Audi Shift Lock Override Instructions

by Andrew Rothmund
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shifter image by Brett Bouwer from

Most cars equipped with an automatic transmission have a feature commonly known as "shift lock," which prevents the driver from shifting out of park when the car is off, when the foot brake isn't applied or when the car's computer senses damage to the engine or transmission. Whatever the situation, sometimes the driver has to override a locked transmission in order to move the car.

Step 1

Apply pressure to the foot brake, and turn the engine on.

Step 2

Attempt to shift from park. Sometimes the car rolls backwards during parking, causing the shifter to be slightly stuck, not "locked." If it doesn't budge, it's probably the shift lock.

Step 3

Turn off the engine.

Step 4

Search "shift lock" in the index of your Audi's manual. Over the years, Audi has used different types of shift locks, two of the most common being an actual button near the shifter, and the other requiring the removal of the plastic panel surrounding the shifter.

Step 5

Depress the shift-lock override button. If the button or mechanism is under the panel that surrounds the shifter, follow your manual's instructions to remove the panel.

Step 6

Shift the car into neutral while still holding or pressing the shift lock override and with pressure still applied to the brake.

Step 7

Turn on the engine while the car is in neutral, and shift into drive or reverse.

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