Problem with shift lock and brakes lights in '95 Civic Ex

Hey all,
I was wondering if anyone could help me. Last winter, I couldn't get my car out of park and into drive after I started the car and pressed
the brake pedal. I discovered the shift lock release hole and put my key in it and discovered that it is basically is a manual override for the shift lock. At first, the brake lights still worked when the shifter was locked. Over the past year, the shifter has gotten locked off and on, inconsistently, sometimes for a week, several days, or for one day, sometimes not at all for months at a time...brake lights used to work, but as of September, have quit working when when the shifter is locked. Last night, the brake lights worked for a split second, but not anymore since then. I need some help asap, I don't want a ticket or get rear ended, and I must drive my car, no other option. Is the brake light switch bad? Is it a fuse? Like I said, when the shifter unlocks itself, the brake lights still work. I know its not a bulb or anything like that. Need help fast! Thanks in advance!!
mgan9311
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It sounds like something is wrong with the wiring. Do you have a local mechanic that you could stop by? If so I would stop and see what they can do. Good luck!
--
Our company is looking for those who want to earn huge residual income.
http://www.idrink.us/opportunity.htm
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Is the P light on? If not it won't release the shift lock. This is usually caused by a bad or maladjusted shift position switch on the transmission or possibly too much play in the shift cable. Rattle the gearshift around and see if the P light comes on.....

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The P light....you mean the parking light on the gear shift? No....none of the lights on the gear shift console work and haven't worked for some time now, they only work on the dash (its an automatic, btw). I can't rattle it, I don't have any play with it being an automatic.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had almost the exact same problem with a 2003 Accord, except my break lights were coming on all by themselves, whenever they felt like it. Like an hour after I went to bed! Along with erratic ability to shift out of PARK. Very frustrating and dangerous situation.
The brake light switch behind (actually in front of) the pedal controls both functions, and replacing it returned all to normal. It's cheap($11.00) and it's an easy DIY job. If it works, you have saved yourself some high lablor charges to diagnose the problem at your dealer. If it doesn't, you were going to be in for a serious bill anyway :-)
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob,
That sounds like my problem. Do you think its worth it to just replace the switch without testing the continunity of it? Also, can you give me directions for DIY? I take it that its really simple...I am thinking less than 10 minutes????
Mgan9311
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you have the meter, then make the test. But don't bank on the results. The problem with these switches is the intermitent nature of how they go bad. That's why sometimes you can shift out of Park and sometimes you can't. I tested mine and it came out as OK. But the problem persisted and I was just about to schedule an appointment with the dealer when I decided to drop in to the parts department and check on the price of the switch. I was surpised to hear them quote only $11.00. Then when I told them I bought the car there, I got a discount that brought it down to $8.00 and change.
Facing a car rental fee of $30.00, and I figured at least $60-$80 in labor just to diagnose the problem, I decided to spend the $8.00 on the switch and was glad I did. I can't speak to the procedure for your Civic, but it can't be much more complicated than the setup on my Accord. Unplug the wire harness from the switch. Unscrew the plastic lock nut. Use a wrench to turn the switch about 1/2 rotation and it slides right out of the holder. Reverse to install the new one. 10 minutes, or less.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have had success testing switches for intermittent tendencies using a multimeter. The trick is to carefully measure either the resistance or the voltage drop (if the current is steady when closed) across the contacts from one operation to the next. My personal standard is a 2:1 spread of voltage or resistance with several cycles, but intermittent switches usually get considerably wilder than that... more like 5:1 and with a lot of variation within that range.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hey All,
Thank you all so much for you help on this matter! I decided to just go and buy the switch without testing it. With intermittent results....it isn't worth it to me to test it when you can't be sure. I haven't put it in yet, but will do so this weekend. As it figures....before I got to the auto parts store last night it was still locked and the brake lights were off and on, when I left the auto parts store it wasn't locked anymore and the lights worked, and still work today! Ha! Go figure! Anyways, regardless, I am changing the switch this weekend and will provide an update so others can use this board for information when they have this problem!!!
P.S. Cost = $11.48 w/o tax here in Georgia at Advance Auto Parts
Mgan9311
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.