How to Replace the Shift Interlock Solenoid

The shift interlock solenoid is the mechanical component that prevents shifting out of park unless the brake pedal is depressed. You can tell if your shift interlock is going bad because you may have difficulty shifting the car out of park. There is no need to take your car to an auto repair shop if you are having difficulty with the shift interlock solenoid. The replacement is quite easy. All you need to do is to follow this step-by-step guide.



Locate the Shift Interlock Solenoid

The shift interlock will be located in one of two places. In a few car models, it is attached to the transmission. This is very rare, and will generally only be found in very old cars. In most other vehicles, you will find it attached to the shifter. The solenoid will look like a small cylinder with a plunger coming out of it.


Gather Your Tools

You want to make sure that you have everything you need before beginning the replacement. You will need a new shift interlock solenoid, a socket set, and a torque wrench. You may also need a new solenoid pin. If the one on the interlock seems damaged, you will want to replace it.


Disconnect the Battery

You are going to be working in the car’s electrical system, so you want to make sure that there are no shorts or electrical discharges that may damage your car. The best way to do this is to disconnect your car battery. Simply unhook the positive and negative cables from the battery.


Remove the Shifter Console

Now you need to remove the shifter console. This will allow you access to remove the solenoid. The console should pop out easily, which will expose the shifter wiring.


Disconnect the Solenoid

Disconnect the solenoid from the main wire harness. This will be the wire that attaches to the solenoid and the shifter. All that you need to do is unplug this wire.


Remove the Collar and Pin

Now you need to remove the components that are holding the solenoid in place. There will be a collar that holds the solenoid in its mount. You need to remove this using the socket set. There will also be a pin that needs to be removed.


Remove the Solenoid

There will be several bolts that are holding the solenoid in place. Remove the bolts and the solenoid should be able to be lifted out of the mount.


Install the New Solenoid

Place the new solenoid into the mount and then tighten the bolts to hold it in place. To make sure that you installed it correctly, check that there is at least a 2.5 mm gap between the shift lock lever and the pin groove when the solenoid is activated.


Finish Installing the Solenoid

You will need to re-install the mount and pin. If you are not replacing these components, just connect them back to the assembly. You will also need to reconnect the solenoid to the main wire harness. This should be an easy push connection.


Replace the Console and Connect the Battery

Now that the replacement has been installed, you need to replace the shifter console. This should snap into place. For the final step, you need to reconnect the battery. Then start the car and attempt to shift out of park.

You now know how to replace the shift interlock solenoid. Changing the shift interlock solenoid is an easy repair that can be performed at home if you follow this step-by-step guide. This will save you the money and hassle of having to take your car into the shop.