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RIP, Lead Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5591
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician, L1 Adv Level, Ca Smog License, Chrysler Aftermarket Training.
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2001 Dodge Dakota: Quad cab..Drove fine..Engine starts just wont go

Resolved Question:

Cannot get 2001 Dodge Dakota Quad cab into gear. Drove fine last night. Engine starts just won't go into gear. Checked all fuses they were okay. Help
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  RIP replied 10 years ago.
  • Will the shifter come out of park and go into different gears, but vehicle will not move forward or reverse? If so, has the Check Engine Lamp illuminated?



Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Shifter will not come out of park.
Expert:  RIP replied 10 years ago.


This is a fault in the shift interlock system which is a safety device which prevents the shifter from being released without the key on, and brakes deperessed. It can very well be as simple as a faulty brake switch mounted above the brake pedal. Have an assistant monitor the brakes lamps to see if they illumnate when you step on the brake pedal.


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Have already checked the break lights and they come on. So do I replace the break switch or is there a sensor that needs to be replaced
Expert:  RIP replied 10 years ago.

No need to replace any component yet. The brake light illumination entails the power is most likely getting to the shift lock in the steering column. Now, can you hear a clicking in the column with the key ON, while stepping on the brake pedal repeatedly? Also, try to push the shift lever further into park and hold it firmly, while stepping on the brake pedal, repeatedly. If the shift lever releases, than the shift lock soilinoid is most likely at fault. Also, try turning the steering wheel back and forth, with the ignition key ON, and stepping on the brake pedal. Let me know your outcome.


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Did everything you suggested but no luck.
Expert:  RIP replied 10 years ago.

Alright, it does seem the problem will lie in the steering column, shift-lock assembly. One other test you can make if you feel comfortable doing so, is disconnect the transmission shift cable underneath the vehicle at the transmisison. Be sure the wheels are chocked so that you do not mistakenly have it out-of gear. If the shift cable is removed and the shifter comes out of park, the problem lies with a bad cable or inside the transmission "parking prawl." But in most cases we have a locked up shift cable or shifter inside the column. Both require some exoperience to replace and I would recomment be done at a facility equipped to do so.


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