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sprinkles08, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 22679
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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2002 Dodge Durango: gets stuck..I cannot move the shifter..brake petal

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My 2002 Dodge Durango lately gets stuck in "Park". I cannot move the shifter at all, even with the brake petal pressed. Usually in a few hours it frees up and i can move it normally again. Note that even when the shifter is working I am able to move it freely WITHOUT pressing the brake petal at all times except when the key is out..that does not seem normal so it's probably related. I have had it at the Dodge Dealer for 6 days already and they are clueless! They adjusted the interlink cable with no success. Also I hear the click in the column when i press the brake petal all the time, but still sometimes it will not come out of park. Help!

Hi. Do your brake lights work normally? When its not coming out of park the lights do come on, and now that it comes out without touching the brake the lights aren't stuck on are they?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
to my knowledge, the brake lights are working normally (though coincidentally the rear drivers side was out when i was checking yesterday..i replaced it and all looks ok).

Ok. If the brake lights work normally while the shifter is acting up that should rule out the brake lamp switch. That leaves two fairly common things.


It could be the blocker mechanism in the steering column. This is a link between the lock cylinder linkage that rotates and blocks the shifter from moving when the key is out. Its spring loaded, but they sometimes stick when you turn the key on and they stay in the block position and you can't move the shifter. This can be easily seen if you remove the steering column cover. You'll need a t-20 torx screwdriver to remove it. You'll see the piece I'm talking about, just make sure it moves with the key. If its sticking, have the dealer check to see if yours is covered under the recall. There was a recall for this blocker piece that covered alot of these columns.


The only other thing, and what I'm betting is your problem, is the shift cable itself. These do give some problems, and the fact that yours is coming out of park without touching the brake pretty much proves it bad. The brake/shifter interlock uses no seperate cable, it has a solenoid right on the shift cable. You can see it if you remove the knee blocker, the trim panel under the steering column. These solenoids act up and won't allow the shifter to move, especially when cold. Warming it up often helps. Sometimes you can still hear it click when you hit the brake, sometimes not. If your key cylinder linkage is ok and the brake lamps work normally, a shifter cable is pretty much a sure thing.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The dealer has confirmed your diagnosis, though they are charging me over $400 to diagnose and install the part (Part alone is only $75). It will take a few days because the part is on backorder (shift cable). Anyway, i'm glad this will soon be behind me. You are super.. thanks so much for your speedy and accurate solution!

Sorry about the $ setback, but I'm glad I could help. Good luck!