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Marty
Marty, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 53443
Experience:  Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 35 years experience.
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My S430 (W220) 2000 - shifter is stuck in park. How can I fix?

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My S430 (W220) 2000 - shifter is stuck in park. How can I fix?
Hi skotty, are there any warning lights illuminated with the car on? Do you hear or feel anything in the shift housing when you apply the brake pedal? Do you have another key for the car?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
warning lights illuminated - NO.

Do you hear or feel anything in the shift housing when you apply the brake pedal?
Yes a slight bump sound.

Do you have another key for the car?
Tried another key and same result

Ok, the slight bump sound tells us that the Electronic Selector Module (gearshift) is getting the signal from the brake pedal to release. The release mechanism in the module most likely has failed. You will need to have the module replaced and initialized with a Mercedes diagnostic scanner in order for it to work. In order to get it out of park I've had success starting the car, applying the brake and grasping the shifter with two hands and shaking it vigorously while pulling backwards. You can also remove the shift knob and rap the top of the shifter firmly with a rubber mallet while pulling backwards. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Marty

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
how can you be sure that it is getting the signal? the slight bump sound. what should it sound like. first I hear a vacuum sound, then a very slight tick. is that what I should be looking for?

Also, I read up on the release mechanism. This is a known defect that happens in Mercedes cars. Is this a tought one for me to just take off?
The only way to be sure is to view it on the Mercedes scan tool or to disassemble the shifter and watch the release mechanism. I think if you're hearing noises from the shifter housing that are directly related to you pressing the brake pedal it's safe to assume it's getting the signal. I've heard of people doing it but I wouldn't recommend disabling the shift lock.
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