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Question DetailsAsked on 6/4/2011

Shiftlock release ...

I drive a 95 Accord and just started having to use the shiftlock release because the brake pedal isn't unlocking the shifter on car start. It's that little key hole next to the shifter on automatic transmission cars. The brake lights also don't come on when the car is off (they used to), but work fine when the car is started. I know it may have something to do with the "shift lock solenoid" from reading online a bit. My question: Is this serious and how much does it cost to fix? The car runs fine. The owner's manual, though, says, "This could indicate a larger problem. Contact your Honda dealer." I don't want to contact my Honda dealer!
Anyway, any insight is appreciated. The online literature on this topic has been somewhat thin. It seems to me the fix could be as simple as reconnecting whatever cable or electronic feature takes care of unlocking the shifter when you depress the brake.
Peace out.

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4 Answers


I've never even heard of a "shiftlock release" what is it exactly intended to do?

Answered 9 years ago by Helper Monkey 5000


If I understand them correctly, it is a lock-out to prevent you from shifting out of park (into a driving gear) without your foot being on the brake pedal - - similar intention as the neutral safety switch that prevents your car from starting unless you are in neutral or park or have the clutch engaged. OP seems to have a switch to allow an override to the normal behavior in the event there would be an electrical or vacuum problem.

I'd look beneath the brake pedal for a switch with a sticky plunger that the break pedal just misses when the engine's off and is able to contact when the engine is on but not contact fully enough to engage it (won't touch when the engine's off so the brake lights don't light but will light the brake lights when the engine's on but not engage fully enough to release the shiftlock.

If you don't find one, I'd break down and visit the dealer or a garage that you are certain has experience with imports.

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


I would check your nuetral safety switch. Very comon fail on your honda.
:) easy to replace as well and tail lights will stop working when this goes out. Sounds like the right place to start. Good luck :)

Answered 9 years ago by autoheaven


Hi, those pesky shift solenoids sometimes act up during weather changes, at times they just get to weak to release the interlock shifter mechanism. Logically what we would do is check all fuses, if it doesn't work, if it works intermitently pull the console cover off and pin test the solenoid during brake pedal operation, from that point you will know what to do-making cars happy!

Answered 6 years ago by oar

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