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I have a 1998 Honda accord EX automatic that will often have…

I have a 1998...

I have a 1998 Honda accord EX automatic that will often have its shift lever stuck in park. Our solution thus far has been to repeatedly pump the brakes a bunch of times and this usually frees the lever from park. I am thinking it might be some kind of brake switch that is not connecting and allowing the release of the shifter.

Mechanic's Assistant: Do you have brake lights? Have any trouble codes popped up?

No trouble codes have popped up and the brake lights work

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Accord yourself? What have you tried so far?

I am gonna try to fix it myself; I have looked into replacing the neutral safety switch for starters but don't know what to try after that

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/5/2018
Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 2,264
Experience: Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
Verified

Good afternoon,

It sounds like the shift lock solenoid is failing. This is a small electromagnet powered solenoid that receives a signal from the brake light switch that unlocks the shifter. If it goes bad it will have a hard time moving back and forth to lock and unlock.

The other option is that the brake light switch isn't sending a good signal to the solenoid. Can you have someone watch the brake lights and make sure they are coming on like they should- right when the brake is pressed.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
checked the brake lights—they come on right when the pedal is depressed

In that case I would suspect the solenoid is going bad. Do you plan to replace it yourself? It's near the shifter.

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Also, I just remembered that the multiplex unit on this car controls the shift solenoid and it could also be dropping the signal to the solenoid.

Do you have a multimeter to do some testing?

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1. Verify the Engine Control Module (ECM) is sending 12 volts to the driver's side multiplex control unit on the White/Red wire from ECM terminal A28.

2. If that input is good, verify the Black/Blue (BLK/BLU) wire to the Transmission Range (TR) switch has a good ground, indicating the vehicle is in park. The BLK/BLU wire runs from terminal A3 at the drivers side multiplex unit to the TR switch. Ground that circuit and see if the problem is repaired.

3. If everything tests good, and the shift solenoid circuit is good, then the driver's side multiplex control unit may be faulty.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I do have a multimeter

This is the shift lock solenoid. You will need to see if you are getting good voltage to the power side of the solenoid when pressing the brake pedal.

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Here is a description from Honda for how the solenoid works:

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To clarify, the green wire on the solenoid will have power all of the time, and the yellow wire will have ground when the brake pedal is pressed. This ground comes from the multiplex unit.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
are we ruling out a brake light switch problem then?

If the brake lights work when they should the brake light switch should be ok.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
the solenoid will be located within the panel under the steering wheel, right?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
how much is a replacement solenoid?

The solenoid us under the shifter assembly.

A replacement solenoid is about $50 from the dealer. They are tough to find anywhere else.

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Here is a picture of the solenoid.

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Please let me know if you need additional info.

Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 2,264
Experience: Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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