I need to use my key to bypass the shift lock every time to put my car
in gear. My shifter moves freely after this but once I place it in
park again, it won’t release without shutting the car off and using
the shift release with the key. Coincidentally, none of the electric
controls on my steering wheel work either (cruise or horn) which
started at the same time.
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If the P light is not on no power is getting to the shift lock solenoid to
unlock it. Get the light problem fixed and the shifter will start working.
Don't start tearing in it yourself unless you understand how to do it
correctly or you may blow the air bags if it has them.
I have the same problem on my 1990 Civic 4WD Wagon. It only happened
in winter when the temperature was low, like below 32 F. I don't have
a solution. What I did is after I park the car, I let the engine stay
idle for 2 to 5 minutes, the P light will come on then I can unplug my
car key. I noticed that the idle speed would be lower, around 300
rpm! If I could not wait for 2 to 5 minutes, I simply left my car key
inside and went away and hope that no car theft would notice I left
the car key at the steering wheel. On the contrary, if I needed to
drive and the shifter is lock, then I would use a seperate key and
insert it to the unlock key hole to unlock the shifter.
There's two or three TSB's that address the adjustment of the shifter
linkage at this site:
I had similar troubles on the CR-V and they are all basically the same.
Just change the length of the cable (by doing the adjustment) and it
will likely fix it. The cable gets shorter (further out of adjustment)
in cold weather.
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