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Shift button won't release- stuck in park

12-11-2008, 11:59 AM
I have seen this questioned asked several times in several places, so I am assuming this is a problem in the 1998 Malibu. I have searched online high and low for an answer. The shift button won't depress so you can't move the shift out of park and into gear. Like everyone else, mine does it in the cold. I have no problems in the summer.

I have taken apart the console and cleaned the solenoid and shift assembly to make sure there wasn't anything sticky that was freezing. (I read that on another car forum page). I have sprayed a little graphite on the assembly. This didn't fix it.

Now, however, mine sometimes shifts easily into gear in the cold weather. It now randomly sticks. I have to sit in park with the car running for 10 minutes sometime.

Can I buy an entire new shift assembly and solenoid? Anyone know how to replace it? I know little about cars and don't even know what to really look for when I search auto parts stores. Does the solenoid just wear out? Can it be replaced? Could I buy a used part from a wrecked MAlibu? I am at my wits end with not being able to drive when I need to leave.
Thanks for all advice and instruction!

07-30-2009, 01:52 PM
does anyone know the answer to this?? Mine occurs in cold temps. In warmth it shifts but slightly sticks even this summer. Scared what might happen when the cold starts.

01-03-2010, 05:10 PM
My 1999 Malibu is doing the same thing.

01-05-2010, 06:58 PM
any console shift car can do this for this reason.... SODA
the solenoid could be bad, but usually soda or some sticky beverage gets into the brake/shift interlock solenoid. Pull the console cover off and the sifter make sure the 2 wire solenoid has 12v power and ground. If it does, either the solenoid is bad, or it is sticky from your beverage of choice.
Look in the op manual, never looked at my malibu, but usually on most of these gm cars there is a 1x1 access cover in the console so you can access it and manually unlock it with you finger so you can drive it till you get it fixed.
When I was a tech at gm we replaced the whole floor shifter, but if yours is gummed up with soda and such and good cleaning and some dry graphite lube would probably fix it.
Don't use any petro based lubes, because they gum up and get thick at cold temps too.

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