Edmunds Answers



  • zaken1 08/31/08 1:28 am PST

    That should be covered on your warranty. Call the dealer, and tell them to send a tow truck to get your car. They should repair it for free (unless they determine that the car has been raced, modified, or abused.)

  • canddmeyer 08/31/08 4:35 am PST

    Open your owners manual. There is usually a description of what to do when this situation occurs. When you can release it from park, then it can be driven to the dealer.

  • obyone 08/31/08 6:40 am PST

    Maybe a slight turn of the wheel will release it out of park?

  • karjunkie 08/31/08 8:33 am PST

    If the transmission will not shift out of park when you first start the car, you should first check the brake release switch and the ignition lock solenoid which are safety measures to make sure you dont start the car in gear. Also check the safety release button on the shifter and the shifter linkage to make sure it is working properly and is not binding. Try simply spraying some WD-40 into the shift linkage under the console to see if it is just the linkage.

  • fatmando 08/31/08 5:47 pm PST

    you have to put your foot on the brake to get it out of park.

    if you are doing so, and it won't... call Dodge, they will pay for the tow to get it into the shop for the warranty repair.

  • jhpatte 09/01/09 4:13 pm PST

    From reading other sites, there seems to be a weak design. There is a plastic assembly with a spring, the hook for the spring breaks and the car can't be shifted out of park. You will have to remove the interior covers for the gear shifter, this can be done by hand, they all just snap in place. To get you going, press the brakes and pull back on the hot pink plastic cube located on the left side of the shifter assembly as you pull the shifter into gear. This will allow you to at east drive the car to the shop if need be.

    If you car is under warranty, take it to the shop.

    My car was past the warranty, so I fixed it myself. Looking at the assembly, I saw where the spring used to be. I bought a 75 cent, compression spring at the hardware store (Hillman spring #106 4" X 5/16" X 0.35) which I cut to 3.5in long. I pulled the cable assembly out that actuates the hot pink plastic tab, put the spring over the cable (coil over setup like parking breaks are) and re-installed. I verified it before I put all the covers back on. This can be a field repair, the covers can be removed by hand, but a pair of needle nose pliers are handy to re-install the cable.

  • jds0334 04/12/10 4:44 pm PST

    jhpatte was correct with my problem. I grabbed a butter knife and have been using that to put my car into reverse for about a week now. In the meantime, I have found out that I do not have a warranty so am going to go get the spring after work and replacing that for under $1. Would have been about $400-500 to replace the whole thing.

    My only concern is how I am going to get to that part without breaking some of the clip in plastic. I have the first 2 pieces off now, but the actual shifter doesnt seem to want to come loose at all. I can figure it out eventually-- just happy I am not spending so much replacing the whole thing!

    Thanks so much!

  • lg7825 04/15/10 1:56 pm PST

    THANK YOU JHPATTE! You're AWESOME! This happened to me late last night and my husband was 2 hours away. By following your instructions and pictures I was able to fix my car and drive home. THANK YOU AGAIN!

  • john2323 04/30/10 6:51 pm PST

    My 2008 Dodge Avenger is stuck in park and I cannot get it into drive or reverse or any other gear. I'm looking to see if there is a recall on the gear shift/transmission of this car.

  • lanutt 06/12/10 8:44 pm PST

    After trying the spring trick from an earlier post, my key would not come out. Then the spring came off and went under the shifter hold down bracket (which is held on by 4 10mm bolts). After removing that we found the factory spring and the other spring we were using. The factory spring is about 1/2" in length with a circle at each end. The problem is the hot pink button on the left side, it should have a hook for one of these ends to go into but it is broke off. So we used the factory spring and on the hot pink button we screwed a 1/4" coarse thread screw into the plastic with one end of the spring on it, DO NOT over tighten this screw as you will distort the spring. The other end need to go on a small black hook that is molded on the shifter mechanism. This fix allows you to shift like it was from the factory AND remove your key! I do hope this helps as spending money at the dealership for repairs is no fun.

  • fenderman2 06/15/10 11:55 pm PST

    lanutt is 100% correct. The spring should be put in the way he explains.
    My question is how are you getting to the side of the pink part, did you unbolt the entire mechanism (using the 4 bolts that hold it in) or did you remove the enitre plastic moulding that starts by the radio and ends at the center console. It looks like u just unbolted it. I am trying to minimize work. I love the idea of using a screw.

  • myke66 06/18/10 4:50 pm PST

    Here is a video explaining what happened, how it to fix it, and general tips. I had issues with the key getting locked but found a solution. myke66@gmail.com if you have any questions.


  • lovenpain 07/07/10 9:09 am PST

    Ironically a neighbor came to me with this issue with their 08 Avenger since they always seen me outside always working on my Viper. So I went to help them out and without knowing or seeing this issue posted. I knew it had to be a link or some cheap new Dodge plastic part. So I dissembled the console like others have. What I did to resolve this issue. Is that I used stenciled wire or wire just some bendable med tentsioned wired you can get pretty much anywhere on a spool.. I took the hot pink block on the left side like previously people have already illustrated and pulled it back and tied it around where the factory spring hook is . Doing this, makes your stick permenantly go to the right and stay in the park position rather that banking itself to the left while in park. IT's no biggie. The car shifts fine. Shifter still locks in the position of park when you take the key out. And when you insert the key to start and press the brake you easily go through all the gears just as normal. Now the only sacrifice was that the shifter wont be able to rest to the left and you never should force it! other than that it's even less costing than buying the spring. And you don't have to worry about anything poping off. Cause you just tied it down into that position permenantly until you physically remove the wire. Other fixes I have seen are good too. People it's your choice on which way you want to go about fixing it. My way it just one out of few. I think all the ways are just fine. Whatever is the most convient to the person who needs to fix the problem fast and never have to deal with it, AND HONESTLY don't go and waste your money and time replacing this part. I don't even own one of these cars and seeing how dodge reverted in screwing you all with this cheap easy money making how to screw over their customers to earn a buck take me by no surprize!!! lol just pick a way to do it and keep it like that IMO!

  • kristine02 06/08/11 10:54 am PST

    I have a 2008 Dodge Avenger this has happened to, You can release is using your release button which is found in the cup holder, Pull back the rubber piece, there should be a hole inwhich you can stick your finger into and a the same time as puching the button in there you pull back on the Shifter!!! Then you cal you local Dodge Dealer and Get an Appt. because there is a recall on this!!!!! It gets fixed by Proffessional that know what the are doing!!!!!

  • erven 06/08/13 5:52 pm PST

    My dodge avenger will not go out of park or any other gear, what do I do?


Top Dodge Avenger Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. lanutt 35
2. karjunkie 25
3. MrShift@Edmunds 25
4. zaken1 20
5. jhpatte 10
6. jrobitaille 10
7. tgoodrich 10