Automatic Gearbox stuck in drive from startup

Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 TOYOTA AVENSIS
  • 32,000 MILES
It appears that either the gear cable to the gearbox from the gear shift is solid or possibly the solenoid on the gearbox itself is stuck. I have dismantled the gearshift end and everything there seems to be working correctly. Is there anyway I can check if it is the cable, or the other solonoid, without dismantling anything else.

Thanks
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 8:56 AM

17 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
At transmission end, get someone to check if the cable is moving when gear shift is changed from various position.
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 12:56 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
On this model the box is semi automatic I.E. You can also change up and down by sliding the gear lever to the right when in drive. I reconnected the cable at the at the gear stick end and managed to get the cable moving again, although if you let it go into the area of the drive that allows you to change gear manually the lever sticks again and has to be disconnected from the cable before it can be freed. The cable is moving at the gear box end and moving the lever up and down ok. When I got everything working again, I still couldn't start the engine. Does this sound as though it might be electrical?
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 1:17 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
The gear lever has to be in the correct position before you can start as the Park and Neutral Position switch at transmission end has to be either in the P or N position to allow cranking.

Move the lever up and down and note the indicator light. When indicator is in N position, try starting. Ensure the handbrakes are secure and press on the brake pedal to avoid vehicle surging forward or backwards when engine is started. This can occur if the transmission is in N but the control lever inside the trans could be in another position.
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 2:27 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
Tried moving the lever, but not showing the indicator light at all for reverse, which is the only one that comes on usually. Also although dashpanel, lights etc work with ignition, heater, aircon does not. Seems like maybe a fuse or something? I will go and try moving the gear lever and trying to start in different positions just in case. Will be back in a few minutes if it works, if not on line again it didn't!
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 3:03 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
Great! I can now get the car to start in Neutral, but not in Park. Why it stuck in gear initally is still a mystery, but it is hopefully easier for you to diagnose the remaining problems, although again hopefully it will be just a fuse.
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
If the position indicator lights are not working and lever at the transmission end is working correctly, you have a fault with the PNP switch.
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
Hi thanks for getting back to me, but where is the PNP switch, I can't find any reference to it in the stuff I downloaded from Toyota. I am not a mechanic, but do know my way around cars a bit. Does the switch go by another name ie shift position switch, which is shown on one of the circuit diagrams I have.

Thanks
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 7:19 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Yes, that should be the switch it refers to. It is mounted at the transmission end.

Unplug the connector and check the terminals for corrosion or contamination inside the connector.
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 7:43 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I will try that early next week as I am away with friends for a few days. I will let you know if this solves the problem. I am a bit concerned that although I could get the car running, the aircon and heater didn't appear to be working, although the radio, lights and dash panel came on, also the trip computer was lit up as well.

Thanks
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 7:55 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Let me know if you require anything else.
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 8:34 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
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Will do, thanks again
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 AT 11:16 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
The AC and heater could be either a fuse or a relay. Also, there is a ground wire for the blower motor that sometimes gets kicked loose. It's down in the passenger footwell.
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Sunday, February 12th, 2012 AT 11:45 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
Thanks for that, heater now sorted. I have looked at the original problem again and now believe that it lies with the cable, as after disconnecting the cable at the gear lever end I was then able to move the gear stick into the full drive position. When I eventually got the cable connected again I moved the lever up and down through the gears several times as it did feel stiffer than usual. When I put the lever back into the manual drive section it stuck again. On closer inspection of the mechanism I could see that a solid bar that was attached to the lever had to mate with a square hole in the cable carrier, this was not mating properly and stopping the lever from moving out of its position. I then pulled the cable back by hand and the bar locked into place. After many more tries at changing gears the cable seemed easier and the bar now mates with a click. Is it possible to lubricate the cable as this would seem to be the problem, if so what would be the best way to proceed.

Many thanks.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 AT 11:26 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Sometimes, yes. Use a dry silicone or graphite lube on exposed cable at either end of the cable housing (the plastic cover).
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 AT 8:22 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Try adjustng the cable as well.
With transmission in P position, loosen the cable holding nut at transmission end. Allow cable to be seated naturally and retighten the nut. Retest.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 AT 9:32 PM
Tiny
POPPAJOE
  • MEMBER
Thanks again for all your help, I will try to lube the cable over the next few days and see if that helps.
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Thursday, February 16th, 2012 AT 9:05 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
My pleasure. Tell your friends about us.

Closing thread.
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Thursday, February 16th, 2012 AT 11:31 PM

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