Car frozen in park

Tiny
JAMES LARUE
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 CHRYSLER IMPERIAL
  • 3.3L
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 92,000 MILES
The car will start, but is frozen in park, and the key cannot be removed.

Any solution?
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Thursday, July 21st, 2016 AT 3:52 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Does the shift lever move freely with its normal click feel, freely with no normal click, or is it stuck in the "park" position? Does the ignition switch turn to all the positions?
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Thursday, July 21st, 2016 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
JAMES LARUE
  • MEMBER
The ignition will turn on all positions, but will not turn all the way off. The shift column seems frozen solidly in the park position and will not move at all.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2016 AT 4:10 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do you mean the switch will turn to the "off" and "lock" positions but some electrical stuff stays on?

I think my fist suspect would be the lock cylinder itself. Your description of the symptoms do not match what normally happens, but the cause could be the same. Once the cylinder is removed, there is a "cam" on the end that turns the electrical part of the ignition switch. That cam can crack and become loose. Normally what happens is you can turn the key all the way to the "crank" position, but the electrical switch does not quite get that far. The dash lights turn on but the starter does not engage. There is a repair kit available at the dealer's parts department for this.

I am wondering if that cam cracked in half and is blocking the cylinder from moving the slide that unlocks the shift lever. To check it requires removing the air bag, clock spring, and steering wheel, then there's a little roll pin to push in. With the key in place, the cylinder will pop out and you can look on the end of it for that cam.

Also be aware that if the car is parked on an incline, the shifter will be very hard to get out of "park". You would still be able to start the engine and work the ignition switch normally.
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+1
Thursday, July 21st, 2016 AT 4:54 PM
Tiny
JAMES LARUE
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I will give this a try.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2016 AT 5:19 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Any luck James?
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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 AT 10:00 AM

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