Audrey's Automotive Blog

Audrey's Automotive Blog

Why It May Be Hard to Shift the Transmission Lever from "Park"

Penny Roberts

Several factors can cause the transmission lever to be hard when you want to move it from the "park" position. This article discusses some of those factors that you should investigate when you experience this problem as you use your automatic transmission car.

Reduction in Transmission Fluid

All car fluids have a recommended minimum level. Your transmission lever can be hard to move from "park" if the level of the transmission fluid in your car went below that minimum recommended level. Low transmission fluid levels can also affect the ease with which your car can change gears. You will therefore notice some performance issues, such as sluggish starts. Check the dashboard to see if the transmission warning light is on. You can also open the bonnet and use the dipstick to check the amount of fluid in the transmission system. Top up as needed.

Defective Shift Cable

The lever can also be hard to move if the shift cable connecting the gears to the lever is worn or compromised. For example, grease may have caked on that cable. It will therefore be hard for it to move freely as you try to move the lever from one position to another. Ask a professional for help in checking this cable because you may lack the skills to access and inspect it.

Faulty Brake Lights

Most automatic transmission cars are designed to allow the gear lever to be moved once the brake pedal is depressed by the driver. Anything that interferes with the brake light system may therefore affect how easily you can move the lever from the "park" position. Grease, moisture and dirt may be the culprits in this case. This is likely to be the case if you mainly experience this problem when your car has cooled after being parked for long. The brake light system will need to be cleaned so that the lever can work properly once more.

Overloaded Parking Pawl

The transmission lever can also become hard to move if you parked on an incline. The strain exerted on the parking pawl in the gear system of your car can prevent the transmission lever from moving when you return to drive away. This problem will not manifest if you park on a level surface.

As you can see, the difficulty in moving the transmission lever of your car can arise from several unrelated issues. The best way to fix the problem for good is by asking a professional to diagnose the problem before suggesting the most appropriate remedy to that problem.


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About Me
Audrey's Automotive Blog

Hello, my name is Audry. I would like to offer you all a very warm welcome to my new automotive blog. When I was growing up in the 1960s, my daddy would always try to stop me playing with my brother's toy cars. Times were different then and people believed that little girls should not be interested in greasy engines. When I grew up, I went to college and got a job working for a large Australian bank. However, I didn't lose my passion for automobiles. I still like to hang out at the local auto repair and sales shop and I have learnt a lot during my time there.