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1994 Park Ave Won't Shift

10-08-2003, 08:31 PM
1994 Park Avenue won't shift out of park. Starts and runs fine. Won't shift out of park in any combination of key/engine running. All fuses OK. Brake lights work. This is my Dad's car and he asked me to get it inspected for him while he is away. I set off alarm and stopped it by disconnecting battery. Maybe I have to reset something? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

10-26-2003, 01:27 AM
Just a question for you, Is the car parked on a hill? if so the transmission has a "torque lock" where it will lock it in park if there is a load on the transmission (as in holding it in place on a hill), you may need to push the vehicle just an inch or so to unlock the transmission, It is recommended that you use the parking brake when you park on an incline. (note: it would usually take quite a large incline to lock it up)

If you set off the alarm you may need to reset the alarm by either pressing the unlock button on the remote, or by unlocking the doors with the key (I dont beleive that the alarm does anything to the trans, just kills the ignition, but I could be wrong).

10-26-2003, 06:36 PM
RWALLMOW--Thanks for the reply.

It was parked on a level surface, but I thought of the same so I had my wife try to shift it while I rocked it back and forth. I also tried the remote and unlocking the doors.

After trying all I could think of (fuses, brake switch, various key/power combinations) I figured that the shift interlock solenoid was bad. I did not want to take on dismantling the steering column so I took the car to the dealer to fix (hopefully I will not be ejected from the forum for admitting this).

Sure enough it was a bad solenoid and that problem was solved (now facing transmission and "service engine soon" problems). I asked them for the part back so I could check the condition of the solenoid. The car had been sitting for about 6 months and I wanted to see if it was corroded or what. The plastic pin that engages the steering column had rust coloring on the shaft so I assume it is rusted inside, but I have not opened the solenoid yet to see how the inside looks. Pin does not seem to move freely. Just confirms the adage that cars wear out faster when you don't use them. I think I will face lot of failures in the coming weeks.

One useful finding which will probably not be "news" to experienced readers, but the car was parked nose-in in my driveway and posed a problem for getting on the flatbed. The flatbed driver popped the cable off of the lever that extends from the transmission casing. It came off in 2 secs with a screwdriver. Then he manually shifted into reverse and then drive so I could drive the car onto the flatbed. A handy trick for moving cars cars stuck in park in the future.

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