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Chris, Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 790
Experience:  20 Years Volvo experience, Based in Maine, Volvo certified Expert.
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I have a 2001 Volvo s40. The shift lock will sometimes not

Customer Question

I have a 2001 Volvo s40. The shift lock will sometimes not engage which results the I can't remove the ignition key. The shifter (auto Trans) paddle will stay in the engaged position when this occurs. I have a Haynes Manual (pg 7B.6) which shows the cable adjuster for the shift lock. I have everything apart, but I don't know which way to adjust the cable, losten or tighten. I don't want to guess and than find when I get it all back together I adjusted it the wrong way. I don't want a guess from you either.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Philip replied 5 years ago.
The cables in these cars never need to be adjusted, i have never heard anyone adjusting one before to be honest with you. The most common cause of your key issue is either the shift knob button getting stuck somtimes, and the shiftlock override buttom get stuck down due to debris and dirt.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I waited so long to get a reply, I went back to work on the car an put everything back together. I found that the adjustment cable is accessible by taking off just the left panel on the center console. This will allow me easy access to mess with the cable until I get it right. I appreciate you reply, but it came too late to be of any help (or consolation). Maybe my messing with it fixed it because right now everything is working fine.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
To repeat my reply above, I waited so long to get a reply that I went back to work on the car and solved the problem. The reply simply stated that he never experienced this problem and it might have been some dirt on the release button. The response was too late to be of use to me. Therefore, I don't consider that I should pay for the mechanics late response.
Expert:  Chris replied 5 years ago.
Hello, and I am sorry you waited so long to have your question answered.

The previous expert was correct, sometimes the shift override button gets stuck partially down. But What I feel is your cars trouble, is the shifter knob itself. See the coating that they put on the shifter paddle, starts to peel off over time, and this gets stuck inside the shifter knob. This forces you to "pull" the paddle forward to get the key out of the ignition.

Simply if you replace the shifter knob everything should return back to normal. To give you an example, my 1998 V70 does the same exact thing. These types of shift knobs volvo started using, were a nuisance for the coating to peel off.

I know that this is your trouble. Good luck with your repairs and thanks for the question

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