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Chris, Shop Foreman
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 3295
Experience:  Jeep Certified Master Tech
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Sometimes my 2011 Jeep Compass wont come out of park. I had

Customer Question

Sometimes my 2011 Jeep Compass wont come out of park. I had it to a shop and they ran diagnostics on it but could find nothing physical or electrical wrong. Any other possibilities
JA: Do you have brake lights? Have any trouble codes popped up?
Customer: Yes on the brake lights and no on the codes
JA: Are you fixing your Compass yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I gave up mechanical work a while ago. I'm 72 but I just took it to a shop
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No. I just don't want to get stuck in a parking lot any more. I tried moving the steering wheel, jiggled the keys, stepped on the brakes several times and still no go
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  bill replied 4 months ago.

there are 2 possibilities here first is a failing brake lamp switch, there are more than 1 circuits on the brake lamp switch (4 or 5 at least) so you can have brake lamps BUT still not send the request to the shifter release.

second is the shifter, (more common than the brake switch) there is an electric solenoid inside the shifter that allows it to come out of park (there is also an emergency mechanical release it's location is shown in the owners manual, compass/caliber/patriot were all the same vehicle essentially but have different shifters and interiors so the location is slightly different)

the only way to be 100% sure is test for power at the solenoid when it actually happens, and preferably with a scan tool to look at the data for the TIPM(underhood fuse box or body computer on your car) and see it it's actually seeing the brake switch, lastly i have seen a few wiring problems in the salt belt on these but less common than shifters

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I think the shop I took it to checked the brake switch and the shifter solenoid. The problem randomly occurs so its hard to get it tested at the time it happens. The last time it happened, it took about 20 minutes before it would finally come out of park
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have an appointment so will not be available for a phone call.
Expert:  bill replied 4 months ago.

i don't do live calls if you got a pop up that was site generated,

i have seen quite a few shifters fail so i would lean towards the shifter BUT it's always best to be sure the solenoid is getting power and ground