Subaru Legacy SW 1995, automatic
I've been having the most annoying problem on my Legacy wagon for over 2 years now, and 3 mechanics have tried at it (including a Subaru dealer) to no avail.
When my car is in park, it won't come out! As in, the thumb button on the shift won't push in, so I can't move the car out of park. I think it has to do with the " shift lock" mechanism requiring the brake pedal to be depressed before it will get out of park. When this problem first started, it only happened when it was cold, and warming the car up for 20 minutes to an hour usually made it work (as did forcefully pumping my foot on the brake pedal as hard as I could over and over).
However, the problem started happening at higher and higher temperatures, and right now, I have not put my car into " park" for a year. Yep, I leave it in " neutral" and put on the hand brake. I'm afraid that if I put it into park one more time, it won't ever come out (the last time it got stuck, I had to warm it up for over 3 hours!). This shortcut has made the car functional, but it is so ghetto! I have to leave my key in the car (it won't come out if the car is in neutral). I still lock the car with another key, but this is not a good ideal.
I'm tired of doing this, and I can't park the car on a steep hill. I feel very strongly that this problem has something to do with some sort of brake pedal sensor, but one mechanic said that to just try to diagnose the problem, they'd have to take my dashboard apart for $400, and they don't think they'd be able to figure it out anyway. Another mechanic tried cleaning the shifter, then gave up. Yet another mechanic told me " I just have no clue".
I am very tired of this problem, and I cannot hope to ever sell my car used if it is like this. I can't even let friends borrow it 'cuz I'm afraid they'll accidentally put it in " park".
Any suggestions? Any similar problems?
Monday, March 20th, 2006 AT 4:54 PM