My 1995 Monte Carlo has been having problems shifting from park once
the brake is applied. The button on the T-handle refuses to depress
(shifter is console mounted). This only occurs sporadically - one day
it's smooth as silk, the next you fiddle with it for a moment before it
works, the next day it seems it may never get out of park - the day
after that, smooth as silk again (????). Once out of park, all other
functions of the shifter work as normal (neutral safety, gear
I do have the factory service manual, but don't find a section on any
brake interlock cable or switch - I do see a section on a park
interlock function, but it makes no mention of the relation to the
Any thoughts? If it's in there, can someone point me to the correct
procedure for adjustments in the factory service manual?
That would be the case if the problem was pulling it out of park, but the
problem he is having invloves not being able to push the button to shift. I
am having the same problem with my '95 Monte, but the manuals are all very
unclear as to how the system works and where the components are.
Aha! Where were you guys yesterday? ;-)
As it turns out, I came across the answer in the electrical section of
the manual - nowhere close to the transmission section or interior
There are two items that work in conjunction: The brake light switch
itself, and the BTSI (Brake Transmission Shift Interlock) Solenoid.
The switch is $5-10 at the local auto parts store, the BTSI looks to be
a dealer only part.
I replaced the brake switch yesterday (pain in the back), and the
button still seems "notchy" - time for the BTSI to come out. The BTSI
is located under the console, but the service manual seems to indicate
that you can remove the shifter handle and then carefully (from the
back) pry up the panel the shifter goes through. I'll tear into it
Steve, if you need more in-depth info or pics to help fix your car, let
Steve, I don't have the manuals with me at this point, but I took a
look at it during my break and already have it "fixed" for now. Once
you pry off the cover, you'll see exactly what needs to be done.
I simply disconnected the solenoid (purple / black connection). It's
smooth as silk, but you can switch into any gear at any time. I don't
have children riding in the car, so I'm safe for now. I have to be on
the road early tomorrow and was going to be stressed for time tonight
trying to fix this. As it stands, I'm done with it for now until I'm
back from my trip.
Just remove the T-handle by gently prying out the metal pin on the
front of the "T" with a flat-blade screwdriver then gently pry up on
the back of the panel that the shifter goes through. There are four
clips holding it on - two at the back and one on each side. When it
comes up, you'll have a bulb connection for the gear selector readout
(twist and pull) and then you'll also have to disconnect the cigarette
lighter (spread and pull). You'll see the BTSI solenoid (small
canister) near the front - reconnect the T-handle and press the button,
you'll see what's causing the bind.
Took a look. I have decided that I am WAY too lazy to rip that all apart and
try to lubicat it. So I did like you, I unplugged it. Now you don't have to
press the brake to shift from park, but the ignition still has to be in
I see you've been busy since I last checked in ;-)
Yep, that's the way to do it - disconnect it. Another "we at GM did
this to protect you, but once it fails you can't drive the car at all"
safety feature, VATS, left me stranded several times until I finally
figured out how to disable it. I haven't needed a towtruck since. I
still want to replace the BTSI solenoid if possible - when it comes
time to sell the car, I don't need a lawsuit six months down the road
from the new owner because it shifted out of gear and ran over someone.
At least it is locked once in park and the key is removed.
Pity I may have to buy a new shifter, though. It might be time for a
trip to the salvage yard next week.
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