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Truck Won't Go Into Park


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#1 jljhlhl

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:30 PM

Hi all,

I've got my first problem in my new to me truck. Its an 04 Sierra with the 5.3 and 4 speed automatic. Just today, all of a sudden the truck will not go into park. I made a few stops throughout today, but when I went to my grandparents to cut the lawn, I pulled out front, stopped, went to put it into park, and the shifter felt really loose and wouldnt "click" into park like it should.

I left it in neutral to be able to turn the truck off, put on the emergency brake and blocked my wheels while I did my work. When I finished I went to leave, still couldn't get it into park. I drove home fine, everything else works normally (Reverse, Neutral, Drive, 1, 2, 3) but it just will not go into park no matter what I do. To get my key out, I have to put the shifter up as high as it will go, and eventually the key comes out, but I'm still in reverse as indicated on my cluster and reverse lights, however, I am still not in park as I continue to roll when I let off the brake.

Has anyone had this problem, or at least know where I should start to look for the culprit? Truck has just over 181,000 km on it (~112,000 miles).

Thanks for your help!

#2 99'HEARTBEAT

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 04:17 PM

Hi all,

I've got my first problem in my new to me truck. Its an 04 Sierra with the 5.3 and 4 speed automatic. Just today, all of a sudden the truck will not go into park. I made a few stops throughout today, but when I went to my grandparents to cut the lawn, I pulled out front, stopped, went to put it into park, and the shifter felt really loose and wouldnt "click" into park like it should.

I left it in neutral to be able to turn the truck off, put on the emergency brake and blocked my wheels while I did my work. When I finished I went to leave, still couldn't get it into park. I drove home fine, everything else works normally (Reverse, Neutral, Drive, 1, 2, 3) but it just will not go into park no matter what I do. To get my key out, I have to put the shifter up as high as it will go, and eventually the key comes out, but I'm still in reverse as indicated on my cluster and reverse lights, however, I am still not in park as I continue to roll when I let off the brake.

Has anyone had this problem, or at least know where I should start to look for the culprit? Truck has just over 181,000 km on it (~112,000 miles).

Thanks for your help!

You mention that the shifter felt loose.Where the shifter goes into the column,You have the boot.There are 1 or 2 bolts I can't remember for sure, that holds the shifter on.Maybe they have come loose,That is just a guess?

#3 shocktrp

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:41 PM

Hi all,

I've got my first problem in my new to me truck. Its an 04 Sierra with the 5.3 and 4 speed automatic. Just today, all of a sudden the truck will not go into park. I made a few stops throughout today, but when I went to my grandparents to cut the lawn, I pulled out front, stopped, went to put it into park, and the shifter felt really loose and wouldnt "click" into park like it should.

I left it in neutral to be able to turn the truck off, put on the emergency brake and blocked my wheels while I did my work. When I finished I went to leave, still couldn't get it into park. I drove home fine, everything else works normally (Reverse, Neutral, Drive, 1, 2, 3) but it just will not go into park no matter what I do. To get my key out, I have to put the shifter up as high as it will go, and eventually the key comes out, but I'm still in reverse as indicated on my cluster and reverse lights, however, I am still not in park as I continue to roll when I let off the brake.

Has anyone had this problem, or at least know where I should start to look for the culprit? Truck has just over 181,000 km on it (~112,000 miles).

Thanks for your help!


Sounds like you need your linkage adjusted.

#4 Ranger

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 08:09 PM

Except I think his truck is an all electronic transmission, no shift rods/cables going down there...I'm guessing the shifter on the column itself might've broke a detent or something.

#5 coltbean

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 08:25 PM

Not sure if it is electronic or not but I had that exact problem one time and it was a bolt had fallen out of the bracket that holds the linkage cable on the side of the transmission.
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#6 jljhlhl

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 08:43 PM

I'll take a look at everything suggested so far. I couldnt start tearing into the stuff today because I have no tools here, but this week I will be taking a close look at how it all works, but figured I would post here to hopefully get some good leads as to where to look first, which I thank-you all for helping.

If anyone else has suggestions post here and I'll let you all know what the problem was when I fix it this week.

