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Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 1518
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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Intermittent (but now regular) problem - 04 Forester XT

Customer Question

Intermittent (but now regular) problem - 04 Forester XT automatic - after turning off engine, key won't turn to Lock and can't be removed. Tried jiggling wheel, restarting and shifting in and out of Park. Always get the key out within a couple of minutes but can't tell which if any of these actions precipitates the release. Hazard lights and horn working normally. Previously had problem of engine not starting because transmission wasn't fully in Park - this went away after indirectly putting in lubricant.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like the shift inhibitor needs to be adjusted. It most likely isn't telling the ignition switch that the transmission is in park and allowing it to rotate to the off position. Here is a procedure that shows how to adjust the inhibitor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm wondering about how long might it take to go through the "Inspection" sequence in the document. Would the inspection alone tell you if that was the culprit in this matter, or would you have to take it all apart (at roughly how many hours of labor)?
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

I would probably try to push the linkage back and forth by hand from underneath by the transmission (driver's side) and see if it will get it into the right position to let the key out. If it does then it may warrant an adjustment. If not, then you may have to pull the linkage and replace whatever is worn out.

You don't necessarily have to pull the shifter assembly inside the car unless there is a lot of play back and forth in the shift knob.

Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

I would say it's probably 1 hour or so of labor.

Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to see if you need more help. Please don't forget to rate.

Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you need any additional information. Don't forget to rate (that's how we experts get paid).