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HDGENE
HDGENE, ASE Master Tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5499
Experience:  25 years Auto experience, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Asian & European
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Dodge Dakota will not shift out of park. Why?

Resolved Question:

I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota. It occasionally won't shift out of park. The park shifter/cable has been replaced along with the brake switch. The dealer is out of ideas. It's hard to troubleshoot since it's working when I take it in. Any suggestions.

Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  HDGENE replied 10 years ago.

You need to verify if the stop lamps work when the shifter won't move out of park. You may have a problem with a voltage drop to the shifter interlock solenoid. If the stop lamps work when the shifter won't come out of park, the problem is most likely with the shift interlock solenoid that keeps the shifter from moving unless you step on the brake pedal.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
The brake lights work properly. Where is the shifter interlock solenoid, and how do I resolve issue?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 10 years ago.

graphic

Depending on what trans you have there is a method to adjust the shift interlock cable (shifter cable) for proper release. The diagram above shows the electrical connector to test proper voltage when depressing the brake, should be battery voltage.

graphic

45RFE - AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ADJUSTMENTS - BRAKE TRANSMISSION SHIFT INTERLOCK
Correct cable adjustment is important to proper interlock operation. The gearshift cable must be correctly adjusted in order to shift out of PARK.
ADJUSTMENT PROCEDURE

  1. Remove the steering column trim as necessary for access to the brake transmission shift interlock.
  2. Shift the transmission into the PARK position
  1. Pull upward on both the BTSI lock tab and the gearshift cable lock tab (Fig. 68).
  2. Verify that the shift lever is in the PARK position.
  3. Verify positive engagement of the transmission park lock by attempting to rotate the propeller shaft. The shaft will not rotate when the park lock is engaged.
  4. Turn ignition switch to LOCK position. Be sure ignition key cylinder is in the LOCK position. Cable will not adjust correctly in any other position.
  5. Ensure that the cable is free to self-adjust by pushing cable rearward and releasing.
  6. Push the gearshift cable lock tab down until it snaps in place.
  7. Locate the BTSI alignment hole in the bottom of the BTSI mechanism between the BTSI lock tab and the BTSI connector.
  8. Move the BTSI assembly up or down on the gearshift cable until an appropriate size drill bit can be inserted into the alignment hole and through the assembly.
  9. Push the BTSI lock tab down until it snaps into place and remove the drill bit.
  10. Install any steering column trim previously removed.

BTSI FUNCTION CHECK

  1. Verify removal of ignition key allowed in PARK position only.
  2. When the shift lever is in PARK, the ignition key cylinder should rotate freely from off to lock. When the shifter is in any other position, the ignition key should not rotate from off to lock.
  3. Shifting out of PARK should be possible when the ignition key cylinder is in the off position.
  4. Shifting out of PARK should not be possible while applying normal force, and ignition key cylinder is in the run or start positions, unless the foot brake pedal is depressed approximately 1/2 inch (12 mm) .
  5. Shifting out of PARK should not be possible when the ignition key cylinder is in the accessory or lock position.
  6. Shifting between any gear and NEUTRAL, or PARK, may be done without depressing foot brake with ignition switch in run or start positions.
  7. Engine starts must be possible with shifter lever in PARK or NEUTRAL positions only. Engine starts must not be possible in any position other than PARK or NEUTRAL.
  8. With shifter lever in the:
    • PARK position - Apply upward force on the shift arm and remove pressure. Engine starts must be possible.
    • PARK position - Apply downward force on the shift arm and remove pressure. Engine starts must be possible.
    • NEUTRAL position - Normal position. Engine starts must be possible.
    • NEUTRAL position - Engine running and brakes applied, apply upward force on the shift arm. Transmission shall not be able to shift from neutral to reverse.
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