Thanks again!

#7 dkjbama

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:03 PM

The truck won't allow you to shift into or out of park unless the brakes are applied. I'm pretty sure it uses the brake light plunger switch to determine if the brakes are applied. Check your brake lights; if they don't work, you've likely found your problem.

#8 jljhlhl

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:26 PM

The truck won't allow you to shift into or out of park unless the brakes are applied. I'm pretty sure it uses the brake light plunger switch to determine if the brakes are applied. Check your brake lights; if they don't work, you've likely found your problem.


I just went out and checked that - with the key in the on position and a weight on the brake pedal I went and looked at the rear - both brake lights were illuminated along with both reverse lights (showing I still can't get it into park). Thanks for the idea though!

#9 brims

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:34 PM

You sure that would prevent you from going into park? I know it prevents you from coming out. But if that's the case, may be the solenoid or whatever prevents you from putting it into park. Just throwing something out there.
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#10 dkjbama

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:57 PM

You sure that would prevent you from going into park? I know it prevents you from coming out. But if that's the case, may be the solenoid or whatever prevents you from putting it into park. Just throwing something out there.


Yeah, I think you're right. My Rover is like that, but after I thought about it, I'm pretty sure the truck isn't.

I just threw it out there for sake of checking simple stuff first.

Edited by dkjbama, 24 May 2009 - 09:58 PM.


#11 dkjbama

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:01 PM

EDIT double post

Edited by dkjbama, 24 May 2009 - 10:04 PM.


#12 STZ71

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:13 PM

Did you go off roading lately? There could be alot of mud or something built up. Happens to us at work all the time.

#13 jljhlhl

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:22 PM

Did you go off roading lately? There could be alot of mud or something built up. Happens to us at work all the time.


That is a possibility, as I myself wasn't off roading, but when I bought the truck I pulled about 200 pounds of dirt out of the frame rails and skid plates.

I'm sure once I take a close look at the truck it will be visible (hopefully) as to the cause, I was just posting here to see if it was a common problem, which it appears it isn't a known problem with a standard fixing method.

Again, thank-you to everyone...hopefully I'll have it fixed up this week and know what caused it.

#14 jljhlhl

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:41 PM

Just an update - I decided that since I need to drive a fair bit tomorrow I better take a quick investigation to make sure its at least safe to drive otherwise...I had someone shift the transmission while I was looking under. There is some sort of "linkage" that just moves forward and back under the truck with a rubber boot over it (I dont know what this part would technically be called), and it moves through the gears as my friend was moving them, but when he went to put it where park would be, it stopped. I physically moved this rod one more notch forward and he told me that it now showed the truck as being in park. I got out from under and got in the truck...gave the truck just a little gas and didnt move, indicating I was in fact in park.

If anyone knows what I'm talking about, is this park just adjustable, or would it likely be the column that needs adjusting. This is all the information I got now, it appears the truck will be fine to drive tomorrow and I'll just use the parking brake, but tomorrow night I'll probably take a really close look at it, it was just too dark right now to see how this thing is adjusted, or if it even can be.

#15 shocktrp

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 11:46 AM

Just an update - I decided that since I need to drive a fair bit tomorrow I better take a quick investigation to make sure its at least safe to drive otherwise...I had someone shift the transmission while I was looking under. There is some sort of "linkage" that just moves forward and back under the truck with a rubber boot over it (I dont know what this part would technically be called), and it moves through the gears as my friend was moving them, but when he went to put it where park would be, it stopped. I physically moved this rod one more notch forward and he told me that it now showed the truck as being in park. I got out from under and got in the truck...gave the truck just a little gas and didnt move, indicating I was in fact in park.

If anyone knows what I'm talking about, is this park just adjustable, or would it likely be the column that needs adjusting. This is all the information I got now, it appears the truck will be fine to drive tomorrow and I'll just use the parking brake, but tomorrow night I'll probably take a really close look at it, it was just too dark right now to see how this thing is adjusted, or if it even can be.


What happens when you take it out of park (from inside the truck) now?

Does it go into gear?

Will it go back into park now or do you still have the same problem?




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