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Bob, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience:  40 year GM Tech. +30 Certified. ASE Master Tech.(expired, retired) Medium Duty, Heavy Line, Retired
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97 yukon wont shift out of park, and i have the brake pedel pushed

Resolved Question:

my 97 yukon won't shift out of park, and i have the brake pedel pushed
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Bob replied 10 years ago.
HiCustomer Does the ignition key turn to all of the positions it should? Do the rear stop lamps on the truck all work? Is it a column mounted shift lever or on the floor? If on the column, is it a tilt or standard steering column?Thanks
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Bob's Post: the ignition turns to all positions, the rear stop lamps do not work, it is mounted on the column and it is tilt steering
Expert:  Bob replied 10 years ago.
Super. Thanks for the great information, exactly what we needed. A brief description of the system so you know what we are fighting. You shifter has an interlock feature on it that keeps it from coming out of park. It is controlled by a solenoid mounted under the dash on the steering column that goes open and closed to allow the shifter to come out of park. The solenoid gets it power from the brake lamp switch mounted on the shaft above the brake pedal that goes through the firewall to the power brake booster. Things to think about, just in case. I have seen these systems fail due to low rate of charge in the battery. But if the truck will start and run that should eliminate the battery. I have also seen them fail when a fuse in another circuit that should be unrelated to this system blows. They do strange things sometimes in the way of a back feed through electrical circuits. I would start by using a test light and testing each fuse with the key on. Ground the test light and probe both sides of each fuse. Any that light on one side but not both sides need replaced. If it doesn't light on either side, it may be controlled by the lamp switch or something besides the ignition switch unless it is clearly labeled as ignition controlled. We need power from the fuses with the key on to the brake lamp switch. Test there for power both into the switch and when you push the pedal down, power back out of the switch. If you have power in and none out, replace the brake lamp switch. Note, the retainer clip that holds it is a bugger to get off, may want to buy an extra in case it gets destroyed when removing. Cheap! If we have power out of the stop lamp switch to the solenoid and the solenoid does not work, replace the solenoid. You may also be able to just unhook the solenoid linkage and work the link by hand to move the shift lever. Be sure to check close around the break lamp switch for broken wires also. Sometimes they will break from all of the up and down flexing of the brake pedal being used. In short when you turn the key on, step on the brake pedal, you should hear the solenoid click, this releases the park lock so the shifter can be moved. If you need more info or have a problem get back to me, but I think once you see the system you will understand it real fast. You may need to remove the plastic trim panel under the steering column to access this stuff and for working room. If you end up replacing the stop lamp switch, I have been known to remove the 4 bolts that hold the steering column up to the dash pad to get enough room to get my fat hands and fingers into the switch to replace it. E-z to do except for that stubborn clip sometimes. Let me know how you progress and I will be here off and on most of the night in case you need me. Good luck and thanks, Bob
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Bob's Post: i don't have time to try you're solution just yet....i think my hazard switch has a short in it would that have anything to do with it?
Expert:  Bob replied 10 years ago.

I would say no. But the brake lamps do work in conjunction with the turn signal and hazard switch assembly, but I really doubt that is your problem because the voltage goes from the brake lamp switch first, then into the hazard flasher switch. There it is divided by the switch and routed to the correct lamp assembly for turn signals and stop lamps. Your first test after checking all fuses, should be to see if there is power going into the stop lamp switch. As I said before a dead or real low battery could also cause this kind of problem. Let me know how you progress, I will be here. Thanks, Bob

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