Civic stuck in park - what's the deal with this problem?

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Hi, I just had my 2007 Civic lock itself in park several times and I was barely able to get it back to Drive so I could get to and from work today.

I dug through the manual and found the little trick called the Shift Lock Release, which is a little slot right above the shift lever. You remove this cover - about 1/8" x 3/4" and push the key into it and then you can move the lever into neutral, start the car, then put it into reverse or drive.

My question is, how common is this problem, what causes it, and why is it SO common that Honda even put this little slot there so you can deal with the problem relatively easily? Apparently this is a problem they have been having for some time, so they invented this little slot to help the owner over-ride the problem at least temporarily. So how long has this been going on?

The manual says this is an indication that something is going wrong with the transmission.

What should I expect when I take it into the shop on Monday?

I bought Honda because it is supposed to be so reliable. Having a problem like this one year in, isn't a good sign...

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

you know you're supposed to have the brakes on when you try to release it from "park", right?

[the slot is there so the vehicle can be released and rolled or towed, even with a flat battery.]

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In article

snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Um....let's see.....over 20 years now, ever since 60 Minutes manufactured the Audi "problem" so they could sell advertising.

You never, ever noticed this before? You never read your owner's manual? You never wondered "gee, why do I have to put my foot on the brake just so I can pull it out of Park?" You never heard the "click" as you put your foot on the brake, the sound of the trans lock solenoid releasing?

Quote that for us, please.

It's MUCH more likely a problem with the brake pedal switch.

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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

They didn't manufacture the problem. They reported it. And, I think, having the lock is a good idea.

I have never heard the click, myself, when I drive an automatic.

That's true. It can also be a problem with the solenoid, the wiring or operator error.

Jeff

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wrote:

No, they manufactured it.

Such has been demonstrated since, by experts in the field who don't have yellow journalism to deliver.

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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

Your evidence, please.

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wrote:

Let me go back to my Car and Driver collection and find that.

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Jeff wrote:

How about that the interlock is only on US cars?

-SP

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On 2/2/2008 6:45 AM Jeff spake these words of knowledge:

I personally owned a 1979 Audi 5000S, and a little later a 1980 Audi 5000S. As a result, I got to know a fair number of other Audi owners and drivers. I never once had a problem, nor did I ever hear of anyone else who had a problem with 'unintended acceleration' outside of the news stories.

This is anecdotal, I understand. But it seemed clear to me that there wasn't any problem with the cars; the problem, if it existed, was with the drivers. It seemed to me.

RFT!!! Dave Kelsen

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"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for
people to work." -- Peter Drucker
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On Sat, 02 Feb 2008 08:53:23 -0600, Dave Kelsen

It may well have been the drivers - probably was. But that is scant consolation when you just crushed your kid to death.

Based on the frequency which this type of accident occurred with the 5000, something was wrong with it. Might have been 100% ergonomic but there was a problem and it wasn't unique to Audi. The shift interlock was a good solution. Cheap, effective and it in no way interferes with normal operation of the car (barring mechanical failure which can occur with any system in the vehicle). Note that unintended acceleration accidents have practically disappeared from the news. How many lives have been saved by the 60 Minutes expose, even if the actual cause was not strictly mechanical?

Some people just like to bitch and moan about how this is idiot-proofing, but as long as we are allowing idiots to drive cars... If this (idiot-proofing) is really such a problem, we should ban automatic transmissions altogether. If you are too stupid, incapacitated or uncoordinated to drive a manual transmission, take the bus.

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Did you ever notice how after the first time someone claimed to find a needle in a can of Pepsi, there were ALL SORTS of other reports about the same thing?

If you look hard enough, and if your journalist's notepad is yellow enough, you can find anything.

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On Sat, 02 Feb 2008 11:35:26 -0500, "Elmo P. Shagnasty"

Did you notice how none of those needle-in-the-Pepsi reports involved needles being extracted from peoples' throats? The unintended acceleration reports invariably involve a car smashed into a garage or other unlikely object (and not a few deaths BTW.)

The journalist's job is to dig up dirt. A lot of them end up getting buried as a result. Journalists are as important to freedom and democracy as the military.

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On 2/2/2008 9:52 AM Gordon McGrew spake these words of knowledge:

<snip>

I can't really argue with that, Gordon; I can't really see that it's hurt anything, after all. I do note that unintended acceleration accidents were not prevalent in the news for the 70 or so years of driving before the interlock either, except for the brief flurry of Audi stories and lawsuits.

