Need to repair a Chevy Colorado that won’t shift into park? Learn how to troubleshoot and repair automatic transmission issues with this guide, from shift cables to ignition keys.
You are about to park your vehicle when you suddenly find that your Chevy Colorado won’t go into park!
It’s risky to leave the car like this, and you should call the mechanic immediately to get a solution.
The park gear is a safety feature that helps lock the transmission and hold the car motionless when parked.
It keeps the wheels locked when you switch to park mode.
But there can be several reasons for vehicles not going to park mode.
For instance, the shifter cable may get damaged, worn out of any transmission components, or problems in the ignition can cause this issue.
Why Doesn’t My Chevy Colorado Go Into the Park?
#1. Broken Transmission Shift Cable
Most vehicles have a cable connecting the vehicle’s transmission system with a shifter handle. The shifter handle in cars is used to change gears.
In automatic transmission vehicles, you will find there is only a cable that connects the gear selector and transmission.
But in a manual transmission vehicle, you will have two cables connecting the transmission and shifter handle.
Again there are two shift levers in manual transmission(horizontal and vertical movement), whereas there is only one shift lever in automatic transmission.
You cannot put your vehicle in parking mode or cannot change gears when the shift cable is broken or stretched.
The shift cable usually gets broken when you shift gears very fast.
#2. Stretched Shift Cable
The shift cable does not break on a single day. It first stretches, and your vehicle will not go into park mode if it extends more than normal.
The condition worsens in the automatic transmission gearbox. You will not be able to remove the ignition key because of stretched shift cable.
The shifter can also get misaligned because of this problem.
#3. Issues In Shifter Handle
The shifter handle can have problems in your vehicle, and that can prevent your car from getting into parking mode.
You can remove the boot cover of the shifter and inspect the shifter assembly. If you find anything damaged or loose, you must repair it instantly.
#4. Shifter Handle Is Blocked
Some food particles, coins, or debris can block the shifter handle. It may prevent the shifter handle from shifting gears or shifting into parking mode.
You need to inspect the shifter handle and remove it if there is any blockage.
#5. Malfunctioning Of Transmission Solenoid
A transmission solenoid is a valve that helps flow the transmission fluid in an automatic transmission vehicle.
It operates when it receives a signal from either the transmission control unit or the Electronic control unit.
When you are driving your car and want to change gears, the computer sends a signal to the transmission solenoid, and the plunger opens and sends the transmission fluid for shiting the appropriate gear.
But if you have not changed the transmission fluid for a long time, it can cause the shifter solenoid to malfunction.
Sometimes the shifter solenoid doesn’t get enough power from the car computer and hence cannot operate effectively—a faulty transmission solenoid cause problems in the gear shift.
#6. Damaged Transmission Components
Various components of the transmission system can get faulty with time.
For instance, if we talk about the automatic transmission system, its major components are the planetary gear set, torque converter, and valve body.
The torque converter works similarly to that of the clutch. It helps in supplying power from the engine to the transmission system.
Additionally, the valve controls the transmission fluid, which plays a vital role in smoothly changing the gears.
Defects in any of the major components or transmission fluid leakage can be the reason your vehicle cannot shift to park.
The transmission repairs cost is within $300 to $1400, spending on the type of component which has worn out.
#7. Damaged Ignition Key Tumbler
The ignition key tumbler can get damaged with time, so you may have a problem in gear shifting or sifting to park mode.
How Can You Fix When Colorado Doesn’t Go Into Park?
Car owners can try some DIY methods to fix the issue. We are listing some of the procedures below.
#1. Adjust The Shift Cable
Check the transmission pan and if you find any fault in the arrangement of the shift cable, then follow the procedure below.
- You need to shift gears in neutral mode.
- You need to see gear movements from under the vehicle. So say your friend to sit on the driver’s side and shift gears as you say.
- You can elevate the front portion of the vehicle with a jack stand.
- Use wheel chocks for attaching the back wheels of the car.
- You will find two nuts at the back of the bracket. You need to tighten it slightly and tell your friend to shift gears again.
- Don’t tighten it too much; otherwise, the shifter cable can break.
- You have to repeat the process until the shifter cable is adjusted correctly.
If you cannot do it on your own or lack technical skills, it’s best to take your car to an auto repair shop.
The repair shop will charge approximately $100 for shifting the cable. The mechanic may change the shifter cable if required, costing you almost $200 to $300.
#2. Manual Parking
You can manually shift your car into parking mode by the following methods.
- Remove the transmission pan, adjust the shifter cable length, and then again fit it into the transmission pan.
- Close the transmission pan and try to shift your car to parking mode.
What Is The Appropriate Way To Park Your car?
If you have an automatic transmission system, you must follow the procedure below for parking your car.
- You need to shift gears into neutral mode and press the park switch.
- Lift the pedal slightly from the brake pedal.
- Press the pedal once again and shift the car gears to parking mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes the gear shift to not go in park?
The gear shift not going into park could be the result of a faulty or worn-out transmission.
This could be due to worn-out bushings, damaged linkages, failing seals, or damaged shift knobs and detents.
Additionally, a failing brake switch or low levels of transmission fluid can also cause the gear shift not to go in park.
Other possible causes include stuck solenoids, misalignment of parts due to an accident, or a broken cable or linkage.
In some cases, it may require a mechanic’s diagnosis to determine what is causing the gear shift not to go into park.
How do you fix a transmission that is not in park?
To fix a transmission that is not in park, you must first identify the cause of the problem. Common issues include a broken parking pawl, linkage jamming, or an electrical fault.
Once you have identified the root cause, you can proceed with the fix.
This may involve repairing the components or replacing them, or resetting the computerized control system for automatic transmissions.
Depending on what type of car you drive and how complex its transmission is, this process could require specialized tools and expertise to complete correctly.
How do I know if my shifter cable is broken?
You should be able to tell if your shifter cable is broken by checking the condition of the cable and its attachment points.
Visually inspect the cables, both at the shifter and at the transmission, for signs of wear or fraying.
If you notice any of these signs, it is likely that either the cable or one of its attachment points has failed.
Additionally, when you press down on the shifter pedal, you should be able to feel an even tension in both directions – upshift and downshift.
If you feel a lack of resistance or unusual behavior when shifting between gears, then your shifter cable may be broken.
What sensor controls the gear shift?
The most common type of sensor used to control automatic gear shifts is the throttle position sensor.
This sensor determines when it is time to shift gears by monitoring the throttle opening angle and engine load and speed.
The information from this sensor is used by the transmission system to compute the correct shift point for each gear.
Other types of sensors that can be used for electronic transmission control are pressure sensors, mass airflow sensors, and engine torque sensors.
You may get worried and panic when you cannot shift gears to parking mode in your vehicle.
We have listed above some of the common issues for which you may face the problem.
Well, it’s pretty challenging and daunting to correct this issue alone.
We will recommend you take your car to the mechanic so that he can find the right reason for not shifting gears and then solve it accordingly.
Thank you for reading this article!