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Marty
Marty, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 49268
Experience:  Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 35 years experience.
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Mercedes-Benz S320: 1996 mercedes S 320 gear shifter will not

Customer Question

1996 mercedes S 320 gear shifter will not come out of park. How do you repair.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
Hello,I will be glad to try and assist you with this,Welcome to Just Answer.

Hi.

I just need a little more info to assist better.

Do you have brake lights with the key on or engine running when pressing on the brake pedal?

Are any abnormal lights on on the dash with the engine running?

Was anything spilled on or around the shifter?

Let me know so we can continue,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Pete, the brake lights are working,no abnormal light is displayed on the dash and no, nothing was spilled around the shifter.
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
O.k.

One common component I have seen fail and cause this type of fault here is the brake switch located above the brake pedal,this switch also controls the brake light signal but the circuit for the brake light signal can be o.k. when the circuit to release the shifter may have failed.This is very common.

This switch usually costs around $20 and less then an hour to replace as it twists out of its locked position on the brake pedal bracket and then unplugs and the new one twists and locks into place.

The other component that can cause this is the shifter itself as it houses electronics to allow the shifter to be released.In some cases it can fail with something being spilled on or around the shifter and in other cases it can fail on its own.This is more expensive usually running anywhere between $400 and $700 and about 2 hours labor to have replaced.

The fault codes need checked in the computer systems in this vehicle either with a scan tool that can communicate with the computers in this vehicle or a dealers sds machine.

Once this has been done then it can be diagnosed to see which component is at fault and then the faulty component replaced.

Most common is usually the brake switch itself.

On some of these vehicles at the shifter there was a small trap door that could be pushed in with a long thin object and then the object pushed down inside the shifter area to manually release the shifter to allow it to be shifted out of park,if your vehicle has this then you can manually shift it out of park for driving or towing.

If it does not then it will have to be towed on a flat bed trailer for diagnosis and repair.

Let me know if you need anything else,click accept if you feel satisfied with your answer as this is how I get credited for my time,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know these cars have a plastic piece inside the shifter box that breaks and prevent the solenoid from allowing the shifter to be moved. My question is I am trying to obtain information on how to remove the shifter box. Presently, I have the window switch panel and the center console screws removed but because the shifter can't be moved,there is not enough clearance for me to lift off the panel or the center console.
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
I don't know of a procedure myself on how to disassemble and remove this center console and shifter without it shifting,in some cases I have managed to maneuver and wiggle the components around the shifter to get components out of the way.

But there isn't a set procedure on how to do this when it wont shift out of park.

If you want I can opt out and put this question back on the list to see if any other experts can assist better.Let me know.

Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I would appreciate if you opt oyt and post to see if anyone has the info. Tnx Pete.
Expert:  Pete replied 2 years ago.
O.k.

I will opt out,don't reply to my last post here as it will keep the question locked to me.

Thanks Pete!
Expert:  Hipo64 replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I am Pavlin! Have you removed ashtray. if you have not- remove it this will allow you to lift switch panel and then you try to turn and move out.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Pavlin,I did have the ashtray removed. When I tried to remove the sw. panel the only thing stopping the panel is the shifter "rod". The shifter is as far back as it will go and I am putting as much force on the panel as it will allow before snapping. Please note this is a one piece panel that goes from the dashboard to the console storage compartment.
Expert:  Hipo64 replied 2 years ago.
well, there is not much i can tell you on-line. I will opt out and leave it open. best you can do is to have the whole console loose so you can somehow swing this sideways and pull out. then as far as I can remember for 96 screws fro shifter has to be drilled out.
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Hi, maybe I can help. Can you post your VIN number for me?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
WDBGA32E3TA317306
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Ok, the floor shift on that model is not electronic it is mechanical. There are two cables that operate the levers in the shifter. One connects to the brake pedal and one connects to the steering lock. I would remove the panel under the dash on the driver's side and check the cable at the pedal and remove the instrument cluster and check the cable at the steering lock. You can operate both cables from there and most likely unlock the gearshift. Click on the image below for the cables.

graphic
Marty, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 49268
Experience: Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 35 years experience.
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