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Discussion Starter #1
Not my car, but a fellow SSin City SS club member's. He is currently on a 6 month deployment to Afghanistan.

His car is 1996 Impala. I looked at the car the other day and the shift engagement button will not depress. I can push the break pedal, but the shifter button will not depress at all to allow the shifter to move out of park.

Is there a neutral safety switch is that controls this function? What do you suggest to troubleshoot the problem?

Thanks,
Jim


 

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For now to get it moving, turn the key all the way back, Put the car in neutral, Start it, Put in any any gear except drive.

Perhaps the shift interlock is acting up.. Or is miss adjusted. (Connected to the brake pedal)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can't get the car to shift to netural. The button on the shifter will not depress, just like if the brake pedal is not depressed. I took the shifter knob off and just tried to push down on the white plastic sticking up, but it will not move.
 

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What I think he meant....if you turn the key to "run" but don't start the engine, the car will (should) come out of park. Don't put your foot on the brake to do this.

If the car needs to be held with a brake, apply the park brake first and let it hold the car when doing this without the engine running.

With the engine running the brake/shift interlock is functional, but it would seem that the circuit has a problem in this case. It could be the switch that is on the brake pedal, or it could be the solenoid itself, or something gone awry with the wiring. Check to see if the brake lights are working--if not, you've probably got a switch malfunction--bad or misadjusted--or the switch wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I think he meant....if you turn the key to "run" but don't start the engine, the car will (should) come out of park. Don't put your foot on the brake to do this.

If the car needs to be held with a brake, apply the park brake first and let it hold the car when doing this without the engine running.

With the engine running the brake/shift interlock is functional, but it would seem that the circuit has a problem in this case. It could be the switch that is on the brake pedal, or it could be the solenoid itself, or something gone awry with the wiring. Check to see if the brake lights are working--if not, you've probably got a switch malfunction--bad or misadjusted--or the switch wiring.
Well I did try that on his car, no work.

But, the brake pedal has to be depressed to allow the shifter button to depress and the shifter to come out of park. Maybe I'm missing something, but I just verified this on my car. That is the only way for the shifter to come out of park.

His car will start and run fine, just the button will not depress. With my car, when I press the brake pedal I hear a "click" and the button will depress. With his car I do not hear the "click".
 

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I just went through this. Pull the knob off, pry the shift indicator plate up, I think I did it from the front, under it you will see 2 solinoids, the one on the left is the interlock one, I just unplugged it. Try it and see what happens, mine works fine, just don't have to use the brake to take the car out of park....no big deal to me as I grew up with cars that didn't have that feature to start with...lol.
 

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Well I did try that on his car, no work.

But, the brake pedal has to be depressed to allow the shifter button to depress and the shifter to come out of park. Maybe I'm missing something, but I just verified this on my car. That is the only way for the shifter to come out of park.

His car will start and run fine, just the button will not depress. With my car, when I press the brake pedal I hear a "click" and the button will depress. With his car I do not hear the "click".
OK, I'm maybe giving you bad advice.

Try this--unlock the steering column but DO NOT turn the key to run--and then see if the shifter button can be depressed to allow the lever to be moved out of P.

The design may have evolved, but I'm going from several different situations--an RMW today, in fact (column shift)--that I was able to take out of park with the engine off, just by turning the key one step off of lock, so there is no power to any keyed system--and it doesn't matter if you touch the brake or not. The BTSI doesn't activate if the power isn't on. If the floor shift version is different, I don't know why.

What about the brake lights--are they working?
 

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If you push in the key a little and turn the key all the way back Or towards you when you are sitting in the seat... When the key is in that position the Radio will work and nothing else. Anyway, You should be able to shift out of park w/o pressing the brake pedal if the issue is with the interlock switch not working. That works on cars w/ an interlock. Well I know, GM, Ford, Maybe others.
 

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From Gregg-O
I just went through this. Pull the knob off, pry the shift indicator plate up, I think I did it from the front, under it you will see 2 solinoids, the one on the left is the interlock one, I just unplugged it. Try it and see what happens, mine works fine, just don't have to use the brake to take the car out of park....no big deal to me as I grew up with cars that didn't have that feature to start with...lol.
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I agree 100%!!!!
 

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I just had this issue in another car, check to make sure that all your fuses are not blown. I took my Altima to the dealership for this and that's all it was.. just a blown fuse that controlled that locking mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Guys,

Thanks for the help, I'll give the suggestions a try. I did pull the fuse cover (drivers side one) and looked at them, I didn't see any that were bad.
 

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Digging this thread back up, because I'm starting to have the same problem. OCD (Old Car Disease), I'm sure, as the problem is intermittent, and I can get it to work if I try pressing the brake pedal a few times, or punch the button a couple of times.

I think I'll disable this 'feature' as both myself and my wife grew up with cars without this feature. The 96 is new to me, as is it's floor shifter. How do you remove the shifter handle? While I'm at it, I may try to locate an A4 Camaro shifter knob and see how I like that.
 

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you should be able to bypass BTSI in an emergency by just barely turning key out of lock.-so steering wheel is loose and start in nuetral.
 

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On the front of the handle there is a clip, kind of similar to a large staple that I used a small pick, with a 90 degree bend on the tip to hook it with a pull it out. It will be easier to see & remove with the shifter in 1st if you can get it there. Mine started out intermittent, then just got worse with time.
 

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stuck in park

i am having the same issue with my 96 stuck in park....replaced neutral safety switch but that wasnt the problem....read the thread on disconnecting the interlock solenoid/switch and that was the issue...now i need to know can i get this part at autozone or oreilly's or is it a dealership only part...i couldnt find the name or part number at the parts store....needs some help please!!!
 

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Rock Auto shows only a GM (ACDelco) part - it is called the brake/transmission shift interlock solenoid - PN 26042494

Rock Auto price is $48.79, dealer list new is about $75, still a good number, should be available from any GM dealer, probably special order, but you never know!

Used on a wide range of GM vehicles from 1992 - 2001

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1336218&cc=1049701
 

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The solenoid is energized with the engine on, and when you press the brake pedal, the power is broken, de-energizing the solenoid, allowing you to shift the trans. Check for power at the solenoid in run, and for a good ground. Then check for the interruption of the power side when the brake pedal is pressed. It uses the same contacts as the cruise control disengage with the brake pedal.
 
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