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Gary, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Hyundai
Satisfied Customers: 1117
Experience:  Senior Technician
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Hyundai Elantra: Two times now my 2012 Elantra will not shift

Customer Question

Two times now my 2012 Elantra will not shift into reverse or park. It will shift into drive and neutral, but I can't turn the car off or get the key out of the ignition. I took it to a repair shop the first time and it worked properly for a week then unexpectedly it wouldn't shift into reverse or park again. If I keep driving for a while both times it eventually let me shift into reverse and park. Very scary.
Submitted: 2 years ago via
Category: Hyundai
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,
You could have a shift able fraying internally that binds up on the upward stroke.
If you take the inner cable off at the transmission, the shifter would then be easier normally.
If yours is real easy from 1st to Neutral, then feels difficult form Neutral to Park, then the cable is likely.
Unlikely to the shifter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your reply Gary. The inability to shift from drive to park (and turn the car off and take the key out) does not happen all the time, but when it does its not just difficult to shift from drive to park. It is impossible to shift from drive to park. If I drive down a hill at an accelerated speed and hit the break hard, it sometimes (but not every time) corrects the problem temporarily.
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,
Strange decelerating hard makes it ok sometimes.
Impossible to move forward from DRIVE is more than likely a problem with the shifter.
Does that mean you have trouble in carparks or where you need to do a 3 point turn?
Have you taken the car to Hyundai?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will definitely relay your cable and shifter suggestions to the mechanics who have the car now. When the car is exhibiting this problem I can't reverse out of a front-end only parking space or make a 3 point turn. The last time this happened I had to get two people to help me push the car out of a front-end only space and after I cleared the cars on each side of me, I immediately drove (because it will always shift into drive and neutral) to the nearest ASC mechanics I knew and trusted, however, they are not specifically Hyundai mechanics. The Hyundai dealership was farther away and I wanted to get the car into a shop as soon as possible. Also, I did'nt mention that the car has automatic transmission. This problem with the car actually happened three times, not two as I wrote in my original email. I forgot one of the times.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I meant to type that the mechanics are ASE mechanics.
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
Can I make a suggestion to you that if you show them, they may spot something.
I do that with customers sometimes.
It does to me that the shifter detent that allows a Neutral - Reverse shift is not lifting enough to allow selection of Reverse. Very common problem in early Commodore from the '80s.
Can be very frustrating if this occurs.
I feel for you, and I hope that your mechanic can sort it for you.