I Can't Get the Key Out of the Ignition Because My Car Will Not Engage Into Park

by Lauren Farrelly
itstillruns article image
The Car and the Keys image by Lucy Cherniak from Fotolia.com

If your vehicle does not shift into park, you will not be able to get the key out of the ignition. This is a safety feature on all cars so that if the vehicle is still in motion, the battery and engine can be safely operated. If the car cannot be shifted into park, you will need to have repairs made to the shifter belt. This can be done yourself if you are comfortable working on your own vehicle but may require the services of a mechanic.

Step 1

Instruct an assistant to depress the brake pedal firmly.

Step 2

Remove the shifter bezel by unscrewing the top plastic piece with a flat head screwdriver. In most cars, there is a small opening covered by a cap. Underneath this cap is the screw that needs to be removed. If you cannot locate a screw, refer to your owner's manual to find out how to remove the shifter bezel cover.

Step 3

Locate the shifter cable once the shifter bezel is opened. You will see a white or black lift tab on the cable. Pull the tab up and manually move the shifter to the "Park" setting.

Step 4

Release the tab and tell your assistant to release the brake. The car should be fully engaged in park now, and you should be able to safely remove the key from the ignition.

Step 5

Call an auto repair shop and notify them of the issue you are having. You will more than likely need to have the shifter cable repaired, or there may be another issue with the shifter, or the transmission may need to be serviced.

More Articles

article divider