We have a 2008 Dodge Caliber* that we got from our in-laws, that doesn’t get much use. We can not get it out of the parking gear. It’s not the you-can’t-take-it-out-of-park-unless-your-foot-is-on-the-brake (YCTIOOPUYFIOTB) mechanism. We can see that moving, and when we have a foot on the brake, we can move the shifter to the right, and pull it down enough to get the reverse lights to turn on, but it won’t go all the way into reverse. Without a foot on the brake, the shifter is just locked in place in Park.
My son was home from college over the break, and drove it then. When he first started it, it was hard to start, but he drove it for a while. I started it just to put it into our driveway before the heavy snowfall last weekend, and it stayed there as the temperatures plummeted.
My wife tried to start it yesterday, and the battery was dead. She began to back it out with the car off, but hit a snow bank, so she put it in park, and her and the kids dug out some snow from around it. After that, she could not get it out of park. She found the manual override for the YCTIOOPUYFIOTB mechanism, but had the problem described above. We got it jumped by AAA**, but he couldn’t get it out of park either. He took the cover off so we could see better, but we can’t see what’s hanging it up.
It’s still around zero, so maybe something is just frozen. It’s parked on the road now (it had been blocking our driveway) so I have some time. I’ll look at it when it warms to a balmy upper 30s this weekend. If it stays stuck, is there anything I could look for inside the shifting mechanism? Or could it be a stuck cable somewhere else in the car?
There are three bolt heads I can remove to get better access inside it. Also, how do I remove the shifter handle? Does it unscrew? The shifter handle is preventing me completely removing the cover plate, making it hard to see.
I did try turning the car off, and restarting it to see if that would reset anything, and we also tried rocking the car back and forth while trying to get out of park to see if there was something held in place by pressure, but no joy.
- It’s an automatic transmission, but as no-frills as possible. Manual locks and manual windows. I didn’t even know you could get manual windows any more.
** He said the battery was taking a charge, but I’ll look at this more closely after fixing the parking gear problem.