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BMW – Automatic Transmission Will Not Shift From PARK

May 27, 2010

This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.

Q
car year: 1997
car model: 328i
I have an automatic. Recently the car would not shift into gear. Replaced the brake switch which seemed to cure the problem temporarily. Now it will not shift again when running. It will shift when the ignition is “on” as long as the car isn’t running. As soon as the car is started, it will not shift into gear. Suggestions?

A
Are you saying that the shifter will not move out of the PARK position? If so, the shift interlock solenoid (the electrical solenoid at the shifter, that locks it in PARK) may be faulty. I would suggest that you remove the shifter surround (as if you were going into the console to replace the shifter) and check for power on the harness wires that go to the solenoid. The wires for the solenoid should be Violet and Brown/Violet. Do this when the engine is running and your foot is on the brake. Now, try the test again, but with the key “on” and the engine not running. Is there power now?

Let us know what you find.

This testing would apply to any later model chassis that has the PARK lock feature. However, the wire colors for the lock solenoid may be different.

2 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    I have purchased anew car.The car would not shift into gear. Replaced the brake switch which seemed to cure the problem temporarily. Now it will not shift again when running. It will shift when the ignition is “on” as long as the car isn’t running.The testing would apply to any later model chassis that has the PARK lock feature.

    • What model BMW is this? When you say that it will not shift …. do you mean that the shifter will not shift out of PARK?

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