Content of the material
Shift interlock solenoid issues
What is a shift interlock solenoid?
A shift interlock is a safety device that prevents you
Shift interlock solenoid
from starting your engine unless your foot is on the brake pedal. It works in conjunction with the neutral safety switch. When you turn the key to start the engine, the computer checks whether the vehicle is in park or neutral or, in a manual transmission vehicle; whether your clutch is fully depressed. If either of those conditions are met, the computer then checks to see if you’ve depressed the brake pedal. It can detect this through the brake pedal switch.
If the brake pedal is depressed, either the computer or the brake pedal switch will provide ground to the shift interlock solenoid. The solenoid then actuates and move a pin or rod out of the way, allowing the key to turn and start the vehicle. The shift interlock solenoid can block the lock cylinder, the ignition switch or the neutral safety switch, depending on the system design.
What are the symptoms of a bad shift interlock solenoid?
You can’t start the engine, even with your foot on the brake.
When do I need to get a shifter interlock solenoid replacement?Theoretically, never. Shifter interlock solenoids are supposed to last for the duration of your car’s life. However, there might be a few telltale signs that your solenoid needs to be looked at, such as:
Your shifter won’t move gear—especially from park to drive.
Your key won’t come out of the ignition. Most cars won’t let the key come out of the ignition until your car is in park.
How its done:
- The vehicle battery is disconnected
- The defective shift interlock solenoid is removed
- The new shift interlock solenoid is installed
- The battery is reconnected
- The vehicle is tested and shifter operation is checked
Tips for maintaining your shifter interlock solenoidThe shifter interlock solenoid is a pretty trusty part of your vehicle, so you typically don’t have to do too much to keep it intact. But you should always drive safely. Don’t shift too aggressively, put too much stress on the throttle, or drive too fast.
How can we help?
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