Car won't shift out of Park without reset key

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Honda, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Honda

    Honda Guest

    Car: 1991 Honda Accord Wagon

    Problem: Once I put my car in Park and come back later to start it it won't
    shit. I have to use the key to do the reset for the shit and only then it
    will shift. The problem started as the weather started getting pretty cold
    about ten days back. Does anyone know what the problem is and how to resolve

    P.S The car doesn't have problems shifting to drive etc. and I don't think
    it suffer from the famous broken shift cable syndrome. It just gets locked
    into Park. Thanks to all in advance.

    Honda, Jan 22, 2007
  2. Honda

    AZ Nomad Guest

    If it's got a "reset" slot, then it also has an interlock system designed
    primarily for prevent morons from confusing the pedals and claiming
    unintended acceleration when they drive into a tree while pushing the gas
    pedal as hard as they can.

    There's three parts: sensors, logic, and actuators. The first most
    important sensor is the brake pedal. I dunno about what other sensors there
    may be. Unless the system thinks you have your foot on the brakes, it won't
    let you put the car in gear! The logic may be burried inside the engine
    control computer, transmission control computer, or perhaps a security
    system, or interior lighting logic black box. Last is the actuator right in
    the vicinity of the "reset slot" that lets you put the car into gear. Check
    that it's getting voltage and that it can move freely.
    AZ Nomad, Jan 22, 2007
  3. Honda

    Woody Guest

    Is the P light on? If not power is not getting to the release solenoid. It
    comes from the range switch in the transmission. It could also be the switch
    on the brake pedal. This is besides any mechanical problem in the column...
    Woody, Jan 23, 2007
  4. I end up reposting this every winter. Here is what you need to know.
    Keep in mind that this was originally written some years ago so the
    prices may be out of date and the old Internet source is out of

    (begin repost)

    My friend purchased a (transmission) console switch from
    [ but they are out of business and the current web site is a
    new operation and new owner]. The part is Honda# 35700-SM4-A91 and
    the price was $31.63 plus $5.62 S&H. She had a very experienced
    amateur install it. He looked at the manual briefly then went out and
    installed it in under 20 minutes. It should be pretty straight forward
    for anyone with just a little experience, only slightly tricky part is
    to adjust it (if necessary) so that the indicator lights match the
    shift lever position.

    Results: In three days of use at temperatures down to -3 F she has
    not had any trouble. Previously the car would always experience the
    syndrome until it had been warmed up for at least 20 minutes on even a
    moderately cold day.

    To recap the symptoms:

    - Vehicle is 1990+ Accord with AT (others may be affected also)
    - Problem is strongly linked to cold temperatures.
    - Key cannot be removed after shifting into P
    - Dash indicator light does not indicate "P" even though transmission
    lever is positively in P
    - Car cannot be shifted out of P after this has happened
    - Problem solves itself when the "P" indicator lights which occurs
    after a period of time related to the interior temperature of the car.
    Gordon McGrew, Jan 23, 2007
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