Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar Stever@Edmunds 02/04/08 11:35 pm PST

    It sounds like your shift interlock isn't releasing. There should be a shift interlock override to release the shifter if you get stuck somewhere and can't get it out of park.

    The override may be hidden under a cover plate on the steering column or shifter console, and you may have to use a pen, ignition key or small screwdriver to access it. Your owner's manual may tell you where the override is hidden.

    You may have a burnt out brake light or a bad fuse. Often the shift interlock and brake lights are on the same circuit, so if the brake lights aren't working, that could cause the shift interlock to malfunction. If the fuse and lights are ok, the brake switch could be flaky or you could have a bad interlock solenoid.

Answers

  • Stever@Edmunds 02/04/08 11:35 pm PST

    It sounds like your shift interlock isn't releasing. There should be a shift interlock override to release the shifter if you get stuck somewhere and can't get it out of park.

    The override may be hidden under a cover plate on the steering column or shifter console, and you may have to use a pen, ignition key or small screwdriver to access it. Your owner's manual may tell you where the override is hidden.

    You may have a burnt out brake light or a bad fuse. Often the shift interlock and brake lights are on the same circuit, so if the brake lights aren't working, that could cause the shift interlock to malfunction. If the fuse and lights are ok, the brake switch could be flaky or you could have a bad interlock solenoid.

  • billwarren08 08/08/08 2:30 am PST

    it is probably a bad plastic switch located on the top of the brake pedal. It simply twists and pulls out to service it. I should replace it but instead just un-snapped the switch housing and cleaned the contacts with a knife and it works like new now. Ours was doing this off and on for a year before it finally just wouldnt go with all the stamping on the brake pedal.

    good luck

  • jkeys 02/13/09 5:13 pm PST

    billwarren08,

    Thanks for the info! After cleaning all the contacts, it works great! FYI,
    for the clamping contacts, I pulled out the lower metal contacts and used a
    fingernail file to clean the contacts. For other metal contact points, I either
    used a knife of some fine grain sandpaper.

    This saved me a trip to the shop!

  • lammai 08/20/09 4:02 pm PST

    Thank you very much for the help. I replaced the brake safety switch, I paid fo 16.00 at auto part, the gear shift is working now. It is very easy to replace. take no more than 5 minutes. I took the car to the dealer for check out and dealer said I would cost at least 1000 dollar for fixing gear shift getting stuck in Park. The forum did save me a lot.

  • rstrl 10/07/09 5:27 pm PST

    Bill Warren,

    You're my hero!! Thanks for your info. It' shard to get to the switch because of too little room between the driver's seat and the break pedal, but when you manage to reach it it's easy to take it out and disassemble it. Just be careful with a little spring inside it, it can be easily lost. The break pedal became a bit tight though but I can drive again.

    Thanks again Bill,

    RS

  • rh124 08/03/10 5:26 pm PST

    I had the *exact* same problem, and bought the part for about $12 at the dealer, and spent all of 5 minutes taking out the old one and installing the new one. Tricky part was that it needed a little twist when fully inserted to lock it in place.

    It's clear looking at the parts that the replacement part is hardier, stronger plastic and the plunger is wider. The part comes with the main switch and the collar because the plunger is a different size so the collar is too. I had to break the old collar to get it out, it snapped into place.

  • scanman1 08/04/10 12:54 pm PST

    bad solenoid

  • katemc 10/23/10 8:20 pm PST

    Thanks for the help. We found the switch wouldn't release easily, it has a lock nut 14mm. Once unscrewed lock nut it came out easily, whole housing intact. We checked the contacts, which were clean and working. Refitted switch and adjusted its position by one full turn- this widened gap between pedal and switch when pedal is activated. Honda Accord 2002. Working well now.

  • whaler55 02/17/11 3:11 pm PST

    follow me here, I was about to take the interlock switch out and replace it with the one I got from AutoZone for $9 after reading the original post above since I had the same problem in my 2003 Odd. As I was doing this my flashlight went out. I knocked it around some and it worked again. I then twisted the interlock switch and disconnected it. I looked at it, knocked it around a bit, and reinstalled. Everything is back in order. The one I got from AutoZone is now sitting in my glove compartment in case I need it in the future.

  • cjerry1 07/18/11 7:55 pm PST

    Yep it was the switch. I had my brake lights and gear shift stuck for my 2003 Honda Odyssey. I searched over and over for this online and everyone was pretty consistent to the fact that the switch above the Brake Pedal was the Culprit. However, had a hard time finding a part number, here it is: 36750 SMA 003.

