message to appear on your dashboard. You can also try restarting your car, checking the wiring, and replacing the gear shift knob.

By following these simple steps and being vigilant, you can effectively eliminate the “shift to park” message and prevent further damage to your car. Remember, as a car owner, it’s essential to be proactive about resolving issues like this one.



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