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Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be helping you with your issue.
Do you know if the Gauges or instrument cluster are working when you try to start the vehicle?
I ask this because the gauge cluster is a common failure on these vehicles, and when it goes out, the computer cannot tell what gear you are in. This causes the computer to not allow you to start the vehicle. Normally the failure is at the connection to the gauge cluster and wiggling the connector will allow the vehicle to start.
Try that and let me know how it goes
As it turned out, it was a loose connection to the battery cable. Your advice, however, was very helpful, because it got them off of a false rabbit trail.
Thanx! I guess it was a combination of a loose battery cable and a discharged battery (came to find out that an interior light was on all those weeks!). Anyway, got the cable fixed, and dropped in a new battery as the old wasn't holding a charge, and now everything's fine.
As I said, I stopped the mechanic from chasing a false rabbit trail in any case.
Thanks a lot!