RFT!!! Dave Kelsen

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overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you
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Gordon McGrew wrote:

no it wasn't. the only way the engine can rev, outside of the throttle being pressed, is by a malfunction in the idle control system. and a shift interlock does damn-all to address this.

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If there was a problem with the car itself, and if many people were having the problem, and if it wasn't solely an Audi problem, then the potential for the problem is still there.

That is, once the car is out of Park and into a gear, then the car could still accelerate unintendedly.

So they mandate that the car can't go out of Park unless the brake pedal is pressed--and the problem went away completely??

Which tells us that the problem wasn't the car at all, that there is no such thing as unintended acceleration. The problem is and always was idiots not operating the car correctly.

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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

indeed.

unfortunately, this whole sorry episode is symptomatic of the way detroit "competes". when it does so, it's not by addressing product competence, it always does it politically. because it's cheaper. [while that buys time, ultimately, it will be the cancer that kills the us domestic vehicle manufacturing industry.]

red rear turn signals? amber ones cost a little more, so a few bucks invested in lobbying ensures the nhtsa shut up and freeway fatalities caused by signaling confusion are quietly forgotten. suv rollovers? simply lobby for financial relief using inflated costs of product redesign vs. the cost to gdp of killing the wage earners that typically drive them. [and blame a tire manufacturer who's not smart enough to grease palms.] want to nix a spectacular new product that would crush the highly profitable 4wd market [which the japanese were mostly not at that time interested in]? create a product scare about it and threaten recalls! easy.

audi created a sensation in europe with their 4wd quattro. it was a major threat to detroit if sold here. that threat had to be eliminated.

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On Sat, 02 Feb 2008 15:21:27 -0800, jim beam

Was the Audi 5000 a domestic product? I seem to recall that the interlock appeared on all cars - foreign and domestic - simultaneously.

So you favor a government mandate on lens colors to protect idiots who are easily confused by flashing lights?

Industry will always do what is cheapest, at least in the short run. The Interlock was the cheapest solution to the unintended acceleration problem. Lobbying against it would have been more expensive and would have done nothing to reduce the problem.

SUVs are (were?) a cash cow and the redesign is expensive and interferes with their intended use (i.e. looking macho and tough and sitting high above other traffic.) So industry went the lobby route on this one.

SUVs flipping over is a real problem. The media helped promote the idea that these vehicles were safer than cars while sweeping real safety concerns under the rug.

Are you talking about the Audi 5000 incident? SUVs were a niche market back then and the quattro was hardly a threat to the Bronco.

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Gordon McGrew wrote: <snip crap>

exactly how??? it doesn't affect throttle or idle control in any way. it doesn't over-ride the engine computer in any way. what is the mechanism for /how/ this is supposed to address a so-called "unwanted acceleration" problem???

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jim beam wrote:

I think you hit the nail on the head, Jim... The so-called "unwanted acceleration" problem with the Audi (et al) WASN'T. It occurred due to either driver error or, possibly, ergonomic design. Kinda like gun deaths. It ain't the gun that kills, it's the person in whose hands it lies that does the killing - intentional or otherwise.

Those "accidents" occurred when the vehicle was placed into gear and the drivers, thinking they were putting their foot on the brake, instead placed them on the accelerator. The interlock, requiring that the brake pedal is depressed before the transmission can be moved from Park to Drive or Reverse, at least insures that the "loose nut" behind the steering wheel has their foot on the brake rather than the gas. What happens after they get the car in gear and remove their foot from the brake pedal is on them.

Anyone ever hear of a documented case of a car running wild after the interlocks were made standard or, alternatively, somebody driving peacefully down the road at 45 m/h and have their car suddenly red line for no apparent reason?

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Say What? wrote:

yes, absolutely. and the interlock did damn-all to prevent it. my grandmother had an intersection crash with her lincoln continental. part of the dash panel in the footwell fell down and was bridging the gas and brake pedals. the motor is stronger than the brakes. inspection reveals this could easily happen on any of these vehicles. neither ford corporate nor the local dealer would return her calls or letters.

has anyone launched a smear campaign to stop them importing their filthy "market-dominating, profit competing innovations" from mexico? no, they're "domestic"! has there been a move for legislation to connect the gas pedal to the child safety locks to prevent recurrence [or something equally unrelated]? no. and both are totally unrelated to ford's prolific lobbying...

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