  • michelediane 09/06/11 10:41 am PST

    We have a 2003 Honda Odyssey. Replaced the brake light ( shift interlock) switch on the brake pedal. The brake pedal felt much tighter after replacing the switch.


    Now the car randomly brakes by itself. We tried the part from Autozone, then the one from NAPA ( each slightly different) then Honda parts was finally open so we tried the Honda part. Same results.

    The tech told us the switch can cause spontaneous braking or it can indicate a different electrical problem whcih probably caused the switch to fail. No resolution as of yet. Any suggestions?

  • michelediane 09/06/11 5:26 pm PST

    The problem was - I guess we installed the switch so that it was partially depressing the brake. Weirdly it moved freely sometimes and then suddenly the brake would drag.


    When you install the switch , push it through the collar but don't lock it in place with the quarter turn to the right until it is adjusted. Let the brake pedal all the way up and adjust the switch position so that it barely makes the switch go in when fully raised. Lock it in place. Now make sure the brake lights still go off when your foot is off the brake, that tapping the brake releases the cruise control, and that when you engage the brake you can pull the car into gear from park. If all that works andthere is no resistance from the brake you are good to go.

  • drfeelgood4321 12/06/11 5:00 am PST

    Happens to mine too, there should be a slot behind the steering wheel. Put a key or something in it and it should free up. Damn japanese safety feature designed to prevent shifting into drive without foot on brake.

    Source: my car

  • fstpicker 03/02/12 12:16 pm PST

    Had the same problem with my 2003 Odyssey. Couldn't get it out of park. It would work sometimes and sometimes not. Finally got tired of it, and read this forum thread. Went to Advance Auto and bought the $10 brake switch part. Replaced it and voila, it works just fine. Wish I'd done this sooner. Very thankful that it was easy and cheap to fix, unlike some other things on Hondas.

  • baknine 03/05/12 6:11 pm PST

    the short answer: here is the part at fault.


    I found it at advanceautoparts.com and autozone.com, other parts stores have it as well, might look different than pictured depending on the brand. Buy it, replace it, be done with it!

    $9.49

    here it is at www.autozone.com $10.99

    Your welcome,

    -Big AL

  • pharus 07/23/12 9:59 am PST

    I agree with the comments and solutions above. I bought the part at Autozone. My only stumble was not recognizing that there is a new female part that came on the new male part. That has to be removed, and then swapped with the existing female part that is mounted on that flat steel plate on the honda.

    I also tried the little slot on top of the steering column, and pressing in a key or something worked just fine as well. Be very careful removing the tiny plastic cover to that slot, the little tabs that hold it in are not designed for multiple uses.

  • dkarner 07/30/12 6:30 pm PST

    Bought Brake Sitch from dealership for $12. They said this happens very frequetly. Like others, I found the new switch didn't fit into the female plastic lock nut attached to the piston. Don't worry- just pry it off with a screw driver and replace it with the one that came with the brake switch. Like Michelediane, my brake intermittently started not to release fully when I took my foot off the brake pedal. Will follow their suggestion to fiddle with the brke pedal position before locking the switch in place. Thanks to all for this discussion; saved lots of money and made me feel studly!

  • davec860 11/24/12 11:08 pm PST

    The fix is super simple and cost me less than $12 to fix. The problem I found was the 'neutral brake switch' went bad. This switch is located above the brake pedal and easily comes out. Go to your local auto parts store and ask for this part. It took me less than 10 minutes an saved me a $100 repair bill! Problem solved!

  • nickih71 12/16/12 3:27 pm PST

    Thanks so much. Was having the exact same problem with my 2003 Odyssey. Found this site. My husband bought the part for $8.99. Ten minutes later, the can is working perfectly!

  • tbu 09/04/13 2:36 pm PST

    This is an easy fix with the barking light switch. Make sure you adjust the switch correctly so that the pedal engages the switch when depresssed. It took me 5 minutes to change, but the brakes were engaging intermittently and slowing down my car. The instructions I found on-line don't stress this fact enough. Luckily I found this site. I was about to get my car towed and have a dealer check it out just because I did not adjust the switch.

    DO NOT push the brake pedal down when reinstalling the switch. Leave it up and push the switch in and fully engage the switch. Twist it on in place.

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